Arrow Review – “Broken Arrow”

Arrow

Jim’s Review

If you’re following Arrow this season, you probably know that enjoying an episode requires suspension of disbelief. Most books, TV shows, movies etc…require that to some degree, and Arrow is no different. With Roy claiming to be the masked vigilante who rescued him on a live TV broadcast, the show is pushing disbelief a little far, but if you can make that leap, this is a satisfying episode.

We had a villain of the week, and that brought about a team-up with Ray/The Atom, and that felt a lot like prepping for the upcoming spin-off. It wasn’t a bad story, it just wasn’t enough to really grab my attention this week. The real strength of Arrow at this point is the heat from Ra’s al Ghul. That’s really what’s providing the show with the thrust that Deathstroke gave last season, and that’s why I think Arrow is gaining steam as the season moves to a finish.

If there’s one thing I absolutely have to take the Arrow writers’ room to task over, it’s their tendency to find an angle, then play it entirely too hard. I feel like Captain Lance has been that angle the last couple weeks. I get that he’s a grieving father, and that’s cause enough to forgive a lot of his outbursts and his clouded judgment, but they’ve played it so hard that Lance is now unlikeable in my eyes. He’s become too much of a hypocrite, too spiteful, and while the show seems to be acknowledging that internally with the chief of police apparently questioning Lance’s investigation of Oliver, it’s going to be a difficult–if not an impossible thing for his character to rebound from.

All things considered, this was a decent episode. I’ll try and keep it spoiler-free, and just say some major things happened. Roy’s story felt a little rushed, and the reason given for deceiving Ollie wasn’t at all satisfactory. It was clear they just wanted to fake-out the audience. Thea’s twist at the end had a lot more potential, but the trailer for the next episode sloppily gave away a spoiler there.

After a slow and inconsistent start to the season, I’m gaining a little faith that season 3 will finish strong.

Kyle’s Take

This week’s episode of Arrow, “Broken Arrow,” wasn’t as bad as I had feared—they didn’t go the Spartacus route, so I didn’t have to change my underpants—but it wasn’t satisfying either. My suspension of disbelief has been stretched wafer thin.

The Roy storyline wasn’t a little rushed, it was me after two bowls of bran cereal, three cups of coffee, and five doses of X-Lax. Team Arrow has wanted to get Roy off the set since the beginning of the season and they’ve accomplished that. But Roy’s story felt down right regular, when placed beside Captain Lance’s.

I’ve never seen a character, like Captain Lance, start out hunting a vigilante, then joining his crusade, and then start hunting the vigilante again. While I wouldn’t be surprised if Lance switches back (he has a way of doing that), it’d take Sarah coming back from the grave—and it looks like that could be arranged.

Whenever you introduce the Lazarus Pit, you always have a chance of characters coming back to life willy nilly. And here we go. Since Arrow already spoiled this one for us, I’ll go ahead and explain what happened in the trailer. Thea’s pierced gut won’t keep her dead for long. She gets a Lazarus Pit bath, goes crazy, and Ollie will have to spend some time in Nanda Parbat to talk her down from the ledge. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Sarah receives a similar spa treatment. If this happens, Captain Lance will either accept Ollie for bringing his daughter back to life or spend years trying to talk some sense into a zombiefied Sarah.

The villain of the week could have set up the impending spin-off in more ways than one. We got more Atom and he should see more action in the spin-off, but we also got a hint of another villain. No, not Jake Simmons’ Deathbolt, but the one who turned Simmons into Deathbolt. In the comic, Deathbolt was the lab rat of the Ultra-Humanite. You could confuse the Ultra-Humanite with Grodd. He’s an ape-like mad scientist and one of Superman’s first villains. He’s been a fixture in Action Comics before Lex, and that could cause problems with the whole “we can’t mention Superman” rule the CW has, if they go the Ultra-Humanite route. We’ll have to see.

Getting back to the Ra’s Al Ghul arc, Arrow has something to build on for the season finale, but like The Flash introducing a time travel element, I’m not sure how much will stick, now that Arrow has the Lazarus Pit. Perhaps, not even Sarah’s death sticks.

Verdict:

Arrow’s “Broken Arrow” was one of the stronger episodes this season but we’ll have to see if anything was ventured or gained this week. Only time and the Lazarus Pits will tell.

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