Arrow: A.W.O.L/Unchained

cw arrow show review oliver queen

aka Wheels and the Legman

Arrow Episode Review

AWOL and Unchained

I was quite sick last week I didn’t get around to watching A.W.O.L until tonight, so we’re getting a 2 in one review. A.W.O.L and Unchained, so let’s get into it. Hopefully you’ve read my Arrow reviews before, so you know how I do this.

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Rear Window meets Fight Club

A.W.O.L.

This episode was the first time we got to see Felicity’s new role in the crew, not that it has  changed that much, but she is certainly in a different head space at the start of this episode. She is understandably upset about her paralysis. She’s been confronted with the rest of her life. Where it once contained so much promise, she’s been confined to a chair with wheels. At least that’s how Felicity feels. She’s not really in a ‘glass half full’ place this episode.

She actually started to hallucinate and go a bit stir crazy. She’s even managed to manifest her own Tyler Durden, in the form of Goth Felicity. She constantly bugs Felicity about her situation, her blonde hair, and her glasses. Fuck off goth Felicity. You’re not interesting and you’re annoying. A fuck off double whammy.

So Felicity is having a personality crisis and it’s showing in her hacker performance, luckily, this was one of the more interesting arcs of the episode. She slipped and someone almost bought it.

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No, Goth Felicity!!! You’re not welcome here, I CAST YOU OUT, UNCLEAN SPIRIT!!!!!!!!!!

Brothers

So this brings me to the next point. The Andy/Diggle brother arc seems to have come to a conclusion in this episode. Andy finally came around and patched things up with Diggle, as they come together at the end to go up against Shadowspire. This storyline has been brewing for a long time during this season and it seemed like Diggle was slamming himself up against a brick wall, and couldn’t reach Andy no matter what he said.

In this episode it seems like he had chipped away enough to finally make a hole and get through to Andy. We also moved away from the Oliver flashbacks in this episode, and shed a little light on Diggle and Andy’s past.

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Bring me a burger and i’ll come around no problem

I enjoyed Diggle’s selective memory when it comes to his brother. He convinced Andy to enlist in order to get his little brother on the straight and narrow, but some men just aren’t meant t0 walk the righteous path. As soon as Andy arrives in camp he falls in with a bad crowd in order to make a little extra scratch on the side.  Diggle wanted his brother to straighten out, so that’s exactly what he saw.

This brings us to the big conflict of the episode, Team Arrow vs Shadowspire.  Shadowspire’s bread and butter is misdirection, as stated by former member Andy Diggle. Guess what?

Whoops

Shadowspire makes Team Arrow believe that they are after a shipment of rail guns, so we get Oliver, Thea and Laurel waiting at the truck depot for Shadowspire.   When they don’t show our heroes know something is wrong. Upon this realization Shadowspire takes over an A.R.G.U.S base and holds Amanda Waller, and Lila Diggle, at gunpoint looking for something called Rubicon, which is some nasty bullshit. [Mighty Dale falters] I don’t know, I didn’t pay attention at this part, fucking sue me, sadly this resulted in the death of Amanda Waller.

That kind of sucks since Waller is such a huge part of the DC/Suicide Squad universe. It was nice having her around, and she was cold as goddamn ice, which was awesome. She was willing to watch everybody in that room get shot in the face before giving up Rubicon.

So, after learning of the A.R.G.U.S situation via a panic button, the Diggle brothers (that would make a sick 70’s band name. The Diggle Brothers Band) concoct an elaborate plan where Andy pretends to be returning to Shadowspire, and brings John in as a fake hostage (the ol’ Chewie prisoner trick).

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“Tonight on Top Prick”

Oliver, Thea and Laurel arrive to get into the fight, which brings us to Arrow’s douchiest line this season. Oliver gets on his communicator and calls Felicity, who is back to her keyboard crunching self, Overwatch. This is fine except she’s confused about the name and Oliver says, “I thought it was about time you got a code name what do you think?”, to which Felicity responds, “It’s perfect.”  Oliver responds, “I was going to go with Oracle but it was taken.” wink wink nod nod puke. FUCK……….YOU, Oliver Queen., Fuck you 10 ways from Sunday. Stop making Batman references!  It’s not cute. They’re not funny little references for the DC fandom. It’s annoying, and every time you do that it makes me want Batman more.

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Right here, Oliver.

Unchained

So let’s move on to Unchained, Unchained was actually quite a good episode and saw the return of a few familiar faces, so let’s… hit the ground running.

Unchained really didn’t stand out that much, and if it weren’t for the interesting returns of some great characters, it wouldn’t have been anything to write home about. It did have some great action and obviously as I’ve mentioned, the returns of Nyssa Al Ghul, Roy Harper and Katana, it also boasted some great action sequences, finally.

This episode saw the return of Roy Harper (not this Roy Harper) albeit a brainwashed Roy Harper.  He was being controlled via a contact lens in his eye. He was trying to steal parts from Palmer Tech in order to build a big tech bomb that would basically destroy the internet, and erase everything.  Who was controlling him was the big mystery in this episode. It was a new villain known as The Calculator, a genius level hacker to rival even Felicity Smoak. blah blah blah, this wasn’t very interesting at all.

Where this episode shined was in the emotional aspect of a character like Roy being returned to the fold, albeit all too briefly. His reunion with the crew was interesting, especially since at the beginning of the episode, he started off as a Team Arrow adversary.

Obviously his reunion with Thea was going to be a huge moment.  These two are set up to be the loves of each other’s lives, and it was unfortunate to see them have to part ways, when they would clearly rather spend the rest of their lives together. I

also thought it was hilarious how Roy left his Red Arrow suit for Thea after his first departure.  I assume Team Arrow took Roy’s suit, stitched it up to fit the tiny Thea and redesigned it. Somehow,  when Roy puts it on it reverts to the original design and somehow still fits him. SCIENCE. But whatever, TV logic I guess. I can look past it.

Team Arrow.

Since when did superhero suit = fetish night?

Nyssa vs Katana

We also got some fantastic action in this episode. Nyssa’s escape was great, but the fight between Nyssa and Katana was incredible. Sadly it didn’t last too long, but the choreography was excellent, and felt like we were watching 2 highly skilled fighters. Plus, it’s always nice seeing both Nyssa and Katana, but Nyssa had to get to Star City to serve a bigger purpose. She holds the Lotus, a mystery cure for Thea’s blood lust. Because apparently Oliver can’t call John Constantine again. It always makes me giggle about how once characters leave the show it’s like they don’t exist.

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It’s always awesome seeing two strong females back in the mix and get some killer action scenes. The TV and movie world can never have enough tough chicks.

Sadly it felt like this episode simply existed to lead up to the big reveal that Calculator is Felicity’s dad. This  was actually no reveal at all considering this had been predicted on the internet long before the show revealed it.

So overall, Roy, Nyssa and Katana came back and Felicity has daddy issues. That’s basically the whole episode. We’ll see you guys next week.

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The Flash: Fast Lane

 

The flash episode review

Barry running away from yucky girls like Patty.

Wally World

& Harrison Wells Learns Non Binary Thought

The Flash came in with a solid episode on Tuesday night. There was a bit of  filler, but for the most part it was good.  Let’s get into it. Tuesday’s episode (Fast Lane) had a lot of moving parts, but easily the most interesting was the internal struggle of Harrison Wells. Even more interesting was having Tom Cavanaugh convey that struggle using the Kristen Stewart method.

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Tom Cavanugh’s acting coach.

Harrison Wells from Earth 2 has proven to be one of the more complex characters on this show. He continually shows himself to be slightly different than the Wells/Thawne from season 1. That’s not to say this Wells isn’t capable of treachery and villainy, but you can really see how it eats him up inside. [Mark says that Tom Cavanaugh’s wooden acting does nothing to convey this conflict. It’s done all with lighting, music, and the words that TomBot flatly intones]  Using Wells’ daughter as the motivator humanizes Wells greatly. Who wouldn’t do anything to save their kid?   Such is the case with Wells trying to steal Barry’s speed for Zoom, to get his daughter back.

I had a feeling that Wells would have a change of heart about stealing Barry’s speed, but I had no idea it would be so immediate. Seeing Wells come clean so quickly was an excellent way to highlight the differences between Earth 2 Wells and season 1 Wells. This Wells immediately knew he had made a bad decision and was remorseful, and after stealing only 2% of Barry’s speed. I imagine Zoom’s demand for all of Barry’s speed led him to think that he may not get his daughter back, no matter how much he helps Zoom.

Westworld

The West family drama continued in this episode with Iris getting all gussied up to go to the street races, and see Wally do what he does, which is street racing. This resulted in a weird story where she goes after the man who’s been organizing the races, in order to bring an end to this dangerous sport. This seemed like a PSA to me, like when shows do an episode about recycling for Earth Day.

the flash iris west fast lane

There’s a car hurtling toward you, ma’am. You look lovely but you should move.

Heart Of Glass

This wasn’t my favorite story line  but it is always nice to see Iris be a main part of the story. She is one of the characters that always seems to be on the sidelines, so it’s nice to see her front and center. They’re focusing on her reporter gig again. This is where she is comfortable, going after the bad guys in the paper.

One weak point this week was the villain. Tar Pit was overall just weak.  Plus, who the fuck gestates for two years in molten asphalt, then emerges with powers? That’s just dumb. Really dumb. Even for the Flash, and this is counting the super gorilla and the bidpedal shark.

We’ve seen these kind of motivations from super villains before. He was wronged on the night of the particle accelerator explosion, and after gaining powers (in the most implausible way yet), set out for revenge against those who wronged him. Pretty simple. Sadly, I don’t dig any villain that is stopped by a gadget and a punch to the face from Joe. These types of villains are becoming commonplace.

Zoom?

The biggest problem with these 20 something episode seasons is that there is not enough story to fill the whole thing up, so a lot of filler is needed. Unfortunately it’s become too much in the second half of this season. We’ve had so few arc episodes that it’s becoming frustrating. We need WAY more forward momentum on the Zoom front. We got a glimpse of Zoom but not enough.

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“Had enough?”
“Not even close”

Papa Joe

One thing that did work was Joe busting Wally for pretending to be some street racing badass, when deep down he is actually a good kid. After Iris is injured, in a really good scene highlighting how that 2% that Flash is missing matters, Wally opens up and lets his new family in.  There was no ay they were going to kill off Iris. No way in hell, but injuring her in order to bring the West family together, and tighten the familial bond? Hell yes.

Overall this was a decent episode, but it’s next weeks episode that looks great. The gang take a trip to Earth 2 where we’re going to see some interesting versions of our favorite characters, including Caitlyn Snow’s alter ego Killer Frost, and the return of Robbie Amell as the evil version of Firestorm, Deathstorm. Next week looks wonderful, especially the scene of Cisco and Barry taking an Earth 2 selfie. Not even interdimensional travel can stop guys from acting like idiots around their buddies.

See you next week when we have more Flash to flesh out.