Jessie Robertson reviews the eighth episode of Arrow season 3…
Part 2 of our two-part epic team up is also a dynamite episode that focuses on Oliver and his furthering journey to walk the line between himself and his vigilante alter ego. I’d be remiss not to mention the title cards this season, particularly with this crossover; brilliant work. The Arrow crew is hard at working tracking down their mysterious boomerang packing foe that eluded them in Central City (was he visiting some fellow Rogues? Time will most likely tell) and coming up short; but they did find out ARGUS is involved. This ties into the theme of the episode where we see Oliver being put through Guantanamo Bay training by Waller; he has to torture a man to get information about a hidden bomb in Hong Kong. His detainee informs him he needs conviction, a sentiment Oliver chimes to Barry after witnessing first hand Oliver’s proficiency in getting what he wants from a baddie. (Guy got shot in the shoulder; he got off light! Talk to some of the gangsters from season 1- yeah, that’s right, you can’t, they’re ghosts)
It’s a plight Oliver (and torturingly portrayed by Stephen Amell) has struggled with since taking up his no-kill policy; how to be the man Starling needs to protect itself while being effective and keeping his humanity. Oliver Queen, the man, has all but become a shadow to the Arrow in light of Sara’s murder, no presence on the show whatsoever, but I have a feeling after Barry’s affirmation that Oliver is the inspiration (and that Arrow guy a douche) we could see a storyline come into play; Oliver as Mayor anyone? One aspect of the team Arrow I hadn’t considered before is Layla’s role in everything; they find out Captain Boomerang (trademark Cisco) is after her because she made the call to “clean” him after a botched mission for the ARGUS-controlled Suicide Squad. Digger’s death didn’t take and he’s out for revenge; Layla more even so than Diggle can relate to Oliver’s approach, as she herself knows it’s a messy job but someone with the stomach for it needs to do it, so others, like Barry, don’t because inevitably they can’t. The constant barrage of “We’re not married” gags between Layla and Diggle foreshadowed the ending scene big time but I’d like more time to be devoted to their relationship, one because Diggle was an integral part of season 1 and two, because baby Sara is so darn cute!
The two crews collide again (sans Wells and Joe) to chase down Digger (who doesn’t sound Australian at all; WHAT?) and it provides much enjoyed hilarity (Cisco refers to their hideout as the Arrowcave; Felicity agrees and Oliver says “Look what you started”) The dynamic between Barry and Oliver is more like little and big brother, which I’m okay with; even the scenes where Flash wrapped up the Russian mobsters before Team Arrow arrived he gave a grin like he was looking for approval. Poor Roy is badly left out in the cold here, as he’s way down the list of importance with this crew; he even gets taken out by Digger quickly in their fight. Another trend I’m seeing is the villains are basically given a motivation, a cool power or gimmick and that’s it! And they’re being wrapped up pretty easily for the most part (except Layla’s boomerang in the chest.) At this point, we may not get a villain as developed as Merlyn or Slade from Arrow this season; hoping it’s Ra’s. Also during the climax, when Barry has to find a way to disarm five bombs at once, is placing each of your friends next to a live explosive the most viable option?
The episode ended on a high note, with a very fun scene reminiscent of Rocky II where Oliver and Barry basically fight to see who’s better- I can’t see this ending without some bumps, bruises, or puncture wounds. There’s a cool element I’m picking up on where these heroes are becoming memetic of their residences, where Central and Starling cities are becoming characters themselves, with their vigilant guardians resembling the traits of each. Oliver even describes it, saying Central City’s got better weather and fun names for their villains but his family and friends have all but been murdered in Starling. It’s a really cool concept that I hope keeps playing as both shows move forward; it does give them color and weight, even if they are make believe, in contrast to Marvel comics continuity, where New York plays a major role as a locale.
– One liners a plenty this week: Diggle on Oliver requesting he demand info from Layla “He really doesn’t care about my marriage.” And when Cisco asks what the elevation bar is, Felicity responds “a distraction from my work.”
– Layla asks about “Speedy”, she meant the Flash, Oliver thought she was referring to Roy, which is Roy’s original codename, but in season 1 we find out “Speedy” is Oliver’s nickname for Thea?
– Oliver mentions Digger is imprisoned along with Slade in his underground bunker island prison; something to remember for the future.
– Finally, both previews for next week’s mid-season finales look freakin’ insane: Flash v. Zoom! Arrow v. Ra’s! Strap in kids, it’s going to get bumpy!
Jessie Robertson is a contributing writer who loves all things comic books. He currently has one novel on Amazon.com, exploring people able to consciously do what they want in dreams. Yeah, sounds good right? Feel free to email him anything, questions, comments, critiques or Lost trivia at email@example.com.