Last night’s Arrow was a mess. This show and I have had our differences over the past two seasons, but this episode left me saying, ‘WTF?’ more than it made me care about anything that was happening onscreen.
“Time of Death” went back to the villain of the week formula that I’ve never been a fan of and we got to see the Clock King in action (side note: has Robert Knepper ever played a good guy?). In his mind, he was committing crimes for the right reasons because he needed money to help a sick family member, but he also became Felicity’s nemesis when he attacked the Arrow Cave.
The action scenes throughout the episode were good and I did enjoy seeing Arrow, Canary and Detective Lance meeting up to do their thing after they all ditched Sara’s welcome home party. I also really loved seeing Digg look out for Felicity throughout the episode. Their friendship is awesome. Speaking of friendship, another highlight was Sin running to hug Sara and then having to pretend she’s never met her before. That comedic touch was awesome (not so much the backstory that Sara is looking out for Sin because her father died on the island. That was overkill).
Other than those things, and Thea finally getting some lines, I don’t have a lot of good things to say about this episode. It was all over the place and I alternated between feeling rage and secondhand embarrassment for my favorite characters. So let’s get to the worst of the WTF moments the episode had to offer:
5. Oliver Queen, Hypocrite Extraordinaire
One of my biggest issues with Oliver in season one was how much of a hypocrite he was. He judged criminals for their bad behavior and then proceeded to kill them, which really didn’t make him any better than they were. He deemed Helena a villain for doing the exact same thing that he was doing. It made it really hard for me to root for this guy on any level.
But season two changed that. After Tommy died, Oliver realized that he needed to be better and he stopped killing people (unless absolutely necessary like the Count). And while Oliver’s vigilante side is still holding up and doing the right thing, he really needs to work on his regular persona. Oliver spent the episode being condescending to Felicity, instead of noticing that she was feeling left out of the team she’d help build (more below). Everything Oliver said to Laurel made me want to reach into the screen and slap him (more below), but it’s the inane fighting with Moira that remains one of the worst offenses.
I get that Oliver is hurt that Moira lied to him. But she was doing it for a good reason. She wants to protect Thea from learning that her father was a psycho (not that Robert Queen was a prize). But Oliver is judging Moira for the secret while he continues to keep it from Thea to protect her. WTF? How does that make sense? Oliver thinks Malcolm is dead so if he believes Moira is the absolute worst for keeping the secret, why is he lying to Thea? Because he’s a hypocrite – it’s okay for him to protect Thea, but not Moira, apparently.
4. Sara and Oliver are in a relationship
Even though the show has always had some element of romance, I’ve never been overly invested in any side, mainly because I think all of the women deserve someone better than Oliver (see above). But when the last episode ended with Oliver and Sara in a heated embrace, it seemed wrong. Oliver has been in love with Laurel since we met him and he felt terrible about cheating with Sara. There have also been feelings brewing between Oliver and Felicity. So when Oliver and Sara suddenly hooked up, it seemed like a right place, right time kind of mistake.
However, that’s not the story the show is selling us. Instead, we’re supposed to believe that Oliver and Sara have decided to have an actual relationship. Forget that their tryst tore the Lance family apart. Forget that Oliver said that he can’t be with someone he could care about because of the life he leads. Forget that he was in love with her sister. Forget that Sara had a very real love for Nyssa. Seriously, WTF? Do the writers not realize that we watch all the episodes of the show and instant romances don’t make sense? We need buildup. If it was just hot sex between two vigilantes, fine. But kissing in the cave, kissing in the bar, Oliver going to the Lance family dinner…Sorry Show, this one is too hard to swallow.
3. Felicity takes 10 steps back
Since her first scene, Felicity has been an awesome addition to the show and the producers clearly saw that since they made her a regular. This season, Felicity has had a newfound confidence and it’s fantastic. She stands up for herself, she lets Oliver know when he’s behaving badly and when she makes a mistake, she learns from it and comes back stronger. So seeing her get left out really sucked. Oliver, Digg and Sara were comparing battle scars and Felicity was awkwardly talking about her wisdom teeth. But we’ve all been left out before so it was easy to feel for her.
But then the show kept driving the point home while slipping in hints that maybe Felicity was jealous that Oliver and Sara were in a relationship. She said that wasn’t the case and I believed her, but then the episode just kept pushing. Felicity was devastated when the Clock King was able to beat her security. So she became determined to find him and went after him by herself, which was where the WTF completely took over. The team followed her there and wasn’t happy that she’d gone on her own. Sara felt the need to point out that she’d put on a leather jacket. It was one of those moments that felt like a kid playing dress up and getting shamed for wearing her mother’s lipstick and I’m sorry, but Felicity deserves better than that.
She did get to save the day by first taking a bullet after pushing Sara out of the way and then using the Clock Man’s technology against him. Felicity was adorable when she was high on pain killers as Sara patched up her wound. But then we had to watch Oliver pat her on the head (or touch her face) and tell her that she’d always be his girl. I know some fans were happy with this, but to me, it was condescending and awful. Again, Felicity deserves better.
2. Laurel has to apologize
I’ve been wondering for a long time why the writers hate Laurel so much. They keep telling us that her story is coming and they told us we’d get Laurel-centric episodes, but I’m not sure they have the same definition of ‘centric’ as the rest of us do. Instead, we’ve repeatedly watched Laurel fall apart, lose everything and then get pushed further and further into the background. Last night, despite her reservations, Laurel agreed to host a family dinner to help her dad with his plan to get back together with Dinah. Laurel was rewarded for her efforts by getting a front row seat to Oliver and Sara’s new relationship and then she was told to calm down in her own home.
Laurel left and Oliver chased after her, but it wasn’t to apologize. Instead, it was to tell her that he was done with her and it was time that she took the responsibility for her own problems. Here’s the thing with this speech: it was partially true. Laurel does need to crawl out of the bottles she’s buried herself in and get her life together. But Oliver was NOT the person who should have been telling her this, especially in the harsh way that he did. He’s the one who cheated with her sister. He’s the one who has been lying since he came home. He’s the one who showed up at a family dinner where he’s slept with both sisters. I seriously wanted to break my TV.
The speech did get through to Laurel and she sought Sara out to explain herself. Katie Cassidy and Caity Lotz were fantastic in this scene. I loved that Laurel just wanted her sister back and she realized that she’d been drowning the entire time too. But why didn’t Sara apologize too? Why does all the blame fall on Laurel? She’s not the one who cheated.
1. The CW Spoiled the Ending
All the blame for this one goes purely to the network. Earlier this week, The CW released the episode stills for next week’s episode, “The Promise.” Those pictures featured Slade Wilson at the Queen Mansion with Oliver, Moira, Thea and Sara. So when Thea got Oliver to come home early to try and work out his differences with Moira and she said that she was in a meeting, I think anyone who has been on the internet this week knew what was coming.
Sure enough, Moira introduced Oliver to Slade and the man got up to shake Oliver’s hand. This would have been a cool ending, a surprising way to let Oliver know that Slade was alive in present day…if the pictures weren’t already on the internet.
What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the episode? Do you think the writers are trying to pack too much into each hour? Would the show be better without the romance factors? Were you surprised by the ending? Has Oliver regressed? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us!