After last week, I'd have voted this season of Arrow as a bit behind in the polls. But the newest episode appears as a bit of a dark horse and proves me very wrong … all the while tugging at my heart strings. Awww.
First off, Arrow writers are on POINT this week.
The banter. The heartfelt soliloquies, compliments of Quentin & Oli (Really? More than one in an episode? How Shakespearean). These characters are all well defined and well represented this go 'round. Hats off to you guys, @ARROWwriters – keep up the good work!
While it might be a little on the cheesy side to see the many faces of Quentin Lance this episode, I have to say, it's refreshing to see Star City's most angsty officer showing an emotion other than “whiny.” And in all seriousness, if I could hand out an “Emmy of the Week,” it would go to Paul Blackthorne. Glad to see one of the show's best actors getting to utilize his skills. Well played, sir. Your character? Jury's out. Your performance? Standing O.
Lord knows Captain/Lieutenant/Detective/Comrade Lance is far from my favorite character (how did this man manage to father someone as badass as Sara and someone as inept as Laurel?) but Blackthorne, along with the show's writers, has now officially given us a semi-likable character that we can root for and appreciate as a potential new teammate for Team Arrow. Here's hoping. ::fingers crossed::
And on the other side of that coin lies the other Lance. Yes … Laurel. While I am obviously excited that Sara is coming back (Do I really need to plug Legends every week? Okay, don't twist my arm), I am literally throwing things in my bedroom at Laurel. A sock to be precise. I mean, a girl's gotta take a break from her laundry to express her disdain for her least favorite character every once in a while, right? #sorryimnotsorry
Case and point:
“I don't need Oliver's judgement right now.”Translation:
“I can't get past the denial stage of doing something stupid like resurrecting my dead sister despite everyone's advice, and I'm more than aware that Oliver – just like everyone else – will call me on my BS.”Plus, when girlfriend's best comeback in weeks is “Different frequency. Same cry,” you come to truly realize how weak a character this chick is.
Okay, okay. I know I give her a hard time. But she makes it SO easy.
Moving right along …
Saved by the Salmon Ladder.
(Side note: If anyone wants to send me an action figure Oli w/accompanying salmon ladder like this one for Christmas, I will tape a reaction video and post it to my eternal shame. For real. That would be the coolest.)
It's here, my friends. It's finally here … True, it's only maybe 10 seconds. And there is no dramatic monologue, intense music, or camera panning to get us super pumped, but I'll take it:
My workout montage for the win!
And we all have the super awesome, fully upgraded Team Arrow lair to thank for it! Cheers! (Speaking of which, while this new pad for the team IS pretty stellar, did anyone else flashback to Power Rangers when the place lit up? Like … where's Zordon?)
I definitely enjoyed how this episode repeatedly references the fact that this lair, the new gear, the new tech, the illegal set-up – everything – requires a significant amount of fiscal support. Perhaps we should support a Kickstarter project funding Team Arrow's shenanigans. Can you imagine?
“Support vigilantism in Star City w/your donation!”
Maybe for every salmon ladder pull-up Oliver does, people would have to donate a certain amount? I could stand behind a campaign like that. ;-)
I better tie this all together before I end up writing an Ayn Rand-length essay on Arrow workout montages. (What can I say? I'm both an Amell addict & a fitness professional – I can't help but love this “well-defined” aspect of the show.)
Overall, I thought the plot progression & character development in this episode were incredible.
“Beyond Redemption” offers the Arrow audience a tasteful amount of emotional drama often denied the CW genre, and while the scenes portraying Oliver & Quentin's rocky relationship read a little like Sia's “Elastic Heart” video, the overall effect of witnessing the evolution of these character's relationships into something deeper and more meaningful is a powerful one.
While the action sequences seemed a little forced this week – I mean, come on Oli. You get stabbed in the back & nearly choked, yet you're easily standing and continuing on as though your spinal cord wasn't nearly severed only seconds later? Even you aren't that hardcore – knowing this show & it's target audience, I'm sure we'll witness plenty of A+ butt-kicking in the future.
So what's next? Oliver's campaign. Ray's “final message” to Felicity. Darhk's enigmatic power … and now a new mystery box? Needless to say, this episode offers hope & a bright future both for the fictional people of Star City and for us viewers at home. Considered yourself redeemed, Team Arrow.
Now, show me some Constantine next week, if you please.
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.