Jessie Robertson reviews the eighteenth episode of Arrow season 3…
It’s getting to that time: finale time. The season is winding up, and it’s no more apparent here as Captain Lance pretty much dominates scene after scene in some of his finest work on the show, from cornering his own daughter, to reading Oliver the riot act as they are hauling him to prison in an armored car. One whole segment of the show was a chase scene; that’s Arrow season 1 stuff. Anyways, Oliver Queen has been outed as the Arrow. There’s two schools of thought on the revealing of a super hero secret identity: 1- You never do it. And 2- YOU NEVER DO IT! Since Spider-Man did so in ‘Civil War‘ it’s now a much more viable option but for Ollie, in this show, it seems like something that could change the dynamic of how every other character tied to him could operate. Again, this is TV, so it could be swept under the rug; and in fact, if you saw the final scene, it appears it maybe anyways. Oliver states the ongoing storyline several times here “Ra’s has backed me into a corner” which is as exposition-y as it gets; which only turns the viewer to one eventuality: Oliver will become the new Ra’s.
As we leave “Public Enemy”, someone actually wearing the Arrow costume is arrested for being the Arrow: Roy. He gives it back to Oliver, after telling Diggle they can’t just let this be it. Just as was stated when Oliver was gone, this mission is a way of life for these characters now. Thea (post-coitus) even suggests leaving Starling with Roy for good and he completely blows her off. Diggle tells Layla he’s quitting the team last week and she lets him off the hook. This is their way of trying to save Oliver from himself. We’ll see what happens but to me, Lance is way too invested in Oliver being the Arrow; from everything he’s been through as he so emotionally spilled out in that armored car scene, from Sara’s death to life to death, learning things from Ra’s, arresting Oliver once and being proven wrong, being the Arrow’s accomplice, to Laurel’s betrayal and her face when Lance brings up he knows. I don’t see this guy letting Roy take the fall for what has to be the most obvious secret ever kept. At this point, the team dynamic doesn’t just absorb the loss of another like with Oliver, as devastating a loss that his, it has to be completely restructured and made new because after Lance finishes with them, they will never be the same.
Our other storyline this week was Ray’s near death from a stray arrow meant for Felicity from Maseo. I enjoy Ray’s bubbly attitude and demeanor, but his delivery of the nanotech lines to his doctor was as goofy as you will hear on this show. I know this is comic book stuff, but look at it from the doctor’s point of view: this is some wacky s*it! This was a plot device inserted to accomplish a few things: Ray being given the nanotechs which will cause “some side effects”, keep Felicity out of the chase scene and bring back Momma Smoak for some motherly advice. She bluntly states it’s time for Felicity to make a choice between Ray and Oliver; which feels counter-intuitive to where we are in the show because nothings’ changed. Ray is good for Felicity; Oliver is no condition to devote himself or love anything other than the task at hand. Usually Felicity is the voice of reason in these situations, but her character is placed out of wack in both Oliver and Ray’s dilemmas. By injecting the nanites into Ray’s bloodstream, it seems she made her initial choice but who knows.
Our flashback provides a bit more meat than we’ve gotten in a while as we find out Shado is alive! (no, that was the cliffhanger last week). It’s actually Mae, Shado’s twin sister. Of course it is. She blindly accepts Oliver and Akio into her house and even offers to babysit while Ollie takes a shower. Times weren’t that different 3 years ago were they? Maseo and Tatsu reunite with their son and Oliver is able to put her at peace with the truth, which is said to be a powerful thing. When Mae says it, it lifts the mystery of her family’s whereabouts off her conscience, allowing her to properly mourn them. When Oliver tells the Arrow gang the same thing, it doesn’t feel like his revealing himself as the Arrow (which technically, he never does) would remove the burden that he, his father and the state of Starling City has put on him, but knowing Oliver as we do, he won’t change his convictions or his outlook. If not the Arrow, I believe he would become someone else….something else (Like that?) When Roy tells Thea almost getting caught made him feel free, you believe it. But, Oliver explaining the truth is the only way out feels like a story used to justify his actions and protect the rest of the team with the immunity he gets them. This was a functional episode that somewhat tied together Oliver’s flashback to his present day, and leads us further down the path to choosing which road Oliver ends up on.
– Anyone else want that Oliver – Maseo fight to last longer?
– Roy’s become a hell of a shot! That backwards running shot to the knee was crazy good
– “You had hospital sex, didn’t you?” Is that a thing people actually fantasize about?
– Anyone else feel like Oliver turned himself in thinking Ra’s may bail him out to take his position? Will we ever know now?