Although this was a relatively well-constructed hour of Arrow, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that the series is turning into “The Felicity Smoak Show”. I get that she’s romantically involved with Oliver now, but does she need to be at the center of everything?
For me, the best thing about Unchained was the monumental return of the badass Katrina Law as Nyssa Al Ghoul. She’s been one of Arrow’s standout characters for over two seasons now, and it boggles my mind that she still hasn’t become a series regular. Her jailbreak in the teaser alone was stronger than anything season four has produced thus far, and it’s a pity she didn’t get more screen-time throughout the rest of the hour. Here’s praying she takes center-stage next week with her cliffhanger proposition (Malcolm’s death in exchange for the Lotus flower – a convenient deus ex machina and a cure for the Lazarus Pit).
All complaints about Felicity aside, it was still enjoyable to see her find her inner strength and adapt to her new reality. The episode was an effective showcase of her fighting spirit and resilience as she capably represented Palmer Tech while dually kicking ass with Team Arrow. In addition, it looks like Miss Overwatch will be getting a juicy storyline in the form of a supervillain father (The Calculator). It’s just sad that this twist had been rumoured for over a year. No surprise there!
Sadly, Roy’s return was as useless as the character had ever been. Even when he was a series regular, the writers never quite knew what to do with the character, and it’s almost laughable to see that some things never change. The one bright side? His final scene with Thea which almost brought tears to my eyes. It just goes to show that both Willa Holland and Colton Haynes are capable of greatness if provided with the right material. Wonderfully touching.
Bits & Arrows
– Did the Nyssa opening remind anyone else of her first appearance way back in Heir to The Demon? That teaser is still one of my all-time favourites and this was just as awesome. Superb fight choreography!
– I found it a bit forced that one of the Palmer Tech board-members would tell Felicity not to give a presentation because she was on a wheelchair. Or maybe I just refuse to believe that people are that evil.
– Parkour chase sequence! I missed those! And Stephen Amell did quite a bit of the moves (goodbye stunt double!)
– I definitely want to learn more about Ruve – Damien’s wife who is also running for mayor. We really need a good female baddie.
– Curtis can fight! New Team Arrow member incoming!
– Another week, another set of dull flashbacks. This time, Oliver got electrocuted and then had visions of Shado who urged him to tell Tiana the truth about her brother. Fascinating *sense the sarcasm people.
– Tatsu! Her little battle with Nyssa was fun (although the wide shots were distracting). Evenly matched indeed!
– Awesome shot of Laurel flying in from above. Yup, that’s all the writers are giving Katie Cassidy at the moment – well, her stunt double at least.
– Roy’s escape looked SUPER nifty!
-Seriously, Thea telling Roy to go have kids was gut-wrenching.
Felicity: Good news, the burglar is headed straight towards you. Bad news, the burglar is headed straight towards you.
Felicity: How is it that you always manage to blame yourself for everything?
Diggle: That’s his super power. Guilt Arrow.
Felicity: Roy? First Sara, then Ray, then John’s brother. Whose shocking return can we look forward to next?
Roy: I don’t know. I’ve never met him. But he calls himself the Calculator.
Felicity: This is what happens when the bad guys name themselves.
The Calculator: Why would I want to take down the net? Not only is it where I work, I’m addicted to funny cat videos.
Malcolm: I am the Demon’s Head. I have my resources. And I know how to put my ear up against a door.
The Calculator: Just wait till you see what I’ve got planned for the subway cars.
Felicity: Ooh, good story. Write me a letter. From prison.
Diggle: Just because you’re wearing red doesn’t make you the Flash, Roy.
Curtis: You are gonna be great. Break a leg. Sorry.
Some great character development for Felicity comes at the expense of the rest of the cast. Not the most thrilling of hours.