Brad Wilson has issues with this weeks trip to Midnight City.
If I had to sum up the latest “Arrow” episode in one word, it would be “Weak.”
“Midnight City” has to be the worst episode of this whole series -- certainly this season. I think it really goes to show how important Oliver Queen/Green Arrow is to the show (titled Arrow). I feel the writers of this episode somehow became completely disconnected from the audience. There are so many boneheaded moments, but I’ll start with some of the positives.
Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer is becoming a fun character and his chemistry with Felicity is refreshing. Of course all of it will likely wash away once Oliver comes back, but for the time being it’s nice. Another plus for this episode, FINALLY we get a little bit a truth telling. Malcolm comes clean to Thea about Ra’s Al Ghul wanting him dead and how they are not safe. Of course, the reason was kept a secret, but at least we got something.
I also enjoy the Danny Brickwell/Brick character as a stopgap villain. He’s interesting enough and he’s tough. You gotta hand it to him, when you storm the city council and take hostages, then turn around and demand a face to face meeting with the mayor -- you’ve got some stones.
Ok, enough with the pleasantries. Let’s do the negatives. There are many.
ENOUGH WITH LAUREL AS BLACK CANARY. I cannot understand why the writers are shoving her down our throats. She has no training whatsoever and she's an emotional nut case. And what’s worse is Team Arrow just letting it happen. Instead of sending Diggle, who has the most experience with combat and combat situations on the team right now, to deal with Brick, they send Laurel? People’s lives are at stake and in the first round, one dies. So, what do they do in the second round? THEY SEND HER AGAIN! Why!?
In my last article I mention there is a certain suspension of disbelief in this show. But until now, that was primarily for the “vigilante/superhero” aspect, not for sheer dumbness. On one hand you have Diggle and Roy. Digg, a trained ex-military bodyguard and Roy, trained by Oliver. On the other, you have Laurel, an emotional, untrained woman trying to play hero by dressing up like her dead sister. Ok, yes, Diggle is the only one who can fly the chopper, so I see how they got around that. But you don’t send in Laurel! Just because she’s upset and really, really wants to help doesn’t mean you let her! Ok, enough of that. Laurel sucks.
Another thing: why are we still keeping secrets. Roy confronts Malcolm about Thea, but still won’t tell her what’s going on himself. Laurel, who sucks, won’t tell her father Sarah is dead and neither will Felicity or anyone else from Team Arrow. Laurel even goes to the lengths of appearing to Quintin with a voice changer! I guess Capt. Lance can’t tell his daughter’s VERY different body structures apart.
Malcolm won’t tell Thea Oliver is, presumed, dead and neither will anyone else. How in the world does this help anyone? Again, suspension of disbelief. If the first two seasons weren’t ALL ABOUT how secrets hurt people and get people killed, maybe I wouldn’t be so annoyed by it. But that was EXACTLY what the first two season were about.
The flashback scenes to Hong Kong were fine. They do sort of set up a future story of what happened between Maseo and Tatsu and why he ended up joining the League of Assassins. Clearly, after the rescue of Tatsu, something happens to their son. You’ll notice he’s nowhere to be found in that little mountain hut where Oliver is mending. My is guess is Amanda Waller has something to do with it? It was pretty badass though watching Maseo take out those League guys.
The last thing I’ll say is, OF COURSE the Verdant DJ is working for the League - or at least Maseo. I guess I don’t mind the twist, but it did feel a little dumb.
This show NEEDS Oliver Queen. In honor of this Sunday’s Super Bowl, let me offer this analogy. Oliver is Tom Brady, the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. With him, they’re firing on all cylinders and the supporting cast around him shines. With him on the bench, there’s no one calling the plays. They’re left with the backup who can barely create a drive down the field. The cast around Oliver are strong because he makes them strong. Without him they’re lost. I feel the writers could’ve made this point without sacrificing the quality of the show.
It looks like Oliver returns next week. Hopefully that will make things better. As far as I’m concerned, the show has nowhere to go but up.
Brad Wilson lives in Southwest Florida where he writes every day at his job as a television news producer at WINK News. Follow him on Twitter @bradwilson86