“YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!”

When I first heard about Arrow last year, I . . . wasn’t particularly optimistic. But since then, I’ve read some pretty good things about the show, so Mek and I spent last week marathoning the first season.

arrow

I definitely have my nitpicks — and more than nitpicks, really, like there are actual problems — but I also found the show a lot of fun and highly addictive, and I’m looking forward to watching the next season in a couple of weeks.

DISCLAIMER:

There are mild spoilers in here — mostly love interest stuff, plus one or two things about various DC characters who pop up. I’ll try to keep that to a minimum — it shouldn’t be too hard, considering the vast majority of what I know about Green Arrow comes from Justice League: Unlimited episodes and Wikipedia entries. I will detail a couple of disastrous dates, though, because I have serious things to vent about.

Also, this review — and disclaimer — turned out considerably longer than I anticipated. Whoops.

SUMMARY:

Oliver Queen, billionaire playboy, is shipwrecked on an island for five years. When he finally gets back home, he begins secretly working as a vigilante superhero to fix his father’s mistakes and save his city from the corrupt people who run it.

NOTES:

1. You can say this show is about superheroes or justice or class warfare or whatever you want. I know the truth. This show is about two and only two things: Stephen Amell’s abs and Stephen Amell’s chest.

abs

I mean, damn. If you’ve got an exercise kink, good God, watch this show. (Or, alternatively, I suppose you could just watch all the workout and training scenes, although you’re going to get into spoilers the further you go.)

2. In all honesty, though, Stephen Amell is a really good lead. His Green Arrow is considerably more tortured and broody than I think the hero normally is, but it works on him, especially with the (ongoing) origin story the show has created for him. Also, we do actually get to see quite a bit of wisecracking — it’s just that most of Oliver’s snarky witticisms comes via flashbacks.

Of which there are, shall we say, more than a few.

3. After six seasons of LOST, I kind of had flashback fatigue. (Honestly, I had flashback fatigue after the very first season of LOST.) But much to my shock, I honestly enjoy watching a lot of the island flashbacks in this show, probably because they actually feel plot relevant most of the time. (Instead of just being, you know, thematic.)

hair2

I can’t talk much about the flashbacks without getting into Spoilers, but they do tell their own, ongoing story, and it’s mostly as much fun as the story that’s happening in present time. Although watching Amell in his Flashback Hair is really pretty painful. (And the fact that Amell basically says as much in the Gag Reel kind of makes me love him.)

4. Of course, it’s not all Stephen Amell and Stephen Amell’s upper body. Arrow has a pretty decent supporting cast. My favorites:

John Diggle

diggle

Diggle (David Ramsey) is one of the only original characters in the whole cast, and he’s got kind of a cool, laid back way about him that contrasts nicely with Oliver’s angsty intensity. Their interactions can, on occasion, get a bit repetitive — I’m doing this/You shouldn’t that/Well, I’m doing it — but for the most part I enjoy watching the two actors work off each other.

The only thing I don’t like about Diggle is his half-assed romantic storyline that hopefully gets cut entirely from second season . . . or at least seriously revamped. (We’ll be revisiting female characters in a later note, but for now, let me just say that it’s so incredibly rare for me to actually like any character named Carly. At least they always have the decency to spell their name in a clearly inferior manner, thus fitting their annoying personalities.)

Felicity Smoak

felicity

I kind of love Felicity. There are some issues with her character — for instance, her “I’m a Geek, so I Oh-So-Adorably Babble and Say Embarrassing Things” is often overplayed. And of course there’s no hiding the fact that she’s an extremely attractive woman, not that anyone on screen will seem to notice this until she puts on a dress and takes off her glasses because — as She’s All That taught us — women cannot be legitimately sexy until they put in a pair of contacts. (I guess I should consider myself lucky she didn’t have to chop off her hair or walk down a long staircase.)

Regardless, Emily Bett Rickards is pretty adorable and she brings a great sort of energy to the show. She is, thus far, the only main female character on Arrow that I haven’t wanted to slap across the face. She’s kind of awesome at various moments during the first season, and she and Stephen Amell have better chemistry than Amell and his actual love interest, Katie Cassidy, do. (I don’t always agree with people on sexual chemistry, so I was hugely happy to see that writers on Archive of Our Own — a fanfiction site — agree with me. Slash pairings dominate in almost every fandom I’ve ever read, so if the majority of fans actually ship a heterosexual pairing . . . my God, you know there’s gotta be something to it.)

Awesomely, Rickards is being promoted to a season regular this year. I highly approve of this turn of events.

Moira Queen

moira

Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) actually makes for a really interesting maternal character. Family, particularly her children, are hugely important to her — but she is willing do to some pretty dark stuff you don’t always get to see moms do. (Not that there aren’t awesome TV moms. It’s just that some of them are so immensely boring — like Claire on LOST. [I keep going back to LOST today. It must be the mystery islands.] When Claire was pregnant, she was fun. But the second she actually gave birth? Ugh. All she did was scream about her baaaay-beeeee eight bazillion times.)

Thompson was a great casting choice. She does this great mix of maternal warmth, cutthroat business executive, and regal elegance that works really well.

5. Still, for all that I generally love Moira Queen, there was one scene in particular where I wanted to beat her with my bare hands. I often felt the same way about Thea Queen, Oliver’s sister, and Laurel Lance, Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, because — unfortunately — these women are often written as hormonal bitches with no sense of perspective. Oh, and that’s just the main cast. For additional rage, we can also look at recurring characters like Helena Bertinelli and the aforementioned Carly Diggle.

I should be fair here: I think (most of) these characters and their total irrationality improve a lot over the second half of the season. But man, in those first few episodes? I was kind of ready to kill, partially because their righteous indignation often seemed inconsistent with what their characters were like the episode or even the scene before. I’m not saying people don’t get moody. Hell, I get moody. My . . . emotional instability, shall we call it? Well, it’s not one of my better traits. But even I don’t flip-flop like these women — and over the most unreasonable shit too,

Take Moira, for instance — who I actually like — and the way she reacts to Oliver’s reluctance to start running his father’s company one week after he’s back from being shipwrecked. When he first turns a leadership position down, she feels the need to remind him that he’s Robert Queen’s son. (He says he doesn’t need to be reminded. She says, “Obviously, you do.” Wow.)

Then she continues to say that his irresponsibility was “somewhat charming” five years ago, but now it’s time to grow up. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? I know Oliver Queen was quite a tool before he left, but the fact that he doesn’t want to run his dad’s company a week after being rescued from a supposedly deserted island where he was clearly tortured and otherwise traumatized for FIVE YEARS? Yeah, irresponsible is not the word that springs to mind.

And then there’s Thea (Willa Holland).

thea

(It’s crazy how much she looks like Alison Brie, right? Everyone on the show looks like someone else to me. Stephen Amell has a little young Chris O’Donnell going on. Emily Bett Rickards reminds me of Alona Tal. Susanna Thompson looks a little like an older version of Ally Walker from The Profiler. It’s weird.)

Thea’s got cause for emotional damage; I’m not saying she doesn’t. But the way she freaks out at her brother because he won’t immediately open up about all the time he spent away is insane. And I don’t want to hear that, oh, she’s a teenager, or oh, she just wants her brother back the way he was — there are ways to write those things without turning Thea into a she-demon from Hell.

Laurel, too, is often incredibly frustrating.

laurel

I actually like Katie Cassidy a lot, and I think she has more talent than this role, so far, is allowing her to show. But Laurel . . . well, sometimes, she has moments of awesome, and most times, she is Rachel Dawes from Batman Beyond. She really is — she’s a bitchy hardworking lawyer representing THE PEOPLE, not afraid of big time mobsters or corrupt businessmen. You know, she’s the voice of justice, of conscience — which, often, Diggle is too, actually. But men can just talk about justice, while women, apparently, have to whine about it and then stomp offstage to pout somewhere.

And speaking of pouting . . .

huntress

I debated writing about Helena for spoiler-reasons, but they introduce her as a vigilante almost immediately so . . . to hell with it. Helena is The Huntress — not that anyone calls her that, just like no one calls Green Arrow “Green Arrow”. (It’s mostly “the vigilante” or sometimes “the hood.”) She’s also not terribly convincing as a bloodthirsty badass. This is partially, if not mostly, due to acting . . . but there is a HUGE writing thing that comes up when she goes on a double date with Oliver. Basically, she ends up sitting at a table with Laurel, which is, of course, hugely awkward and probably why Oliver didn’t want to do it in the first place. Who’s the one who pushed for it? Helena.

When it shockingly doesn’t go well, Helena blames Oliver for forcing them all together and then decides that Oliver’s supposed lack of sensitivity in these matters means one, he doesn’t really care about her, and two, she has to go back to killing bad guys outright. Because that’s how logic works. If I can’t date you, then I’m going to start murdering people again! That’ll show you!

And finally, let’s not forget Carly. Oh, Carly. See, she used to be married to Diggle’s now-dead brother, and sure, maybe accidentally bringing him up on their date wasn’t his smoothest move, but come ON. I think any reasonable person might realize why the subject would come up. And for Godsake, it’s not like he spends the whole time talking about Dead Andy. Diggle mentions his brother’s name one time and almost immediately realizes that it’s a little awkward. To which Carly’s basically all, “Look, if you’re not SERIOUS about me, let’s not do this because my heart’s been broken too much already, okay?”

I didn’t throw things at my television screen, but only because my mama raised me to be financially responsible — and while feminist outrage combined with props is fun, a broken television screen is decidedly not.

6. Again, I do feel like the female characters on this show have improved over time, and I have hope they will continue to improve. Unfortunately, writing is not really one of this show’s core strengths, mostly because it’s often just so damn obvious.

For example — look, it’s hard to tell a serialized superhero story without at least once getting into the revenge vs justice argument. And that’s fine — honestly, it is — but you have to understand that this argument has been had many a time by many other characters. As such, the argument in your show needs to be more complex than this:

“This is revenge! Revenge, I say!”
“No, this is justice!”
“Revenge!”
“Justice!”
“REVENGE!”
“JUSTICE!”

And so on and so forth.

I generally like the ideas and the stories that Arrow presents — I just find a lot of the actual dialogue clunky as hell. (This is a problem I’ve had with other shows, most notably The Walking Dead.) But who knows — maybe this, too, will improve. You want to know the best improvement this show has made over the course of the first season? Getting rid of that terrible voiceover.

As we all know, VO’s are hard to do convincingly — especially when the script isn’t a core strength — and Stephen Amell just wasn’t pulling it at all. Although nothing beats how terrible the Vampire Diaries VO’s were. (Is that like a CW thing? We’ll start a show with a VO and only realize five episodes in that it was a horrible idea?)

7. To the show’s credit, I was surprised by a number of things that happened in this show — not that I can talk about any of them without creating a Spoiler Section, which I don’t really feel like doing. But certain things happened much faster than I was anticipating, and the show didn’t end up doing something I was predicting from the first episode. (Seriously, I can’t even describe how glad I am that this thing didn’t happen because Jesus. I was bored by that potential plot twist during the pilot.)

Somewhat related to that: the season finale was really pretty good. Things happened! There were emotional moments! I’m pretty excited to see all the fallout in the second season premiere.

8. I mentioned this in the disclaimer, but this show has a ton of minor DC characters and villains, not to mention nods to other heroes and even cities in the DC universe. (For instance, Coast City and Bludhaven come up a couple of times. I didn’t know Coast City offhand — turns out, it’s Green Lantern’s hometown — but Bludhaven, I knew. Thank you, Nightwing fanfiction.)

It looks like they’l be expanding the DC universe even more in season two — with a possible spin-off series for the Flash, assuming the episode does well. I know it won’t ever happen in a million years, but I can’t help but kind of hope Nightwing would pop up. (And then be awesome because if I got a really annoying live-action Nightwing, I might have to break that television after all. Also, I’m . . . curious to see how they’ll portray the Flash because, thus far, the show hasn’t had any actual powers. I don’t know if you can really just make Flash a track star, you know?)

Here’s a curious adaptation change: in the comics, Green Arrow’s hometown is Star City. In the show, it’s Starling City. I . . . can’t really come up with a good explanation for that, at present.

9. Of course, you don’t have to watch this show for nods to the graphic novels. (Or even for the 20% of Oliver’s body covered in scars . . . which basically his chest, stomach, and back.) You can also watch it for the bizarre hilarity that comes whenever a character asks the IT department for something the IT department has nothing to do with.

Like, when I am forced to call IT at work — and trust me, I desperately try not to, despite the fact that I’m pretty much lost if I can’t just make the computer work by rebooting it — I don’t get to ask someone to help me do any kind of spectral analysis on mysterious substances. So far as I know, no one at IT can help me analyze drug compounds — and I’m pretty sure they’d call the cops if I asked them to, no matter what terrible cover story I tried to spin.

At the very least, the Compliance Hotline would totally be getting a call.

10. Finally — and I know you have to take superhero’s outfits with a grain of salt — doesn’t that hood of Green Arrow’s seriously get in the way of his peripheral vision?

hood

I have to push my hood back when I cross a street in the rain, much less when twenty hired goons are trying to kill me. And as much as I like the makeup mask . . . you know . . . it just doesn’t appear to be very effective.

I know Green Arrow’s disguise is a bazillion times better than Superman’s, but I’m just throwing this out there: he could probably do a little better.

QUOTES:

(I Kept Major Spoilers Out, But Be Warned: There Are Some Minor Revelations, Mostly Concerning Who Finds Out Arrow’s Secret Identity.)

Tommy: “Can I talk to you about something?”
Oliver: “Tommy, every time you want to talk to me about something and that something is Laurel, you look like you’re about to tell me you have a terminal disease.”

Oliver: “Roy, we haven’t met. I’m Thea’s disapproving older brother.”

Oliver: “You want me to kill her?”
Diggle: “I think you would have a long time ago if she looked like me, not the T-Mobile Girl.”

Oliver (about a broken laptop): “I was at my coffee shop surfing the web, and I spilled a latte on it.”
Felicity: “Really?”
Oliver: “Yeah.”
Felicity: “Cause these look like bullet holes.”

Felicity: “Look, I don’t want to get in the middle of some Shakespearian family drama thing.”
Oliver: “What?”
Felicity: “Mr. Steele marrying your mom . . . Claudius, Gertrude . . . Hamlet . . .”
Oliver: “I didn’t study Shakespeare at any of the four schools I dropped out of.”

Oliver: “What sort of business has a Lost & Found that’s just filled with women’s underwear?”
Tommy: “Best business ever.”

Diggle: “Please don’t tell me you’re going where I think you’re going.”
Oliver: “Diggle, why do you even ask?”

Oliver: “Where’s Diggle?”
Felicity: “I asked him to leave me alone . . . in my loud voice.”

Somebody: “Thousands of innocent people will be dead, and you’ll feel nothing.”
Somebody Else: “That’s not true. I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.”

Diggle: “The person of color has successfully purchased your drugs.”

(Oliver’s trying to light a fire by rubbing two sticks together.)
Somebody: “Obviously, you were never a Boy Scout.”
Oliver: “Yeah? What tipped you off?”
Somebody: “You’d better hurry. The wolves come out at night.”
Oliver: “There are wolves here? Right, of course there are, because what would the worst place on Earth be without wolves?”
Somebody: “The only thing that’ll keep them out is fire.”
Oliver: “Well, you know, you’re welcome to help.”
(Somebody pulls out a lighter and starts a fire.)
Oliver: “Seriously? I’ve been working on this for two hours!”
Somebody: “I know. I was watching you. Thanks for the entertainment.”

Oliver: “That’s not how I typically get my information.”
Felicity: “How do you typically get it?”
Oliver: “I find the person, and then I put the fear of God in them until they talk. But we can try it your way.”

Oliver: “I’m trapped on an island, and my only friend is named Wilson.”

Felicity: “It’s just — you went over there to get all, ‘Grrr. Stop being bad, or I’ll arrow you.’ And now you want to rescue him?”
Oliver: “I don’t like the idea that somebody dangerous is out there . . . somebody else. Because, typically, they don’t show my level of restraint.”

Felicity: “My only encounter with drugs was with a pot brownie my freshman year. By mistake! Which could have been fun, except I’m allergic to nuts.”

Felicity: “I really don’t see myself fitting in at Guantanamo Bay.”
Oliver: “Don’t worry, Felicity. They don’t send blondes there.”
Felicity: “I dye it, actually.”
(long pause)
Felicity: “I keep your secrets.”

Oliver: “Felicity, you’re remarkable.”
Felicity: “Thank you for remarking on it.”

CONCLUSIONS:

Enjoyable and decently plotted — particularly considering the sheer number of flashbacks — but weak writing, especially in regards to female characters, is keeping this show from being great. And Colin Salmon has the best voice ever — cause, sure, that counts as a conclusion.

MVP:

Stephen Amell’s abs. Okay, fine. The rest of Stephen Amell, too.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

MORALS:

Killing is wrong, except when it’s not.

Revenge is wrong, except when it’s not.

Women are too emotional to be rational, especially when it comes to love.

The IT department can do anything.

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16 Responses to “YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY!”

  1. Teacups says:

    Sometimes I see a still from Arrow and initially mistake it as being from NCIS: LA. Or I think “Oh, Chris O’Donnell’s in this. But wait, isn’t he in that NCIS: LA show?” for a second before remembering that the Arrow guy is Chris O’Donnell’s secret brother or something.

    I guess I’ll give this a go. It sounds like it could be fun, and I did awfully like some of those quotes.

    • Right? It’s weird how much they look alike.

      I hope you end up liking it. It definitely has its flaws, but I think it’s on an upswing, and I’m kind of obsessed with it right now. Just remember: the voiceover mercifully only lasts about five episodes or so.

  2. Teacups says:

    I’m pretty good at overlooking a show’s flaws if I don’t take it seriously and just view it as a guilty pleasure. And my prime guilty pleasure Lost Girl is off the air right now, and even if this doesn’t have a premise that sounds like the setup to a bad joke and fill my little gay heart with squee the way that show does, it’s good to have something to fill the gap.

    I’m up to episode fifteen, and you were right about the voiceover. And also Colin Salmon’s voice. Maybe he should’ve done them. “I love Moira and the kids, but the least shifty one in that entire lying family is my stepdaughter with the poorly concealed alcoholism. Speaking of which, I think I’ll have a glass of red with my lunch. Mmm, chilli con carne. Hey, maybe I should’ve told Miss Smoak that there aren’t any kangaroos through most of Melbourne.”

    Irrelevant, sure, but I would’ve rather listened to Walter rambling about nothing than what they had.

    In that picture you chose, I didn’t get the resemblance between Willa Holland and Alison Brie. Then I started watching and it was ALL I COULD SEE. It was actually kind of distracting for the first several episodes. Thea herself can be… difficult, as a viewer. I can sympathise with where she’s coming from, but oi, her whining can be so OTT and repetitive, especially at first. Which is annoying, because I actually find her pretty likable when she’s not like that, and otherwise, I like her relationship with Oliver, and I think Steven Amnell plays off of her well.

    I didn’t like Laurel at all at first. I found her sanctimonious, bland, humourless and Mary Sue-ish – they tend to push what a PURE AND WONDERFUL SNOWFLAKE she is on us too hard. But I feel like they’ve toned that down now, and we’re not getting nearly as much wangst between her and Oliver. So now I’ve settled back down into apathy. But I feel like once they start bringing Laurel/Oliver to the forefront again, a lot of what I found annoying will come back stronger as well.

    Also – one of my very favourite things was when she called Green Arrow for help about the fireman murderer, and he turns away from her and has a little snitfit, in his deep Arrow voice, about how she described him to her father. He’s always trying to come across as so tough and unshakeable in his Arrow persona, and here he is being so whingy and.. human. It’s funny and weirdly adorable.

    As is Felicity. 🙂 Inevitably, the cute nerd is my favourite character. And yeah, her and Oliver’s interaction is pretty tops. I’m glad that she’s been brought in on his secret, and that she’s been promoted to series regular for S2.

    Regarding costumes – I guess the makeup mask helps his peripheral vision (which, yeah, should already be blocked by that deep, deep hood he wears) but wouldn’t it take kind of a while to apply? How does he gear up so fast when there’s an emergency? Also, how would Helena’s costume hide her identity at all, especially given her reasonably distinctive hair?

    • Teacups says:

      Oh, and I forgot to say…

      “And of course there’s no hiding the fact that she’s an extremely attractive woman, not that anyone on screen will seem to notice this until she puts on a dress and takes off her glasses because — as She’s All That taught us — women cannot be legitimately sexy until they put in a pair of contacts.”
      Does this actually happen? It sounds like it does. If they do give her the She’s All That treatment, then I guess I’ll just have to keep a mighty eyeroll prepared. But if it doesn’t, maybe I should force the writers to watch this on a loop until they swear they’ll never write that.

  3. Teacups says:

    So now I’m all caught up. Towards the end of the first season I started finding it harder to overlook the issues in the show, and I realised it was because it was too good – I’d stopped watching it just as a guilty pleasure, with no expectations, and now I had standards for it. Damnit. I’m actually pretty surprised at how decent it is, because I found the showrunners’ previous show No Ordinary Family to be pretty shit.

    I can definitely see the resemblance in the show’s gender issues though, argh. Especially regarding Faux Action Girl Laurel – she knows martial arts and how to handle a gun, but that doesn’t matter if saving her is a big plot point in every other episode. They seem to be trying to take her down off the pedestal and give her some actual flaws this season, which is nice. I don’t think her Hood vendetta, substance problem, or sudden abandonment issues have been particularly well-written so far, but still, the effort is a good sign and maybe if they keep trying they’ll get it right.

    Also setting off my inner feminist? That stupid “Oliver makes Felicity his secretary,” plot, because he could’ve just promoted her to the head of IT or something, or even just given her an office next to his without an explanation. If anyone questioned it, it would just look like they were having an office affair, which is what it currently looks like anyway.

    On the upside, the finale was pretty awesome. I loved Moira’s confession, and that Team Arrow actually failed to stop Malcolm.

    • I get what you mean, about taking Laurel off the pedestal, but honestly? They’ve taken her down too far, in my opinion. I HATE Laurel this season. I wasn’t a huge fan of her last season, but I thought things were maybe looking up . . . now, I just can’t stand her, and I’m tired of having to watch her whine or say terrible things or whine some more. If her character just got hit by a truck next week because Katie Cassidy decided to go act in a show that gave her more worthy material, you know, I wouldn’t even care. (I know. This is a little petulant, and you’re taking a far more mature road than I am with the idea that the writers are at least trying to make her something more than Holy Laurel, but . . . ACK. Driving me CRAZY.)

      I also kind of agree, kind of disagree on the “Felicity as secretary” plot line. Like, I like that Oliver realized she probably shouldn’t just be some random IT girl if he’s going to be swinging by her desk every five seconds, and I even get how Oliver might have thought this was a good idea because they’d be together a lot and it must seem less suspicious . . . except you’re right, people absolutely would think she was sleeping with him if she just jumped into that position. (I also like that Felicity was, quite rightly, pissed about what he’d done without her permission.) So I feel like the story shouldn’t just end there, like people should start looking at Felicity like that, and Oliver can realize what he’s done wrong, and Felicity can just be awesome, and we could have some interesting stuff on sexism in the workplace. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of that’s going to happen. I think the storyline came about because the writers heard people saying ‘why would a girl from IT be working on all these weird things like this anyway” and this was their solution.

      For the most part, I’m enjoying this season, although I have my issues. Like how much I hate Laurel. Also, while Thea has improved for me personality-wise . . . she has absolutely nothing to do except a run a club we’re not paying attention to and talk about Roy. She needs an actual storyline. OH! And how I’m pretty sure Slade is going to turn evil and betray Oliver because he not-so-secretly loves Shado. (Who has absolutely no character thus far, naturally. Oliver has better sexual chemistry with Slade. Sigh.)

      On the upside . . . I totally agree about that finale. It was made of win.

      • Teacups says:

        Ha! I can definitely see where you’re coming from, although it doesn’t annoy me quite as much as it does you. But yeah, her reasoning behind the vendetta was so obviously stupid, as was pretending that a recovering alcoholic wouldn’t know anything about the dangers of alcoholism, and even if I can understand she’s just in denial about her own issues, none of this is making her come across as particularly likable. Maybe if the acting or writing were better they could walk that line, but at the moment, no – and I didn’t like her much before anyway.

        I just hope that they’ll keep trying to fix her character, or chuck her if they can’t. There’s no point keeping around a character who they can’t make work, especially when a substantial amount of the fandom (from what I’ve seen) hates her. Or when she’s a love interest and most of the fans would rather see the protagonist with someone else.

        Yeah, I agree that Oliver needed to do something to make his constant contact with Felicity look less weird, and he just should’ve *talked* to her about it first. Then when she really didn’t want to do the damn secretary job, they could’ve at least tried to come up with an alternate solution, instead of her being like “Ohhh, nonono, fuck no… well, okay.”

        Your idea of continuing the storyline like that would be great, but yeah, it’s pretty unlikely that it would actually happen.

        I was hoping that Thea and Roy would both end up being Arrow’s sidekick, together. There were some hints that that might happen. But yes, apparently it isn’t to be, and now all Thea’s gotten to do is be upset about her mom. Boooooo.

        • I have an idea about what they might do with Laurel, which could be interesting to see, maybe. Unfortunately, this probably won’t happen until next season, if it happens at all. Which I fear means I have a whole year of RAGE ahead of me if they don’t do something about her likability very soon. (At this point, I’d love to see her just go away, but I doubt they’d do it, even if the fanbase mostly hates her. Which I think is silly, too. Then again, I don’t think it should be that hard to make her work in the first place, so what do I know?)

          I figure that Oliver needs to have people in his life who aren’t involved in the superhero world, but I, too, was hoping Thea and Roy would eventually sidekick together. You’re right, though, it doesn’t seem likely. Which I guess I could deal with, but Thea needs SOMETHING that’s actually plot-relevant to do.

          Also, I hope they bring back Sin. Because I like Sin. (Although oh my GOD, am I’m not interested in a love triangle between her, Thea, and Roy.)

      • Teacups says:

        What do you think they might do with Laurel? I MUST KNOW. Is it that she’ll take over as Black Canary?

        I hope Sin comes back, too. She was fun, and cute, and the actress is pretty good. I figure there’s a chance she left with Sara, and will come back when she does. But yeah, no to love triangles. I was wondering if she might have something with Sara, as her appearance sets off my gaydar a bit, and Sara did call Felicity cute. That would be nice, although then it might lead into another love triangle, ugh.

        • Yeah, I figured Black Canary would come back towards the end of the season and do some kind of self-sacrificing death — because really, how long can you run from the League of Assassins anyway — and then Laurel would take over the job next season. I haven’t really looked up too many fan theories, but considering Dinah “Laurel” Lance is Black Canary in the comics, it’s probably a common one. If this does happen, I only have one serious question: will Oliver’s opening monologue change to honor Sarah (instead of Tommy or his father) or will Laurel have her own opening speech about honoring Sarah?

          While I’m not a huge fan of love triangles in general, I can think of a few good ones in various shows or movies. I’m sure I could deal with a love triangle on Arrow if it was just a well written and interesting one.

          Have you seen the most recent episode? Felicity’s promotion is certainly mentioned. (And I had such hope for a second there too, and then . . . nothing comes of it. Sigh.)

      • Teacups says:

        I just hope that, if they do it, Laurel actually improves as a character. It would be sort of annoying to kill off a half-decent superheroine character so she can be replaced by a crappy one. Although, Caity Lotz has some martial arts training and can do some of her own stunts, right? More than a normal person could, like Steven Amnell? Because if they were planning to make Laurel Black Canary (at least, if they were planning it before the show started) then I would have thought they’d look for someone with similar skills. Which Katie Cassidy may or may not possess, I don’t know.

        I have! Honestly, I was just pleased that they acknowledged that yes, that is exactly what everyone in the office would think.

  4. Teacups says:

    Are you up-to-date with the show? If not, SPOILERS.

    I’m now thinking there actually is a chance that they could, maybe, end up writing Laurel out. She’s just been increasingly sidelined this season, and absent entirely from two episodes. And they’ve really been ramping up the Felicity/Oliver lately, too, which makes me wonder if they’re planning to have Felicity replace Laurel as official female lead and love interest. Which would make me happy, although I’d hope she wouldn’t also be replacing Laurel as constant damsel-in-distress.

    Are you going to watch the Flash spinoff? I could, I guess. If it’s on while I’m bored, or if it gets good reviews or has a cast I like, then I could check it out. I’m not overly familiar with The Flash, but I quite liked Grant Gustin, and reasonably enjoyed Barry Allen. Moreso in his second episode, when he was being all cutely fanboyish and they weren’t pushing him so hard.

    Also, geez, does this show know how to do finales. I’m kind of not happy with them fridging Shado, but that is just about my only complaint for that episode.

    • Laurel has been increasingly less involved, but I’d be surprised if they wrote her out entirely. I think the writers are hearing and responding to their fans with the Felicity love, but I’m wondering if they aren’t about to seriously ramp up a love triangle there. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe it will be Laurel, and not Sarah, who dies in the finale, and next season Oliver can honor HER memory instead. (And then he’ll finally figure out he wants to be with Felicity but can’t because look what happened to Laurel! Oh noes!)

      I’m all about shipping Felicity and Oliver, but I’m getting more and more concerned with how they’re doing it lately. Like what was that bullshit about Felicity being all jealous and snarky of the beautiful island woman? That intensely bothered me. Also, yes, an occasional damsel is fine, but constant damsel-ing is a problem, and I don’t want that to happen to Felicity.

      Yeah, I plan to try out the Flash spinoff. I’m far more familiar with Wally West than Barry Allen, but I really enjoyed Grant Gustin in this, and it seems like the show could be a lot of fun. Plus, crossovers. I’m all about the crossovers.

      The finale was pretty awesome, although I had a few more complaints than you. Surprisingly, Shado wasn’t a big one for me — I think because I thought killing her that way was almost kind of ballsy. Not the refrigerating, exactly. I mean the part where you force the hero to choose between two people you love . . . that doesn’t usually turn out so bad for the hero. Somehow, he usually manages to save them both. Here, not so much. Plus, I’m far happier with the idea that Slade’s big motivation in becoming a villain isn’t just that he loved Oliver’s girl (so to speak), but because Oliver failed to save her.

      I couldn’t help but laugh that Oliver apparently figured out what his ghosts were trying to tell him, even though all of his ghosts said completely different things. Basically, he just listened to the one he wanted to listen to. On the other hand, I think Colin Donnell sold the hell out of his little inspirational monologue, which could have been cheesy as shit. So I’ll give it a pass. 🙂

      And while I’m probably the only person on the planet — other than my sister — who isn’t wild that John Barrowman’s back . . . can I just say? Moira is the BEST.

      • Teacups says:

        Yeah, I know it’s still a bit of a long shot, but at the start of this season I would’ve said there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell they were going to be writing Laurel out anytime soon, and now I am somewhat less confident. Although that could just be wishful thinking.

        I’d be kind of amused if, every season finale, someone new dies and Ollie has to honour them. By Season 9 he would have a long-ass list of last wishes to follow. “You must… perform… your superheroics… in a tutu. Pillock.”

        Mmmm, love triangles and jealousy are generally not my favourite things. I let the Fantasy Island Of Beautiful Island Women snark go, because, well, I thought it was funny. But I don’t want to see Felicity getting all jealous Oliver mentions some other girl, please. Or vice versa.

        Oh, yeah, I was fine with Shado’s death apart from the fridginess of it, and I agree it was kind of ballsy. Apart from the Sophie’s Choice angle, I was quietly pleased that it was just like boom, headshot, dead, with no touching goodbyes or last words like there usually is for onscreen deaths. Because I’m sort of sick of that kind of death scene.

        I’m kind of happy that John Barrowman’s back, but I do wonder if he has any plans other than to hang around in the shadows, emerging every few days to snit about Thea being HIS daughter, goddamnit. Although it is just adorably crazy that he thinks he can get any kind of positive father/daughter relationship out of this. But yes, Moira is terrific. Does this mean she is less innocent than she appears? Or did she just hire an army of private detectives or something? I hope it’s the former, it seems like the League of Assassins should be harder to find, and I am all for more of Moira: Morally Ambiguous Mama Bear.

        • I would pay money to see Ollie fight crime in a green tutu.

          I think the Beautiful Island Women snark annoyed me because as just sort of an exasperated joke, I would have been okay with it, like, there’s ANOTHER person on this supposedly deserted island, Ollie? Really? But it read to me as as actual jealousy, and I just couldn’t get past that. I don’t mind a hint of jealousy here or there on either side — like I was okay with Ollie seeming a little jealous of her and Flash — but definitely not all the time. And yeah, there ought to be at least a semi valid reason for it.

          Ha. Agreed on waiting to see the other plans AND the adorably crazy. “I orchestrated your fake dad’s death and also the deaths of thousands of people, including your half-brother that you grew up with and had a crush on that one time. But, you know, we’re family, and family forgives. Let’s hug!”

          I always assume that Moira: Morally Ambiguous Mama Bear is less innocent than she appears, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

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