Notches and Quivers: Listen to your friends edition

Arrow, I love you, but you gotta stop stringing us on. We need some resolution on some of these plots you keep putting up!

My reaction to this episode's ending: ARGH. This episode is so damn frustrating. Yet again we have an episode where nothing much happens - it's all just set-up, and it ends in a frustrating cliffhanger. The episode basically had no climax at all. I understand their whole 3-parter finale thing, but that doesn't mean you get two eps of boring set-ups and one full of explosions and the conclusion in the last 10 minutes. No, really. Counterexample: Farscape, in which all episodes in a muti-parter managed to have their own self contained stories and climax scenes, building up to the last. Pacing, you guys. I know you can do so much better.

Well no, it's not just set-up. It was set-up and manpain. Honestly I'm getting rather sick of Oliver's heroic BSOD. Oliver' insistence that he lost everything, all the most important people to him is just ridiculous. It's always Laurel, Thea, Moira. Hey, Ollie, what about Dig and Felicity? Do they really not matter at all? They're still there and still fighting. This is all justified in the wake of Moira's death, but maybe it should have been toned down in the previous episodes? Some of this "we can do it as a team" and "we can find a way to beat slade" are rehashes from a couple of eps ago.

I also have hard time getting over just how much of an idiot the writing is making Oliver. The company thing, the whole "woe is me, I'm so alone," the "suddenly: A CURE" and now with the lair. Slade attacked them in the foundry two episodes ago, and still stuck around. Oliver actually had a back-up and he actively didn't tell his partners where it was even though the bad guys knowing about it would put them in even more danger than usual? Moreover, the bad guys control the property and he took Roy there?! Isn't that basically offering him up to Slade on a platter? (And speaking of Roy and keeping him sedated for days: how are they feeding him? And, uh, body fluids. I'm so overthinking this, aren't I?) Honestly I wouldn't blame Dig and Felicity if they're fed up with this shit and just pack up and leave to do their own city saving after all this is over.

Notches and Quivers: Listen to your friends edition

Because let's face it, the best thing about this episode were Felicity and Dig working together: going to Amanda Waller, Felicity fangirling about technology, interrogating Blood's bodyguard. Felicity *gleefully* hacking those accounts and giving money to charity. Dig's proud smile at her comeback right there. Them tranquing Oliver because he's an idiot ( and he must know Felicity is tracking/listening to his phone) and getting Laurel on board.

Laurel has made a hell of a comeback lately, and I'm glad she got to make her own little speech to Oliver and telling him off. . I'm a little disappointed that Laurel didn't stumble onto Sara's spare costume in the Arrowcave and just put it on. I mean Dig got to wear the hood a couple of times, there's no reason someone else can't put on the wig. This way Laurel would also get to be the Black Canary. And as they pointed out in the other episode - the costumes make for a symbol. (If you like that idea, go read this fun little ficlet.)

In my reviews/recaps I've pretty much been ignoring the island flashbacks. That's for a good reason: for the past few episodes they've been mostly pointless. They're a great device when used to support the main story (or when the main story takes place on the island), but nothing much has happened in the island flashbacks either or they've been illustrating things we've already been told and IMHO did not need more illustrating. Sure, it's fun to watch Dr. Zelenka fixing ancient Japanese subs but I think the airtime probably could have been better used.

And on that note, I've seen fans saying how underdeveloped Felicity is, and that she's basically what amounts to a fan insert. That's absolutely not true. She is the story's equivalent of a normal person, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have her own personality. She has that in spades: see her outfits and her quips and her babbling. And we do know a lot about who she is: that she's a happy, hopeful person, that she's brave and loyal and very smart and geeky and empathetic. We know her father left at a young age, and that's pretty normal too. We know she's known darkness and chose to be light. I'm not so much interested in her past. I don't want a flashback to tell me how bad it was for her. I'm much more interested in what she chooses to do with her future. She already made the choice to be more than ordinary.

Notches and Quivers: Listen to your friends edition

I really this scene in their new season 3 lair (calling it). The episode revolves around that quote from the not!priest on the island: "The essence of heroism is to die so others can live." which mirrors Moira's sacrifice. But I like that they spend this scene and the rest of the episode showing that it's kind of bullshit. I mean, sure, that's certainly heroic. But not when it's pointless. Not when it won't make a difference. Felicity's "you can't just accept things" and "there is another way" is actually the more important thematic element that happens throughout the show (Oliver's survival on the island, Dig refusing to be just a bodyguard and so on). But mostly Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards are a joy to watch together. And then later she makes sure they're all on board with killing Slade's army, and that there's no other way of stopping them.

That other way is just about ready, too. What do you want to bet that phone call from Central City that Felicity got just as the shit was about to hit the fan is going to tell her Barry's awake. And then he'll be the one who figures out the Mirakuru cure and he'll bring it by in a flash?

It was a pretty decent episode overall, but there are some plot/pacing issues that are driving me mad (I only criticise because I love). I hope the next two eps fare better in that department! Either way, they'll definitely be a lot more EPIC due to visitors from a certain shady organisation!

(top image: screencapped.net, gif sorce: here and here)