Sorry for the late review, everyone! It couldn’t be helped. Hope you enjoy it!
After Deathstroke’s masterful manipulation of Team Arrow last week, they try to go on the offensive this week. It doesn’t work out entirely well.
Fearing Slade’s plans for the Mirakuru, Oliver and Company destroy Queen Consolidated’s research lab so he can’t get his hands on it. Slade, in turn, steals the Skeleton Key from Team Arrow and breaks into STAR Labs to steal another device he can use.
Laurel, having been informed that her ex is the Arrow, struggles with what she’s going to do with the information. She turns to her dad for advice. The Arrow, Lance tells her, is a symbol and a vital necessity, and he feels that he couldn’t ask the Arrow to do what he needs to do if Lance thought of the hero as a man. He doesn’t want to know who it is.
In the end, Laurel chooses not to do anything with her newfound knowledge except offer Oliver a little friendly support. She also figures out that Sara is the Arrow’s fighting buddy, but keeps that to herself as well.
Thea, meanwhile, is pretty pissed about having been lied to by Oliver (about the identity of her real father). There’s also that whole bit about her being the genetic offspring of mass murderers – which doesn’t make her feel particularly positive about her own future. She refuses to have anything to do with Moira or Oliver, even when it means risking them losing all their assets to Isabel Rochev. She eventually disappears to be alone with her thoughts.
When Team Arrow tracks down Deathstroke, Slade is building his army of Mirakuru-enhanced soldiers using Roy’s Mirakuru blook. Oliver rescues Roy, kills Isabel, and escapes. But Slade heals Isabel with his own Mirakuru and they set off with their new army.
Finally, on the island, Ivo tells Sara and Oliver that there’s a cure for the Mirakuru on the freighter. Then he asks them to kill him, which Oliver does.
What Hit the Target
Slade is still out-witting Team Arrow and I love it! He casually breaks into the Arrow Cave, then stays a step ahead of them during the STAR Labs theft and the Mirakuru soldiers plan. All the while, his distractions via Thea’s anger and Laurel’s confusion are working behind the scenes. I can’t give the writers enough credit, really, for managing to make Slade a worthy enemy and give him a worthy plan.
Laurel finally does something selfless and avoided turning Oliver and Sara’s secret into a Laurel pity-party! How refreshing. While this doesn’t fully rehab her character, it helps.
I’m torn about how I feel about Thea in this episode. While I get tired of Arrow‘s female characters managing to wallow in self-pity when things go awry, I do think that Thea has a bit of a good reason to be confused and angry. She was, I think, being melodramatic about Oliver not telling her, but she does have a point about her screwed-up parentage.
Will Isabel finally get interesting now that she’s been resurrected? I hope so! It’s sad that it’s taken the entire season to figure out what to do with her, but perhaps it will be ‘better late than never’. Ravager’s backstory with Deathstroke could make for an interesting dynamic.
Once again, Quentin Lance for the win! He’s morphed into a great part of Team Arrow this season and his perspective on the ‘man beneath the hood’ was beautiful and powerful.
What Missed the Mark
The introduction of the characters from the Flash series was a little bit clumsy, although I’m not sure if there’s a graceful way to service another series in this manner. The characters themselves were plucky, but they and the mentions of other Flash characters was just obvious and dragged things a bit.
The revelation about Isabel’s background with the Queen family was also clumsy and appears to have been an afterthought. Interviews with those behind the show’s scenes have revealed that they really didn’t know what to do with Isabel mid-season, which is why she disappeared. I’m disappointed that her motivation was as simple and clichéd as ‘a woman scorned’.
The Final Tally
Slade continues his reign as Arrow‘s great enemy, providing excitement and surprise as we gear up for the end of the season. While the requisite Flash cameos weighed down the plot briefly and Thea whined a little bit excessively, neither really slowed things to down unnecessarily. Hopefully, Isabel’s character will be finally be on track, Roy’s story will advance, and Laurel will be returned to the main plotline. All in all, it’s a good week for recurring characters, but is still full of action and twists.
And finally, Felicity’s Quote of the Week:
“For the record, I hated her before we found she’s a super-villain.”