[personal profile] azuka

This was another amazing episode of Arrow.

With the exception of using another cheesy and annoying villain of the week (minus the Dollmaker and Malcolm Merlyn; the verdict is still on on Brother Blood), this has been a strong continuation of season one.

Felicity: Don't take this the wrong way but you look disgusting.
Diggle: Well I don't feel great, Felicity. Is there a right way to take that?

Truer words were never spoken. And only Felicity could get away with a line like that and not get punched for it.

This episode did an great job of showing how much stress Oliver is under because of his responsibilities. Family, friends, the company, and the city. Everything seemed to implode this episode, slowly pushing Oliver to the breaking point.

Oliver made a vow not to kill, and for the most part, he's abided by this rule so without issue. Thea's kidnapping and the League of Assassins pursuit of Sara being the only exceptions that came close.

And the reasons behind his vow were as understandable as they were unrealistic. Because there are always going to be villains who take advantage of the kinder, gentler vigilante, which is something the Count proved. It's unfortunate that Felicity ended up being the catalyst to Oliver breaking his no-kill resolution, but it was perfectly in character.

Towards the end, Oliver looked like a man who was being pulled in too many directions and you could see the toll it's taken on him during his last conversation with Thea. So much has gone on lately that Oliver couldn't even pretend to be okay.

And while his mother's release should have offered relief from some of the stress he's been under, it only added another in the form of Malcolm's return.

I wish that I could say that I was surprised to find out that Thea was Malcolm's daughter, but the second they mentioned the affair, I knew that's where the episode would end.

Things I loved the about the episode:

1. Stephen Amell's performance.

I mentioned before how Oliver doesn't have a wide wide range of expressions. For whatever reason, Stephen plays the part with subtleties. A raised eyebrow to express surprise. A quirk of the lips to express humor or pride. But when he goes all out, the effect is always heartbreaking. Like the scene between Oliver and Thea, when Oliver's confusion was so apparent that Thea finally clued in that something other than the trial was going on with her brother. Or the scenes between Oliver and Felicity, where his expressions shifted through worry, anger, devastation, and relief.



November 2013

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