Jimmy Akingbola Cast as Baron Blitzkrieg in ‘Arrow’ Season 4

The Arrow is getting a new nemesis.

Jimmy Akingbola, who has only acted on this side of the pond in Sons of Liberty, will be playing Baron Blitzkrieg in Season 4 of The CW series Arrow.

Baron Blitzkrieg debuted in 1977’s World’s Finest Comics #246. He was an Earth-2 villain who led the group Shadowspire. Blitzkrieg was a German Nazi who was blinded when acid was thrown at him while working in a concentration camp. His sight was restored by scientists who also gave him superhuman strength, the ability to fly, optic energy beams, and invulnerability.

Arrow hasn’t been one to stick to the original or bring in meta-humans. I am very interested to see what back story they give this character for the modern day.

Arrow returns to The CW on October 7th.

Source: THR

Arrow Review – “The Offer” S3E16

As we spiral deeper into an emotional state of Theadom, Arrow‘s dreary tone is getting more and more grating to the viewers. We’re venturing into the realm of C-Dub overload, as drawn out speeches of inner turmoil are starting to drown out the undeniably incredible story unfolding. It’s a shame because the whole story, as adaptive as it has been from Batman lore, is just as engaging as any of the past material. At the same time, I can’t be too critical of the show that has bred this new generation of superhero TV hype, but there’s an overwhelming feeling that the show has become diluted with the recent explosion of content at CW.

Pros:

Ra’s the roof!: Let’s not pretend that Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins aren’t the best villains on this show thus far. He is shrouded in mystery, and has the force necessary to make life very difficult for Star City. As a villain, he’s less emotional than Slade, but there is a certain amount of maturity that Matt Nable brings to the role that makes him twice as frightening as Deathstroke was. He’s also a villain that has seamlessly transitioned from a Bruce Wayne bad guy to a Oliver Queen bad guy. Nanda Parbat and the League of Assassins have always been held in high regards, so to see them more intimately explored on one of the best TV series out has been gratifying.

The complexity of justice and honor: I’m fascinated by the amount of talk dealing with honor and justice in this show. It’s completely subjective between Captain Lance, Oliver Queen and Ra’s al Ghul. Each character has honor, but the way they go about obtaining justice is unique and conflicting from one another. Nobody disagrees that Malcolm Merlyn is a bad man, but all three would seek to go about serving him justice in different ways. I almost enjoy this better than if it were Batman that Ra’s were dealing with because Oliver’s moral code is a bit different than Bruce Wayne’s, making the decision to take the Demon Head’s mantle a more difficult decision than when it was offered to Batman.

Maybe being Ra’s isn’t all that bad: With all that Oliver has to deal with – defiant and incompetent (*cough cough* Laurel) teammates, the sad truth that there will never be fruits for their labors, the loss of trust from Quentin Lance, and the conflict of being both Oliver Queen and the Arrow – it’s not hard to imagine that sitting atop Nanda Parbat would be too much more difficult. Ollie even falls into a more stern leadership role throughout the episode, tired of getting second-guessed and mocked for decisions that put all the heavy lifting on him anyway. I guess we all have those days at work.

More strong, sexy women: I don’t think I could roll my eyes at the way the women have essentially been reduced to emotional lightning rods in Arrow. While it’s great that Thea can kick ass and that Laurel is a stubbornly independent as her sister, there’s not a whole lot of strength in whining all the time. Felicity is finally done being mad at Oliver, which is relieving, but the show will greatly benefit by the inclusion of Shado and Nyssa round out the incessant gushing.

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Cons:

Is this really a Batman show in disguise?: One of the most alluring elements of the show is how closely Arrow is following classic Batman lore. However, it’s almost gotten to the point where the show isn’t using much creative juice anymore, and just riding on the coattails of the Dark Knight. Whether it’s Oliver’s inner-turmoil between his split personalities, or the thought of leaving a legacy behind as a symbol, there might be too much similarity between the two. If imitation is flattery, then this is the TV equivalent of John Cusack with a boom box.

Lazy writing: There’s too much convenience going on here. How do we get Laurel to deal with her issues with her father? Let’s get the girl with the mother of all daddy issues to have coffee with her, maybe teach her some assassiny things. Poof, now Laurel will be as good as Sara, no training montage necessary. Thea is alone and sad, with nobody to turn to? Poof, let her throw down with Roy in the bedroom. That will solve all her problems. It’s just weak and predictable writing that I would have hoped CW could focus on story-telling over gawking about emotions, but maybe that’s not the main demographic the show is aiming towards anymore.

Not enough Roy in my life: Roy and Diggle, who have been unwavering voices of reason, are completely underserved in this show. They are battle-hardened and also have the best dialogue out of any of Ollie’s other cohorts. I would love to see more action montages, more diving into Roy’s background, more Diggle A.R.G.U.S. exploration. The show needs to lean more on these two characters if they’re going to continue to show the supporting female characters as the emotional wrecks they are.

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Don’t mind me. Just sitting here reading my sexy book.

 

Lackluster flashbacks: Aside from the gasp-worthy reveal at the end of the last cutscene, but for the most part, the flashback scenes all seemed misplaced in the episode, even feeling unnecessary altogether. I love this show’s flashbacks, but there’s no need to include them just for the sake of including them. The Shado reveal (if it was really her…) could have been better served if it were used to more of a point than just a quick peek behind the figurative curtain. The key to these is being patient and analyzing each segment, but there wasn’t a whole lot to gather from the flashbacks in this episode.

 

Easter Eggs:

The Lazarus Pit. For Real.: We finally get a good, hard look at the Lazarus Pit. I wish I had a Lazarus Pit. Well, we’ve talked about the reviving powers from the pit, but actually seeing them at work is pretty cool stuff.

Murmur: Definitely a D list “villain of the week” here, Michael Christian Amar is also known as Murmur. He was a Flash villain who cut out his tongue and sewed his mouth shut. He was sentenced to die by lethal injection, but his abnormal blood properties prevented the injection from killing him. He’s not really that important, but it was worth mentioning.

It’s called “The League of Assassins”: Oliver mulls over the idea of being Ra’s al Ghul’s successor, but detests killing in his name. The League of Assassins isn’t always known by that name. In other comic book lore, they are referred to as the League of Shadows, which sounds just as cool without any of the nasty murder connotations that go with it.

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Tidbits and Predictions

Heir to the Demon’s Head: It’s abundantly clear that Ra’s and Oliver will not be friends anytime soon after the end scene for “The Offer,” where Ra’s hopes to destroy The Arrow’s reputation swiftly, but that doesn’t mean that Oliver’s genes won’t suffice… Another Batman parallel could involve Ra’s’ daughter breeding a child with Oliver. We know which team Nyssa bats for, but there has been no mention of Ra’s having other daughters. All I know is that “breeding” doesn’t exactly spell out romance.

Oliver in a suit feels weird: Remind me again what this guy does for a job? For the first time since Ray Palmer snatch up Queen Consolidated, we see Oliver back in a business suit – begging the question, “How does Oliver make money?” It would be nice to see more of his corporate side again.

Will Flashpoint affect Arrow?: After this week’s superb Flash episode, Barry finally learns to use the Speed Force and break the time barrier, resulting in unfortuitous circumstances for the group. As in the Flashpoint books, Barry’s time travel mischief changes everybody’s reality. Could it also alter Oliver Queen’s reality?

Is this a turning point for Merlyn?: Malcolm Merlyn has not been such a good guy thus far. And even further from that are his skills as a parent. After Oliver triumphantly brings Merlyn back to Star City, he is given a crash course in what it’s like to be selfless from Oliver. Has Ra’s finally knocked some sense into Merlyn, and Thea’s heartbreak finally hit home? Or is he still just playing the game to keep himself alive?

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Should have switched to Geico…

 

 


 

Hush Comics gives “The Offer” a C for tripping  over it’s own feet. With such a grand, expansive story at their feet, the show is more focused on inner-drama among the well oiled Team Arrow than it does finding conflict outside the group. With Ra’s presenting a real threat and bringing the battle to Star City, hopefully the team will have no choice than to confront the bad guy. Plus, we have A.T.O.M. coming up, and nobody can take that away from us.

 

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Diyah Pera.

Arrow Review – “Nanda Parbat” S3E15

This week was a very emotional one on Arrow, and I don’t mean that in a nice way. Half the episode is spent bawling over Sara’s death in the most annoying way possible: constant blame and poor decision-making. There were some legit action scenes and the portrayal of Ra’s al Ghul’s character was spot on for what DC fans expect. Even the flashbacks leave eyebrows raised as we dive deeper into the history of Shrieve and A.R.G.U.S.

Pros:

Three seasons of sexual frustration let out: Let’s admit it, Felicity and Ray Palmer are a better couple than she and Ollie ever would have been. Unlike Ollie, Ray is just as wrapped up in her as he is his work. And they are both tech geniuses, something Oliver never could get a grasp of. Now that A.T.O.M. is a go, I wonder if he will fall into the same trail of thought that Oliver did. I can do without her stumbling over double entendres, getting flustered every time a billionaire shows off his man boobs, but Palmer has been extremely likable thus far, so the pairing is welcome for now.

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Pre-bitch ass Meryln: Laurel was pretty dumb to attack Meryln head-on, but it resulted in one of his best scenes in the series. Telling Laurel that she had “delusions of grandeur” was a pretty fancy way of tell her that all this stupid vengeance talk isn’t going to actually amount to a victory. Merlyn continues to whoop her ass with his hands behind his back in the most insulting way possible. In his “training” session in the Quiver/Arrow cave, he also teaches Thea and Oliver about working in unison, scolding Oliver that he brought a bow and arrow to a sword fight. He may be a condescending jerk, but he will actually make them better… if that’s the direction the show is going in anymore.

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Do NOT piss Nyssa off: Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Nyssa, is fireworks in a bottle. This girl kicks major ass. I love the “vengeance is justice” angle and hope they continue to have her as a bigger part of the story. It was satisfying to see her kick Merlyn’s butt (chin) all over town, too. She is clearly not the bad guy here, so it’s easy to get attached to Nyssa as she is the most badass female in the show not named Tatsu.

I Dig the Bromance: There isn’t a better tag team on television right now than John Diggle and Oliver Queen. Diggle knows Oliver very well, and can sense when something has gotten under his skin, or when he has an ulterior motive. Diggle is not afraid to call him on his bullshit, either, and can de-escalate a situation before it ever gets out of hand between Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow. More importantly, Oliver never has to worry about carrying him in a fight. Something in my bones tells me he’s almost TOO valuable to keep on Team Arrow forever, though. I mean, the man finally put security locks. Who else could have thought of that?

Arrow - "Nanda Parbat"

Cons:

Sara is still in the refrigerator: The cliché has been used in comic books forever, but they are reeeally drawing out the affects of Sara’s death in the hope it will make Laurel a stronger character. Instead, it’s getting a bit repetitive. I’m still unsure that they won’t bring her back permanently, but it seems like the only reason Laurel is around is to talk about Sara – same with Quentin Lance. Can Sara be more than a beacon of hope or

And Laurel isn’t doing herself any favors: While she’s been annoyingly tagging along like Oliver’s kid sister, there’s a point when it’s not cute anymore. Laurel isn’t Sara – we’ve visited that point – but she also doesn’t have the same charisma as her sister, either. Her reaction to Thea’s confession was baffling and not believable. Nor was her reaction to Oliver, or her “burn” to them ever being in love. I will be so disappointed if this couple ever gets together. There are talks about Caity Lotz coming back for a spin-off show with ATOM – could this mean that the Lazarus Pit might be used soon? She is sooooo C-Dub.

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Oliver is such a know-it-all: Not only does Oliver have to make all the important decisions for the group, but he is constantly “doing what’s best” for each person. It gets a little old, frankly. Oliver has been through some tough times, and done some pretty unforgivable things, but he got over it. There is a team – a family – now with his back, so why does he feel the need to pull the strings? If it weren’t for Diggle, I think Oliver would piss everybody away. Roy and Thea seem to accept that he constantly lies and hides things from them, but Felicity and Laurel are ready to walk away. Stop being a dick, Oliver.

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Traaaaap: John Barrowman, you are better than this. I don’t know hat happened, but Merlyn turned into a gigantic wuss as soon as Ra’s captured him. I know that the Demon Head is formidable, but Malcolm Meryln turns into a total coward, and it’s pretty off-putting. I know Ra’s is scary, and I know that it’s meant to show just how much stronger Oliver’s resolve is than Merlyn’s, but  it just comes off as really lame – especially when they find Merlyn and he is barely able to whisper the word “trap.” Come on, really guys? It reminds me of that episode in Chappelle’s Show when his bodyguard is moments away from revealing one of life’s truths to Dave. So cheesy…

 

Easter Eggs:

Lazarus Pit or just Nanda SPArbat?: Maybe Ra’s just likes his bubble baths, but the way he talked about talking with illusionists in the 1800’s sure makes it seem like this guy is actually old as fuck.

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More Toys!!: The newest bit of tech we see Oliver blessed with is a collapsible bow. This guy shows up to Nanda Parbat on his George Jetson. With just one spasm of his hands, his suitcase this unfolds into a beautiful compound bow. I don’t know where he’s getting all this tech (Cisco?), but I hope it keeps coming. Comic book Green Arrow has a trick arrow for every occasion.

Can’t Ra’s hell forever: Ra’s is really quite true to his source material; meanwhile, Arrow is staying true to 70’s Batman lore (screw you, Bruce Wayne), with Oliver taking the place of the traditional Bruce Wayne. Ra’s respects Oliver, and wants him to take over his position as the Demon Head. This is a big deal. Obviously, there’s a conflict of interest here, but with the lines of death not as black and white as they are for The Dark Knight, this could prove an interesting opportunity for Ollie.

Daddy issues: Ra’s isn’t just ashamed of Nyssa because she’s a lesbian; it’s deeper than that. WIth the Demon Head looking for a replacement, he’s looking for an heir – somebody to keep the family bloodline strong, and so the responsibility falls to Nyssa (we haven’t met any other of his children) to breed the ultimate warrior, similar to Damian Wayne in the Batman comic books. I don’t see Nyssa and Oliver doing the do anytime soon, but it’s always a possibility.

 

 


 

Hush Comics gives “Nanda Parbat” a B- for centering the entire episode around Thea’s revelation that she killed Sara, and the ripple effect it causes between the team. There were signs of a crazy story to come, both in the flashbacks and in Nanda Parbat, but it was marred by the incessant grieving of the show’s weakest character. When Oliver was gone, the show really started relying on the wrong characters. I want: more Roy Harper, more John Diggle, and a more dynamic Felicity Smoak. If Arrow can learn how to get out of its own way, we can forgive these recent missteps.

 

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Cate Cameron, Diyah Pera, and Dean Buscher.

Arrow Review – “The Return” S3E14

Pros:

Flash(back) Dance: “The Return” is chock-full of the past, to the point where it dictated the flow of the episode. I especially enjoy that the episode explores a time that has been often talked about, but not really ever shown – how things in Starling City went while Oliver was gone. Returning from the dead are: Tommy Merlyn, Robert Queen, Quentin Lance’s hair, and John Diggle’s brother, Andy. I want them to explore more of this time.

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Sibling love: Thea and Oliver actually make one badass team when they’re not fighting each other. By Oliver learning from Thea, it makes the partnership that much stronger. It’s also pretty alarming what Oliver is willing to do to protect Thea from drug dealers. As a big brother myself, I can’t say I would have approached the situation differently, but you don’t escape the scene by throwing the body off the balcony. C’mon, Ollie!

Sir Lance a lot: One of my favorite characters who has been handed a diminutive role recently is Quentin Lance. Good for us that this episode features him quite a lot, specifically when showing us how he dealt with Sara’s death – both before Oliver’s return and currently. Paul Blackthorne (you’re right, it does sound like a pirate name), who plays Lance, pours a lot of emotion into this role and we all benefit from it.

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Cons:

Maybe a little too much flashback: Arrow has really excelled at keeping a good balance between their flashbacks and their current happenings, but “The Return” was a slip in the wrong direction, with over half the episode occurring in the past. While it wasn’t an uncalled for amount of time, it really slowed the momentum of the show as Team Arrow inches closer to a showdown with the League of Assassins.

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Too convenient: I’m sorry, but Slade Wilson almost destroyed the city. He kicked Moira Queen and took over Queen Consolidated from the inside. He’s a bad man, and for Oliver (who had just been impaled by one of his own booby-traps) and Thea (who just had her shoulder dislocated) to whoop his ass in a few minutes seemed really convenient, and a major disservice to Manu Bennett’s return. Also, why did Oliver feel like they had to break Thea’s arm? I know she’s a trooper and all, but couldn’t they have used a boot or something to hit the button? What a crappily-designed prison by A.R.G.U.S.

Merlyn works his magic: We all know at this point that Malcolm Merlyn is a giant dick finger, but he really takes it to a whole new level with this week’s episode. Thea finds out the truth behind Sara’s death, and it stings, but what really killed the moment for me was Merlyn’s incessant pleas that he loves Thea and did it to protect her. It’s laughable, and really, really annoying. I love having John Barrowman on the show, but it’d be so much nicer to see him on Team Arrow than the awful excuse for a father figure he’s been so far.

Easter Eggs:

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Star City Rockets: Here we have a really interesting reference. The Star City Rockets’ logo can be found on Oliver’s baseball cap as he tries to go around the city incognito. In the comic books, the Rockets are a baseball team owner by Robert Queen. They play at Papp Stadium, named for Green Arrow co-creator George Papp.

White roses: This may be a stretch, but the white roses that Thea leaves at Oliver & Robert’s gravesite may have some subtle significance. White roses are often associated with innocence and purity. By leaving them at the graves, it could be symbolism for Thea losing her innocence – a theory backed up by the drugs she buys while visiting the memorial to her dad family.

Matthew Shrieve: Turns out Amanda Waller actually has a bossman, and it’s General Shrieve, played by the Beastmaster himself, Marc Singer. In comic books, he is leader of the Creature Commandos, a group of monsters/soldiers, but look for him to stick around on Arrow as Waller’s superior.

The Blacker the Canary: In a grieving rage, Quentin Lance spits out that he knows the masked vigilante out there is Laurel, and calls her the Black Canary, perhaps a jab that she is a darker and more evil perversion of what her sister did.

The other guy: When Oliver checks on the “other prisoner” in the Lian Yu prison, he’s looking for Captain Boomerang, who he and the Flash took down together.

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Hush Comics gives “The Return” a C- for its poor management of time and overall lack of progression. There were still some decent parts in the episode, but it relied too much on flashbacks to carry the story and sacrificed quality in the battle with Slade to make a point with Thea. It’s still better than Gotham, though.

 

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Dean Buscher and Diyah Pera.

Arrow Review – “Canaries” S3E13

Pros:

Parkour!
Parkour!

The cat’s out of the bag: Finally, some of the biggest secrets kept this season are confessed to. Every episode has become a brutal exchange between Thea & Oliver and Laurel & her dad, both situations where faulty logic keeps them from spilling the beans. By both parties finally learning their respective secrets, a huge weight is lifted off their (and our) shoulders.

Thea is a changed person: Finally, somebody who actually seems happy that Oliver is back from the dead. He’s gotten so much flack for the things he’s done since his return that Thea’s reaction to the big news is one that had us adamantly cheering for her. The midriff is still in full effect, but her decisions as a character are smart and, for the most part, very level-headed. Seems that Merlyn’s training has done more for her than teach her to fight.

Felicity gets back some brownie points: After a few off-putting episodes from Felicity Smoak, she gets very “real talk” in “Canaries.” Some of the comments to Oliver are a bit snippy, but the talk that her and Laurel have about not chasing Sara’s mantle was really nice. As emotional as these episodes can come to be, the honesty and simplicity of the talk was well-placed.

Laurel gets some guts: Laurel has really been a red-headed stepchild in Arrow so far. We’ve accepted the fact that she is the new Canary, but just as Oliver won’t let her join in on any reindeer games, we as an audience still don’t really like seeing her in the costume. After “Canaries,” though, I’m all about a Canary that doesn’t take crap from anybody. She’s not Sara, and she’s not trying to be.

Diggle’s speech: Diggle is by far the most neutral character in the episode, which is great for Oliver, who is essentially gang up on in this episode. These two are the OG Arrow crew – back when he was The Hood and Katie Cassidy (Laurel) had her original face. Diggle has a very grounded approach and can usually break things down to Ollie in a way that doesn’t push him further. The explanation that Oliver created a legacy helps him see that he is not outcast, but that while he created the Arrow, it is now bigger than him.

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Cons:

Count vertigo sucks: This is not your father’s Count Vertigo, although, maybe it is. This guy was so cheesy, like a villain of the week from the 60’s Batman television show. All we were missing was a maniacal “mwahahaha” as he ran away. Then there was the choreographed fight scene with the henchmen as he made his dastardly escape. Puh-lease.

He’s cool, but he’s no Joe West: Where The Flash really kicks this show’s ass is the detective work. Joe West is ten times the detective Quentin Lance is, and he doesn’t get blinded by his feelings. That being said, Star City (especially the Glades) are a whole different type of city than Central City, so there are things that Lance is better at than West, but not being able to tell his daughters apart in Halloween costumes was a bit ridiculous.

Finding a good DJ is harder than it used to be: As far as the League’s planted agent, DJ Dicksplash, goes, I really didn’t like: 1) what his ultimate purpose was in the show and 2) the idiotic way he decided to leave the show. We really could have done without his presence at all, or at the very least skipped the gratuitous sex scene with Thea. Who does it in the living room of an apartment they share with their brother?? Ewwwww!

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Easter Eggs:

Rahs or Reish?: The age-old debate returns! How the hell do you pronounce the name of the Demon’s Head? According to creator Denny O’Neil, it’s “Reish,” so I would be hard-pressed to argue with that. I loved that they still played with the pronunciation, as it’s an age old argument.

More Speedy references: Now that Thea is “in the know,” Oliver can’t help but call her Speedy. It’s referenced again in the Amanda Waller flashback, but in a much different tone. With Thea and Ollie headed to the island (the same island that houses Deathstroke), I hope this training can lead to her eventually donning a costume of her own.

5th and Kingsley: We know The CW loves to hide Easter Eggs in their street names, usually in the form of past writers and artists. However, after some research, it seems like this might he a reference to King Faraday, one of the member’s of Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. I could be super wrong, but I think this might be alluding to a Task Force X appearance soon.

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Hush Comics gives “Canaries” a B. From physically kicking ass to making strong choices, the women of the Arrow-verse really took over this episode. All Team Arrow needed was the lubrication of communication to return to the well-oiled machine they were before Sara died.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Dean Buscher and Diyah Pera.

Arrow Review – “Uprising” S3E12

Pros:

A flare for the dramatic: There really isn’t anything cooler than shooting flares out of a shotgun. While Brick’s reign on the top was short like leprechauns, I have to admit that he is one of the better villains in the series thus far. Cheers to Vinnie Jones, who always brings a fun performance to this type of character. Brick made the city roll over with little effort, and had no problem storming the precinct and murdering city officials to get what he wanted. Even though it was just for a bit, Star City truly was Brick City.

Arsenal taking center stage: With Roy officially taking up the mantle of Arsenal, this season has been noticeably short on his cool fight scenes and humor – that is, until “Uprising.” Not only does Roy get in some funny one-liners, but he also takes point when Team Arrow makes a stand against Brick. He’s got the moves to back up the look, and his separation from Thea, however temporary it’s bound to be, is a breath of fresh air for both of them as they continue to grow.

Seeing a different side to Merlyn: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Malcolm Merlyn has been a stereotypical bad guy up to this point, but he has most certainly not been a deep one. By letting him take over the flashbacks, we get a whole new look at him. I still don’t really feel that he should be pardoned for his role in the Undertaking, and he’s been quite the coward by hiding behind his oblivious daughter, but with the way the tables turned in “Uprising,” his redemption may not be too far away.

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Arrow saves the day without throwing a punch: Diggle, Roy and even Laurel have ben great in Oliver’s absence, but with all due respect, the show is named Arrow for a reason. Oliver is back with a new lease on life. Some people get Swedish massages to unwind, but it seems as though Ollie unwinds by being stabbed and kicked off a cliff. Things are bound to get messy soon, and it’s good that the Arrow has his wits about him for the final stretch of Season 3.

Cons:

Quentin Lance has selective vision: That’s a good point, Sin… How has Lance not noticed that this Canary going around town is not his daughter – well, at least not that daughter. He didn’t really struggle when he let Roy know he knew who Arsenal’s secret identity is (must be that well-defined butt chin). There is a bit of suspended disbelief when it comes to everybody’s ability to hide the secret of her death to Captain Lance. Plus, that poor guy is gonna be heartbroken. I would almost prefer that he die before he finds out everybody he’s been trusting is lying to him.

Stand-off deja vu: While it worked well for the Season 2 climax, this whole stand-off thing between Brick’s gang and the ragtag band of homeless people (?) is just silly. I mean, you have a group of killers armed with rifles, shotguns and pistols running at the attackers – outfitted with fists. While the yelling battle cry collision thingy is a classic trope (I mean, have you seen this week’s episode of Gotham??), there was potential here to do something better than an “epic” battle in the streets.

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Felicity’s stock continues to plummet: Yeah, so… this is a toughy. We love Felicity, and I even agreed with her decision not to come to Malcolm Merlyn’s aid, but her reaction to Oliver being back was pretty insane. I mean, the guy has literally just come back from the dead, and she was immediately questioning his entire state of being because he wants Merlyn to show him how to kill Ra’s. I’m sorry, Felicity, but weren’t you the one all convinced that Oliver had to murder Ra’s, and that Oliver’s humanity would get him killed? There’s a lot of inconsistency written into Felicity’s character, making her a “reactive” piece to the plot than one who makes things happen on her own, which is disappointing. Oh, and don’t get me started on the “I don’t want to be a woman you love” line. Yeesh.

How did Merlin know about the League of Assassins?: This is more of a nit-pick than a Con, but I have to know how the hell does a white-collar asshole like Malcolm Merlyn just stumble upon the League of Assassins? “I heard of a place that…” – no you didn’t, Malcolm. You can’t just find that shit on Travelocity. Nobody at the Elks Lodge let it slip that they had an amazing time in Nanda Parbat. And who would have known that the way to stop a child assassin from murdering you would be a quarter behind the ear?

 

Easter Eggs:

References more than eggs:

– Cross-show references ran amuck in “Uprising.” First, there was the reference to Arsenal being the “red streak” guy. Get with the times, goons, Iris named him The Flash weeks ago. Also, the line about how Tommy didn’t want him to be an angel anymore (aww, how sad) is a call-back to Caitlin Snow’s reference to how she didn’t want Robbie to be a hero.

– Wildcat makes his superhero debut, with disastrous results. Although, dude put quite the hurt on Brick’s face.

– Ollie’s excuse for his hiatus? He was in Blüdhaven, getting arrested. Nobody believes you, Oliver. Blüdhaven is the notoriously bad part of town in Gotham. I was under the impression Star City in this show was nowhere near Gotham, making this a pretty wild story. Thea must just be used to getting lied to.

Predictions:

There’s no way Maseo stays out of this one: She frequently talked about being unable to rejoin society. Maseo, who becomes Katana in the comic books, still is attached to Oliver and wants to rejoin the fight, but not the world. It’s a stretch, but it could be a nod to The Outsiders, which frequently includes Katana as a member. Looks for Maseo to come back into play once…

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Ra’s al Ghul murders Tatsu: I really wish it didn’t have to happen, but Tatsu has dug himself a hole too deep with the Demon’s Head. This will be good in a way since he seems to have plateaued as a character, while Maseo has a lot more growing to do. Nothing like a good old-fashioned family murder to jump-start some character development.


 

Hush Comics gives “Uprising” a B; it was a great way to wrap up an arc surrounding an obscure villain, give some love to Arsenal and the new Canary, while still offer something new going forward. Oliver’s return could not be valuable enough to the show.

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

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?

Pros:

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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.

Cons:

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.

Predictions:

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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.