Review: Arrow – Tis the Season


by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)

Warning: Arrow. Season One: Episode Three Spoilers. 

The CW’s much-anticipated series Arrow has been living up to the high expectations and hype surrounding its release. Now, the ultimate answer to the career-defining question has been answered: “Yes.” Arrow has officially been picked up for a whole season.  And critics are definitely not surprised following the newest episode.

This week we watch as Amell’s Arrow tracks down Deadshot; an assassin whose hit list is dangerously similar to his own. We also watch Amell’s Oliver as he deals with the perplexing life of a man returning back from the dead. The divide is not only obvious through the use of his costume and dramatic ominous undertone, but by the resounding voiceovers critics have come to resent. After deliberating the topic, the verdict is that these voiceovers do have precedent. I mean, who else is Oliver going to talk about his less-than-legal escapades to? Well, maybe with this episode we’ll find out.

Deadshot versus Arrow: vigilante versus vigilante. Not only does Deadshot never miss his intended victim, but he also poisons his bullets to seal the deal. The encounter with the lethal toxin led Arrow’s audiences to a flashback of how Oliver Queen, playboy billionaire, learnt how to extract poison from his body within seconds of detecting it. And here we are, reintroduced to a mysterious, bow and arrow carrying, bearded man explaining that he was “protecting” Oliver. Which also leads Oliver to realizing the importance of revealing Deadshot’s identity. The main difference between both outcasts: Oliver kills for the benefit of others, Deadshot murders for self-preservation and to benefit himself. Through the brief series of flashbacks through the episode, Oliver’s relationship with this man seems to be healthy. If by healthy I mean: he’s simply trying to keep Oliver alive. Then yeah, it’s healthy. Mercenaries or a sort of militia are found on the island: guns in hand and destruction on their mind. Thankfully, some of our questions about the island are being answered.

Meanwhile in reality, Dig has become more than just a bodyguard, but a free-speaking “running commentary”, meanwhile Speedy’s escapades are running her at risk for things greater than just one count of robbery. Showcase a very drunk Thea telling a very sober Oliver in front of a very awkward Laurel about the little Oliver-Laurel-Tommy love triangle. The cat has fled the bag, without looking back at the damage it has caused; which is seemingly none at all. Through a series of events that displayed the Queen’s household, we were shown their dysfunctional, yet recovering family dynamics and its potential to develop in further episodes.

Although critics were impressed with this episode, critics and fans alike were left needing more of a third-dimensional villain. The template of “villain of the week” may grow tiresome with some of Arrow’s fan base. After all, we need to know who it is that we love to hate. A great comic book tribute this episode was Deadshot’s use of his comic book firearm wrist gauntlets. Another was Deadshot’s ink; part of Tattoo Man. Tattooing the names of his victims on his skin – creepy, but accurate.

Another character we were introduced to was a blonde, awkward yet charming IT technician with a much wider knowledge base of Shakespeare than Oliver would have ever had. Fans have voiced their hopes that little miss blonde does reappear as a love interest for Oliver. Who are we kidding? That poor shipwrecked boy needs some steady tender love and care in his life.

An extremely noteworthy moment in this episode was that of when Detective Quentin and Arrow finally joined forces. Hallelujah! Sure, they both gritted their teeth and clenched their fists while assisting each other, but results were found and Deadshot was killed. Priorities, people. Speaking of results, Dig’s almost-fatal bullet wound, courtesy of Deadshot, has led us to the biggest cliffhanger of the series: Will Diggle find out who Oliver really is? And more importantly, do we want him to?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    One Comment

  1. Kevin RigdonOctober 26th, 2012 at 6:03 am

    “The template of “villain of the week” may grow tiresome with some of Arrow’s fan base.”

    Another good review. I thought it was a solid episode. While I’m glad they’re mixing up the formula, I fully agree that we want something more than the a cookie-cutter villain. Some backstory and motivation for these guys would be nice instead of just “there’s the bad guy, get him!”

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