This week on TVEnthusiast’s The Weekly Set, Kat, Will, and Tyson discuss this week’s mid-season premiere of Arrow.
Tyson: Left Behind brought us back to the world of Arrow as Oliver’s friends and family coped with his absence. Kat, Will, what did you think?
Will: Kind of a dull episode actually.
Tyson: I felt about the same, I wish they had taken a different approach to keep up with the drama of the mid-season finale.
Kat: Wow, I couldn’t disagree more. I thought it was great. I thought it gave the needed plot momentum that the show has been needing this season.
Tyson: I wish they hadn’t shown anything with Oliver at all, or focused entirely on him.
Will: Yeah, same.
Tyson: Either stretching the drama for the Starling City side by the audience not seeing anything either, or having stuff happen outside of Oliver’s, and the audiences, view to the others for him to return to. I didn’t hate the episode though.
Will: Nah I didn’t hate it either.
Kat: I’m glad they did though – if they had waited a few episodes to let us know what was his status, I would’ve been enormously stressed.
Will: Yeah, me too Kat.
Tyson: In the end though, it seems there was no Lazarus Pit.
Kat: And there’s still plenty of questions regarding his resurrection; that combined with the question mark status of Team Arrow, and them believing he’s dead, means there’s plenty of interesting story possibilities for the next few episodes.
Will: Oh I agree, my problem with this ep is it was all just set up stuff for what’s to come. It’s necessary I know but it was still dull because of it.
Tyson: How cool would it have been, though, if it stayed only on Oliver and covered like several months of recovery, and then he returns in the next episode and it is just chaos.
Kat: You know, I think I still would’ve felt the same – I would’ve missed Starling City and the rest of the cast.
Tyson: I just feel there was a missed opportunity here, again, still liked the episode, just felt a little let down. But moving on from that aspect… thoughts on Vinnie Jones as Brick?
Will: Eh, not impressed. I feel like he’s a guy Oliver would’ve taken down in a single episode.
Kat: Maybe that’s kind of the point – he’s a good villain for Team Arrow sans Oliver. After all, I think these next few episodes will be about each of them figuring out what the crusade means for themselves individually, and not just as a proxy for Oliver.
Tyson: Yeah, perhaps that is part of the point, I wasn’t blown away either though, Jones is a pretty intimidating guy, but no more so than Manu Bennett as Slade, and Slade was more deeply connected. It does seem to be a turning point event in which other superheroes are born, with the new Black Canary, and Atom.
Will: True Kat, The story here is more about team Arrow and how they’ll handle threats.
Kat: There’s been a lot of ominous talk from the cast and directors – about how the show and Team Arrow will never be the same. I’ll admit, that might be playing a role in my response to this episode: I love it because I’m nervous/excited in how much it’s portending changes still to come.
Will: Right I believe they got some great storylines lined up but this ep was mostly set up for those storylines so it was weak as a result.
Tyson: I hope that is the case. I just don’t want Arrow to turn into comfort food.
Kat: Me neither.
Will: Think we’ll see Ray Palmer become the Atom this season?
Kat: I can’t imagine we won’t.
Tyson: So how about the flashbacks this episode? It was odd not having them properly framed by Oliver’s actions.
Kat: Yeah, I was kind of surprised they still had them. Not in a bad way, of course – but I’ve always enjoyed the flashback.
Will: Yeah, I actually thought for a moment that Oliver was dead forever and Stephen Amell is only going to be on the show in flashbacks.
Kat: That would just be cruel.
Will: Yeah. (Laughs)
Kat: So much for seeing him become the Green Arrow.
Will: That’s because Roy becomes Green Arrow.
Kat: Oh please no. I like Roy – but he is no Oliver.
Will: Definitely not, Oliver doesn’t do pointless flips constantly.
Tyson: So I think the last major thing to discuss about the episode was Malcolm Merlyn’s role.
Kat: Oh, Barrowman was one of my favorite things about the episode – he got all the best lines.
Will: Meryln was awesome in this episode.
Tyson: I am having trouble reconciling his motivations though.
Kat: Yeah…I’m still wondering why he thought Oliver could beat Ra’s al Ghul in a fight.
Tyson: When he set up Thea, that was just cold, but now he seems remorseful, yet that is also self preservation, but then again he still went back for Thea and checked on Oliver and brought the sword back to his friends to give closure.
Kat: Unless he was lying about that – which I doubt he was.
Will: Yeah, I’m seriously wondering what’s up with him.
Tyson: I am seeing another missed opportunity at exploring a very complex character, but I am just reading into where I think it might go.
Kat: I’m hoping they’ll go more into that in the next few episodes – I mean, why else make him a main character?
Tyson: I find it odd that he would control Thea to kill, and then still feel so paternal.
Will: I trust the writers know exactly what they’re doing with him.
Tyson: I hope so, I love ol’ Captain Jack.
Kat: I think that’s what makes him interesting – I think in a twisted way, he kind of cares about her; but in a way that means he thinks he’s entitled to use her however he wants. “After all, Oliver is family too.” That line made me laugh out loud.
Will: I agree Kat.
Tyson: Yeah, he is pretty warped, I hope they explore that in a deeper way.
Kat: Me too.
Will: I’m glad they kept him around after season one now.
Tyson: I wonder if Ra’s will play a continued role in this season.
Kat: Oh he has to.
Will: I think he’ll be back anyway, even if it’s not this season.
Kat: You can’t just use someone like Ra’s al Ghul for only a couple of episodes – even if he isn’t the season’s big bad, there’s gotta be more there.
Tyson: Perhaps this could be a season that spells the end of Merlyn at the hands of Ra’s.
Kat: That could be fun to watch.
Kat: I wouldn’t know who to root for.
Tyson: I think if we don’t see Ra’s hunting Merlyn it would make Ra’s seem less credible.
Kat: Ra’s can send his toadies after Merlyn.
Will: I think Oliver and Ra’s will eventually have a re-match.
Tyson: Maybe like a season finale with reversed results? Ra’s crawling into a Lazarus Pit would be a cool season ending scene.
Will: Yeah, Oliver trains harder and takes down Ra’s?
Kat: Though for what purpose, I wonder? Surely the debt is now considered paid regarding Sara’s death.
Will: If Oliver is still alive is the debt still paid?
Kat: Except that Ra’s killed him. At least, that’s my own speculation – Oliver looked pretty dead there; surely a resurrection wouldn’t undo that. Otherwise, Maseo just massively screwed things up for Oliver.
Tyson: I imagine that in Ra’s mind, the debt is paid. He isn’t overly emotional.
Will: True, yeah.
Tyson: He killed Oliver, it doesn’t matter that Oliver is now alive, Ra’s played out his role. I think that is how Ra’s would see it.
Will: Yeah, I’m actually curious how that will play out.
Tyson: So any other thoughts on Arrow? Where it is heading?
Kat: From the preview for next week, I don’t wonder if Oliver’s unwilling to go back to Starling City, for whatever reason. I’m excited – I’m hoping we’ll see massive changes for everyone re: Oliver’s death.
Will: How does everyone feel about Laurel as Black Canary?
Kat: I can’t wait for the Black Canary stuff; the episode earned that moment with her, in my opinion.
Tyson: It is interesting that she is a different kind of Black Canary.
Kat: For sure.
Will: Yeah I’m excited I hope it makes Laurel a stronger character. She’s certainly going to be a more emotional Black Canary.
Tyson: Was that supersonic weapon used before?
Kat: It was the same weapon Sara used last season as Canary – it’s the replacement for the Canary Cry (?) from the comics.
Tyson: I didn’t remember that.
Will: I don’t see the actual Canary Cry ever happening.
Tyson: Hopefully not. (Laughs)
Will: It would be too silly.
Kat: I think it fits the show’s aesthetic to have it be actual technology.
Will: Yeah, for sure.
Kat: Kind of like how they justified using the boxing glove arrow.
Will: That was a funny nod to the comic.
Tyson: That is a good place to wrap up for the night.
Kat: Cool cool.
Kat: Same time same place next week?
Will: Same Arrow time same Arrow channel?
What did you think of this week’s episode of Arrow? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned for more coverage of all of your favorite shows.