Arrow Delivers A Slam Dunk For The Second Week In A Row

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This season I have derided the Berlanti TV shows because for the most part, they have been crappy this season. Since Agents of SHIELD went on break, the lack of good Berlanti TV shows and Supernatural being kinda boring, too, is why I’ve stopped writing posts. I’m just not interested enough to bother writing about it.

Last week’s Arrow was good enough to write about, but I didn’t watch it until Sunday night. This week’s Arrow was even better, so tonight, you get a post about it.

This season on Arrow the story has followed Mayor Queen and his new team, which has as this point fractured quite a bit, and their fight against a new threat in town that is like the anti-Green Arrow, because he’s a villain who styles himself after the Green Arrow. A couple episodes ago, we discovered that mild mannered DA Adrien Chase (played by the dude that was that sweet yet dumb pretty boy cop on Sirens) was this season’s Big Bad.

Last week he had kidnapped Oliver’s not-really-girlfriend, and it was up to the team to save her. In doing so, they not only determined that Adrien Chase was so sick he killed his own wife when they tried to use her as leverage, but that his obsession with Oliver went deeper than anybody ever could have guessed.

This week’s episode was a unique one in that we didn’t see anybody else in the present day until the very end other than Chase, Oliver, and the girl that betrayed Oliver. This was a deeply ‘mental’ episode, not in a ‘wow that’s mental!’ way, but in that it was all in Oliver’s head. All the Flashbacks we get are from Oliver’s POV so it stands to reason that they are all Oliver’s memories. This whole episode was about Adrien Chase trying to make Oliver admit some deep, dark secret that his Russian Backstory has been leading us to all along even though we didn’t know it until now.

I have to give serious props to Josh Segarra as Adrien Chase AKA Prometheus, because he has been a really, genuinely frightening bad guy. Arrow (and the other Berlanti shows) have all suffered greatly this season by crappy bad guys, but now that Prometheus showed his face and we see that what’s under the mask is far more terrifying than the mask itself, he’s sooo delightfully creepy. His performance will raise hairs on the back of your neck and it’s brilliant!

Also, speaking of acting, Stephen Amell often doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for Oliver Queen, but tonight’s episode knocked it out of the park. Oliver in the flashbacks, as he slipped into the grip of the monster he was becoming, was absolutely alarming and it was very intriguing to watch him slipping further and further. Anatoly saw what we did, that Oliver was slowly becoming a very frightening individual, and it was fantastically acted. I genuinely started to wonder if Oliver’s big secret was that he was Hannibal Lecter at one point, he was going to Dark Side.

The big reveal, the ‘confession’ that Chase wanted, wasn’t that big of a reveal, but it was still adequately moving and emotional. Getting Oliver to admit that he likes killing was a cruel, horrific thing to do, which is another reason Chase is such a better bad guy than his Prometheus alter ego. There was something very broken about Oliver when he was finally freed, and I genuinely enjoyed that he wasn’t saved, that he just went home a broken man, because it was a traumatic experience unlike most of the other traumatic things he’s suffered before.

The only real negative was, as I said, that his big reveal wasn’t that big of a reveal. One of the reasons I like Oliver Queen is that he kills the bad guys instead of going around his ass to get to his elbow to save the life of someone who is going to murder half the town. Superheroes on TV (and in some movies) have this annoying habit of letting the bad guy live even though he has proven he can’t be held accountable in a court of law without getting off and that he’s gonna just kill tons more people if nobody stops him but “I CANT KILL, DAMN IT!” is their reaction. Oliver had a couple of years of ‘I’m not that person anymore’ that got kind of boring, but generally, Oliver Queen isn’t like that, which is why I like him the most. Because of that, is it really that bad of a thing that he likes killing? Sure it isn’t GOOD. He clearly is very mentally ill to have that desire. But as long as he channels it into killing bad guys, is it really THAT bad? That’s not that horrible of a reveal, honestly.

However, I think the way they showed it, by making it traumatic to him and not to someone else, that made it not as annoyingly anti-climactic. The point in that case isn’t to be a big reveal, but to be an emotionally traumatic moment for Oliver that finally breaks him down.

I’m seriously excited for next week for the first time all season, and I cannot wait to see what happens next after a stellar episode when this whole season before this has been pretty poorly written and boring.

Maybe my favorite Berlanti show is back?

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Arrow Mid-Season Finale Leaves Us Hanging!

I’m gonna preface this with saying that WOW this episode was so freaking dramatic. A little too dramatic, honestly, but man, it wasn’t boring at least!

We start out with Betrayal Betty, aka Evelyn, the one that has joined Prometheus to betray Team Arrow because Oliver used to kill a lot of people, so instead she would like to work with another person who NOW kills lots of people… logical, that.

I really expected more fun when Felicity’s boyfriend and Oliver met, but instead the focus on this holiday party scene was Curtis and his husband! We have what we thought was coming: fireworks over Curtis lying to his husband, Paul, for so long. I never expected for Prometheus to come after Curtis when they got outside, but at least it kept us guessing along the way.

I will say that the story line tonight with Curtis and his husband was soooo over the top dramatic. The whole “Are you cheating on me?” going to “I’m a vigilante!” and the immediately, “It’s me or being a vigilante!” was already moving pretty quick, but then the blase way Curtis responded to that ultimatum by going to the Arrow cave and just being like “Well easy choice, I’m gonna be a vigilante” was kind of annoying. Curtis, you married this person, why are you suddenly super whatever about potentially getting divorced? And then, when he finally goes home at the end, Paul, in like less than 24 hours, has done the turn around into, “I can see you’re happy and I can’t be the one to take that from you, but I also can’t be with you, so bye!” It was so ridiculous that this couple literally went from ‘first sign of problems’ to ‘give up fighting for it and just split up’ within about a day. That was just so soap-opera.

That said, the way that Prometheus played Oliver and made him kill Felicity’s boyfriend actually wasn’t quite as over the top dramatic. It was understated and really sad. Poor Felicity and poor Oliver, but I really enjoyed that the team didn’t blame Oliver for killing Billy. They immediately were like, as Felicity said, “This was Prometheus.” It was refreshing to have people actually point the blame somewhere accurate in these situations. I absolutely love that someone finally didn’t go all soap-opera dramatic.

That ending, though! Sure, it’s not as “OH GOD NO!” as last year’s mid-season finale, but that was mind boggling! We have John in danger and we have Laurel in the Arrow cave!

However, I have a theory about Laurel: That drink he had was drugged. Why might you ask? They made a point of showing her grabbing a bottle of Russian vodka after, earlier in the episode, pointing out that a certain someone had the same training as Oliver did in Russia, therefore, I’m now pretty sure it’s Oliver’s not!Girlfriend.

We’ll see what happens next in January, I guess!!!

Just a few little things that stood out to me that I want to add on:

  • I love how Dig is playing with his kid with a gun on his belt.
  • Does Wild Dog have a kid?
  • “My favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard” me too, Oliver. Me, too.
  • THE RED PEN!!!! ❤

 

Arrow: And So It Begins

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“SO IT BEGINS” written in fire is oddly appropriate for this episode, huh?

On tonight’s episode, Mayor Queen is trying to navigate something to unify and ignite the city base and Thea decides to have a music festival. While Mayor Queen is doing that, The Green Arrow and his core team have to deal with the rest of Team Arrow finding out about what they’ve got so far on Prometheus! I still really love that bad guy name, BTW. It’s just so good and chilling.

Honestly, this episode was really good but it wasn’t as cohesive as most episodes are, so it’s hard to really write a solid review. It was more serial than episodic even though this show usually has a pretty self-contained ‘story of the day’ that’s pretty episodic. Today’s episode was very much focused on our Big Bad not a ‘today’s bad’ and it made for a really good episode, but a really hard one to write about as its own episode.

So, we’re gonna hit some highlights!

  • I liked the mini-commentary on the dangers of open carry with the scared people with guns just shooting at nothing. That’s absolutely how I am convinced it goes down when you’ve got a ‘good guy with a gun’.
  • I’m REALLY excited that this all ties back into The List! The throwback to season one has me really excited to see where Prometheus’s story goes and WHO PROMETHEUS IS!!! (I know there’s a lot of spoilers and speculation online, but I don’t look at ANYTHING about movies or TV shows because I hate spoilers worse than Dan Howell)
  • I still love Curtis with his “Well we were afraid you’d kill us if we didn’t” thing. I’m NOT sure I’m okay with the “Strong and sweet, just like you” thing, because it MIGHT be nothing, but it sorta seems like there’s a very slight chance of a Rory and Curtis thing and Curtis is married. Don’t go there, guys. Just don’t. I’m not here for turning a sweet, lovable character into an adulterer.
  • I love Oliver’s parachute Arrow! So cool!
  • In the flashbacks, I really love the story we’re getting. I’m not sure how it’s relevant yet, but I have faith it will be worth it. Also is that Ivan Drago? Awesome!
  • I really thought Felicity’s boyfriend was gonna dump her ass. She stole a murder weapon off his desk. That’s sneaky as shit. The fact he was all ‘oh well’ and started asking about the Green Arrow makes me think he miiiiiiight be in with the bad guys. Which sucks but the vicious shipper fangirl part of me is sorta happy about because I need Olicity back together like yesterday, so…. yeah. We’ll see!
  • The reason I think he might be in on it is because The stars are made of Oliver’s used arrows! DUN DUN DUUUUN! I don’t think it’s Quentin, I think that’s a misdirect, but I do think that it’s very possible Felicity’s boyfriend is partnered up with someone else. Also, I feel like, since Quentin is drinking, people won’t believe it’s not him when the evidence comes forward, and that’s going to be really interesting to watch.

So what do you guys think??? Are you excited to see where it goes from here? Do any of you read these to the bottom? Is that why nobody ever responds to my questions down here? You don’t reach them? Bueller? Ah well, I have fun writing these, so it’s not a loss if nobody reads this far down.

 

Arrow: Who Shot Roger Rab- I mean Oliver Queen?

I don’t know what’s up with Berlanti-verse shows this season, but there’s some really boring and just not good things happening in all the shows.

Thankfully, Arrow is the least shitty this season, so it owns that extinction from The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

In tonight’s episode, we have have Rene still kidnapped and being tortured, and the team has to save him! While Church has him digging his own grave, he unveils his Big Evil Plan: he’s after Star City to smuggle drugs via the waterfront. After Oliver saves him, he reveals to the team that he told Church that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow. With Church having a hit planned on Mayor Queen, they call in The Human Target to be ‘assassinated’ so they can tell the city Oliver is dead and then take out Church while he’s least expecting it.

The good:

  • Diggle is back and just when we needed him the most! Not just in the plot but as a character on the team we can care about again!
  • We finally get some character progression on Felicity and her boyfriend and Oliver finding out about it. We’ve been greatly missing ANY RECOGNITION that Felicity and Oliver used to be a thing and now they aren’t.
  • We finally find some reason, however slight, to actually care about Rene as a character, not just as a human person. We greatly needed his and Diggle’s conversations about being tortured to get us more invested in him beyond ‘this dude on the team’.
  • It was really nice to see Oliver actually doing mayor stuff. It’s been alluded to before, but this was the first real look at actual mayor-ing.

The Bad:

  • I still don’t have any reason to care about all these team members. The show still hasn’t given us any personal reasons to care about Evelyn or Rene (apart from the torture and Diggle thing TONIGHT), and much like Rene, Rory’s ‘why we care’ is pretty much just that something happened to him that’s bad and made us feel sympathy for him. The show has to do SOMETHING to make us connect to these new people.
  • Related to that, they’ve somehow made Curtis less appealing than he used to be. He’s still funny and quirky, but he doesn’t have that same charm he did as a computer dude. I don’t know if it’s just having him as part of an ensemble instead of ‘in a scene with Felicity alone’ or what, but he’s just not nearly as charming and fun as he was. Funny yes, but not as fun of a guy to have on screen.
  • What is up with this Human Target guy? Please be the only episode he is in, because he makes no sense and adds nothing to the narrative by being on screen. How did he make a super realistic mask of one of the random henchmen for the bad guy so fast? How did he impersonate him so fast? Is this some weird ass super-power? Is he a shapeshifter that escaped from Supernatural? Whatever it is, I’m not digging it at all. I hope he’s not there again anytime soon.

 

I hate feeling like I’m being SUPER negative, because I still enjoy Arrow and it’s still my favorite between Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. And it is faring better than either of those other two this year, so I don’t want to seem so negative. I’m excited to see what’s next on Arrow and I do have high hopes that it will get better and those characters will matter more to us as it goes on.

What did you guys think? Am I being too critical? Do you think I’m giving it too much credit? How are you feeling about the new characters this season?

Let me know in the comments!

Arrow: The Second Show This Week To Have A Prison Break

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Today is the day Oliver breaks Diggle out of military prison and I find it hilarious that two shows in one week involved breaking somebody out of prison. First Agents of SHIELD and now Arrow.  The first show, the person they were breaking out didn’t know they were being broken out, and this time they didn’t WANT to be broken out.

I feel bad for basically everybody in this episode. Diggle wants to be in jail for something he didn’t do because he thinks he deserves it, Felicity is living with the fact she diverted a nuke to take out a whole town, Rory’s living with the fact he was the sole survivor of that whoel town, Oliver is… Oliver and his entire life is always shitty, Detective Lance is facing skepticism in his ability to be deputy mayor, and Curtis gets stabbed in the back. (Literally stabbed in the back, which had to hurt.)

This episode was pretty boring, to be honest, but it was one of those necessary boring ones. We needed the events of this episode to get to a further along episode that will be better. The whole thing with Diggle in prison had to be resolved, Felicity and Rory had to have that conversation, and the team has to continue to work together and smooth out the bumps.

Some high points in comedy involved Felicity telling everybody Oliver has gout, and Felicity and Curtis discussing whether they should just let Palmer Tech get robbed since they both got fired from the company. Also, Oliver was the one doing the robbing, so even funnier.

It was predictable that Tobias Church was going to come back when Oliver was gone, it was predictable that something was going to happen to Mad Dog, and it was pretty predictable that the team would have to rally around a member in danger. I thought maybe we had a plot twist and Curtis was gonna be badly hurt (THANKFULLY he wasn’t!) but no, they saved him and Mad Dog is the one in danger after all.

It wasn’t a bad episode in the least, but there just wasn’t a lot there that wasn’t expected. It was a routine episode to get us through to something more meaty along the way.

What did you guys think? Am I being unfair? Did you particularly love something? Do any of you even SLIGHTLY consider responding to these questions I ask at the end of every single review even though they clearly don’t actually inspire reactions since I’ve never had a single comment and only like 4 likes ever on any of my Chelsea Loves TV reviews even when I have like 80 views on a post. Are any of you even making it to the end of the review in the first place? Bueller? Bueller?

 

Team Arrow 2.0

Tonight, Oliver was tasked with building a new team and let’s just say he’s not the best teacher. I have to say, I was really excited for some Arrow, but tonight’s episode wasn’t really as impressive as I hoped it had been. I think there’s a problem in that I don’t remember some of these people and things that seemed important.

I don’t know who the little girl is other than the fact the actor was on Supernatural a few times, I don’t know who this Church fellow is, and I thought Diggle was working for Argus, not the Army again. I had also forgot that Lance is an alcoholic, which I’m especially ashamed of, because I remembered that Laurel was and he helped her with it.

That said, there was still a lot of good stuff I wasn’t confused about!

Some highlights include:

  • Curtis doing the Salmon Ladder
  • “Impossible!” “It’s really hot- I mean not.”
  • “Rag man”

Oliver is a pretty terrible teacher, but can you really be surprised? He learned to be the badass he is through years and years of torture. Hard to blame him for thinking that’s the way to teach people. It’s how Malcolm Merlyn taught Thea, as well, so what else can he expect?

Though a lot of people hate the flashbacks these days, I still like seeing things that are relevant to what’s going on. This season, we seem to be focusing on Oliver’s past with the Bratva. It’s always nice to learn more about why Oliver is the way he is. We still only know so much of Oliver’s missing past, so chipping away at that gap is always useful and often entertaining.

Tonight’s ‘bad guy of the day’ was Rag Man, who strangled a dude and attacked a charity clinic event, because when has any event ever gone as planned in this city? It was the first test of Oliver’s rag-tag team and of course it wasn’t successful. However, of course, in the end, it turns out the bad guy is actually a good guy trying to stop the bad guys after the nuke that hit his town the year before was traced back to a big conglomerate, because of course any big, rich company is bound to be evil. That’s how comic book villains work.

I was really surprised to see that Rag Man was just a kid, but alas, now he can join Oliver’s new team and help protect Star City with the other three under Oliver’s tutelage.

Excited to see where the team goes from here and, of course, whether something happens to save Diggle! And eve more importantly: who is this new bow-wielding villain???

DUM DUM DUUUUUM!

Arrow Season 5 Premiere: What’s New For Mayor Queen?

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Previously on Arrow: I don’t actually remember that well, except for how I’m still mad at Felicity for dumping Oliver because it makes no sense to break up (regardless of her reasons being petty and stupid) if they still spend like 90% of their day together, still work together, she still sticks with him when everybody else leaves, she’s still his best friend and confidant, they still love each other and KNOW they love each other, and literally the only difference in them and a married couple is the fact she doesn’t get to have sex with that big, sexy hunk of man and they don’t live together. Honestly, Girl, what’s wrong with you?!

The new boyfriend is not nearly as hot and you KNOW he won’t ever love her like Oliver does.

Alright, now that we recapped what I (don’t) remember about last season, let’s talk about this season!

Oliver hates being mayor, shocker. After all his time spent as a vigilante, it’s not surprising that being the mayor turns out to be pretty boring. It doesn’t help that he’s clearly still convinced that everything will got back to the way it used to be when it’s really over now, at least the way it used to be.

Poor Detective Lance. He’s lost everything, so it’s not shocking he’s come off the wagon. It’s good that he’s going to help Oliver out, because he needs something to keep him going. After losing his children (one of them multiple times) and his wife, and his job, it’s amazing he’s still alive, nonetheless capable of even trying to come off of his bender.

And Curtis. I love Curtis. He’s funny and yay for queer characters, represent for us queer people! I’m glad he’s joining up with the team this season, because we need a reason to keep Curtis around more often! I’m super excited to see how his character progresses this season.

I have to say, while Oliver was kidnapped, it was refreshing to see him kill somebody again. Sure, we don’t want our heroes to go around killing indiscriminately, but for so long, Oliver did the whole “NO I CANNOT KILL EVEN IF IT SAVES LIKE 80 PEOPLE!!!” thing, and it’s nice to see that after killing Darhk, he’s not going back to that.

I’m excited to see what’s going to come in building a new team and where we go from here!

Also, let’s be real, how AWESOME was that whole ‘jump off the building and shoot the helicopter to hitch a ride’ thing??? So cool!

What are you guys most looking forward to this season?