TV Recaps

‘Arrow’ Review: Team Laurel

Cate Cameron/The CW

Last night, some stuff went down on Arrow. We met a new villain, a potential new villain, saw the return of an old villain, watched a breakup and a reconciliation, a new partnership formed, a possible new threat appeared on the island, Team Arrow got more covert and then there was that ending…are you with us so far?

Identity” was the kind of episode that packed a lot of different storylines into it, but didn’t really give one more focus than the others. It threw out a lot of information and the action moved swiftly, but somehow, it still ended up falling flat in our eyes. Sure, it was funny to see Felicity (and to some extent Dig) snapping at Oliver over their cover stories that didn’t make either one of them look that great, but was it really necessary?

Cate Cameron/The CW
Cate Cameron/The CW

Granted, we’re only going by what we know about Queen Industries Consolidated from our years of watching Smallville, but isn’t it a technology company? Is it really that hard to believe that the CEO, or whatever Oliver’s current title is, might have tons of reasons to go to the IT department and see what they’re working on? But then they wouldn’t be able to put Felicity in sexier clothes and have her within earshot of Oliver at all times (excuse us while we roll our eyes). As for Dig, he was hired to be Oliver’s security guard so we’re not sure how that became ‘driver’.

On the positive side, it was nice to see Felicity call Oliver out on not noticing what was going on around him (Dig and Carly breaking up). But did she really have to yell about Laurel? That felt like an unnecessary way to start a triangle that doesn’t actually exist at this point and make Felicity look like a brat. She was right; Oliver should pay more attention to Dig, but last time we checked, he loves Laurel, so he’s allowed to care about her too.

Jack Rowand/The CW
Jack Rowand/The CW

Let’s talk about those pesky villains. Bronze Tiger received the same kind of brief, basic introduction that other comic characters have in the past. We know next to nothing about him except for the fact that he’s a bad guy. Noted. China White has beyond overstayed her welcome so it was nice to see her captured in the end. We doubt it will stick, but we’re hoping that Kelly Hu (love her, hate the character) will be too busy on her new show to do more guest appearances.

Then there was Sebastian Blood. He was a typical politician; making the kind of promises that everyone wants to hear and then taking the first opportunity to throw someone else under the bus. While we have plenty of our own issues with Oliver, Blood was beyond out of line for going after him. Sure, it might not look like he’s done anything to step up since all hell broke loose, but he’s not the bad guy Blood made him out to be either and we liked that Laurel tried so hard to protect him (more on Laurel later).

Cate Cameron/The CW
Cate Cameron/The CW

As for Thea and Roy, Ms. Queen continues to be our pick for most improved character. Thea has grown up since last season and it looks good on her. After Roy flipped his car and got hauled in for questioning, Thea realized that she couldn’t stand back and watch him get himself killed, but she couldn’t tell him what to do either. So she gave him a choice and at first Roy chose the city, but after Arrow set him straight and asked him to be his eyes and ears, Roy went back to Thea. We’re guessing his not telling her the whole truth will hurt them later, but at this point, we’re just happy for Thea.

To be honest, we’re not sure what’s happening on the island. Oliver and Shado hooked up and Slade creepily watched from the sidelines, but then hid his jealousy so they could track down whomever or whatever has joined them on the island. They found some bodies in a cave…does anyone enjoy this part of the show? For us, it takes away from the present day action and our minds start to drift so we often miss what’s happening or why it’s presumably important.

Now it’s time to get back to Laurel. We found out last week that she’s taken a job at the district attorney’s office and she’s changed her mind about the vigilante being a good guy. This week, we got more insight as to why. She saw Arrow running away and leaving Tommy to die in the wreckage of the earthquake. The audience might know that Oliver and Tommy talked and he knew there was nothing he could do for his friend, but in Laurel’s eyes, the vigilante she defended and trusted, turned out to be a coward that let someone she loves die.

Cate Cameron/The CW
Cate Cameron/The CW

Oliver was hurt and wanted Laurel to see him differently so he went to her as Arrow and tried to explain himself. Laurel wasn’t buying it. Later, after China White pointed out that he would always be a killer in people’s eyes, he went back to Laurel and tried to defend himself again, but this time, Laurel was ready for him and she’d set a trap. The episode ended with Arrow being surrounded as he tried to convince Laurel that he was not her enemy.

We’re not sure if the writers meant to throw Laurel under the fandom bus, but judging from the reactions we saw on social media that’s exactly what they did. We saw her being called ‘insufferable’ and ‘how dare she turn on him?’ and plenty of other rude remarks. We couldn’t disagree more. The audience knows that Oliver has been mostly trying to do the right thing, but Laurel is grieving and she misread a situation because she doesn’t know it’s Oliver under the hood and eye makeup. But if she did, does anyone really think she’d still be clamoring for his arrest?

Since we’re not new to television and the previews show Arrow free and clear in the next episode, obviously he gets away. But we’re guessing that will only fuel Laurel’s desire to bring him down and we are totally onboard with that. He has killed people. He hasn’t proved himself to be the hero he wants to be. We understand why Laurel would want to bring him to justice and we’re thrilled she’s getting a chance to actually have a storyline this season and not just be in the middle of a love triangle.

Did you enjoy the episode? Do you have a theory for what’s happening on the island? Do you wish Dig and Oliver had gone in for that man hug? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • Jd

    I’m so disgusted by how the Arrow fans are treating Laurel, AND the lovely Katie Cassidy. Laurel was given a poor plot last year by simply being the crux in Tommy and Oliver’s friendship, and now that they’ve given her an actual goal, she’s suddenly The Bad Guy? It’s bad enough that the showrunners constantly push her to the side and act like the ‘badass’ Laurel moments are put there simply because Laurel fans wanted them, not because it’s how Laurel would behave. Not to mention, they take NO stand in defending her from the horrifying vitriol spewed at her. She’s you’re LEADING LADY, you should TRY to stem the tide of hateful comments, no? But instead, they keep pushing Felicity in our faces, putting her in cute little dresses and trying to fit in as many of her awkward, poorly set-up sexually charged “miswordings” to pander to the vocal, vicious “Olicity” shippers. It’s really a poor demonstration of how a show treats their lead actress, and I’m so disappointed.

  • Renan Lauriver

    I loved the New Laurel plot so far… but i dont want her to hate on the hood for a long time … When laurel is “sweet ” people hater her when she’s “A good bitch” people Hate her and I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY … I love her in both ways

  • You’re right about Bronze Tiger brief introduction; we know next to nothing about Summer Glau’s Isabel Rochev either.

    I’m glad the writers opted for a cliffhanger at the end of the episode, it leaves the audience wanting for more and generates more buzz.

    I must admit I REALLY like the new role Summer Glau plays. I look forward to more Isabel and Oliver banter.