Category Archives: Arrow
Last week we got to see something spectacular in Arrow. Ted Grant embraced his history as a vigilante, known as the Wildcat, and we learned that he was taking care of the Glades before Oliver Queen ever came back and started taking on the villains of Starling City. It was a pretty emotionally-charged episode with lots of action as well that also segued into the growing relationship between Ollie and Roy as mentor and apprentice, mirroring that of other character pairs on the shows such as Ted-Laurel and Malcolm-Thea. It was a great episode, and it only left me wanting more.
In the new episode, “Draw Back Your Bow“, we see the debut of Cupid, a woman super-obsessed with the Arrow who wants to become his lover, someone who can take care of him since he takes care of all of Starling. She made her debut by killing of Isaac Stanzler, who used to be the Arsenal to Ted Grant’s Wildcat a few years ago and who was the villain last week. As is usual on the show, we got to see some real-time commentary on how things are with Team Arrow, and we also see that Ray Palmer has some really big designs for what he is going to do with Queen Consolidated and its tech resources. Not a mind-blowing episode per se, but this one can easily fly under the radar, and I’d caution you against dismissing this one off-hand.
In “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” last week we got to see some really great things with all the characters as Felicity’s mom strolled into Starling City for some quality time with her daughter and we got to see how Felicity became the person that she was when she first met Oliver back in season 1. Pretty interesting stuff all around, and the larger mysteries of the season were also addressed, including a possible reveal of who might have killed Sara, though the why was/is still a mystery.
This week’s “Guilty” goes in a slightly different direction as it explores Ted Grant aka Wildcat’s past and what kind of an effect that his past has had on him, and what it might bode for the future of the show, specifically in relation to how Laurel sees him as a mentor and a friend. The episode does a fair bit to set up the debut of another villain, Cupid, while also dealing with the villain of the week, and the most important thing here is how Oliver has to make some really tough choices and how he is the only one, ultimately, who has to make them.
Goes without saying that last week’s Episode 4, “The Magician“, was a pretty big deal for the show since it finally debuted one of the true big bads of the DC universe, Ra’s al Ghul, the Demon himself. It was a bit of an anticlimactic reveal in terms of Matt Nable stepping on to the screen as the character, but the buildup has been pretty good I’d say and last week’s episode is definitely among my faovurites as well for quite a few reasons. With the big bad shown so soon, I have high hopes for how he is going to be portrayed on the show and I can only hope that we get lots and lots of moments with him this season.
But of course, this week’s “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” is still easily one of the most talked-about episodes of the show this season since it is finally going to delve into Felicity’s history before she ever came to work for Queen Consolidated, and I have to say that almost every moment of this episode is glorious. Ray Palmer is back again as well, at a time when Felicity’s mother also makes her debut, and we get lots of stuff about family this week, which was pretty nice in that there was a great synergy about it all. Plus, that cliffhanger. Man, that cliffhanger!
Last week I mentioned that Arrow is really good at keeping secrets close to its chest, until the right amount of critical mass is reached to unveil said secrets. The big mystery of who was bankrolling Sebastian Blood last year was a terrific reveal, as was the whole subplot about breaking to Thea the news that Malcolm Merlyn is her blood-father, not Robert Queen. And this season, it looks like the big mystery is “Who killed Sara?”. We’ve seen some development so far, not entirely satisfactory, but it has been a good source of background tension to the show and things look set to intensify even more.
Nyssa al Ghul made her season 3 debut on the show in this week’s “The Magician“, which also happens to be the show’s 50th episode. I’d expected some really great things from the show in this episode, but it kind of failed to deliver on that expectation. Sure, it was a fairly good episode, but it just didn’t feel like such a momentous episode, though I suppose that the detail is kind of irrelevant. Either way, I had a lot of fun with this one since Katrina Law’s Nyssa is one of my favourite elements of the second season, and she turns in a grand performance here, really charging the show with some much-needed drive and direction in the hunt for Sara’s killer.
Note: Some spoilers from the episode are mentioned here.
In the wake of last week’s episode of CW’s Arrow, I find myself a bit disheartened. With Sara’s death and the introduction of noted master-archer Simon Lacroix making his television debut, having been introduced last year in comics by creators Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, I was all ready for a big archer-off between Ollie and Simon, but I guess that’s not really going to happen. So the mystery remains of who killed Sara and why. Trust Arrow to play cards close to the chest. But then, that’s one of the reasons why I love the show so much anyway, and this week’s episode wasn’t too different.
The new episode this week is titled “Corto Maltese” and as per last week’s teaser at the end of “Sara“, we know that this episode deals with Ollie going to Corto Maltese to find Thea, who has been training there with her blood-father Malcolm Merlyn, to get over her emotional troubles from the second season. It is a fantastic episode in almost every way that matters, and I loved seeing the new Thea on the show, a Thea who is much more confident of herself now, and who really can take care of herself. And with everything happening with Laurel, things are really looking to be on the up and up for the show’s female cast.
CW’s Arrow got off to an emotional start with its latest season when, at the end of the episode, Sara Lance aka Canary was ambushed and killed by a mysterious archer. Forget everything else that happened in the premiere, whether it is Ray Palmer’s spectacular entry or Roy and Ollie taking down bad guys together or anything else. Sara’s death is going to have some major repercussions, and for the showrunners to start off a new season with something like this, well, it is a hint of things to come, I’m sure. While I mourn Sara’s passing since I really loved the character, I’m also interested in what is going to follow after it.
And that’s what this week’s episode, “Sara” was all about. Laurel brings Sara’s body to the Arrow-cave, not knowing what else to do, and we get to watch the team’s reaction as they realize that a core part of their shared identity is gone. It is a very moving scene, and the rest of the episode is all about how the team tries to move on and hunt down Sara’s killer, which also confirms the first-ever live-action debut of the villain Simon Lacroix aka Komodo, introduced last year in Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s ongoing run on Green Arrow as part of a major arc. This is a non-stop action episode in the true sense of what that means on Arrow, and we also get to touch base once again with Ray Palmer, which is just too exciting really.
I’ve remarked before that DC is going pretty much all-out in its bid to develop more and more properties for television. First there was the (mostly) celebrated 10 season run of Smallville a few years back. Then came Arrow in 2012, quickly becoming a fan-favourite. And this year we are getting Gotham and The Flash (both already premiered!) and Constantine (coming soon). But in all of this, the modern DC stable of television definitely owes much to the incredible success of Arrow, both from a story and casting viewpoint, among others. And now CW’s hit superhero show is hitting its third season.
Arrow Season 3 has been a hotly debated topic in recent months, especially when news of all the new castings and everything began to filter out, such as the fact that the probable big-bad of the season is going to be none other than Ra’s al Ghul, one of the greatest villains in DC’s history. Last night, the new season got underway with the premiere, “The Calm“, and it was an incredible revisit with all the characters and Starling City. The new episode does a lot to set the new status quo and also delivers some big moments, especially the shocking cliffhanger ending which seems improbable given the character involved.
It has all come down to this. When this season was starting, the producers hailed it as the season where Starling would become the City of Heroes. And that was true all the way. Oliver let go of being a killer and moved on to becoming a hero, the kind we all know so well from comics. We had Barry Allen make his debut on the show, although we didn’t get to see him as Flash. We saw Sara Lance enter the show as a vigilante who soon becomes a hero in her own right. We had Roy Harper finally join Team Arrow and try and become a hero too. Starling did become the City of Heroes, but it also continued to be the City of Lies and Deceit and Murder.
This week’s finale episode, “Unthinkable” brings closure to pretty much most of the important lingering plotlines that were woven in through the season. We see Oliver really become the hero he’s wanted to be since Tommy’s death last year. We see Sara come to accept who she is, and what she has become under the League of Assassins. We see Laurel finally become one with her family and not be miserable. We see Deathstroke and Isabel Rochev get their due. We see closure to lots of things and in the midst of all of that, we get some great superhero drama as the webs of lies and deceit unravel and knit themselves back up. And what I can say with all my conviction is that I can’t think of how this finale could have been topped, because it rocked from start to finish.
The last episode, “City of Blood“, marked the beginning of the end for Starling City as Slade Wilson, Isabel Rochev and Sebastian Blood unleashed their army of mirakuru-powered soldiers to wreak havoc all throughout the city. The episode had a lot of character development and action, but lacked some emotion at the same time. Still, it is in the top tier of Arrow episodes to date, as far as I’m concerned, and a large part of that is due to how the entire season been built up, and how the show has been improving since its debut in 2012. Now that we are just one week away from the finale, I was expecting this week’s episode to rock, and it did.
“Streets on Fire” is all about the bad guys beating back the good guys and establishing their dominance as Starling burns all around them. Slade Wilson even makes a reference to Nero watching Rome burn and doing nothing, which is exactly what he is doing and what he intends to do. He is going to take everything away from Oliver that he cares about. Other than the war by proxy between these two characters, we also get some scenes with the Lance family as it finally really comes together, and some scenes with Thea as well as she finally comes face to face with her real father, Malcolm Merlyn. There’s a ton of action here, and all of it is excellent.
Note: Some spoilers from the episode are mentioned.
The ending to the previous episode was a sucker punch in the gut. With Moira’s rising popularity and support for her mayoral campaign, it was only a matter of time before Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke undertook an extreme measure to ensure that his pawn Sebastian Blood would be the mayor instead. As awesome as the episode itself was, all of that paled in comparison to those last few minutes as Slade murdered Moira in front of her children. I won’t deny it, I cried. She wasn’t a character I liked all that much, but that had begun to change of late, and now she’s gone. I was wondering how the new episode this week would top it and I have to say that it came quite close indeed.
“City of Blood” is the title of this week’s episode, and it is one where that title has a lot of different meanings. With Moira Queen dead and Sebastian Blood mayor, Starling is his city now. With Slade now possessing an army of men powered by the mirakuru, the city is going to be drenched in blood now. The City of Heroes has morphed into the City of Blood and Destruction and Death. And it is up to the heroes, the betrayed and grieving heroes to shoulder their losses and move on, because there is a vast conspiracy in place here.
For almost the entire season, the show has always focused on the big picture, developing all the storylines with respect to the meta-plot that is running through the season. And the last few episodes have certainly borne that out given the important implications of the episode-specific subplots. And what’s been fun is that overall this has been a much tighter season than the first one, because the showrunners had a clear idea of what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do that. Along the way, I was expecting something very dramatic for the final episodes and after giving viewers a sort of filler run-around, the new episode did exactly that, for the ending to this one is the most dramatic of them all.
In “Seeing Red” we see how Team Arrow deals with Roy’s condition. He was injected by Brother Blood with the mirakuru serum several episodes back and the character has been trying to deal with the aftereffects of the serum for several months now. To no success. But then, last episode he was hooked by Deathstroke to a super-dialysis machine to get the serum out of him for the villain’s own purposes and now Roy is a comatose resident of the Arrow Cave. Well, not for long. He goes for a rampage soon as he wakes up and none of it is pretty. This just might be one of the most violent episodes of the show as yet and I love it nonetheless, mostly because of how it ends.
Arrow‘s season 2, which has been quite spectacular all through its run and also significantly better than the debut season, is now in its final stages. We started off with a familiar Starling City and a familiar core cast of characters, but along the way many things have changed. Many new characters have joined the cast and the map of Starling has been redrawn by several new villains, all looking to make their mark on the city. But, there has always been a master-plan in place and in the last few episodes we have seen how all of that has played out as we get one revelation after another, revelations that have shocked the lives of the core characters.
In the last couple of episodes we saw Deathstroke and his allies take the fight to Team Arrow and humiliate them again and again. We’ve seen the good guys brought low and have watched as the bad guys became ascendant. Oliver Queen clearly thinks that it is time for the good guys to go on the offensive and that’s what much of this episode is about. Team Arrow has had it with Deathstroke dictating their moves and they strike back this time. And all the usual character drama and action follows, except of course that every performance is at the top of the actors’ games.