Arrow Review – S03E19 – Broken Arrow
Holy flying Jesus motherloving Christ. That is honestly the best review I can think of for this episode. And yes, motherloving was not my first choice of adjectives. Nor was “flying”. But seriously, this episode, people, THIS episode, where do I even begin? So many twists and turns. So Roy took the fall for Oliver, we saw that at the end of the last episode, and now he’s in custody ready to serve life in prison for his mentor. But Ollie isn’t going to stand for that and so plans to break him out, against the advice of his teammates and all common wisdom. Lance is still determinedly fixated on Oliver though and now there’s a metahuman on loan from Central City apparently. Meaning that we finally get the team-up we’ve been waiting for: ATOM and Arrow. Except Oliver’s on lockdown while Roy’s in jail convincing everyone that he’s the (in)famous vigilante. So not quite, at least not until the end where they double team in a way that is even more awesome.
Also, I’m loving how no one in this show is ever an instant expert just because they decide to put on a costume and mask. Even Ray, for all his fancy tech, does not hold up well against his first genuinely villainous opponent. He still gets beaten up on a regular basis and his armour damaged, which is exactly how it should be for novices however well intentioned. Oliver’s struggle with having to strictly take a backseat for once comes forth loud and clear as well, and is great to watch. Ollie’s so used to being proactive that it grinds at him to be forced to do nothing, especially while Roy’s having to deal with being locked up with the very people that he’s allegedly put away in the first place. Meanwhile the flashbacks take an interesting turn, what with it turning out that General Shreve is behind the assassination attempts on Oliver and the Yamashiros and not Amanda Waller at all. Shreve apparently serving as a forerunner to General Wade Eiling. Nice twist, I like it.
Then there’s the part with Simmons, our supervillain with the evil stare, being metahuman all of his own sans exploding particle accelerator, which for those who follow The Flash (which should be EVERYONE, I mean come on, people) will know that that has been the only source for diverse metahumans. Leading to the conclusion that DC is stepping up the mythos for a wider range of characters. The final twist however, with Roy not dying but (MAJOR SPOILER INCOMING WARNING) Thea instead coming to a brave end at the hand of the Demon, was perhaps more shocking than every other what-the-f*** moment in Arrow history. I won’t lie and say that the first thing I thought of wasn’t, “oh god, Lazarus Pit, please get Speedy to the Pit.” Which means that Oliver will be forced to take the mantle of Head of the Demon if he wants access to those blessed waters. So. Much. Awesome. Now, I am firmly of the opinion that Ollie should have just accepted Ra’s’ bloody offer and avoided all this in the first place, but maybe that’s just me.
I will say this though, as much as season three is amazing and I am loving every single second of every episode, I do feel like we’ve reached a season five arc two seasons too early. I mean, look at all the game changing. The public believes that the Arrow is dead, which Oliver will undo the instant he puts on the outfit ever again, landing him back in the crosshairs of another police manhunt and nowhere to hide. Everything is changing, irreversibly so, which does leave me wondering if the writers will too quickly reach a point with nowhere left to go. That’s the danger of serial escalation: eventually the escalator has to stop somewhere. Because at this rate, Ollie will be leading the charge of the entire Justice League against fricken Darkseid by season five. Something slower, like a power struggle within the League of Assassins created by a conflict of ideals between Ra’s and his chosen successor, maybe, might’ve been more . . . manageable. But I digress, Arrow is indescribably good and I’m manically looking forward to next week, where you’ll have your slightly more stable reviewer back.
Review by Joshua Jennings