Arrow Review: “Broken Arrow”

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For the second day in a row I got to watch Ray Palmer being Ray Palmer. First on Tuesday’s episode of The Flash, then on last night’s Arrow. I still want to be him when I grow up, and I would love to watch a show with him and the A.T.O.M. suit as the MC. Oh, and Cisco should be Atom’s version of Felicity from Season 1. Or Flash’s Cisco from now.

To catch up from two weeks ago (seriously, why all the mini breaks now?), Oliver has been outed as the Arrow, and after virtually no deliberation and against the wishes of his friends, he turns himself in. While being escorted to jail, the van carrying him and Captain Lance to Iron Heights is attacked by the Arrow. Turns out Roy Harper has dressed up as the Arrow and turns himself in to get Oliver out. A bunch of other stuff happened in the episode as well but this was the important part.

This week picks up immediately after the last episode with Roy being arrested and taken to the police station. Oliver is released (which I have issues with) and he goes in to talk to Roy (again… issues) where finally someone tells Oliver off and ignores his brooding “I’m always right” outlook. Roy essentially tells him that it’s is his (Roy’s) turn to save Oliver and pay for his crime of killing a cop while under the influence of Mirakuru.

Most of the episode deals with Roy in jail and the effects of having someone that the world considers the Arrow in the same facility as those he put away. It made for some very intense scenes and kept me on the edge of my seat during each scene, never knowing when or where the attack we all knew was coming would actually come. When it did it made for an amazing fight scene. Roy might not be up to the level of Oliver or Ra’s but he can most definitely hold his own against most people.

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The other plot running through the episode was the Arrow / Atom team-up. Ray was like a kid in a candy store at the idea, Oliver was, well, Oliver. Brooding, dark, judgmental, and dismissive of Ray’s abilities. Granted, Atom didn’t do so well at first but then again he didn’t get killed. All in all, he did no worse than Arsenal when he was starting out. And even in unquestioned defeat Ray had an upbeat attitude, a great foil for Oliver’s outlook. Even though the fight wasn’t the great Atom vs. Meta-Human battle everyone (Read: me) was hoping for, Ray did come into his own a little bit at the end, going toe to toe with Deathbolt. It was good growth moment for Ray as a hero. Baby steps.

There were however several issues with the episode that bear discussing. One, no way in hell would the cops let Oliver go at this point. Heck, if nothing else there was that whole situation where Roy was kidnapped by ‘The Savior’ and tortured – sorry, interrogated live on television – and is then rescued by the Arrow. Also, Oliver confessed. Why did Captain Lance not get that confession in writing before shipping him off to Iron Heights? They should have kept Oliver locked up for 24 hours, or at the very least not allowed him to talk to Roy. How does a civilian who was under arrest for something 5 minutes ago get to talk, alone, with someone else who is now in custody for the same offense? That was a major WTF moment for me.

Then there was Thea ‘dying’ at the hands of Ra’s. Holy cow did I not see that coming.

I did enjoy the revelation about Roy’s confession and how it was all staged by Team Arrow to get him and Oliver free. I also liked that Oliver has basically had Arrow taken away from him and is now having to take a backseat to things. Obviously that won’t last forever – after all it is called Arrow so he will be back in the green soon enough. I did not like the fact that Roy seems to have been written off the show. His departure at the end of the episode was anti-climatic and depressing. While not my absolute favorite character I did like him and he was a decent enough Robin to Olivers Batman. His development over the last few seasons has been fairly well done and he has done some major growth. To have him just ride off into the sunset with no fanfare seems very lackluster. We’ve been teased by Stephen Amell that a series regular was leaving the show, and based on the ‘next week’ previews it isn’t Thea so it looks like Roy Harper, a.k.a “Arsenal’ is gone.

All in all the episode wasn’t up the standards of the last two and was a bit of a let down considering all the build up to it. I don’t know whether that was because it was a bad episode or if any episode after the events of the last few would have been a let down. The audience needed the ratcheting down in intensity but this might have gone too far. Either way, I’m looking forward to the next episode and seeing how the season plays out.

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