As in any good election, “The Candidate” gives us several options – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly – to choose from in this week's latest episode of Arrow.
And since shooting an arrow-turned-zipline occurs 2 minutes in, we'll obviously start with the Good.
Fine, Laurel. You win … but just this once. This tag team effort was a pretty stellar stunt and definitely a great way to grab our attention at the start of the episode. Again, per usual, the fight sequences and acrobatics are very entertaining and with my limited experience – do my barre workouts count? - pretty impressive. I'm still waiting on my (shirtless) workout montage though …
As for another, more consistently bad-ass female figure, the obvious winner is Ms. Felicity Smoak. Codename: Ultimate Power Woman.
This girl is a tech genius, powerful owner of a multi-billion dollar company AND the sassy girlfriend of an arrow-shooting vigilante. If you've read my past articles, you already know my affinity for Oli's love interest, and yet again, Felicity proves she's worthy of being a member of Team Arrow without kick-ass moves or tight leather. Or, for that matter, a legit code name. ;-)
Let's not forget the awards for the men of this episode either, starting with this week's newest villain, Lonnie Machin/Anarky. So bad he's good, am I right? This Batman-stemmed villain doesn't exactly speak softly, but he certainly carries a sizable stick/portable nunchuck/taser. It's basically the Swiss Army knife of evil toys. Very cool. I'm also excited to see how the Triad/mob/whoever Lonnie Machin works for might possibly team up with H.I.V.E. later down the line.
And, of course, you can't help but love the terrifically cast Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt. Yet another glasses-wearing genius to grace the business world of Star(ling) City.
… I hope you caught that purposely terrific pun I just placed there …
Now for the bad.
In general, Arrow writers seem to completely abandon Oli's “darkness” from seasons past. While I know they've got those ridiculous Lian Yu flashbacks to provide some opportunity for Amell to release his acting angst, I expected our hero to have a little more inner turmoil. This season's Arrow seems to channel more Seeley Booth from Bones than Christopher Nolan's Batman, if you ask me.
Speaking of the Caped Crusader, Oli does attempt to one-up his fellow DC superhero with his announcement to run for mayor. It's as though he's telling Bruce Wayne, “I'll see your billionaire playboy business man and raise you a mayoral candidacy.”
While I understand the Green Arrow is “trying to do things differently” this season, (I mean, could they have use this line ONE more time this episode? We get it.) I'm not sure running for a position in government will exactly work out for our law-evading vigilante. Here's hoping.
And as mentioned during the premiere last week, again I say, “Poor Thea.”
I thought it was hilariously ironic that in telling Thea to stop yelling and beating up people, Oliver's delivery included – you guessed it – yelling and hitting her until she retaliated and lost her cool. Seriously? How many little sisters do you know that wouldn't want to sucker punch their big, bossy brothers sometime? I don't think we need to go so far as to blame the Lazarus Pit for this “overreaction.”
And finally, the Ugly.
Who knew that ugly could be so awesome???
The real Canary is coming back, my friends! (I wanted to add “live and in the flesh,” but that seems extremely inappropriate considering the above picture.) But don't worry – while Sara Lance is certainly not looking her finest at the end of this episode, we've got a LOT of her to look forward to both in Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow (seriously, if you haven't yet, watch the trailer).
Now that's a before and after if I've ever seen it.
Overall, I felt like this episode was a decent “monster of the week” episode a la the early seasons of the X-Files (not as creepy as “Home,” but maybe more like “Pusher” b/c of it's crazy “kill people w/my super power” reference). I mean, Felicity flat out names Anarky the “mad man du jour” - for those of you who don't speak French, that roughly translates to “monster of the week.” And while he may be back to wreak more havoc in later episodes, this episode's encounter could certainly stand alone for him. So although this episode definitely has it's ups and downs, I'll give it my vote of confidence this go round … assuming the network delivers with the workout montage I've been requesting in the next few episodes.
Until next week, friends!
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.