Oh boy, what a return. When we left off before the seemingly forever long hiatus, Oliver had sort of hit is groove on the whole vigilante thing. The people of Starling City were starting to notice and even if the police/Detective Lance weren’t thrilled, the townspeople were enjoying a lower crime rate. Then he has a bit of a run in with the Dark Archer, gets his ass handed to him, Walter is kidnapped, and we find out that the Dark Archer is actually Malcolm Merlyn. Such a good cliffhanger.
Last night’s episode, ‘Burned’, was a love/hate kind of thing for me. There were some aspects that I really enjoyed and others, not so much. Like the involvement of Firefly. If you are going to use very recognizable villains from the DC Universe, especially Gotham, then perhaps make a story around them that doesn’t involve very flimsy elements such as “presumed dead”. The moment the fire chief mentioned that Garfield Lynns was “presumed dead” during the Nodell Tower fire, we knew that he was the firefighter who started off the episode by killing another firefighter. Not only that but much like the Royal Flush Gang, it is really disappointing to see these great characters be used in one episode and then not heard from again. It’s sad. Of course it should be noted that this Firefly was vastly different from the one of the comics, so really it’s not like the Garfield Lynns that we know and love was involved in the first place. No harm, no foul right?
The other disappointing part of the night? The island! Usually the island is great in giving a lot of story in little bits of flashbacks. This time? Well we know that Yao Fei was kidnapped by Fryers and Deathstroke and Oliver killed a man to steal his clothes but that was it. Here’s hoping we see more of the island in the coming weeks.
As for the non-Firefly parts of the episode, well I loved all that. It picked up six weeks after Oliver’s run in with the Dark Archer and in one of my favorite aspects of the episode, Oliver is in a self-doubt spiral. That sounds bad, I don’t like that Oliver was doubting himself per se, but I did enjoy that it’s a side of superheroes you don’t see too often, it was refreshing. Of course having Diggle to be the one to force Oliver to get his act together was a nice return to their relationship that’s been missing a bit of late. Even better, they did most of this alternative superhero therapy without shirts on, this is never a bad thing.
Another thing that was (thankfully) missing? Thea’s obnoxious attitude. Of course I did laugh when she was telling Moira that she needed to “start acting like my mother so I can stop being yours.” Homegirl is a few episodes from being the most obnoxious brat in recent memory and she’s telling Moira that she can’t take a few days to sort out her feelings on yet another missing husband? Okay, yes it’s been six weeks and yes she had something to do with it but still, that would be difficult to deal with. Granted I haven’t arranged to have one husband lost at sea and another kidnapped for snooping into the first husband’s watery disappearance, but if I had, I imagine it would be a tough couple of weeks afterwards. So Thea just needs to lay off.
Of course now that Moira is taking over as CEO of Queen Industries, I’m guessing that will make it easier for her to conspire to do whatever it is they are doing with Malcom Merlyn. I for one can’t wait to see what happens. However, if Walter is dead I am going to be quite pissed.
In a bit of a shock, I really liked the interactions between Tommy and Laurel and Oliver and Laurel. Poor Tommy is trying to jockey for a drawer for his jockeys (I apologize) and of course Laurel is a bit of a cold fish on the idea. The writer’s aren’t going to let Laurel and Tommy ride off into the sunset together because Oliver and Laurel are obviously supposed to be together. So poor Tommy is just going to be led along like a sad puppy until he finally gets sick of it and turns to the dark side with his dad. That’s how I’m calling it. As for now, Laurel and Oliver are still going to look longingly at each other right before Laurel calls Arrow and on that phone that “can’t even identify the manufacturer”, and asks his help. They are setting her up to be a Louis Lane type of thing and I don’t know that I’m cool with it, but I will refrain from judging, for now.
As for the phone thing? Seriously Detective Lance? Seriously?!?!? What kind of douchy move is it to bug a phone to spy on your daughter? Especially when you just saw that the vigilante does protect your daughter! It’s hard to root for Lance as this Commissioner Gordon type if he’s going to keep insisting that Oliver/Vigilante/Arrow (seriously they need to pick a name) is a problem for the city as opposed to a help.
Unfortunately there was no Malcolm, no Felicity, obviously no Walter, and limited Yao Fei. The Firefly aspect was really irritating and overall, this episode was a bit of a downer. I did like the character progression and plot setups but going to have to give this episode a 3.
The promos and pictures for upcoming episodes are looking quite promising, there is so much to look forward to! For now, let’s pour one out for Firefly, a great villain who decided to hang up his murdering hat after Arrow spoke six words to him, apparently in a very convincing tone of voice.
Until next time!