Dee Discusses: Arrow 3×13

Posted: February 14, 2015 by Dee in Arrow, DC, Dee, General Media, Recaps, Television
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This review has spoilers. Duh.

I was disappointed by last week’s episode, so I think in comparison anything moderately good seemed better in comparison. But there were several things I genuinely liked in this episode. Arrow always does family dynamics well, and the Queens and Lances have a lot of emotional depth in their relationships together and toward each other. It was also nice to see some kind of follow-up to Oliver’s death, in terms of how the team is now working together. Although I’d like to point out if they had him gone longer it would have made more sense. He was only gone like a month. So previously on Arrow, Oliver “died” and they still haven’t told us a reasonable excuse for how he stayed alive. Outside of apparently just assuming we’ll believe it. Laurel is now Black Canary but she isn’t very good at it yet, understandably. Felicity and Oliver had a falling out because he decided to work with Merlyn to fight Ra’s al Ghul, which seems like a stupid plan because Merlyn can’t even fight and kill Ra’s. What makes you think he can help you, Ollie? This is just a contrivance for more drama, obviously.

Merlyn does do one good thing, and that is tell Oliver he should tell Thea about the Arrow. It does bother me that it takes Merlyn to push him into it, but that’s a huge part to do with Oliver being scared of her reaction. He cares very deeply for Thea, and her rejection of him would have been devastating. Instead when he shows her, she surprises all of us by thanking him and giving him a hug. I really thought there would be anger or drama, but this reaction was so unexpectedly sweet. She says she always wanted to thank him, although she then turns against Merlyn for intentionally pushing her against Oliver. I am glad they told her about Ollie, but uhhhh shouldn’t this be a clue for her to learn about Sara too? I get that they don’t want her to have the guilt over that, but at the same time secrets are never good for anyone on this show. It always comes out eventually. Thea gets attacked by that random DJ who was secretly working for Ra’s. He tries to poison her but she smells it, and she is then saved by Roy and Merlyn. So now they know Ra’s is definitely coming for all of them, and it gives a genuine reason they need to all work together. Ish. I still maintain Merlyn can’t teach Oliver anything new. Oliver and Ra’s can both kick his ass.

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The other major story is that Vertigo is back, and while I found that irritating at first, it made sense later on. See Laurel is out there and Oliver is not happy about it. He tries to get her to stop and he’s very sharp about it, saying this is just a new addiction for her. Glass houses, Oliver, which she points out herself. But she does run right into danger, and she hallucinates Sara beating the crap out of her for trying to take her place. Felicity gives Laurel the advice not to try and be Sara, but be herself, and they have a nice bonding moment. Diggle tells Oliver that he gave them all a mission, and now they weren’t fighting it for him. This is after there is a fight in the Arrow Cave, with Roy giving him attitude about shutting out Thea, and Felicity saying they learned how to fight without him. Oliver isn’t used to people talking back to him, so I like that it’s happening, although again, it’s not like he was gone for a year, guys. Anyway, Diggle refers to Vertigo as one of the earlier cases and it connects to them all fighting for the common good now. I love how Diggle is still that calm voice of reason. Oliver takes Laurel willingly with him, and this time she’s poisoned again but manages to fight it off. Although I’d like to say that it’s ridiculous she gets dosed twice and doesn’t die.

This does lead to Laurel admitting to her father the truth. I’ve wanted her to do this for awhile, and I really think they did a great job in it. He knows that Laurel is the new Canary, but she doesn’t back down this time. Quentin loses it, and that was very difficult to watch. But at least now they can lean on each other and hopefully move on together. I really miss Sara. This episode just kept making me miss her even more, and resent that Laurel’s in her place. I think they were intentionally trying to get the audience past that too, but it didn’t work for me. Throw her in the pit instead! At the end, Oliver decides to take Thea to the island and train her how to be a better fighter. I’d like to point out that Laurel probably needs the training more than anyone else at this point, Thea’s pretty badass by now. It was a good solid episode. There’s emotional themes here with the two families bonding over grief and pain, and the team struggling to get their mojo back.  I wish we got a sense more of how Oliver’s coping with being dead; he hasn’t seemed to be overly traumatized or held back by it. Outside of being certain he needs to kill Ra’s, but otherwise, he hasn’t changed. You would think a near death experience would leave more of a mark, but considering he didn’t even die and was back on his feet fast, I guess that doesn’t matter much. Slade was in the preview for next week. Excitement!

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