Arrow

Arrow 4×02 – The Candidate

"Wow. You guys look bigger than you did when you were on my computer screen."

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How great is it to have a fully functional Team Arrow? Well except for Thea who’s becoming a nutjob but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The Candidate is most notable for its introduction of Moira Queen’s old friend Jessica Danforth played by the charming Jeri Ryan. While her play for Mayor of Star City was short-lived, it was still good to see the Queen siblings experience a maternal dynamic once again. In addition, the dangers of the position produced a fascinating arc for Ollie as he ended the hour with his own proclamation (he’s going to run for mayor!) Can I just say that this decision is one of the the most inspired developments that Arrow has had in a long time? Not only does it make perfect sense from a practical perspective (this mayor can defend himself), but it gives Ollie a chance to grow as he fights to protect his city in broad daylight and without a hood.

I must say, the writers are doing a good job with regards to Felicity’s character and the necessary damage control after a disastrous season three. Giving her an independent storyline as the head of Palmer Tech really lets the character come into her own. Plus it allows the writers to introduce a new addition to the show: Curtis Holt played by Echo Kellum. Holt is very season-one Felicity with all the nerdy bumbling, and I’m intrigued to see what the two cook up to bring the company back with a vengeance.

I bet Willa Holland is ecstatic that she’s getting so much to do this season. Not only does she get to kick major ass (her costume rocks), but she gets to play “pit-crazy” while Ollie tries to reel her back in. The scene in which the two Queen siblings practically decimated each other as Team Arrow watched on was simply glorious, and I look forward to seeing what other brand of crazy Thea will bring. Hopefully she won’t just get magically cured on her trip.

For the first time in a long time, it seems like the flashbacks might actually hold promise with Oliver infiltrating the bizarre labor camp (and getting a haircut in the process). This was a good subplot to showcase Ollie’s smarts (as he wisely used a minefield and a dead body) while laying the seeds for a hopefully engrossing storyline. It’s too soon to judge, but I’m optimistic.

And then there’s Laurel. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, then you were probably surprised by Laurel’s decision to take Sara and revive her in the Lazarus Pit at Nanda Parbat. Sadly this twist was spoiled for us internet-goers a long time ago when Sara was cast in the upcoming spinoff The Legends of Tomorrow. Nevertheless, it’s still a pretty exciting turn of events, made all the more intriguing by Laurel’s decision to hide it from Ollie under the guise of taking Thea for a spa weekend (ha!) Also, how chilling was that final grave shot with a decomposed Sara and that haunting music? Nightmares I tell you!

Bits & Arrows

– How badass was that opening action scene with the whole team working together and kicking ass across Star City’s rooftops? The highlight for me was Laurel sliding down one of Ollie’s wire arrows while Felicity nagged about getting a codename. Amazing!

– Oliver packed lunch and a fern or Felicity’s first day back at the company. Can we say awwwww?

– It’s been a while since we had a parkour scene with Ollie chasing someone. I liked it!

– Did anyone else laugh out loud when Lance made fun of Ollie’s new superhero persona and the “color”?

– I love it when characters who don’t usually interact get a poignant moment, and the scene between Laurel and Diggle in the truck as the latter opened up about HIVE was quite the gem. Plus, we got that funny moment with Laurel nagging about being hungry. Yup, being a superhero definitely burns calories!

– Speedy breaking the junkie’s arm was ruthless! Loved it!

– Interesting to note: Curtis Holt has a husband! Props for diversity Arrow!

– Damien Darhk didn’t get much to do this week, but it was amusing to see how snobby he was over Anarchy’s cheap kidnapping tactics. Also, Anarchy was completely disposable as the villain (although I did enjoy his brutal pinkie move with poor Madison).

– Super cool shot: Team Arrow crashing through the ceiling in one swoop. Woah!

– Incredible fight choreography: Ollie vs Anarchy, and then Speedy taking over the fight. Setting the baddie on fire was just the icing on the cake!

– So what’s the significance of the symbol that Anarchy left in the slaughtered ambulance?

Starling Quips

Felicity: I want a code name.
Oliver: What?!
Felicity: Everyone’s got a code name; You even got a new one. I want a code name.
Oliver: Find the bomb, and then we’ll talk.
Felicity: I’m scanning frequency signatures. I just know we’re not going to talk about it.

Felicity: I don’t mean that it’s the bomb, like it’s good, like it’s da bomb! I mean like it’s the explosives.

Oliver: It’s done. Get Diggle down here to handle the dismantling.
Felicity: You know, it seems like he could use a code name, too.

Laurel: How’d you get the owner to part with his windshield?
Oliver: I bought his truck. It’s one of the benefits of your girlfriend inheriting a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. We have money now.

Oliver: It’s going to be different this time.
Lance: Yeah, yeah, sure, well, ’cause you got a new name now, right, with a color. Green Arrow. It’s catchy.

Felicity: Let’s get one thing straight: the only person who is allowed to talk in sentence fragments around here is me.

Damien: My sincere threat against your daughter not withstanding, this abduction lacks taste.

Felicity: John is still mad at you, Thea’s gone pit crazy, and I’ve spent the last two days putting people out of work.

Felicity: So now a mad man dujour knows you’re working with a Felicity. This is why I need a code name.

Oliver: Both Lance and Jessica Danforth said something to me about this city needing something that the Green Arrow can’t offer them.
Felicity: A decent sushi restaurant?

Conclusion
While the villain of the week wasn’t the greatest, The Candidate had enough positives to make it a solid and exciting episode of Arrow. 

Nad Rating
B+

2 comments

  1. I agree on everything, this was such an exciting episode. The opening action scene, Laurel and Diggle, Thea going pit-crazy, and THAT ENDING. I mean seriously, that was creepily awesome. I REALLY wish we didn't see it coming, I can't imagine how I would've reacted then. I'd probably be excited as hell to see where this goes and whether or not it would even work.

    But seriously, Laurel and Diggle! I don't understand why I loved that scene so much except perhaps for how stunning Laurel looked in this episode and that we never see these two interacting. Makes me not want to see Diggle and Oliver make up for a while.

    This really felt like a season 2 episode. How refreshingly optimistic. You can already tell this season is going to be better than last year's. But am I the only one who thinks they might actually kill Diggle in 6 months? Sounds crazy, I know, but it's just a feeling. Maybe his wife can join Team Arrow after that.

  2. Chris I LOVE the idea of Lyla joining the team if Diggle dies. I really wonder if he might be the one in the grave. It's definitely not Felicity right? Ollie and Barry didn't look that sad there. Hmmm… And contrary to popular belief I doubt it's Thea when she just got a new costume! They can't take out TWO Speedys!

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