Firstly, as an almost disclaimer of sorts, I’ve never been a fan of Arrow. Even in the show’s heyday of seasons one and two when it was praised and lauded as a great show and comic book adaptation. Though it bares moderate similarities to Green Arrow: Year One overall, it just wasn’t for me. However, I can look back on the show’s beginning seasons and see a clear pattern of character arcs that were leading to a greater picture. A picture that would create an adapted vision of the classic Green Arrow comics mythology.
Needless to say, that from season three onward, Arrow did not only continuously strive away from that proposed picture, but did so almost gleefully. It often felt at times that the show was more interested in using the brand names of “Green Arrow” and the original materials (or should I say Batman’s original materials) for the sake of hollowed out Easter eggs, than truly adapting them in interesting and creative ways. One of the best examples of this is the show’s depiction — and mishandling — of the Black Canary, aka Dinah Laurel Lance.
It’s been a month since Arrow’s last episode, but I’m still thinking about Vixen. How she needs her own show. How I want to know more about her character outside of a 30-minute web series. How awesome Megalyn EK was in bringing the character from voice acting to live-acting. But a few thoughts about the episode before I gush some more.
We knew we were heading here. Besides the fact that the Flarrow crossover showed Felicity getting upset about the Baby Mama Drama, Oliver lying to his fiance about something this big, when he had a choice was definitely going to lead to Felicity wanting no parts of it. It was an episode with an inevitable conclusion and I basically played Name the Trope as we watched.
Because this recap is a week late (sorry, got distracted writing on twitter about a different rich, blonde, white guy who learns the ways of the Orient and returns a superhero) and because I’m just filling in, my recap of the Arrow winter finale, titled “Dark Waters,” will follow a different format. Rather than just giving a play-by-play of what happened in the ep, I wanna spend extra time on two aspects of the show and its fandom that needs to be discussed. And of course we will talk about that ending.
As we know, Team Flarrow is trying to protect the Hawks from Vandal Savage, who wants to murder them because of destiny or habit or something. So everyone’s all teamed up, Kendra’s unlocked her hawking powers, and Oliver’s spotted his baby mama!
I’ve been so cautious this season, guys. Good things were happening. Oliver was LEARNING LESSONS. TEAM FLARROW WAS AWESOME. Despite some plot/exposition bumps, the team up in this half of the crossover was fun. There were things I wished for: Less Carter. ANY Snowlicity aside from their one nerd moment. Less white ancient Egypt (I’ll get on some of that later). But the Barry/Oliver moments were great — they’re wonderful foils for each other. As was anything with Cisco. Can he be my friend? Also he should be in every show. But just like we were burned last season with the Ra’s al Ghul arc, this Kid arc (I’ll come up with a better name for it another time) is only going to lead to terrible things. Unhappy fans. Annoyed fans.
Other title options: Ready to Hawk and Roll, Hawked and Loaded, Hawk of Ages, We Will Hawk You, Too Hawk Hawk Damn, and Drop It like It’s Hawk1.
Before we begin… does Hawkgirl “claim” to be white? Uh oh, this is hawkward… but it wouldn’t be too surprising. (See Sandra Hawke, Sin, and Ra’s Al Ghul). I personally went through Kendra Saunders’ twitter history to read her tweets and reactions and responses to identifying as white. I urge others to do the same and form an opinion after seeing both sides.
We’re not going to do this recap like past ones. Mainly because the last episode of Arrow, “Brotherhood,” aired two weeks ago. Also, because I’m not Connie, whose recap game is much stronger than mine, there probably won’t be any Hamilton references either. Instead, we’re just going to touch on the main points as we prep for the second half of the Flarrow crossover tonight.
Felicity hasn’t showered in a week, Sara woke up from her soul coma, and Ray returns in this week’s Arrow, “Lost Souls.” As we’ve discussed before, most of this season of Arrow (and somewhat The Flash) has been set up for Legends of Tomorrow. I don’t have a problem with this because it’s been moving our characters forward all season (as we see especially this week with Olicity), but I wondered today what would happen to the season when they don’t have Legends to work towards. But that’s a question for another day. Let’s base jump into this thing like Curtis and Felicity!
Full disclaimer: I didn’t watch Constantine on NBC. Sorry! But even without knowledge of the character or the show, I enjoyed this crossover (is it still a crossover when one of the crossed shows is cancelled?). John Constantine and Oliver had great bro-chemistry and the little bits of interaction he had with the rest of Team Arrow were great as well. 10/10, would enjoy again.
Going into the 2015-16 television season, there were questions about how Legends of Tomorrow was going to fit in to the timelines established by Flash and Arrow. Little did we know that the first few episodes of both shows were essentially being used as set up for the midseason series.
In the previous night’s Flash, we saw the lead in to two of Legends’ protagonists: Leaonard Snart’s redemption and Martin Stein’s Firestorm dependency. Similarly, most of last night’s Arrow was used to set up another Legends lead: the emergence of the White (not Asian) Canary and the return of Caity Lotz.
This is definitely my favorite time of year. Autumn is in the air, and superheroes are back on my television. PS, you might be disappointed that the byline for this recap doesn’t say “Connie.” I’m going to fill in for her on the Season 4 premiere recap while she holds it down at New York Comic-Con.
Before getting into it, I just wanted to thank all of you readers for joining me in my recaps this season. I’ve been having so much fun writing these (even when I take a week to do it) and the community that I’ve developed here at The Nerds of Color is one that I truly cherish. Can’t wait for more superhero TV adventures this fall (SUPERGIRLLLLL!!).
“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.
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.
I got several notifications during both the East Coast and West Coast airings of this episode that said, “You were right.” And even though the following act proved me both right and wrong (somehow…), I feel so validated and honored that people listen to me. And that I am right.
If you’re reading this recap, then you’re going to be spoiled for the exit of a major character on Arrow. Continue at your own risk.
I was going to go with a honeymoon themed subtitle, but it wasn’t working and seemed on the nose, but then I noticed that there were a lot of scenes between duos in this episode (Diggle/Lyla, Diggle/Deadshot, Felicity/Oliver, Felicity/Ray, Oliver/Ray, etc), where each couple sorts out some major problems in their relationships, so I went “Couples’ Therapy” instead.
What was immediately fascinating about this episode is how the flashbacks were in Starling City and the present time was on Lian Yu, a cool contrast from seasons 1-2 where it was the reverse. Especially while in the direct middle of the five-year journey. I also noticed that the present and past were a bit more even this episode, as opposed to majority present, minimal past. The focus of both sides of this episode is Oliver’s relationship with his sister. I am so glad that Oliver told Thea the truth once again. As she said, now they truly have no secrets from each other (well, Oliver always has a few up his sleeve).
Badass Digest recently wrote a piece explaining how Arrow has “failed” Felicity Smoak in its third season. It brings up a lot of great points about the ways in which her character has changed, but I think it unfairly places the blame on the Oliver/Felicity relationship, when I think things are a bit more complicated than that. Sara’s death, pieces of Felicity’s (of the admittedly little) backstory that we know, and the overall darkness of the season all help push Felicity to a darker place this season. And I think that’s okay for the show overall.
The piece, which you should click through to read, explains that once Felicity and Oliver had their failed date and Oliver pumped the breaks on any relationship between them going forward, Felicity became a “woman scorned.”
Well, almost. But two of the biggest season reveals finally happened in this week’s Arrow: Thea found out Oliver is the Arrow and Captain Lance FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY found out about Sara. There are a few things each character is a bit, ahem, fuzzy on… (how long has Sara been dead? Who killed Sara?), but it will finally be nice to get past both of these distracting omissions. Now, besides the circumstances of Sara’s death, we just need Lance to know Oliver is the Arrow and most of our major secrets will be out in the open!
The end of this week’s Arrow gutted me (and Oliver) more than the literally torso-piercing mid-season finale did. As I write this I am still in shock and can’t really move. We’ll get to that later though.