Arrow Season 3 Episode 13 – TV Review
Yes, the fabled day has arrived: Thea has an appropriate and agreeable response to something.
And it’s something big, too.
Can we expect rationality to be a permanent trait?
TL;DR Oliver tells Thea he’s the Arrow; she takes it well; Thea’s DJ boyfriend reveals himself and now the threat of the League of Assassins is real enough for her to believe; Laurel faces her Vertigo-induced demons over Sara; flashback Oliver is brought to Starling City in pursuit of Kelly Hu.
Do you think Amanda actually just wants to ask Kelly where she gets her wigs from?
The major “villain of the week” drama centres on the return of Peter Stormare (Vinnie’s out, Stormare’s in). He uses his Vertigo to escape custody, and the Super Friends spring into action to fight him off. Laurel gets hit with a Vertigo dart and hallucinates an angry Sara bitching at her for impersonating the Canary and not being strong blah blah blah. After the team narrowly saves her life, Laurel gets hit again during another attack on Stormare, but manages to overcome her own internal criticisms, and find the strength to both defeat Stormare, and confess the truth about Sara’s death to Quentin. Quentin is totes devo. Meanwhile, Oliver holds his breath and reveals his Arrow identity to Thea. She shows he should have given her more credit by being thankful and in awe of what he’s been doing all this time, rather than mad about the lying like he’d expected. She also gets super pissed off at Malcolm for withholding this truth from her, which would have prevented the dark path she chose to take with him. Then she bangs DJ Douche, evades an assassination attempt, and has to face the reality that Oliver will need to work with Malcolm to learn how to defeat Ra’s. Family: who’d have ’em, right? Shucks. And in flashback, Amanda is none too impressed with Maseo and Oliver’s insubodrination (which she’d predicted, but whatever). But she still brings them along to Starling City because that’s where Kelly’s gone.
No, really, is a rookie billionaire playboy and one Japanese guy all Amanda Waller has at her disposal to catch an international super terrorist crime boss? ARGUS is kind of massively shit, huh?
We make some tangible progress on all the subplot fronts this episode, so I’ll give it that. I just wish the A-plot with Stormare wasn’t such a water-treading wank.
It’s halfway through season 3, and the Super Friends still have to spend their time chasing down villains of the week?
Unless Stormare shapes up as an actual arc villain. Which, considering his one dimensional personality and approach, I wouldn’t be betting on.
You bitches need to get out there and hunt some League goons, baby.
Why I hate this episode:
Stormare’s only formidable ability is his use of Vertigo, which is getting a little tired. He’s just lucky Laurel was dumb enough to get hit with those darts twice.
Speaking of Laurel getting hit with darts twice, she gets hit with darts twice. Really, bitch? You didn’t learn after the first time?
During the fight scenes between Laurel and Sara both dressed up as the Canary, it’s painfully clear that Sara’s version of the costume is far superior. Laurel deserves better.
Oliver really didn’t put much faith in Thea, did he? Not that he had much reason to, I suppose, but still. Unless Thea’s perfectly congratulatory reaction to the truth about his secret identity is all a facade. I don’t trust Thea, because she’ll always be Agnes from Gossip Girl to me. And that girl was bonkers.
Roy rage stalks Thea because she’s getting flirty with DJ. We’re lucky this is a superhero show and Roy’s rage stalking meant he was in the right place at the right time to help her fight off DJ once he goes full assassin mode, otherwise Roy would look pretty creepy.
Roy also encourages Thea’s aversion to Malcolm post-truth. Which is a pretty big turnaround from Roy’s opinions on Malcolm just one episode ago.
Oh, and Roy challenges Oliver when Oliver demands Thea not be at the base while they’re doing Super Friends business (treating Laurel for her first Vertigo trip, to be precise). Thea chooses to go, anyway, but Felicity pipes up and supports disobedience towards Oliver. Bitch, this is not a cheerocracy.
But it’s not all bad:
Quentin finally knows the truth about Sara’s death. It only took us thirteen episodes, but we got there. His breakdown is pretty on point, too.
The real star of the revelations game this episode is Oliver’s revelation to Thea that he’s the Arrow. That one took the entire series run to come out, so thank God it is. And points to Thea for her decent reaction: she doesn’t care that he hid it from her, she’s just impressed and proud of all the good he’s done for the city, and for her.
She isn’t so generous to Malcolm, though, who hid the truth from her about Oliver in order to drive a wedge between the siblings and help him coerce Thea into his dark, daddy arms. Which is fair.
Malcolm’s anti-Ra’s training can’t be avoided, though, and Malcolm sends Oliver and Thea off to The Island at the end of the episode so they can begin training to conquer their fears. Apparently, knowing someone’s fear is Ra’s’ only ability against his enemies. I suppose being able to impale them and kick them off a mountaintop is worth squat, then? And what does The Island have to do with Thea’s fears? Whatever.
Thea shows off some ninja prowess when she realises DJ has spiked her wine with cyanide. She does her best to hold her own when they start fighting, but Roy and Malcolm have to burst in to properly stop him. Then DJ answers our prayers and commits suicide with his remaining poison. He won’t be missed.
With Roy occupied with saving/stalking Thea, Oliver is forced to ask Laurel to accompany him into the field in their second assault on Stormare (Diggle apparently didn’t feel like it?). Earlier, Oliver had continued to insist Laurel not get involved with vigilantism, so it was nice of him to throw her a bone.
There’s a stunt in the episode where Roy and Oliver jump out twin windows of an exploding building. It looks great, and shows the budget is still in there, somewhere.
Felicity assures Laurel that she has a light inside her that Sara never did, and Laurel should forge her own path instead of just trying to follow in Sara’s. The White Canary, maybe?
Quentin unknowingly gives Laurel a chance to bail on her confession about Sara. Laurel says she has something to tell him about Sara, and he says he already knows: that she’s off somewhere and Laurel has been impersonating her. Laurel heroically presses on and tells him the truth. I know I would have taken the out, personally. So kudos, Laurel.
Flashback Oliver is abducted by Amanda and tortured into telling her where Maseo and his family have gone so she can capture him, too. Oliver reluctantly complies when Amanda threatens to kill Thea, but it turns out that Maseo told Oliver false info just in case this happened. He’s always one step ahead.
Maseo also allows himself to be captured by Amanda, so he could help Oliver. What a sweetie.
Best line of the episode goes to Thea, who says exactly what anybody watching this show has been thinking: “I felt pretty lame not recognising my own brother just because he’s a wearing a hood.” Don’t forget the eyeshadow.
Oh, and at least Thea gets some skinny, shaggy blonde boy D before her love interest reveals himself as an assassin. And she won’t even have to awkwardly offer him breakfast in the morning.