I had a mind to dedicate this episode review towards Raylicity. Not so much because I ship the coupling of Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer, but because I thought “eh, why not.” But in the end there’s far far too much else to mention, for such a dedication to take place. Another post perhaps. Most probably you’ll have more luck on Tumblr though. Forgive me for my late reviews guys. Engaged life is getting hectic.
Felicity appears to still be reeling from the emotional trauma Oliver put her through in Season 3’s debut episode, The Calm. So her eventual pairing with Ray Palmer in this episode, although expected, feels less than genuine. It’s hard to say if she’s truly falling for Ray, if he’s just the rebound, or if this is her attempt to get back at Oliver for not being what she needs him to be. Could be all three honestly. Regardless, Ray has proven himself nothing but an overwhelmingly honest and good guy, and I find the pairing to my liking. On the offhand, I feel really terrible for Oliver, as he’s taking her absence with a generous helping of jealousy. And on a side note, he should really pick up a comic book sometime. There are so many examples of relationships working with vigilantes and heroes in comics, albeit sometimes very difficult/dangerous. He could totally handle it.
I really don’t have any idea what this whole situation with Thea is and her issues with Verdant DJ’s. This entire subplot was tertiary to begin with. I really found nothing to enjoy here and it felt shoved in. Perhaps this is merely a ploy to get Roy’s character emotionally involved with the major theme of the episode.
This theme being the most heavy-handed in-your-face example in an episode for a while. And we’re only in November – hate to see what they’ll deliver in February. The villain of the week was a lesser known DC character, Cupid. Her insane fascination with the Arrow has taken her to an all new level of creepy. Not only is she stalking Arrow, creating shrines, and professing her love, but she takes her fascination into copycat territory as she too uses a bow (albeit with heart-shaped arrowheads), and dresses her victims up in Arrow costumes. I actually really appreciated the idea that she got a computer techie to algorithmically triangulate the location of Oliver’s hideout. Why has nobody thought of this before?
I can’t say that the flashback scenes this time around quite complimented the theme the episode was trying to vibe, but for once we get a really great glimpse into the family dynamic Oliver’s found himself with in Hong Kong. Tatsu, Maseo’s wife, has previously expressed her strong disapproval with Oliver Queen living with them in her home. But now that Maseo is missing, she and Oliver team up to find out what happened. They go in hunt of the Triad. This was fantastic, and the bond between them is growing.
Several really cool things happened this week that are certainly worth mentioning, (as has become a past-time in my reviews of late – please forgive me). But with the spinoff Flash series setting TV afire, it seems each episode of it and Arrow are referencing a far larger universe than either show yet inhabits. Closer to home we have Roy finally being referred to as Arsenal, which is a really nice touch for longtime comic book readers, and something only just mentioned last week. We also get the introduction of Captain Boomerang at the end of the episode, marking this as the second week in a row that the next episode’s villain is teased prematurely. I couldn’t tell by his accent, but it didn’t strike me as particularly… Australian. I may be wrong though. But it’s interesting that he, a notable addition to Flash’s rogues gallery, appears first in Arrow. Of most note is definitely Ray Palmer’s “A.T.O.M.” exoskeleton tease. Throughout the episode he attempts to buy a mine containing precious metals from someone. It appears he needs these metals for his suit. I really can’t wait to see him finally suit up.