Let’s start this off by saying THANK GOD Katie Cassidy is finally getting to be a bad ass and show us emotions other than stunned grief and depression. The writing of her character has really held her back so I loved seeing her coming out of the shell.
This episode renewed my faith in Arrow for the season. They pulled together a lot of story lines finally. I actually don’t miss Oliver in Starling at the moment because all the background characters are being explored and given a chance to grow. I will be very interested to see how the Team Arrow dynamics shift now that Roy and Laurel have stepped up to fill some gaps.
The dynamics between Ray and Felicity are, in my mind some of the best in the show, on par with Oliver and Felicity. Brandon and Emily always keep me riveted whether they are being funny or serious and I absolutely adored Felicity asking to borrow Ray’s helicopter. Hysterical.
What I wasn’t too keen on was how Diggle ended up staying behind in all the fights. He’s the most experienced of all of the remaining members and is choosing to let Roy and Laurel go out into the streets which makes no sense at all strategically. I know that Felicity “quit” and someone needs to watch them but Roy could do that as easily as Dig and Dig is the one that would be more successful on the streets right now. It bothered me but I know they are developing the comic book characters of Arsenal and Canary and Dig is not part of the original Green Arrow world so I’ll let it go.
It was interesting seeing Roy taking the Oliver/Dig role and telling Laurel she was being an idiot by going out into the streets alone and trying to take Sara’s place. I enjoyed watching Laurel go through the range of being determined, losing faith and then having Felicity give her courage again and put the whole team back. Felicity has really become the heart of the team, even more than Oliver. She is the one who keeps them anchored and it is nice to see the writers expand her role as center of the team beyond keeping Oliver sane and helping him find his humanity. This episode has been one of the most balanced ones in character development that has happened all season and I am hoping they stay on track with this type of writing. Oliver’s angst was becoming rather stale I hate to say and this has been a nice change of pace.
As far as Oliver, I am loving the Hong Kong story line even more than the island. Maseo and his family sucked me in from the first time they were on screen, excellent acting and stellar writing makes me wish Maseo would come to Starling just so we see more of him. I love his wife Tatsu and get chills every time she takes up a sword or weapon to fight. Rita, the actress that plays her, is riveting in her portrayal. I am hoping that the thing that tore them apart is not the loss of their son but I have a feeling it is, I can’t think of anything else that would have caused such grief and guilt on Maseo’s part.
Thea and Malcolm, I have to say I was shocked Malcolm came clean which will make Oliver look even worse if/when Thea finds out about his secrets. The ending scene between the two of them leaves open a gap for two things: Ra’s to come to Starling and add to the chaos and Merlyn to somehow redeem himself and truly protect the city. Thea calling him out and stating that he is the reason she doesn’t want to leave was perfect and probably the only thing that would truly affect Merlyn because he does love her in his own twisted way. If Merlyn suits up and fights alongside Team Arrow things are going to jump into a whole other realm of complicated for everyone.
The other lovely little twist was the club DJ actually being part of the League which means they’ve been keeping an eye on Merlyn for much longer then he is probably aware of. Sneaky Ra’s, sneaky.
This episode went places I wasn’t expecting which is the main thing that keeps me interested. All in all a good watch!