By Keifer Knight
CW’s Arrow left us last week with Captain Quinten Lance hunting Oliver Queen after the League of Assassins murdered several criminals while pretending to be the Arrow. All of this was done so that Oliver would accept the offer to be the next Ra’s al Ghul. Oliver turned himself in and was being transported when Roy admitted to being the Arrow, as well.
***** SPOILER ALERT *****
The opening scene didn’t miss a beat from where it left off. Roy Harper was brought into the precinct in cuffs, where Captain Lance was obviously irate, thinking Oliver planned this.
This was the first of several “smoke and mirror” situations throughout what I think was an amazing episode of Arrow. One of the storylines had Captain Lance determined, even obsessed, to prove that Oliver Queen was the Arrow. With every situation Lance tried, Team Arrow was at least one step ahead of him and Oliver, both.
From Laurel getting the District Attorney’s office to release Oliver with Roy’s confession, to John and Felicity wiping all finger prints from the “Arrow Cave”, except Roy’s, to his eventual development. John, Roy and Felicity were determined to protect Oliver, even from himself.
A theme of Oliver learning to allow others to help him was carried through in the present storyline, as well as in the secondary one in Hong Kong. I thought this Arrow-less Arrow episode brought whole new depths to the show, with Ollie having to not only depend on his team, but for them to make decisions without him. Stephen Amell did an excellent job portraying how difficult it would be to take a back seat with Oliver Queens’ life deteriorating all around him.
With everything else going on, another focus of the episode was Roy Harper’s conviction to help Oliver, while also taking responsibility for killing a police officer while under the effect of the mirakuru. Determined to right his personal demons, Roy made peace with being in prison. He almost seemed to want to be there, even admitting to Captain Lance that he killed a police officer. For Lance, though, Roy wasn’t the man he wanted in prison, so it had little to no meaning.
I was thinking how much better a fighter Roy was compared to the rest of the field operatives of Team Arrow at this point. There was the Black Canary who didn’t make an appearance and there was Ray Palmer’s the A.T.O.M. on both The Flash and tonight’s Arrow. This was Ray’s second team up this week, though in both circumstances he shows his strengthens in being part of operations, instead of being in the field.
With a metahuman causing havoc in the city, Oliver de-Arrowed, Roy behind bars, and Laurel not in the field (thank goodness), Ray was brought into Team Arrow. He didn’t do the best, but in the end, he got the job done and saved Felicity.
The A.T.O.M. should probably be a hero we get used to seeing, though he is my least favorite. He seems like the CW’s version of Iron Man, and I just don’t think ARROW needs that. I like Ray Palmer, but he seemed to be better suited with Team Flash instead of Team Arrow.
Knowing that there will be a third CW show in the Arrow/Flash universe focusing on “other” heroes, watching Ray’s evolution into a hero is much like watching Laurel’s. In some ways, it is good to see that they don’t magically know martial arts. At the same time, I hope they both level up quickly.
Roy’s story line comes to a sudden conclusion with him presumably being killed in prison. He clears Oliver of all charges, yet this leaves Oliver de-Arrowed and without focus in his life and blaming himself for Harper’s death.
The last fifteen minutes of “Broken Arrow” was packed with foreshadowing of the rest of the season and next year’s Arrow/Flash universe. From Team Arrow’s (without Ollie) faking Roy’s death to free Oliver to the action packed battle between Ra’s al Ghul killing Theia, it was nothing less than breath taking.
This season, while a little slow at times has always delivered on the main people within Arrow to move from tragedy to disaster to death, together they overcome… but at a price. How long can they all continue to operate like this? I think the next several episodes are going to reveal that very thing.
As a bonus, here is an image from next week’s “The Fallen.”
Arrow airs Wednesday 8/7c on The CW. Watch full episodes on CWTV.com, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).