Since we’re getting closer to the finale, it’s somewhat expected that the writers would begin to break down Ollie’s support system. Not only does Felicity have her doubts about Ollie, but Diggle decided that his partnership with the vigilante was over after losing his chance at killing Deadshot. Honestly I wish he had more faith in Ollie as this drama is a bit too forced for my taste. And Diggle nagging that Oliver chose Laurel over him? Can we say dramatic much Mr. Diggle?
On the other hand, the love triangle is exploring compelling new territory. Collin Donnell was this week’s MVP and he delivered a spectacular performance. The writers have been effectively nudging him towards a sinister journey in a manner that feels true to the character and his experiences this year. His realization that Laurel would pick Ollie over him if she knew the truth was heartbreaking, and the scene in which he walked out on her after she bid Tyler goodbye was immensely powerful.
Katie Cassidy was also quite good this week and I do hope we’re getting closer to her assuming the Black Canary mantle. Unlike Tommy, she’s been hit-or-miss this year so here’s hoping they get a handle on her path soon. She had some wonderful moments as she caught Mr. Blank’s badge inconsistency, and then wielded a shotgun (the first time at least) while Tommy hid.
The villains still need work on Arrow. While the writers have done a good job with long-term antagonists like Tommy and Malcolm, they’ve struggled in developing the one-off baddies. It was a pleasant surprise to see J. August Richards from Angel make an appearance this week, I thought he was very miscast in the role of Mr. Blank. I get what they were going for with the ruthless, smooth assassin but all his dialogue fell flat. Luckily, he got a badass death scene as Arrow disposed of him with a poker through the neck.
We didn’t spend too much time on the island this week but we did witness the first sparks fly between Shado and Ollie as she vowed to train him with a bow and arrow. I enjoy these two together, and the ending was pretty darn intense with Yao Fei returning with Fyers’ men and capturing Ollie, Shado and Slade. What’s the ninja master up to now? Is this another one of his convoluted schemes? I’m definitely pumped to know more.
Although Thea and Roy weren’t the most exciting duo this week, I loved their decision at the end to go after the hood as Roy feels a “connection” to him. I really want these two (and Laurel) to discover the truth soon and join Ollie’s gang. The show is much better when everyone’s in the same place (like they were this week in Queen manor). Please writers, don’t drag out the possibility of a fully-fledged Arrow gang until season five. Season two could be epic if you speed things up a bit.
Bits & Arrows
– Mr. Blank sure gets into places easily. People should really stop opening doors for him.
– Collin Donnell’s standout acting moment of the year was the incredibly moving scene in which he told Tyler about his experience losing his mother and how he sees her every night when he goes to bed. Wow.
– How many times has Laurel’s apartment been broken in to this season? Seriously it has to be at least 3 or 4 times.
– Tommy suggesting that Laurel stay at Oliver was surprisingly mature.
– I enjoyed Laurel and Moira sharing a moment together. It’s a nice dynamic I’d like to see more of.
– The Queen home is a great setting for a horror movie huh? I loved Ollie’s fight scene with Mr. Blank across the manor. Stephen Amell has become a bondafide action star!
– Moira sure is a heavy sleeper!
Felicity: I just hacked a federal agency. Kinda makes me a Cyber-terrorist, which is bad. I really don’t see myself fitting in well at Guantanamo bay.
Oliver: Don’t worry, Felicity. They don’t send blondes there.
Felicity: I dye it actually. I keep your secret.
Shado: You’re thinking too much.
Oliver: Nobody ever accused me of that before.
Oliver: I wear a hood and I put arrows into criminals. So when it comes to complexity, I grade on a curve.
Mr. Blank: What a beautiful home. Such pain here… a sense of loss and regret. You can feel it down to the wood paneling.
Oliver: I want us to get back on the same page.
Diggle: Ollie you and I aren’t even in the same book.
Not exactly jawdropping, but still a very solid hour of Arrow.