Skip to main content

'Arrow' Review: Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness (S2E21)


The aftermath of Moira Queen's death could have seen Oliver Queen go on a blind rampage hell-bent on revenge and that would have been the easy, safe and typical response in a superhero show. Instead, in "City of Blood" Oliver was allowed to be a fragile human being in the wake of losing not just another loved one in his battle against evil in Starling City but his own mother at the hands of Slade Wilson. The only thing stopping him from succumbing to Wilson were the people at the heart of his support system - Felicity, Diggle and now Laurel.




Arrow has never been afraid to explore the feelings of its characters especially with the amount of secrets between them. While it doesn't excite some fans but humanizing these characters and providing closure at times is what makes them  three-dimensional and not just cookie-cutter action heroes. Listening to Oliver explain to Felicity and Diggle how his failures have led to so much death and destruction that the only way to stop Slade from killing someone else is to turn himself over to him. This is not a popular decision to some but it's understandable considering what becoming the Arrow has cost him. He couldn't even attend the funeral and instead retreated to his own "fortress of solitude" full of guilt and despair. Is this typical superhero behavior? Of course not but this is what makes Arrow special. Oliver, like Bruce Wayne, are human after all and not emotionless machines. We can sympathize and empathize with the loss of life and the self-blame associated with it.

This was the strongest episode of the season for the supporting cast. They helped convinced Oliver that they needed him more than ever. Felicity especially shone brightly reminding him that despite the turmoil of the city it was him that believed in her and changed her life forever. Diggle sought the help of Amanda Waller to track Oliver down and inform her of Slade's Mirakuru-infused army. And just when he determined he had failed the city and decided to succumb to Slade the team drugged him back to the Arrow-cave.

Laurel, long the fan-unfavorite, has really rebounded from her spiraling storyline to now be the loudest voice of reason in his lair. She knows his secret identity now and realizes he was the protector the city needed all along basically he needed to man-up now. This was her strongest showing and squarely on Team Arrow now. So much so she refuses to stay behind when the team goes to face Slade and his army. The next two episodes should change the dynamics of the team perhaps leading to Laurel in a more "super" role. She already discovered Sebastian Blood's connection to Slade and Moira's murder.

Earlier, Thea was seeking solace and luckily Walter was there to say the right things. It becomes clear Walter's presence has been sorely needed at the Queen residence. His calm and reassuring words give Thea the father figure that's been lacking. "All we ever needed was the truth," she tells him and it's been the running theme of the series.

  
Once underground the action is swift and blunted with Slade's army and the appearance that was spoiled online weeks ago - the Ravager. This whets the appetite for the final two episodes of the season which should prove to be explosive. Now that the emotional diagnostics have been fine tuned and adjusted we should get all the action that was missing from 'City of Blood to the delight of fans going into 'Streets of Fire' next week. (Preview video below).

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:
As usual it comes from Felicity Smoak while interrogating Blood's bodyguard:
Blood’s bodyguard: You bitch.
Felicity: Bitch with wifi.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Comics of 2017

It's that time of year again. What comics site is complete without an obligatory "Best of 2017" list? No doubt it's been a crazy year in so many ways and the comic book industry is no different. But instead of concentrating on the scandals and controversies all that matters is the fruit of so many talented peoples' labor who've produced some amazing stories. These are just some of the best independent comics of 2017.


DISCLAIMER: [Editor's Note] Spartantown relies on the generosity of independent comic book publishers to provide review copies in order to post reviews. Thanks to companies like Image Comics, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Dynamite Comics, Black Mask Studios, Action Lab, and occasionally others, I've had access to some wonderful stories that otherwise I would have missed. I don't get review copies from mainstream publishers like DC Comics and Marvel so this "Best of..." list is far from comprehensive but a good sample …

REVIEW: 'Port of Earth' #3 by Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov

The hunt continues for a deadly rogue alien accused of killing a human. ESA agents Rice and McIntyre abide by different rules which make this pursuit a tense, precarious affair. A city on shut-down, a cop with a hair-trigger, and a showdown that could alter intergalactic diplomacy forever.


PORT OF EARTH #3 
Writer: Zack Kaplan Artist: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 10, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Port of Earth' continues to evolve from a savvy sci-fi premise to a thrilling cop drama to a thought-provoking commentary on American worker displacement and the otherness of aliens as an allegory for immigrants. It's not heavy-handed mind you but there are layers to Zack Kaplan's story. When you consider the seismic change an alien technology that helps turn water into an efficient and powerful energy source would have on the planet it's inevitable that it would set off a societal chain reaction. Especially for those displaced by…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …