Arrow Review – “Left Behind” S3E10

Arrow tries to pull the story forward after one of the most shocking mid-season cliff-hangers we’ve ever seen. Obviously, it’d be hard to discuss this episode without spoiling that particular cliff-hanger, so you’ve been warned! Will “Left Behind” answer any of our questions, or continue to pull us along with no answers?


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Immediate response to Oliver’s predicament: Unlike this other show we knowArrow gives us instant gratification for whether or not Oliver Queen is dead. Whereas Flash played out the emergence of Reverse-Flash as the appearance of a boss battle in a video game, Arrow progresses the story naturally. I mean, you didn’t really think the Arrow was dead, did you? While this makes Felicity’s outbursts a bit more annoying, it would have made fans even more frustrated with the show for dragging us along.

A little father-daughter bonding: Thea has come back from her hiatus in Corto Maltese a solid character. And as much as you hate Merlyn for hiding behind Thea, the relationship these two have is pretty darn cool. Imagine how cool Speedy would be if she were actually Speedy. I digress – the sparring session the two have is a lot of fun to watch, especially when Merlyn gives her sage advice that he “wouldn’t recommend texting during a real fight.”

No stupid time-jumping: When a major event like the fight with the Demon’s Head closes out a break between seasons (or mid-seasons, in this case), it’s common for shows to convenient jump ahead in time to relieve themselves of the obligation of explaining what the hell happened. Twice now, once with Canary’s fall and now with Ollie’s, Arrow has taken up the challenge of actual story-telling. It’s nice that there’s still a standard for writing. Just 3-4 days after Oliver left town, and there’s a believable amount of time for angst, but not so much that there’s a giant hole in the timeline.

Flash-back: Mateo gives Oliver a huge IOU on this one when he thinks outside the box to help Mateo track down his wife. There’s still a big gap left to explain how Mateo ended up with the League of Assassins and how Ollie gets out of A.R.G.U.S., but it is closing progressively with each episode. We also get the creation of the trick arrow with this series of flashbacks. I didn’t think I would like this season’s flashbacks because of how much I loved the island, but they are providing so much more detail in story-telling.


Maybe too much Felicity is not a good thing: We here at Hush rave about Felicity every episode (she made our list of Best TV Characters of 2014). She’s so smart and sexy and independent (except when bought off by Ray Palmer, but whatever), and mostly funny. However, there was nothing to laugh at this episode. She was nothing but selfish and weak throughout, and it got very grating, very quickly. If this was Arrow‘s way of giving one of the strongest characters in the show the spotlight, they did it terribly. Arrow has a knack for making us hate, then love female characters, so I’m hoping for a quick rebound for Felicity.

Oliver cheats death. We get it: Talk about beating a dead Queen, jeez. Oliver Queen has lived through so many life-threatening circumstances. He beat the island. He beat Slade. Wait, you mean you know that? That this isn’t your first time watching the show? Then why is it the focal point of every conversation in the Arrow Cave Quiver? This episode was so full of whiners that for the first time EVER, I was pining for more Laurel scenes. Where is Wildcat? Let’s get some more badass scenes with Laurel as she plays Canary. Sheesh, you cheat death a couple of times and all of a sudden people expect it of you.

How does Felicity have a job still?: Before I continue to kick Felicity while she is down, just think about what it would be like to be Ray Palmer. You meet this Smoaking hot girl at a tech store, and after seeing her genius potential, you hire her for pennies on the dollar (who cares how much? You’re rich!) as an assistant, and she is a wreck every time you try to talk to her about something work-related. That’s when she is there; because she’s always off with god-knows-who during crucial business times. Even after putting the moves on her, she bashes your dreams and tells you that your dead fiancé would think that they’re stupid. I’m sorry, but no amount of quid pro quo could ever be worth putting up with that.

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Easter Eggs:

He’s a Brick… House: It’s not really an Easter Egg, since this one is staring us right in the face throughout the episode, but “Left Behind” was kind of short on them, so we will use what we have. Vinnie Jones (very recognizable character actor) plays Danny “Brick” Brickwell, a metahuman crime-lord with the power of… ya know… bricks? I like the inclusion of metahumans in Arrow, and hope this is the sign of more to come. I also wonder if he sinks as fast as a pile of bricks.

Pride Rock will never be the same: As Merlyn returns to tell Thea the bad news that his dickhead plan failed, he tells her that they must “leave [Star City] and never return.” What the hell? Is this guy Scar from The Lion King in disguise? With Mufasa Oliver out of the way, who will protect young Simba Thea from the hyenas League of Assassins?? Maybe Timon and Pumba Diggle and Arsenal will able to give Simba Thea the confidence (s)he needs to turn on Scar Merlyn. Hakuna Matata, bitches.

Project A.T.O.M.: Ray Palmer wants to… “start small” on Project A.T.O.M. It’s no secret that The Atom will be making his debut on Arrow soon enough, but with pillow talk like this, it might come sooner than later.

Laurel takes up a new hobby: While Kate Spencer was never mentioned by name, her spirit lives on in Laurel Lance. Known as Manhunter in the comic book lore, Spencer is a prosecutor who begins moonlighting as a superhero with the help of an arsenal she accrued from the evidence room. Fun Fact: Spencer’s grandfather, Al Pratt, was the original Atom in the comic books. Anyway, I’m sure this is not hinting at anything deeper, but the parallel is definitely there.


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Canary will be instrumental in Brick’s defeat: I’m not sure how high Canary’s sonic frequency weapon gets, but it’s got to be a hell of a lot more effective than Diggle’s headshot was.

More Thea midriff: Don’t expect the hottest Queen in town to start covering that belly-button any time soon, folks. Sexy, but not slutty. Mysterious but still intriguing. Thea Queen’s mid-section has become the focal point of the show for us at home. Distraction? No way. This is The CW, baby. Gratuitous skin just isn’t their thing.

Oliver will eventually side with Merlyn… Ugh: Thea is going to be caught in the crosshairs unless Oliver steps in front of her, and faces the League again. Merlyn will keep himself attached to Thea to ensure their safety, and while he is kind of a coward, he does care for Thea. Beating Ra’s in hand-to-hand may not be an option for Oliver, but there’s gotta be some show of force to get the League off Merlyn’s back if he wants to keep Thea, and her midriff, on his side.


Hush Comics gives “Left Behind” a C for Felicity’s horribly written part in the episode, which really swallowed up way too much time when so much else was going on. We get that she loves Oliver, but knowing that he was not dead, and then hearing her blubber about it, and mucking up the mission just made her even less relatable. I actually had to pull a lot of punches on this review, but I’m nowhere near worried about the season rebounding.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Ed Araquel and Cate Cameron.

Arrow Review – “Sara” S3E2

No matter how crazy families can be, the Arrow family has proved that they are strong no matter what. Even if there has been a “death in the family”, which was a nice homage to DC. It’s just unfortunate that they had to realize who their real family was when…

Spoilers Ahead!

La Familia of Starling City.
La Familia of Starling City.

… they all found out Sara Lance was dead. The question on my mind more than who did it was, how exactly did Laurel get Sara’s body down to Arrow’s hideout?

Insensitivity aside, Sara’s death was devastating for Oliver and crew, and audience members alike. But we were quickly swept into the investigation of who killed the beloved Black Canary. Similar to The Flash, Oliver goes to the spot of her death to reenact the deed and determine who could have killed her. I thought the process and actions of his investigation was a nice touch to the norm “go get ’em” attitude.

As the episode went on, it became clear that the other archer in town was playing by different rules, and his stunts and tricks with his bow were amazing. To see the hooded man against our very own Arrow were some of the best action scenes I have seen in the show. Between flying through the Queen Consolidated building (during a cocktail hour by new CEO Ray Palmer), jousting in the streets with their bows and dirt bikes, and the shooting battle, I could have watched an entire hour of pure unadulterated warfare.

Our villain of the week turned out to be Komodo aka Simon Lecroix. For the majority of the episode, it seemed that Komodo was the killer of Sara, but after a lot of running around and battle, it was found out that the man they captured was not Sara’s killer, but just a guy from Blüdhaven (Oh gee golly! I hope that means a possible Nightwing reference in the future. Also, this confuses DCU georgraphy even further, since Blüdhaven is a suburb of Gotham, previously thought to be hundreds of miles from Star City). In recent issues of Green Arrow, Komodo has been a pretty big deal, having ties to both Ollie’s old lover Shado and his father, Robert Queen. While the path of comic books is far from unlikely, I doubt that we have seen the last of Lecoix.

One of the more intriguing segues of “Sara” were the flashbacks. Season 2’s flashbacks, which focused on Oliver’s interaction with Slade Wilson and the island, I feared that this season’s flashbacks would be lacking. After seeing the events of “Sara” unfold, I’m no longer concerned about that. The twist of Tommy going to investigate Oliver’s reemergence in Hong Kong was very intriguing. Although, it does make me wonder why Tommy never brought that up in Season 1; you’d like the conversation of “Hey! You’re alive?? That’s weird, because I definitely blew to Hong Kong and almost got kidnapped and murdered to try to find you” would come up in casual conversation. We’re getting deeper into A.R.G.U.S., the team that Waller has “recruited” Queen into, but I can’t wait to see what emerges from the flashbacks this year.

How dare someone come to my city and shoot it up!
How dare someone come to my city and shoot it up!

Meanwhile, the only antagonist we know personally thus far in the season is really Ray Palmer. In addition to stealing the company and Felicity from Oliver, he is Rick Jamesing all over Oliver’s couch while he does it. Palmer’s serious lack of tact is almost made up for by his charisma. Consoling Felicity during her time of loss, we are reassured that he is not all bravado, and there is some kindness being those stupid, smug glasses. While he revered by everybody he seems to share a room with, we get the overwhelming sense that this is not Sebastian Blood all over again. Palmer genuinely cares, and the notion that he may soon turn into The Atom with some unforeseen “accident” makes him all the more tolerable.

Let’s get back to the main plot piece of the episode, Sara’s death – Black Canary’s death. This death in the family hit the Arrow homies hard. The death of one of the best characters, not to mention the hottest, affects the fans just as much as the characters, but to a new viewer for Season 3, it might have been a little too soon in the season, and even returning fans can feel the momentum of a new season slightly held up by immediately killing off one of the crew. Nevertheless, the grieving process felt very real here, from Felicity’s cry to Oliver to show emotion to Diggle’s steadfast approach to helping Arrow find the killer. Even Laurel’s desperate plea to avenge Sara is heart-wrenching. There was even a sad tinge in my heart when Ollie reached out for Diggle at the end there, only to get the unspoken hint to man up and do his duty as a hero. Guys in masks can never catch a break.

Hush Comics gives Arrow‘s “Sara” a B+ for its amazing stunts and solid job at portraying grief, while still being able to inch the story forward and avoid stagnancy that usually plagues episodes like it. Going forward, there is no doubt that Oliver needs to be Oliver Queen and the Arrow to keep the family together. There would be no Arrow without Oliver Queen, so why deny himself the love and support that has made him successful in the first place? Mouth-watering abs and revenge can only last so long, right? And speaking of family, what the heck is going on with Thea and “dad” in Corto Maltese? We have no idea, but a wild theory suggests that she is being trained by Merlin, a League of Assassin outcast, to help him infiltrate and take down the League from the inside. There is so much to look forward to in next week’s “Corto Maltese,” where Oliver takes a little vacation to visit his sister.

All pictures used belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Cate Cameron and were found here.

Arrow Review – “The Calm” S3E1

If you were lucky enough to catch the pilot for The Flash, then you know what it is like to be thrilled by something new and exciting. On the other side of the coin, the Season 3 debut of Arrow brings us back to a familiar place, but not necessarily in the way that we would have intended it to be. The episode title, “The Calm,” refers to the proverbial calm before the storm – and trust us, there is nothing short of actual poop raining from the sky by the time this episode is over. We won’t ruin the surprise, but it’s a bomb of a spoiler.

Fans of Arrow will be able to pick up right where we left off at the end of Season 2; Slade Wilson’s army of Mirakuru-infected soldiers have been defeated, leaving the city recovering again. Many of Starling City’s inhabitants have left town (I always wonder why nobody in Gotham ever does this), and the town is not the only thing rebuilding; Queen Consolidated is now in charge of a group of board members that Oliver Queen must convince to put him back in charge of the company. This new Oliver is in the highest spirits we’ve ever seen him in, and that has everything to do with the new-found flirtation Oliver has with Felicity. I have to say that, as a viewer, the moment for a romantic moment to happen between the two has passed with the Season 2 finale, and anything happening here just feels a bit overdone. Thankfully, we get a firm answer to whether or not Olicity (or Feliciver, Diggle has not confirmed either) becomes a permanent item and we can finally move on. Romance aside, Felicity proves time and time again that she’s still got it. There are a few hilarious one-liners commenting on porcupine farts and shirtless Stephen Amell, but the girl has game. She manages to work intel for Arrow while at a computer in the back room of the computer store she now works at (talk about multitasking!) – and she’s not even the most impressive part of the episode.

She's thinking about Stephen Amell shirtless.  Heck, we all are.
She’s thinking about Stephen Amell shirtless. Heck, we all are.

Let’s talk about what we’re all really thinking. Roy Harper has undergone a serious transformation over the off-season. Without Thea becoming a constant distraction (as of yet, anyway), Roy has fully committed to kicking in teeth all over town. He even has his own matching outfit to Oliver, and seems to be fitting in fine in the sidekick department. The martial arts this kid throws out are down right ridiculous, and one of the biggest gripes I had in this episode was that he was not in it nearly enough. There is a particular scene where he is charged with disarming a bomb during a boxing match that made the show for me. He seems to be a viable replacement for Diggle, and then some, even though it seems he is still having trouble harnessing his anger at times.

Roy Harper is quite possibly the toughest guy in town.
Roy Harper is quite possibly the toughest guy in town.

As a side note, during the boxing scene, there was a quick glimpse of a Ferris Air billboard.  This morning BuzzFeed released an article about Arrow and it was mentioned with the success of the two DC shows The CW currently has, they are looking into doing a third show. Ferris Aircraft is the company that Hal Jordan is a pilot for before he becomes the Green Lantern.  Could The CW’s new show be an origin story for the Green Lantern?  I guess only time will tell.

The rejuvenation of the series is symbolized by the newborn child that Diggle and Lyla bring into the family. Diggle fights Oliver tooth and nail to avoid being domesticated, but ultimately chimed how right Oliver was. He’s the luckiest man on Earth, and is in such utter bliss, which makes it so much harder when we scream at the television that statements like this are almost always a declaration of, “please, TV writing Gods – murder somebody close to me, maim me permanently – because I am far too happy to be an interesting character on my own accord.” DOOOOOOM is coming for Diggle, and I am cringing to see what becomes of that.

Not only have things changed amongst the characters, but it would seem that the acting has been improved upon, as well. Laurel’s character returns with a brand new personality, which is unrelated to her brand new surgically-enhanced face – and she is surprisingly charismatic when she’s on-screen. Her gaping look of stupidity and confusion have been replaced with solid lines and a strikingly genuine conversation with her father.

Oliver, Laurel, and Laurel's new face.  Plus a shining personality!
Oliver, Laurel, and Laurel’s new face. Plus a shining personality!

The story isn’t all roses and chocolate, though; there is most-definitely a bad guy here, and he’s one that we’ve seen over and over again. Vertigo returns this episode with a stronger drug and an extensive knowledge of kicking buttocks. Avoiding carefully the use of the word “Scarecrow” or “fear toxin,” this new Vertigo forces people to see their worst nightmare – which in Arrow’s case is himself. This leads to one kick-ass scene of Oliver Queen beating up a costumed Arrow. Arrow does manage to extinguish this threat, but not all bad guys come in the shape of repetitively appearance pill-pushers.

Ray Palmer, that ASS. Look, Brandon Routh, you don’t get to come into Oliver Queen’s house and Rick James all over his couch. You can take your stupid Superman curl and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Routh’s portrayal of Ray Palmer (also known as The Atom in the comics) is douche-tastic. So far, he seems to be Oliver’s nemesis, even more so than Oliver himself.  Palmer is taking over Queen Consolidated, renaming the Starling City to Star City, and flirting with Oliver’s girl.  Who pings a pretty girls cell phone and then meets her at a hospital?  Creeps who used to be Superman, that’s who.

Ray Palmer is shaking things up in Starling City.  Too bad he's a total dick.
Ray Palmer is shaking things up in Starling City. Too bad he’s a total dick.

More than any series we have reviewed thus far, Arrow is all about the characters. While the martial arts were good, O.K. freaking great, that was not the focus that “The Calm” took.  There was a lot of time for development all around.  That isn’t to say there isn’t room for more; character development is often times the best part of television shows because a triple spinning can only carry the story forward so much.  Arrow has always done great job of telling Oliver’s story through his flashbacks.  This season we are going to get a MUCH different taste of his past.  In his third year “away”, he is in Hong Kong, running from Amanda Waller.  We only got a glimpse of his time there, but we do know that he is taken in, or hostage, or something, by the Yamashiro family.  The woman is also known as Katana.  This should be an exciting year.

Most of the episode focuses on his struggle to split his time between being Oliver Queen and the Arrow. It’s a brand new day in Star(ling?) City and the Arrow has been formally recognized by the city, so things could be looking up for the masked vigilante.  But like I said, this is “The Calm” before the storm.  There is no telling where Oliver’s Hong Kong flashbacks will take us, how the new villains will affect our heroes, or where that bombshell ending will go. Hush Comics gives “The Calm” a B+ for the kick-assiest of kick-assness, strong character development, and that major cliffhanger.

All photos belong to DC Entertainment and The CW.