ARROW Season 3 Episode 18 Review: Public Enemy

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What more insanity can season 3 of Arrow offer? Margot Hitchcock is your guide for Public Enemy...


Alright, everyone. Another week, another episode, another opportunity to judge. Speaking of which, there seemed to be plenty of “judging” going on throughout this episode, particularly coming from Detective/Captain/Officer/Rank-of-the-week Quentin Lance. (Does anyone else feel like this grown man – definitely the eldest semi-member of Team Arrow – acts way more ridiculous than all the other team members? Like even little 85-pound Thea seems to have it together a little better than he does.) So let's start with that.

Basically (spoiler alert – of course, you should probably not read these reviews if you haven't seen the episode) Lance discovers via Ra's Al Ghul the true identity of the Arrow and decides to be like every other 13-year-old girl his age and gossip about it. He tells the police, he tells the public, he even brags about it to Laurel. I mean, basically, if this were a rom-com by Tina Fey, Ra's would be Regina George and Lance would be Gretchen Wieners, the one who spreads all the dirt to the entire school because it gives her purpose and power.


(Does this make Maseo the Cady of the group? Awesome. I mean, he is the new kid of the League ...)


Lance, I'm a little tired of your consistently ticked off attitude. Anyone concur? Then Laurel, at least attempting to show some family loyalty, tries to throw off the blame by saying, “I'm sorry, he's grieving,” as though that were an excuse as to why he's allowed to throw a tantrum that sparks a city into chaos. Hasn't this poor city been through enough? Threats of attack, “earthquakes,” prisoner outbreaks. The people of Starling must have had a huge drop in real estate demand over the past few years after all they've been through.

I'm going to move on before I get on a giant soap box about how a majority of the Lance family bothers me. Let's move over to Ray Palmer's storyline. Overall, I felt like the “you've got a pretty serious blood clot” plot seemed a little too vanilla for my taste; I mean, the rest of the city is out searching for an alleged serial killing hooded man, and the best you can come up with is basically a side-plot from an episode of Grey's Anatomy? I've felt this way about most of Ray's story, as well. I want more from him. I know he's a genius, I know he's hard-working and idealistic, but I want more. Oliver's dealt with some serious mental dilemmas these past few seasons over past decisions, people in/out of his life, to kill or not to kill, etc. Can the writers for his plot progression throw some ideas over for the Atom? Just a suggestion.

I felt by the time Felicity's mom got around to saying, “Of course you love Oliver,” what she was really saying was, “Felicity. Do you want to spend the rest of your life worrying about the boyfriend who was beat up by the much stronger ex-boyfriend, or do you want to be supportive of a super badass guy whose decisions and dilemmas affect a bunch of people?”

Of course, my argument would be, “Felicity, do you want to watch Brandon Routh ramble witty comebacks and spout computer jargon for the rest of your life, or would you rather watch this.”...



(I fully recommend watching the entire 7 minutes of film. It's awesome. And just FYI, if you haven't discovered this yet, 90% of my initial interest in Arrow stemmed from the first season's workout montages. Well played, CW, well played.)

So, hot body aside, it only makes sense that Felicity would go for someone with a little more depth. Ray needs an adorable girlfriend who won't think too hard. He's got enough brain power for both of them anyway. Basically he needs someone endearing like Felicity's mom, just several years younger (obviously). And – side note – I happen to agree with Donna Smoak in that I, too, do not watch the news because it's depressing. This might classify me as shallow, but I'm all about some positivity when I can get it. :-) Overall, it was nice to see a glimpse of Oliver and Felicity maybe getting back together soon. Pleeeeeeeeeasssee … please?

Also, we're still slowly treading through those flashback sequences. It's interesting to discover that I felt more excitement in the 30 seconds of flashback from last week concerning H.I.V.E. and Andrew Diggle than I have about most of Oliver's time with Maseo from way back when. It doesn't feel like there's much left to reveal in that department. Yes, this week, we did discover that Shado has a twin sister (of course she does because why not?). Could we maybe have Sara Lance end up with a twin somewhere? She's cool. Maybe she could've been created as a clone by the League and then she comes to Starling City as the newest bad girl? Anything to have the original Canary back would be awesome. Of course, maybe Laurel will prove herself soon enough … maybe. But overall, this season of flashback hasn't been as entertaining as those moments on Lian Yu were in seasons 1 & 2. Oh well. I guess we'll have to tough it out for a little while longer.

Then, finally, we get some exciting foreshadowing for the next few episodes. First off, Lance has a little “heart to heart” with Oliver after he turns himself in, where the officer dramatically accuses, “You're not a hero, Mr. Queen. (dramatic pause) You're a villain.” Are we going somewhere with this idea? I'm intrigued. I know that the League is attempting to destroy the Arrow's image in order to persuade Oliver to lead; however, it might also be exciting to see Oliver actually explore being a bad guy, which would also allow Atom to have something purposeful to do (besides inject little shrink ray inventions inside his neck. That dude needs a more dangerous hobby if he's going to run with the Arrow crowd.) like protect the city. So this could be a small glimpse into what's coming up next for Oliver.

Also, with Roy turning himself in as the Arrow at the episode's conclusion, it would give Oliver and the team some motivation to start fighting the government, or at least the police department, in order to free Roy. I can't say that I was entirely surprised by this self-sacrifice moment for Roy. I mean, this guy just can't seem to stay happy for too long. And it might be interesting to see once Roy is removed from Team Arrow, if Thea will step in as the new “side kick,” thus giving nerds like myself the satisfaction of knowing that Arrow has his partner Speedy in the crime-fighting game now. Just something to think on, friends!


So although this episode didn't offer much appeal on its own, I am intrigued to see where the season goes with its last few episodes. Until next week!

Margot is a huge supporter of all things relating to "nerd culture," in particular those involving superheroes and Disney. She loves books, movies, music and working out, and currently lives in Athens, GA, with her rabbit, Gigi.
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