Arrow Season 3 Episode 14 – TV Review
Don’t worry, he’s gone just as quickly.
No rehashing villains for this season’s arcs.
They’re just trotted out for padding when required.
TL;DR Oliver and Thea face off against Slade and learn about their fears or whatever; Oliver tells Thea that she killed Sara; Quentin bitches at Laurel for breaking their bond of trust (because she kept Sara’s death from him); the flashbacks take more prominence, showing how Oliver stalked his friends and family in Starling City; and Kelly Hu is foiled.
I’d make another mention of her delicious wigs, but you must be tired of that by now.
The present day plot is actually dwarfed by the flashbacks, but we’ll get it out of the way first. Oliver and Thea, having come to the island at Malcolm’s suggestion, discover Slade has escaped his ARGUS prison cell. Because Malcolm set him loose to re-ignite Oliver’s killer instinct. Oliver and Thea work together to stay alive, but Thea keeps pressing Oliver about Sara. Oliver is eventually worn down and admits Malcolm drugged her into doing it, which isn’t a big point scorer for Malcolm in Thea’s regard. They manage to sort out Slade, and return to Starling City more furious at Malcolm than ever, but still resigned to the fact they need him to defeat Ra’s. In the flashbacks, Oliver goes off-mission and stakes out Thea. He discovers she’s hitting them drugs pretty hard in the wake of her father and brother’s deaths. Tommy does his best to look out for her, but Oliver takes it upon himself to murder Thea’s dealer at Tommy’s birthday party (which Thea and the dealer had crashed). Maseo bitches at Oliver because he could have been seen, but they get back together to put Kelly’s little WMD auction to bed. This impresses Amanda’s boss, General Matthew Shrieve. Meanwhile in flashback, Quentin hits the bottle pretty hard over Sara’s death, and he bitches at Laurel a bit for taking a corporate job instead of doing good in Starling. So Laurel decides to move back to Starling City and get involved in that charity lawyering job she had in season 1. I forget what it was called. Also, she flirts with Tommy.
Tommy never should have changed that haircut. Woof.
While I’ll applaud the continuity porn in the flashbacks, the present day stuff with Slade is obvious padding.
It’s not quite filler, because the interaction between Oliver and Thea is relevant to the season’s arcs. But it is a massive waste of time to simply get Oliver to tell Thea about how Malcolm manipulated her into murdering Sara.
Can’t you people just talk to each other?
Why I hate this episode:
The net result of which is to have Thea mad at Malcolm. But she was already mad at Malcolm, so.
Slade is kind of a massive pushover. Even Thea is able to beat his butt into submission. How embarrassing.
Slade falls prey to the typical supervillain mistake of not simply killing his victims. His plan is to lock Thea and Oliver up in the ARGUS prison to rot while he fakes their deaths to the world so nobody will come looking. This is supposed to be payback for his own time in the the prison. Umm, I’m pretty sure someone from ARGUS is going to come looking when they stop receiving reports from their supervillain prison complex. Just kill them now, idiot.
Captain Boomerang gets some lip service, but we don’t get to see him. Not even a cameo?
Amanda goes from unshakeable director and Bitch In Charge of ARGUS to impotent little subordinate in one episode flat when General Shrieve shows up on the scene. He’s her boss. Bitch, Amanda Waller ain’t got no boss. Amanda Waller is the boss. Bitch.
Flashback Quentin is a dick to Laurel. I thought parents were supposed to be proud when their kids go to law school and get soul-sucking, high-paying jobs?
Present day Quentin is also a dick to Laurel, whingeing about some bond of trust that she broke by concealing Sara’s death. He doesn’t even have the decency to chug the pain away, like a good alcoholic. Nor does Laurel. What a pair of party poopers.
Flashback Oliver goes fucking overboard when he blithely (and unsubtly) murders the crap out of Thea’s dealer at Tommy’s birthday party. I mean, I did appreciate season 1 Oliver’s homicidal streak, but like Maseo points out, anybody could have seen him in all that mess. I still don’t understand why Amanda is so intent on making a spy out of Flashback Oliver. Because he’s terrible at it.
Slade takes a moment to complain about Shadow again. Shoosh.
Seeing Flashback Quentin’s hair makes me miss Quentin’s hair.
Oh, and Flashback Oliver, when hacking the Queen Consolidated computers, finds a video from Robert which is his call to action to save Starling City using the little black book of bad guys. That’s quite the burden to leave your child. “Hey, I was a self-serving, profit-driven turd in my life. Now I want you to waste and risk yours to somehow fix that. You didn’t have any other plans, right?”
But it’s not all bad:
Flashback Oliver risks a lot, but it’s worth it to see the old gang again. Alas, poor Tommy.
In addition to Quentin’s hair, another fun cameo is Diggle as a lowly security goon at Tommy’s birthday party. I assume Diggle’s brother has also been in the show before, but I don’t know my Arrow lore that well.
Tommy does what he can, trying to be a surrogate big brother to Thea, which is very sweet. Thea is an uncontrollable brat hurricane, so it’s for naught, but Tommy plays the tragically ineffective hero well.
Ke$sha and Flo Rida’s seminal 2009 song Right Round plays at Tommy’s party. God, I miss my youth. And the dollar sign in Kesha’s name.
Kelly Hu and Omega are finally put to bed, so we can all stop pretending that a mostly minor villain from season 1 still matters.
Amanda implies she would have been happy to let Oliver go after Kelly’s arrest, but General Shrieve was impressed with Oliver, and wants to keep him. Anyone who can get in the way of what Amanda Waller wants must be pretty fucking terrifying. I hope he delivers.
Maseo gets the best line of the episode when he blasts Oliver for his recklessness at the party:
Maseo: “What were you thinking? Anybody at that party could have seen you.”
Oliver: “Yeah, I pulled the hoodie down to cover my face.”
Maseo: “That disguise wouldn’t work even if you smeared grease paint over your face.”
I’ll chuck present day Thea a second best line of the episode when she realises how awful Malcolm is after the Sara murder revelation: “I’m an idiot!” Right!?
In his post-defeat rant, Slade implies that Felicity will be the next friend of Oliver’s to walk the path of darkness. Ooh, please.
Oliver, rather predictably, does not kill Slade (thereby rejecting Malcolm’s scheme of getting him to kill again). He also convinces Thea not to kill Slade. That’s what you get, Malcolm. I wouldn’t have minded a little bloodletting revenge for Moira, though.
Flashback Quentin (drunkenly, and on duty) calls Tommy a douchebag. See? Drunk Quentin is better Quentin.
Oh, and Oliver has to dislocate Thea’s arm so they can reach the release button to escape the ARGUS cell. He makes it seem like it’s a difficult thing to do, but he can’t fool us.