Arrow: Broken Arrow

Last week’s Arrow was like one of those movies where you breathe a sigh of relief when the fakeout is revealed, only to have an unexpected whammy follow it.

We spend the episode with Roy in custody, threatened, beaten and eventually shanked, while  outside, Diggle and Felicity have restaged the lair for maximum damage to Roy and exoneration of Oliver.

With a new foe running around town, they need a hero, and Ray is deployed, disastrously, and gets his ass handed to him by a meta-human. Then he gets a lecture from Oliver about becoming the weapon. He tells Ray that all of his own accoutrements don’t make him so deadly — he, himself is actually the deadliest thing of all.

After Felicity is grabbed by the meta-human, because she’s still gullible that way, Oliver sends Ray back out in the field as a remote-control robot, running his gear from high on top of Palmer Technologies (think Hugh Jackman in Real Steel). This would have been a really cool reveal if the promos hadn’t spoiled it. With Oliver in his head, Ray defeats the bad guy and delivers him to Cisco.

Quentin is working overtime to prove Roy is the patsy in all of this, tearing apart Thea’s club and home, until he has to deliver the news that Roy was killed in jail. Two things: 1) she goes to see Roy earlier in the episode and he won’t tip his hat about why he’s doing this except to say that he couldn’t lie to her; 2) It’s completely plot devicey because there’s no way Laurel (who’s MIA most of the episode) would have left Roy in Gen Pop.

Oliver grieves as Quentin twists the knife that he did this, and then we find out the whole thing was a ruse. Diggle and Felicity come to Oliver and ask forgiveness, and he thinks it’s for letting Roy go to jail, and then Roy steps forward. Oliver is pissed, and bewildered, and grateful. With the Roy aka The Arrow “dead,” he’s free to do what he wants now. But that also means Roy has to leave, and he bids everybody except Thea a sweet goodbye as Diggle tells him if he ever needs anything, anywhere, just call, and Felicity says she’ll hound him on his untraceable satellite phone.

Then Felicity has a moment with Oliver where she tells him, within hearing distance of Ray, that he needs to let people help him because he has people in his life who love him. We have a reaction shot of Ray when the words land on him — it’s his move now. This is tricky because Felicity earlier reconciled with Ray, and he believed her. Ray apologizes for the “I love you” as a side effect of drugs and Nanites, and they go back to normal without really discussing it. Like I said last week, for a genius, he’s dumb in love.

Ra’s disappears for most of the episode, which is curious because we don’t see him admire his detonation of the Arrow. And then we find out about his backup plan. He turns up at Thea’s, and she knows who he is. She vaults a knife at him, which he catches, and then they tussle very briefly until he runs her through with his sword and says some sort of prayer over her and she appears to die in the remnants of the glass coffee table he crashed her through.

In flashback land, we found out Amanda hadn’t actually been the one trying to kill Maseo’s family — it was instead a double-cross by the general, who wanted to release the toxin on Hong Kong to start a war with the Chinese.

I’m sort of over all the mega violence. Somebody commented recently that Arrow‘s road has diverged toward action while The Flash‘s has diverged toward sci-fi. It feels like in the service of an action mandate, we’re getting a lot more hand-to-hand brutality. Maybe that’s just me. Between Sara’s Dumpster dive, Oliver’s stabbing and cliff drop, Roy’s stabbing and “death,” and now Thea’s “death” — all in one season — it feels like enough.

Tonight, we find out what that spell was about as the team takes Thea’s body to Nanda Parbat to use its handy healing Lazarus Pit. There’s also some Oliver / Felicity business that I have an inkling will probably be “What happens in Nanda Parbat stays in Nanda Parbat,” which will infuriate the love geometry fans. To which I say: Berlanti.

Here are a couple of sneak peeks of “The Fallen.”



Photo and video courtesy of The CW

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