Arrow Sucked This Week
Wednesday (1.20.16) marked the return of Arrow and how did it fare after the ending from the mid season finale? Not well. Let’s talk about it.
What Went Wrong
When it comes to CW’s DC properties the jewel in the crown is clearly Flash, and episodes like this one really show why. Whereas Flash returned from it’s break fresh and ready to keep up the momentum of the first half of the season, Arrow ended their first half running and slammed face first into a brick wall with “Blood Debts”.
Spoilers follow. You’ve been warned.
Seriously, no bitching.
At the end of the first half of the season we had Oliver standing up to Damien Darhk. Not just in the light of day, but also very very publicly. This resulted in Darhk’s goons surrounding and shooting up Oliver’s car Sonny Corleone style, and hitting Felicity Smoak in the process. Obviously, given the flashes of Barry and Oliver at a grave in the beginning of the season, we are willing to assume it’s Felicity. Just kidding, nobody thought it was Felicity. Sadly, Arrow isn’t ballsy enough to kill Felicity, even though it would make for incredible story telling. So how can they keep Felicity but still make the situation dangerous? Cripple her. That’s right, folks. The bullets causes irreparable damage to Felicity’s spine and she will be confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life. She’s a computer whiz, who works for team Arrow. She was shot by a villain and is crippled from spinal damage……………… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, ARROW?!?!?!?!
The similarities between Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne are fairly obvious, but we were all willing to look past it, but now you’re turning Felicity into Barbara Gordon aka Oracle. Arrow, please. I like the show but you need to accept that you exist in a universe without Batman. You can’t just take characters and situations out of the Batman universe, and inject into the Arrowverse just because you want to. It’s sloppy creatively and it’s goddamn lazy. Find ways that make Oliver and the Green Arrow interesting without making him Batman. Your writers are paid to be creative. CREATE. Seriously, it’s going too far. And I say this as a fan who has stuck with the show since the beginning. I am by no means shitting on the show, but the show has the potential to be great. I just want to see it get there.
Where this episode really hit a wall was with the villain. They sidestepped Damien Darhk, who has been great, to bring in yet another Batman villain, Anarky. The presence of Anarky was completely unnecessary, and only served to prolong the inevitable showdown between Darhk and Green Arrow.
Anarky In The CW
The Anarky stuff was flat. They didn’t do a very good job of fleshing him out as a character. He has neither the political agenda nor the personality of Anarky from the comic books. Both times Anarky appeared on Arrow i was left with the same response, “Why the fuck is Anarky on this show?” He has no reason to be in the Arrowverse and he shouldn’t be.
The Damien Darhk plot slowed to almost a crawl in Blood Debts. We did get a quick fight between Darhk and Oliver. It was after Oliver freed Anarky from police custody so he could lead them to Darhk, which he kinda sorta did, in a round about way.
After freeing Anarky, like a dipshit, Oliver puts a tracking device on him. Long story short Anarky finds the tracking device and ditches it. Oliver, Thea and Black Magneto track Anarky to the house of Darhk’s family, where he has taken them hostage in hopes of killing Darhk.
Oliver saves Darhk’s family and encounters Darhk while leaving. They fight for a little bit and Oliver obviously can’t beat Darhk, which Darhk points out. In possibly the dumbest thing I’ve seen on tv ever, Darhk looks at Oliver and says “You saved my family. I’ll give you a week to spend with yours. Enjoy it” then leaves. Apparently nobody could come up with a more interesting way to put off the final showdown. Again, lazy writing. Good guy, that Damien Darhk.
Nothing Else Going On
Unfortunately nobody else had much to do in this episode. There were a few minor subplots such as Anarky’s new obsession with Thea, because she’s the one who burned his face (or just because she looks good in red leather. Either way I don’t care.) Captain Lance is banging Felicity’s mom. Diggle is interrogating his own brother, and his interrogation involves beatings. And Laurel………..well……..I don’t really know. I tune out whenever Laurel is around. Her character is garbage and she looks like an idiot whenever she does her canary cry.
Meh At Best
Overall guys the episode was mediocre at best. They didn’t commit to killing Felicity which would have been fine, if the red herring wasn’t so obvious. They brought in a underwhelming and unnecessary side villain, and instead of dipping into the Batman universe, they dove right into the deep end. I wasn’t impressed. Oliver consistently manages to underwhelm with his inability to use his brain on the spot. Seriously, buddy? Your future bride got shot and is now paralyzed. You have a friend who created nano tech and used it on himself, and you have a friend who can go back in time. You’re telling me that out of Flash, Ray Palmer, Cisco, Caitlyn, Harrison Wells, and John Constantine, not a SINGLE one of them can do anything to help Felicity? Come on.
Arrow needs to build it’s own universe instead of taking bits and pieces from Batman’s. They have the parts, they just need to be put together. And they need to begin with populating the world with interesting characters. I’d start with making John Constantine a more permanent part of the show. Watching Oliver let John Constantine walk, with his knowledge of Darhk, magic and the occult, after 1 episode was the dumbest thing he’s ever done. Get back on track, Arrow. I believe in you.