Tag Archives: John Barrowman

SDCC 2013: Arrow Season Two Sizzle Reel, Plus Highlights of the Comic-Con Panel!

Let’s start right off with the Arrow season two sizzle reel. Now, if you have not seen all of Arrow season one, you might want to skip this as it has a lot of spoilers in it. A lot, a lot.

So much action packed into so little time! Taken from footage of the season premiere, we get a good look at Summer Glau as Isabel Rochev.
Arrow Season Two Sizzle Reel

As exciting as that is, I think we all echo Roy Harper’s question to the mysterious blonde in a mask (Caity Lotz as not Black Canary), “Where the hell did you come from?” Of course this Arrow season two sizzle reel didn’t answer any big questions, like who exactly Caity Lotz’s character is, but we do see Oliver Queen make the beginnings of his move from “the Vigilante” to actually being called Arrow. As Marc Guggenheim said in this interview, they are moving from Hood Guy, to Arrow, to ultimately Green Arrow.

Arrow season two sizzle reel

Same with Black Canary apparently. Laurel will eventually be Black Canary but she needs to start on that journey and Caity Lotz is there to help her begin.

Apparently everyone is moving along in their storylines, including Roy Harper and Deathstroke. During the Comic-Con panel, Colton Haynes referred to season two as Roy’s “island” and Andrew Kreisberg made a point of telling fans that those who are interested in if/how Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson becomes the Deathstroke, then they should make sure to watch season two.

The other big news from the panel is that although it seems as if Malcolm Merlyn met his end in the season finale of Arrow season one, perhaps he’s not as dead as we assumed. John Barrowman appeared on stage saying “I would be more than happy to come back into this family fold. And if I’m being invited back, it’s more than the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’s’ ever done.”

As great as all that news is, two big guest spots were also announced.

Arrow season two sizzle reel

That’s right, Suicide Squad’s own Bronze Tiger is coming to Starling City! Or the island, his story hasn’t been revealed. Michael Jai White will play the martial artist sometime in season two. Given that they are announcing it this early, you’d have to imagine it’d be early in the season.

Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood in Arrow

Same goes for Kevin Alejandro, guest starring as a character named Sebastian Blood, aka Brother Blood. Longtime foe of the Teen Titans. It’s a little easier to see the martial arts fighting of Bronze Tiger making the leap to the Arrow-verse, but there will be some definite changes in the Brother Blood character to comply with the “no superpowers/metahumans” thing that they’ve committed to. But we’ve seen how Count Vertigo was able to be adapted so I’m not too worried about it.

So I think that about covers it. Laurel Lance is still going to be Black Canary. Caity Lotz is going to help her. Roy Harper and Slade Wilson both have changes in store for them. Oh yeah, Thea is taking over Oliver’s club, and Summer Glau’s Isabel Rochev is coming to town.

Can’t wait for October 9th when Arrow season two premieres!

Arrow-City-of-Heroes

Arrow: 1.23 – Sacrifice (Season Finale)

So last week we left off with Oliver getting his ass handed to him by Malcolm Merlyn. ‘Sacrifice’ picks up shortly thereafter with Oliver semi-hanging from the rafters as Malcolm circles him in a threatening manner.

Sacrifice

Ooooh, look at Oliver getting all bad ass, threatening Merlyn and all that. Of course, as Merlyn pointed out – he may be younger, and he may be stronger, but twice now Oliver has gotten his ass kicked by a man old enough to be his father. Hmmm, that doesn’t not bode well for your superhero career.  Amazingly, he has better luck against a man who is surrounded by an army and surface to air missiles! Granted on the island he has both Shado (who, unsurprisingly, can reprogram the aforementioned surface to air missiles) and Slade Wilson, but still he took out Fyers’ entire army! Okay, okay, he used a missile but still! I feel like I’m trying to give Oliver a lot of credit here and perhaps I’m trying a bit too hard so let’s move on to the real story of this finale.

As we found out in past episodes, Malcolm plans on taking out the Glades with a “seismic event”. Of course no one but the people involved in the undertaking and the Arrow Crew know about it. Obviously, much like Oliver being the vigilante, this is a secret that just can’t stay secret.

Sacrifice

Before Oliver and Laurel had a tender moment perfectly squared by the incoming sunlight, I couldn’t help but notice that Moira was packing up Walter’s things. NOOOOO!!!!! Say it isn’t so! I thought they’d work it out in the end but maybe next season? Please make this happen writers, even if she’s in jail. Oooh, Walter could come visit Moira and they could have heartfelt discussions through the glass. That’d be nice.

Oh, before we move on to the whole blowing up part of the city and the aftermath therein, let’s revel in this moment.

Sacrifice

Not only has your ex-best friend lied to you about being a vigilante in a hood, stole your girlfriend, and just told you that your father is going to blow up part of your city, then he goes and makes you look like a fool by effortlessly dodging your punch.

That’s gotta hurt. Of course it doesn’t help that Tommy then heads off to talk to his dad, refer to Oliver’s ridiculous jihadist accusations only to then get his ass kicked by his dad who seems really unhinged this episode. Of course if I were planning on causing an earthquake to take down an entire part of a major city, I’d probably be a bit on edge as well.

Sacrifice

Oh Malcolm, you troubled soul you. You need some psychological intervention. I’m not a professional but I’d have to imagine that constantly reliving your wife’s death by listening to her die over and over probably isn’t very healthy. Granted this makes for great television viewing but still, yikes.

Sacrifice

So Malcolm is devolving and Moira is finally sprouting some cajones and speaking out about Malcolm’s plan. She couldn’t have done that before the timer was set to go off I suppose. Safety of her family and all that. But now she’s ready to take the risk and what better way to assure not only will the police, but the man hell-bent on killing anyone in his way will hear what you have to say? A press conference in your living room of course.

Again Thea and her ridiculousness never fail, because hearing her mother admit to being part of this plan and the reason her father died, the first thing she thinks of? Her felon boyfriend. Girls. Am I right? [Ed. – The fact that Thea assumes Roy is too dumb to leave the Glades along with EVERYONE else is telling. Stupid Thea.]

Sacrifice

Dear residents of the Glades – I have a bone to pick with you. I’m not totally sure of the timeline here as it was a little vague, but at most there’s a couple of hours in between the announcement that your neighborhood is going to disappear into the ground and it actually happening. Call me crazy, but my first thought would not have been to bust out the posterboard and sharpies and make signs about the end of the world. Unless you just have these hanging around for a everyday use, this seems like a horrible waste of time. Perhaps if you managed your time more wisely you wouldn’t have to be running around in the streets like a chicken with your heads cut off. Just a thought.

Sacrifice

The rest of the episode was cutbacks between the panicked people of the Glades, a pretty kick ass fight scene between Oliver and Malcolm, and Felicity talking Detective Lance through disarming the device. I actually loved Detective Lance in this part because you could tell he was panicked, you could tell he was nervous, but at the same time he was so giddy and pleased with himself when he shut it down. Paul Blackthorne really has done a great job as the crotchety detective trying to piece his life back together after his daughter died and wife left. He’s been a pleasure to watch which is why I got really nervous that he was going to go down with the ship.

I don’t know if the people at Arrow kept it under wraps or if I just missed the news, but I was totally taken by surprise by Tommy dying. When Oliver moved the chunk of concrete I gasped when I saw the rebar through his chest. Kudos to Stephen Amell and Colin Donnell because that last scene was very emotional and very well done.

Sacrifice

Overall, this was a fantastic finale. I might go out on a limb and say it was one of the best season finales I’ve seen in quite some time. The cliffhangers were organic, the story line didn’t seem forced which happens a lot with big dramatic scenes. For a network that is often seen as “not as good”, Arrow and The CW knocked it out of the park. I’m going to have to go even further out on the limb and give it a five out of five.

grizzly rating 5of5

A fantastic season finale to wrap up a great first season of Arrow! It’s been a great ride and I look forward to seeing what season two has in store.

Arrow: 1.22 – Darkness on the Edge of Town

Hold on to your hats friends because the Dark Archer is back and ready to blow up whatever he has to! Oh and killing whoever he has to as well.

Brion Markov Unidac Industries

That includes Brion Markov, aka Geo-Force in the comics. It seems in the Arrow universe his superpower is being a decent enough seismologist to get a job at Unidac Industries, but being unable to talk his way out of an arrow in his chest. You win some and you lose some I guess.

After last week’s discovery that Walter is actually alive (yay!!!), he’s returned home in ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ and oh boy you can cut the tension with a knife. For all of you relationship-challenged out there – if you go in for a kiss and it’s diverted to the last moment to the cheek… all is not well.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Damn them! I was really hoping they’d be able to sort it all out but of course once divorce papers enter the equation, things get a little dodgy. Before we go down that road though, let’s discuss the heartbreak that was the island this week.

So two weeks ago there was the whole “Yao Fei once again leads Fyers to Oliver and Co.” in which my love affair was declared as officially over. Well now we finally get to find out what Fyers’ plan is and oh boy is it a doozie. We already knew that Yao Fei was going to be the scapegoat for whatever Fyers had planned but I myself had no idea has to how in-depth his evil scheme would be. Destabilizing the Chinese economy by taking out a commercial airliner (note: I do believe the “I really need your help” guy was saying Ferris Air which would be a shoutout to the Hal Jordan/Green Lantern universe) with SAMs? Having a member of the Chinese military claim responsibility for it due to being sent to an island as punishment? It’s sort of genius.

Darkness at the Edge of Town
Never mind the dead guy – that’s a cool looking floor.

Then this happened. WHY?!?!?! I know Yao Fei and I have had our differences but was it necessary to shoot him in the head? As much as I’d like to believe he’ll bounce back from this, Deadshot did survive an arrow to the eye, a bullet to the brain is a bit of a different story. Let’s all pause in a moment of silence for the man who saved Oliver’s life, a couple of times.

Okay back to the main story. If Oliver and Laurel getting together means that this whole love triangle thing is over, then I’m all for it. However, I imagine it’s just going to lead to more “Sad Tommy” moments and blah that’s getting old.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Much like the lesson up above about the denied kiss, this seems like common sense but seriously, I know it’s easy to get caught up in the moment but perhaps it’s best to make sure the curtains are shut before you get freaky with your ex while your other ex is standing outside. Or, you know, strangers walking down the street. Anyone really. Again, I would have thought this was everyday knowledge but it appears as if I’m wrong.

At the very least maybe now they can move the story along past this “she loves you, no she loves you, but you love her, you love her more, I can’t love her…” crap. Fingers crossed!

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Even though Thea annoys the ever-loving crap out of me, I can’t help but root for her and Roy’s Nancy Drew routine. Although I do have to laugh at the stalking of a crime scene in a stolen car, with a stolen camera. Oh that Roy Harper, what a smart boy he is! Now that Oliver has laid down the law about them looking for the vigilante, it’s only a matter of time before they do… perhaps the cliffhanger? Next week we’ll find out!

Of course the best parts of the episode had all to do with “The Undertaking”.

Felicity-Smoak-hacker

Let’s give Moira some credit here – how on earth she’s still somewhat sane is beyond me. One husband is dead, another husband is kidnapped only to return and ask for a divorce, she’s been “approached” by the vigilante now twice, the second time involving a tranq dart, her family has been under constant threat for years and she’s had to keep a rather large and awful secret for years. If that were me? I’d be seeking out a room with padded walls post-haste. Rather she just keeps on keeping on and that’s impressive.

Also impressive? The Arrow Crew’s plan for breaking into Merlyn Global. Although I do have to wonder, what kind of fast food place delivers? Granted I live a bit in the sticks but I’ve never heard of McDonald’s delivery. However, Big Belly Burger does deliver and thank the gods for that otherwise how on earth would they have delivered the drugged hamburger?

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Of course the Olicity shippers might have died a slow death at the Oliver and Laurel make out session, but you know they all have this image seared into their brains. Give it up guys, it’s not going to happen!! Oh well, at least it led to this which was pretty kick ass.

Felicity-and-Oliver-swinging

That looks like so much fun! Of course I would have pissed myself but still, fun. Thankfully this was followed by a scene full of brooding whiny Tommy and then nosy Thea so my heart rate was able to slow down before the awesome fight scene between John Barrowman and Stephen Amell. I will say this – the quality of the fight scenes seem to have gotten better as the season has progressed which is a major plus.

Malcolm-catches-arrowSo now there are two people in the show (the other being Huntress) who can catch arrows? This does not bode well for Oliver, at all. Plus the fact he got his ass kicked (again) by a man old enough to be his father. Oliver, you need to go ahead and start doing more shirtless hand to hand combat with Diggle to work on this. Let’s make that a priority next season okay?

Of course we don’t know what next season will hold as far as actual combat between these two because…

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Now Malcolm knows it’s Oliver!!!!! OMG what does this mean?!?!?! Where do we go from here????? More punctuation needed!!!!

Seriously, loved this episode. Even though Yao Fei is dead (sob), so much action and so much story progression. Although if it had been me, this would have been the season finale and I’m having a hard time seeing what kind of cliffhanger they are going to leave next week. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Going to have to go with 4.5 out of 5 because it was that good.

grizzly rating 4-5of5

Season finale next week -see you then Arrow fans!

Arrow: 1.21 – The Undertaking

WALTER!!!!!!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… what an episode. No island,but we did get a pretty good look at life before the island and finally get to hear what “the undertaking” is.

undertaking
“The Undertaking” = Malcolm Merlyn has a god complex = John Barrowman is a god.
undertaking
Who would want to kill this man?

So Malcolm wants to level the Glades. In a very Outbreak move, he’s planning on doing so with everyone still there. I think we can all agree, great plan! Who on earth wouldn’t go along with this genius? Enter the wet towel aka, Robert Queen. come on Robert. You don’t want to obliterate an  entire neighborhood and it’s inhabitants? Well, spoiler alert… perhaps you shouldn’t take the Queen’s Gambit to China. Just a thought. It is nice to finally have a reason behind the list. First it was penance for Robert’s killing of the briber, now it’s vengeance for Robert’s death. Seems rather poetic.

Speaking of Queen’s Gambit- oh boy Oliver was even more of a sleazebag than previously thought. It’s one thing to sneak off with your girlfriend’s sister but to do so right after agreeing to move in with the girlfriend? Oh and to put a cherry on that douchebag sundae, yes please call the sister and tell her to take a lap while you say goodbye to your girlfriend.

Last week, Diggle finally got (rightfully so, in my humble opinion) tired of Oliver’s crap and left and now this week poor Felicity is the child of divorce trying to get her parents to get back together. Poor Felicity, stuck in the middle. If she ends up going to summer camp and finding her long lost twin, I might have to call bullshit on this whole story line but for now, it’s still good.

undertaking
Pensive Diggle is pensive

Of course being the somewhat meddlesome chick that she is (women in general seem to have this problem of not letting things go), she heads on over to Diggle’s house. How on Earth she doesn’t just smack him and tell him to go work it out with his boyfriend, I do not know. She is a stronger woman than I because that’s pretty much what I was screaming at the TV.

Felicity-Smoak-Arrow

You have to feel for Felicity though – here she is, used to just being behind the computer outside of the one time she ended up with a bomb around her neck and now she ends up at the casino and of course her cover is blown. Perhaps it’s time that Oliver realize that Felicity is not the best in the field. Call me crazy, just a thought. Although had she not gone into the casino, we would have missed out on the most awkward exchange ever. I love those moments where you say something, realize it sounds pervy, try to fix it, make it worse and then just give up. Of course she did have a modicum of success in the casino but it did lead to me thinking Walter was dead which is just awful. How could they do that to him? Malcolm promised Moira he’d be okay! WHY?!?!

But wait! He might be in Bludhaven (!!!!) so let’s go check it out Oliver!

undertaking

Of course Oliver knows how to parachute out of an airplane onto a small roof. To suggest otherwise is just ridiculous. Of course his incredible aerial prowess led to perhaps my favorite moment of this week. Walter returns!!!

undertaking

After so long of them not even mentioning it, I was pretty certain that we were never going to see Walter again.  Very “out of sight, out of mind” but Walter has been on my mind since he took that syringe to the neck. But alas, he has returned and all is right with the world again. Yay Walter!

undertaking

Moira and Walter have been reunited so it seems like a good time for Laurel and Tommy (who is apparently feeling right at home at his father’s company) to hit the skids for real. I didn’t really think Tommy would say anything about Oliver to Laurel but then again I didn’t think he’d go off crying little a whiny baby after finding out Oliver’s secret either so apparently I’m clueless when it comes to Tommy. I also never thought I’d feel badly for Laurel, because she’s annoying, but she’s having a rough first season. Dead cheating boyfriend comes back to life, assaulted a couple of times in her own home, Mom gets hopes up about alive sister, hopes dashed, promising new relationship, broken up with, non-dead cheating boyfriend tells her he loves her… that’s a lot to process in 21 episodes. Perhaps she should just put on some fishnets and hit the town.

undertaking

Of course the most important relationship in the show has been righted – that’s right, Oliver and Diggle have buried the hatchet and just in time because this box is on its way to Starling City and nothing good can come of it.

Overall, a great episode. I loved finally hearing what the undertaking actually is, appreciated them further explaining the list, and really like that Walter is back. I’m very much looking forward to the new few episodes and seeing how they wrap up this first season. For ‘The Undertaking’ , I’m going to have to go with a four out of five.

grizzly rating 4of5

Had a certain Ted Kord actually been a part of this episode as opposed to just mentioned in passing, this would have easily been the best episode of the season because let’s face it, Blue Bettle joining Arrow would be pretty kick ass.

undertaking

Until next time Arrow fans!

Arrow – 1.18 Salvation

Wow. Just wow. I’ll be honest, when I saw the preview for this week I groaned a bit as there was a lot of Thea and Laurel involved but I was wrong because I loved this episode! There was so much going on and it was pretty much one person crying after another and damn if it didn’t tug at the ol’ heartstrings.

Arrow

This dude though, he needs to stop neglecting his buildings/tenants/whatever and start working on his ability to hold a knife. He dropped that like it was a hot potato and look where it got him – kidnapped, stashed on an old subway car, and then killed while the internet watched. Speaking of, would you like to catch up on the latest that “Glades Betrayed” has to offer? Well you are in luck! You can find the site right here (note: googling “gladys betrayed” will not get you the result you were intending) and we can see that it is a really good think Oliver put that arrow in the Savior’s chest because he was not done with his list.

While the bad guy du jour was entertaining enough, it was everything else in the episode that really made it great.

Arrow

How adorable and heartbreaking was Felicity this week? She really reminded me of Garcia from Criminal Minds with her “I just look at the computer screen I don’t really have to be a real part of all this” reaction to the whole situation. Pretty much every exchange between the Arrow Cave group was fantastic whether it was the funny parts or the really sad-ish “you can call me any time” part. You just know that all those Olicity (I think that’s what has been settled upon) shippers just died at this episode. DIED!

Arrow

When Oliver was running from the first place Felicity sent him to the second, I can not be the only one who thought of this.

PARKOUR!! Seriously, that was both awesome and somewhat ridiculous. Apparently we are supposed to believe that Oliver can outrun a subway car. Right. That’s totally possible. Sure. I also really enjoyed Oliver busting down every door in an office building and it taking about ten seconds. He really is a superhero!

Arrow
Credit to: flameswenthigher

Superman being faster than a speeding bullet has nothing on Starling City’s golden boy Oliver Queen!

As much as I can not stand Thea (this is more of an ebb and flow kind of dislike), she was killing me this week

with her tears. Like they were little tears of acid tearing down the concrete walls surrounding my cynical heart. I’m trying to hone my maudlin teen angsty side, does that seem about right? Seriously though, that whole thing with her watching the internet feed and Roy saying that no one would miss him and he’s just a nobody, oh man just kill me now!

Arrow
Credit to: popculturenexus

I do wonder though how long it’s going to take Thea to put two and two together. One second she says something to Oliver about Roy and next thing we know, Roy is being rescued by the vigilante. Come on Thea, you seem like a smart girl, you can do this. Especially when Roy hooks up with Oliver – only a matter of time and Thea is going to be a resident of the Arrow Cave.

If the Thea/Roy and Felicity parts didn’t make you feel things in the ice castle known as a soul, then surely to :insert deity of choice: the Lance family having their hopes shat upon did! Although I have a bone to pick with Laurel. If she thought her mom, Dinah Lance – if you’ve forgotten, was full of it and delusional thinking her sister was alive, why didn’t she just tell her that when she showed up at the door two episodes ago?

Arrow

Instead, now we’ve got this family task force thing going and her parents are all excited and hopeful and all that is ruined by one call to the Chinese Embassy. Damn Chinese Embassy always ruins everything! I was a mess with that whole “I killed our baby” thing. A mess. Like “pull yourself together Amanda for you are a grown ass woman tearing up over a show that is really not all that deep and you are sort of making a fool of yourself here” mess.

Arrow
Credit to: wilfulwilf

I might have been boohoo’ing like a baby but at least I don’t have an ugly cry like Laurel. Yikes. They might want to keep the Laurel crying scenes to a minimum because she does not sob gracefully, at all. I am interested in seeing what happens between her and Tommy as all evidence is pointing towards them being on the outs and I can totally see her turning to Oliver in her “time of need”. Of course Oliver will be all over that, white knight that he is, even though she pretty much friend-zoned him when he told her he no longer wanted to be on an island. He reaches out, she keeps him at arm’s length. Ouch.

Arrow
“There, there… no, over there there.”

Now all of this was great and wonderful but the real action of this episode was the smallest portion and that Malcolm and Moira. I think we all knew that when Frank showed up a few episodes ago, his time with us was going to be brief. Oh so  you have connections to the Triad and know all about “the undertaking”? Sorry Frank but it’s time for you to die. Now we’ve got Malcolm and Moira again as “partners” in whatever effed up thing they’ve got planned and Moira is in the car going all Lady Macbeth. I fear Moira is going to make a mistake and it will not be pretty.

Arrow

I knew that Shado and Yao Fei were going to end up with Oliver and Slade Wilson somehow. I’m also beginning to thing that it’s going to be Shado that ends up teaching Oliver how to be the Green Arrow. Homegirl can kick some ass, and apparently speak English which will go far when it comes to the student/teacher relationship.  Even though I didn’t really think that they’d be able to make the trade with Fyers for the circuit board, I was a little heartbroken for them when they found out that Fyers stole it. Of course that could have just been residual tears from the rest of the episode.

Arrow

So Dark Archer is back killing people, Malcolm and Moira seem to be back on track with “the undertaking” that somehow involves the Glades and the old subway system, Felicity is a full-fledged member of the Arrow Cave, Thea and Roy are practically knocking down the secret door, Dinah is heading back to Coast City (and will be home in a “flash”), Laurel is pretending to be sticking by Tommy’s side even though we all know that’s a ticking time bomb, everyone is still on the island and….

Arrow
Lest we forget why we watch

Oliver is still working out.

ArrowA fantastic episode! I am starting to think that Walter is for real not coming back. Unless I missed it, there hasn’t been any “oh hey, Walter is gone for good” announcements but there is a good chance they are just stringing me along but that was pretty much the only thing missing from this episode. Going to have to go with a four on this one. Would bump up to a four and a half but it was a generic bad guy (not a bad thing really) and of course that ugly cry of Laurel’s is always going to knock things down a peg.

 

grizzly rating 4of5

Arrow 1:16 – “Dead to Rights”

February 27th, 2013: the day the Arrow fandom collectively had a fangirl stroke and briefly died only to come back to life sputtering nonsense such as “River Song! Mom! Oh no! The bird! Hot Australian shirtless man!” and “he did that! His hood! Why? What does it all mean?!?!” and the ever popular “John Barrowman’s American accent is so good!” Minus that last one, I pretty much agree with everything there. This episode was insane. After last week’s somewhat ho-hum performance, I had a feeling this week would be killer, but I was unaware how good it would really be.

First off, I need to apologize to Geoff Johns because when it came to episode 7, I said that his writing style did not translate well to television. I wasn’t entirely wrong because Muse of Fire still wasn’t all that great, but Dead to Rights was exponentially better so perhaps he can write well for TV given that the story lendsDead to Rights itself to his style. This week certainly did as it was fast paced but it didn’t feel like we were being torn in several different places just for the hell of it, rather it worked well with the frantic actions of the characters and situations.

We started off just like most other weeks with a bad guy coming to town. This time it was Guillermo Barrera, a high price hitman. At first the name didn’t set anything off in my memory but the moment those throwing knives hit the air, I remembered who he was and probably only because I’d just done some catching up on Nightwing thanks to Scott’s Bats and Birds piece over at GEEK. Guillermo Barrera is the name of Bludhaven resident and villain, Brutale. Of course we won’t be seeing any of Brutale as he was dead after the first scene, but it was a nice little shout-out to other DC Universe entities.

The whole “McKenna could have met you at the heliport” thing reminded me of something the show does that I find to be really irritating. They don’t go back and address small things. Perfect example: the bug on McKenna’s phone. Is it still there? Did Oliver take it off? Are we going to find out who the mole is? Granted there have been a few things they’ve gone back to and I appreciate that, but I wish they would address these things as it’s driving me nuts.

Dead to Rights
Credit to: arrowarcher

The island is pretty good usually at answer some of those little questions and this week it was “was Oliver always in such great shape?” Well the answer is no. Actually that’s not entirely true as apparently he was “more of a runner.” I do love little lines like that, makes the melodramatic ones much easier to take. Outside of that, the island didn’t do a whole hell of a lot this week. Oliver did show off his knowledge of The Odyssey again and fixed a radio while Slade did pullups and discussed Gilligan’s Island escape methods.

This makes two weeks in a row that there has been very little island happenings, and after the big Shado reveal I’m anxious to get back there and see how all that plays out. Of course he was on the island for five years and I suppose they can’t tell that entire story in sixteen episodes.

I’ll give the island a little leeway on not moving things along, the five years thing, but seriously there needs to be a Black Canary post-haste. I feel like I’ve been saying this for months now, just go ahead and slap some fishnets on Laurel and make it happen! All this pussyfooting around with the sushi and the martial arts, and then the picture of her sister and the black canary. Enough already. (While we are on the subject of things that need to stop, Laurel needs to go ahead and never wear that jumpsuit thing again. Might as well just go ahead and burn it.)

Dead to Rights
This needs to stop!

The only other part of the episode that wasn’t part of the main story was the beautiful friendship that is blossoming between Diggle and Felicity. I don’t think they could get much cuter. Working out together, cracking the arrow shot cell phones of high dollar hitmen together, dreaming of chinese food together… just adorable.

Diggle and Felicity
And by adorable I mean, Good god look at his arms!

After the last scene of episode 16, it was obvious that this week would more than likely be about the plan to kill Malcolm Merlyn. I guess China White didn’t feel like she could handle the job on her own, so after Barrera was disposed of, she went and found the person I’ve been saying had to be still alive – Deadshot! Not only that but she ends up giving him his signature red-eye. It’s about time he came back and having China White in the last few episodes has given it more of an ongoing feeling than just the one bad guy per episode thing they had going for a while there.

Deadshot Arrow

I’ll go ahead and say it – I want to smack Tommy Merlyn and tell him to shut up. Yea yea yea Malcolm was a shit dad and he probably is still a shit dad but man up son! Either tell your dad to hit the road or take whatever likely half-assed apology he’s offering this week and move on. Man this constant whining is getting old. Of course it did lead to a nice moment between Oliver and him discussing their daddy issues.

Credit to: oliversbow
Credit to: oliversbow

However I think we can all agree that Oliver blinding some dude with sriracha is the highlight of that scene. Very heads up play on Ollie’s part.

The two big OMG moments were in the second part of the episode. Oliver runs into McKenna as the “Hood Guy” again but is able to avoid her recognizing him with a well placed fire extinguisher. So he makes his way upstairs to where Tommy and Malcolm are trying to escape both the Triad hitmen and Deadshot’s bullets. In a move I certainly did not expect, and that goes very much against his trying to keep the vigilante identity A SECRET, he shows Tommy who he is.

Credit to: arrowtv
Credit to: arrowtv

WHAT IS HE DOING?!?!?! That’s pretty much my entire reaction. Seriously Oliver, what on earth are you thinking? Not only that but hello, Malcolm was getting ready to show Tommy that he’s the Dark Archer until the grenade hits and then he’s shot and Oliver somehow knows that Tommy and Malcolm have the same blood type so let’s do an impromptu blood transfusion and I felt like throwing things at my TV for a good ten minutes. What is going on here? There’s just too much to process.

So now Tommy and Malcolm are all buddy buddy again and Tommy is pissed at Oliver for not telling him about being the vigilante. When Tommy was first introduced I thought he was basically useless. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn this. Is John Barrowman on board with a long run on Arrow or was this the set up for Tommy to ultimately take on his father’s Dark Archer mantle and battle Oliver, the best friend who betrayed him? Intrigue. I like it.

Credit to: letwinterlightcome
Credit to: letwinterlightcome

The second WTF moment was the last scene. Laurel had gotten a phone call from her mother earlier, but of course ignored it. Of course like all good mothers, ignore the phone call and she’ll be at your doorstep. Even though I knew that Alex Kingston was going to play her mom and I knew that it was going to be this episode, I still had that immediate reaction of “OMG Laurel your mom, Dinah Lance, is standing right there! She’s the Black Canary and now you can too!!!”

Of course we’ll have to wait and see what all this talk of Sarah still being alive results in. I can’t imagine she really is alive. I mean come on, I saw her disappear off that yacht, we all did. It would be difficult to limp away from that.

Dead to Rights

Throughout all of this, the biggest thing I took from this episode is Moira has quite the set of steel balls. Even Frank Chan agrees. Even though there were a few moments of slight nervousness, her hand shaking and her obvious ill feelings towards Tommy being at the awards ceremony, she is cold as ice. Standing there as Malcolm declares there to be a traitor in their ranks? I’d probably have pissed myself and started crying.

Even though it lacked substantial island time, this was probably my favorite episode so far. It had pretty much everything else you could hope for. Going to have to give it a solid 4 out of 5. Add in Yao Fei and Walter (I miss you Walter) and it would have easily been a 4.5

grizzly rating 4of5

Unfortunately we’ll have to wait awhile before we get any answers as Arrow is on break until March 20th, but I think we’ve got plenty to stew over in the meantime.

Until next time!

Arrow, 1:11 – “Trust But Verify”

Yao Fei why have you betrayed me?!?!?!

Sorry I just had to get that out-of-the-way.

After last week’s lackluster episode, Arrow came back this week quite strongly and had a little bit for everyone in ‘Trust But Verify’.

Trust But Verify
This is for everyone.

So Oliver is back in the swing of things, working out as usual, and keeping his eye on the news. This time a rash of armored car heists catches his eye and shock of all shocks, there is a connection to his list! Diggle and Ollie have always had their little love spats but I really thought this one was going to put them over the edge. What I liked about this episode was the fact this back and forth between Diggle and Oliver[pullquote_right]I won’t let you William Tell an innocent man. -Diggle[/pullquote_right]needed to happen. Seriously Diggle is a saint for putting up with Ollie’s somewhat premenstrual mood swings not to mention the fact that he has gone into this whole superhero-but-not thing with little to no information and does Oliver appreciate that? Up until this week, it didn’t really seem like it. Thankfully they had the Blackhawk Protection Group and Ted Gaynor to bring them together. Oh and if this episode did nothing else, it provided more great one-liners to the show’s repertoire and finally someone (Diggle) named the lair, “Arrow Cave”! It’s about time, only took 11 episodes which means we’ll finally get a real name for the vigilante in about episode 23.

Trust But Verify

There was a lot going on with the rest of the friends and family, mostly temperamental brooding. Tommy I can understand as Malcolm does seem to be quite an ass using a “family” dinner with the girlfriend to hide his real intention of getting Tommy to sign off on the closing of his dead mom’s clinic. Of course we do find out that it appears as if Malcolm really does miss his wife and isn’t the heartless bastard we once thought but still, that was low. So yes, I think we can go ahead and forgive Tommy for his brooding.

Trust But Verify
This is Stephen Amell with a puppy- much more pleasant than annoying Thea Queen.

However, Thea? Someone either needs to kick some sense into her ass or just find her a therapist because sweet heavens above, she is messed up and not in that “oh this psychosis is cute” kind of way. She is reaching Dana from Homeland levels of ridiculousness when it comes to her mom. Granted a person’s first thought wouldn’t go to nefarious mystery kidnappings and boat sinking activities but a person can’t even talk to another without it being an affair? Come on Thea. Not only that but she is suffering badly from “I’m 18 and therefore know everything” disease. Sadly it will be at least another three or four years until she realizes she was completely wrong about everything. I don’t know if I can deal with her ridiculousness for that long. So much for the producers promising Thea would be less annoying this half of the season. Not even a car accident can make her less obnoxious. LIES!

Trust But Verify

As for lies, whoa Malcolm and Moira. I don’t even know what is going on with you two but it seems shady. And dangerous. And scary. What is Malcolm doing to Walter? Does he have him held hostage in some jail cell somewhere without access to a decent razor? Poor man was looking quite ragged. Of course no matter how smarmy Malcolm is, I can’t help but be intrigued by him. Why was his wife killed? Why is he such an ass to his son? Why did he become the Dark Archer? What are his life’s goal and aspirations? Why is he so good-looking? These are important questions that will hopefully be addressed soon.

Easily the most underrated person on the show? Felicity Smoak!

Trust But Verify
Credit to: yellina

She’s still hunkered down in her dark office (seriously it’s not good for the eyes to stare at a computer that long in the dark) thinking the Queen family is done with her services. But no! Here comes Oliver with a security fob that was obviously part of a search for a box of wine… or armored car heists, close enough. Of course it takes Felicity no time because she’s an intellectual badass. Unfortunately she’s an intellectual badass with no bottle of wine. Poor Felicity.

Trust But Verify
You cut me deep Shrek.

Which brings me to the most distressing part of this week’s episode. I am hurt and betrayed. As founding member and president of the Yao Fei fan club, I was blind to the inevitable and just went about my daysTrust But Verify believing that everything with Yao Fei and the island and Edward Fryers and Deathstroke was all hunky-dory when, as we all know now, it was not. As it turns out, Fei is working with Fryers and set up Oliver in a somewhat elaborate and seemingly unnecessary trap. If Fei was working with Fryers from the beginning, why didn’t he just bring Oliver to him when he found him? What was the purpose of “rescuing” him and teaching him cute little lessons all this time? Do we have a Most Dangerous Game situation on our hands? All I know is the fan club is over. Okay, maybe not completely over but at the very last disbanded until we have further information. For now, I’m with Oliver, I’m going to find it difficult to trust anyone. Damn you Yao Fei!

Overall, this was a great episode. Like I said earlier, had something for everyone. Going to have to go ahead and give this one a four out of five.

grizzly rating 4of5

This episode nicely set up next week where we get to meet Starling City’s version of Count Vertigo- until then Arrow fans!

Arrow: Meet Mrs. Lance – Alex Kingston Comes to Starling City

Excuse me as I need a moment. Arrow is back from hiatus and with that comes more casting news. Today’s news is of a more than likely small character, but not a small name actress by any stretch of the imagination.

It appears as if we will get to meet Detective Lance’s wife and she will be played by none other than Alex Kingston. If you keep up with geek TV at all you know this name as it is none other than the actress who plays River Song from Doctor Who.

Continue reading Arrow: Meet Mrs. Lance – Alex Kingston Comes to Starling City

Arrow 1.10 – “Burned”

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.

Garfield Lynns Arrow

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 villainsFirefly 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.

Oliver Queen without his shirt

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.

Moira and Thea Queen

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.

Not a fancy term for your underwearIn 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.

Laurel Lance Arrow

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.

grizzly rating 3of5

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!

Arrow and Firefly

Arrow Returns With New Cast Members, Returning Heroes & Even More Villians!

After what seems to be the longest hiatus ever (I think I say this every year) Arrow returns tonight and with it they are bringing on some new faces, and some returning ones as well.

Huntress and Oliver Queen

Who’s returning? Well, unfortunately it’s not Deadshot (seriously, dude can not be gone forever, that would be a crime) but it is Helena/Huntress! Let’s all gather in prayer and hope that they don’t try to revive the love interest angle because that was just slightly more annoying than the Thea swooning over Tommy bit. However, I do like the character of Huntress and think she has a lot of potential, so I’m glad to see her back.

As if Huntress wasn’t enough, there are quite a few new faces showing up in this second part of the season. Right off the bat with last night’s episode titled ‘Burned’, we meet Firefly, or as Marc Guggenheim (for some reason) calls him, Firebug.

Burned

Not gonna lie, that looks awesome (check the coming review to see more on that!) but even more exciting (for me at least) is it looks like we return to the island which means there’s a chance for a Yao Fei sighting! Yay! I’m still taking applications for the Yao Fei fan club if you are interested.

Burned

All the fun wasn’t limited to last night’s return episode however, because as we reported a few months back, Count Vertigo (Seth Gabel) is coming to Arrow. Well, a Starling City version of Count Vertigo at least. The CW people have released pictures and we’ve gotten our first glimpse of what this pill-making villain looks like.

Seth Gabel as Vertigo

Seth Gabel and Stephen Amell

In that episode, coming January 30th, it appears as if we get to meet Roy Harper/Speedy/Red Arrow as well. Marc Guggenheim has said that Roy will end up being a love interest for Thea. And in case you were wondering, they’ve also said that Thea is going to be less annoying going forward. Music to my ears.

There haven’t been any official pictures released of Roy Harper, but there is always someone around with a camera, so here is Colton Haynes as Roy Harper.

Colton Haynes as Roy Harper

All that really tells us is he is going to wear a red hood. I hope they fully explain why Thea is called Speedy rather quickly because that has bothered me since the beginning of the show.

Even with all these new people, I think there are a lot of people, myself included, who just really want to know what is going on with Moira and Malcolm Merlyn. Not to mention Walter. Oh, and Felicity!

Moira Queen and Merlyn, Susanna Thompson and John Barrowman

Thankfully we’ve got seven straight weeks of Arrow episodes to learn more! Tune in tonight to the CW at 8/7 central and come back here tomorrow and we’ll discuss. Until then!