Arrow took a bye week for the US Thanksgiving holiday, and tomorrow they return with part two of an arc that will begin with tonight’s episode of The Flash. The last new episode was a standalone that put Felicity and Oliver front and center but on different paths, until Oliver’s chats with a psycho and her doctor, and then Diggle, make him look at what he’s doing.
So, in the closing moments of the episode before this one, we met Carrie Cutter, a Cupid archer who killed Ted’s former protégé. When we pick up, she’s doling out arrows around town, which puts her on Quentin’s radar, who brings in the Hood. We flashback to Undertaking 2: Electric Boogaloo and learn that the Hood intervened to save her, which apparently sent her already fragile psyche right over the edge and she latched on to the Hood. Surprisingly, for all her stalkerish tendencies, she doesn’t put it together that he’s Oliver.
She gets close, when one of her informants triangulates the club as his home base. Oliver draws her out, and fights and defeats her, and then Diggle tells him plainly that he needs to put up or move on concerning Felicity. Diggle also goes to see Felicity and she rightly tells him that Oliver’s made that bed and he can lie in it.
This also times out with Palmer, who rebrands Queen Consolidated as Palmer Industries, asking her to sit in on a client dinner, which she nails as a heartfelt, confident champion of his work, but he oversteps a bit and muddies his intentions — buying her a couture dress, borrowing a $10 million dollar necklace for her to wear, and then kissing her at the end of the night — just as Oliver comes in to talk to her.
Oliver goes back to the lair to rage a bit and finds a concerned Roy (who gets his alter name, Arsenal), who’s still fretting about his murder of the cop. They put their troubles down and go to Diggle and Lyla’s for a home-cooked meal.
After Palmer’s kiss and apology, we see him working on a secret project involving a dwarf star from his newly acquired mine, and projecting a hologram of a super-suit (related to Captain Atom, his comic book persona), so Felicity needs to start digging around those servers ASAP so we can find out what he’s up to.
Thea gets the club up and running and butts heads with a cocky DJ who I’m guessing is a potential love interest — played by Austin Butler from The Carrie Diaries.
In the flashback, Oliver befriends Tatsu and finds out she has her own violent history when her husband disappears and is presumed dead (but later turns up safe). And the penny finally dropped for me that she’s played by Rila Fukushima from The Wolverine. It took her wielding a katana for that to register.
No Laurel or Malcolm this week.
So, as far as the romance/not-romance goes, Oliver’s been fairly free to date who he wants since returning to town — but until Sara came back, he really just stuck to the occasional hook up. McKenna, the old friend/flame, was in the picture for a handful of episodes and then she was sent packing for PT (which was weird, and a casting thing, I’d guess) and I don’t think he ever mentioned her again. Even when he and Laurel briefly rekindled things, they put it back down pretty easily.
It’s an odd retcon to have Oliver pine, especially for someone who’s still front and center in his life every day. What makes it a little less believable is Diggle’s assertion that Oliver is off his game, and potentially dangerous for all of them because he’s in love, but he’s tied his own hands against pursuing it, and is now a stress ball because Felicity has moved on (but not really).
I like Oliver. I like Felicity. I’m OK if they’re together. I’m OK if they’re not. But it feels like shoehorning to create tension where there really isn’t/doesn’t need to be (or I’m a shell of a person who’s just not feeling it). But I also had issues last year with the way Sara was sort of rewritten as the Lance sister Oliver had always been in love with when he’d actually had a long (and overlapping) relationship with Laurel.
I know Berlanti likes his love geometry, but I’m not sure we need a romantic arc on this show, right now or at all. Just a thought.
Here’s a sneak peek of the two-part crossover:
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