“This is Your Sword” was another mixed bag of an episode. It had a lot of great moments, but as I’ve been saying in the recaps recently, the overall stakes don’t make any sense. The audience is steps ahead of the characters, telling them what will happen instead of wondering. We end with a cliffhanger where every member of Team Arrow (save Thea) “dies” from the Alpha/Omega bio-weapon. Yeah, uhm okay. Sure. That totally happened.
I fell upon two possible choices for subtitle this week. The first was “The Portrait of Darth Oliver” (Darth Oliver was going to be used in some form or fashion). This came from the idea that Oliver sold his soul for immortal life. Well, he sold it for Thea, but he gains immortal life and the remnants of his soul: Thea, Felicity, and Diggle, are the “portraits” who age and suffer as Oliver continues to sin and live immorally.
The title I chose comes from the idea that Oliver is now in Hell. The Wiki description of the circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno says that each ring is a “contrapasso,” a “symbolic instance of poetic justice.” Oliver being charged with the destruction of a city he vowed to protect is the evil version of poetic justice.
In which I attempt to be fair, yet critical of this episode of Arrow, while remaining hopeful about the road ahead.
I came away from “The Fallen” feeling conflicted. I spent a week trying to figure out how to discuss my conflictions, but I ran out of time and energy. But I will say that the big theme of this episode (not the plot itself, but watching it) is the weight of expectation. All of the things that happen in this episode were things we knew were going to happen. Either because the episodes prior were driving it there, or because the promos basically told us everything. We came into the episode knowing that Thea would be resurrected, Oliver and Felicity would get together, and Oliver would officially join the League. With these expectations met exactly in the way we imagined, it may have led to disappointment.
So we’ll discuss the plot as usual and we’ll open up the comments for what went right and wrong in this episode and how it might affect the rest of the season.
Well. That happened. This week’s Arrow threatens to turn the show in a whole new direction. I can’t even begin to guess where they take things next.
Getting to the episode itself, after watching it, I (and trusty Flarrow sidekick Christelle) went back to see a Facebook post Stephen Amell put up earlier in the week to describe the episode.