This week’s Arrow was mostly successful, I’d say. What surprised me about the episode was where exactly I found the strength of it to be. In a show that’s not usually sound in the dialogue department, Ollie and Ruve had some really great, tense moments. In those snippets, she was almost as compelling to me as Darhk, or at least I should say she did something to lessen the effect of him not getting much screen time. I actually think it’s a shame we didn’t get more of it, and that they went ahead and skipped over the debate itself altogether. I’m not suggesting they should have shown the whole thing. There are plenty of political debates happening these days, and I go out of my way to avoid watching them, but they could have given us a moment or two to show Ollie gaining the upper hand. It felt a little cheap to be told that he won a debate that took place entirely off-screen.
The Demolition Crew didn’t make for a great foil. They fit well enough into the story, and it made sense, but none of them were really developed beyond being given the gimmick of using tools as weapons.
Captain Lance did something to justify having kept his secret when he mentioned he was afraid of having to admit he once worked with Darhk. That made his motivation believable to me, but the other side of that, Ollie continuing to hide his son from Felicity still doesn’t add up. I get that he can’t let his son be common knowledge, but he can’t let his secret identity be that, either, and Felicity knows. It comes off as forced, and so when the shoe does drop, when Felicity learns about William, it will be hard for me to sympathize with Oliver.
The flashbacks were a little more entertaining this week. I can at least say something significant happened, though I still don’t really see how this is doing much for the development of the character, or the setup of the plot. For now, I’ll just be glad that section of the show gave us some movement.
The end of the episode couldn’t have surprised anyone much. I actually thought Darhk going after William would be the focus of this week’s episode, but I can say the Darhk character is still managing to impress, even in those small moments he’s being given. His mix of calm and cruel has an extra effect when there are children involved. If nothing else, tying some of the side plots more closely in, having Felicity and her mom keep close to Oliver while the drama with Lance unfolded made this week’s entry feel a bit tighter. The secondary plots didn’t scream, “FILLER!” quite as loudly, and Arrow did more to earn its hour.
I’m glad that I was wrong about the League of Assassins. I went into a couple of weeks ago thinking here comes another Brick. The League might be a more pleasing Brick, but I feared Arrow was leading us down another rabbit hole. You got to hand it to this show. They take risks. Breaking up the League was a bold move, and one I’m not sure Arrow will commit to, and I enjoy that “Code of Silence” maintains the League’s dissolution.
I agree with Jim with most of his points but I was more pessimistic heading into this stretch of the season than he was, so I saw most of the things he hit on in his thoughts as pleasantly surprising. Perhaps I should hold Arrow accountable for more of its failings—and there are plenty of them—but this part of an Arrow season usually flops around, even when they have Deathstroke as the main villain, so I looked at this week as a net positive.
Could the Demolition Team be developed more? Definitely. Was the surprise ending at the end that much of surprise? No. Is the Arrow writers’ room giving us too easy an out with Felicity’s disability? You betcha. Do I still question why Ollie never made an attempt to contact his son, even though T-Spheres, this world’s greatest communication device, exists? Of course. But “Code of Silence” focused on Damien Darhk, or at least he was in the peripheral, and considering the time of the season, that should be applauded.
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