Arrow Review: “Public Enemy”

Arrow

Jim’s Review

Well, last week’s Arrow was borderline bad. The Suicide Squad plot was tacked-on, and Ray and Detective Lance behaved erratically, and without believable motivation. This week was a much better episode, but unfortunately, I’m still struggling with Detective Lance’s character development. I get that he’s angry that his daughter’s death was kept from him, but he’s continuing to let anger cloud his judgment, and that can only go so far before it affects the way an audience will see him. His refusal believe the Arrow is being set-up makes no sense, really, and it’s hurting the show.

With that said, the big development with Ra’s and Detective Lance represents a big chance the show is taking, and that’s going to help keep things fresh. Of course, Roy changed things in the end, but it was still enough of a bombshell to know that things with Team Arrow can’t be the same anymore. It’s risky storytelling, and even if it doesn’t go where we may be hoping, risky is interesting.

I can’t say I’m very invested in the romance angle between Felicity and Ray, and their subplot was mostly forgettable, but the league’s interference in Starling City, and Ollie’s changed standing with the SCPD may be the sort of kickstart this season has needed.

Kyle’s Take

Last week’s episode wasn’t borderline bad, it was a 100%, genuine-article bad, and I guess it’s better late than never to have a kickstart to Arrow’s season. But kickstarting the season this late reminds me of the Star Wars prequels. (Paraphrasing George Lucas) You have enough story for one movie and you put three-quarters of the story in the last film.

Having The Atom occupy the same city as The Arrow is risky storytelling—and it’s not working. The Atom possesses similar clout (as Green Arrow) in the DC Comics Universe, owns Ollie’s business, has proven talent Brandon Routh portraying him, and wants to convert Starling City into Star city—I know they dropped this story arc, but for how long?—and the Star City Palmer has planned won’t include The Arrow.

The only reason The Arrow exists is because the show’s named Arrow and he has to exist. The creative team doesn’t have a lot of options, so they threw in a lot of turns to try and reboot the show, but a TV show isn’t NASCAR. You can’t drive really fast and make a lot of left turns in order to get to the same place you were when the race began. That’s not even how NASCAR works, really, so you end up with the nonsensical Detective Lance and an ill-fated League of Assassins story.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Arrow pulled a Spartacus and have every member of Ollie’s team claim that they’re The Arrow, and then the entire Glades joins them: “We’re the Arrow.” This show and The Flash have a lot of cast members from TV’s Spartacus. Despite all that, I do like that they’ve taken all of these chances—even though most of them haven’t worked—but there’s little chance this arc ends well. I’ll try to erase it when we enter season four (and I think that’s what the creators are trying to do with these NASCAR turns).

Well, there is a precedent in the comics for Ollie giving up his identity in a public forum–you’ll have to check out our secrets page–and I hope that Ollie turning himself into the police sticks. If the Spartacus thing I described actually happens in the coming weeks, I may have to change my underpants.

Verdict:

This week’s episode was better than last week’s but that’s not saying a whole lot. Let’s hope that Team Arrow can right the ship.

Do you want more Arrow? Check out our Arrow Secrets page.

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