Major Spoilers Follow…
Arrow’s been on a roll this year. While I wouldn’t exactly praise it to the extent some are(I actually hear the words “Best show on television” and Arrow in the same sentence a lot now), it’s certainly been an enjoyable season filled with some excellent little Easter eggs and a impressive supporting cast. This week’s episode brings back the unimpressive Joker wannabe Count Vertigo, while putting some extra focus on the conclusion of the trial against Moira Queen. So did this episode(excuse the puns please, there will always be archery puns in Arrow reviews here, it’s just how it works) hit a bullseye or does it miss the target completely?
Neither, it was a fairly entertaining forty four minutes of television, but it’s more inline with some of last season’s best episodes than this seasons. The most interesting parts of the episode don’t really come into play until the final minutes of the episode when it’s revealed Malcolm(now we know why Captain Jack wasn’t in the 50th Anniversery special which I still haven’t seen yet) is alive, Thea is his daughter, and the oh so awesome Brother Blood’s plan in nearing completion. Moira’s trial was at times quite heated and suspenseful, but for the most part it just kind of felt filler. Especially when the jury comes to their conclusion, it felt unrealistic that she wouldn’t even get some time for treason. I know that it happened just so Malcolm’s survival could be revealed, but I would have preferred Malcolm offer her an out during the trial and see her refuse and subsequently be found guilty, and see Malcolm in the crowd watching as she’s escorted into the car.
Another bit of the trial that felt a bit forced, was Laurel’s part in it. Her going up against Moira, and then acting all guilty about it was annoying. Most of my legal knowledge comes from SVU(which we all know is completely accurate), so I’m sure I’m probably wrong here, but couldn’t Laurel have dropped out of the case or even(I know probably illegal and immoral) withheld the information if she felt so bad about doing it. I don’t know, Laurel’s so called “evolution” this year isn’t exactly endearing her to me as I find her ten times more annoying than last season.
The Vertigo story is basically just an excuse to have a little violence to spice up the episode. Here more than ever, Vertigo comes off as a complete Joker copycat. I find that the Count, Deadshot, and China White, are three of the series weakest baddies yet we continue to revisit them over and over and over. Also the little bit we’ve seen of Blood so far, is getting me pumped to see what’s next for his story.
The island flashbacks were excellent this week. The visual of Arrow, Deathstroke, Shado, and Black Canary fighting bad guys together is an epic one for comic fans, and these island flashbacks have been really good as of late. Overall, this was just an alright episode, it’s still better than the China White/Bronze Tiger episode from this season, but definitely near the bottom of the newest batch of episodes.
Grade: B- 80%