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: The Reverse Flash Returns

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“This is his origin story”

The Flash Review

Dale’s Take On This Week’s Episode

That’s right folks, Tuesday’s episode of The Flash brought the return of the dreaded Reverse Flash, Barry’s mortal enemy.  Was it a resounding success? Not necessarily, but it did strike some excellent notes, so lets talk about it.

Barry’s A Dick

Ok, so when we get into this episode we’re still in the midst of the devastating breakup between Barry, and Patty (who is perfect and pure). That further proves that Barry is so bad at lying that it often makes him look like kind of an asshole. Patty has basically told him to stop her from leaving Central City to attend CSI school. She spilled her heart about how much she wants to be with him, but he coldly rebuked her, in favor of the same tired lie.

Barry, I get it. You must protect the ones you love, don’t let the bad guys use them against you, blah blah blah blah. Watching him tell Patty that he isn’t the Flash in the face of her completely breaking down emotionally, and even after she’s figured it out on her own, was idiotic and frankly, cruel. For the first time since this show began I texted my friend, and co author Mark, with the simple phrase “Barry’s a dick.”

Barry has been one of the more charming characters in the CW’s DCU, it’s also a miracle that Barry has had relationships at all, considering he is comically bad at talking to women. Watching Patty break down in Barry’s lab was heart breaking, and that’s a testament to Shantel VanSanten’s talent as an actress and much much more than a pretty face (and everything else). She really sold that scene for me, so good job Shantel. You nailed it.

Which brings me to my next point. The end of this episode brought us to Patty leaving Central City. Shantel VanSanten has been a shining star in season 2 and it’s really a shame to see her go and hopefully she won’t be gone for too long. Patty Spivot/Shantel VanSanten, you will be missed. I suspect this is just a move to prolong the Ross/Rachel will they/won’t they tension. It’s cheap. Hackneyed, even.

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I’ll date you Patty, I’ll wear ugly sweaters with you and tell you all my secrets, they aren’t very interesting but i’ll tell them to you

The Actual Plot

Moving on, the Reverse Flash’s return was bound to make some waves in Barry’s world. When it comes down to it, his return wasn’t a fast paced action thriller. It packed more of an emotional punch. 

Origin of the Reverse Flash

We got a good origin story for Reverse Flash, having now seen the moment when he discovers Barry’s identity, and how to hurt him.

Eobard Thawne was portrayed as being a childish person, who only dislikes Flash because he was obsessed with the Flash as a child and could not be him. So he instead decided to become the reverse of everything Flash stands for. Dumb, even for a comic book show.

Barry’s fight with Reverse Flash was truly badass. Barry beat the shit out of Eobard, and decisively defeated him, before bringing him back to Star Labs.

It really hit Barry in the gut when Flash had to let Reverse Flash go, in order to save Cisco. Barry finally capturing him and locking him up only to have to let him go back to his own time in order to fix the time line and save Cisco’s life… that’s going to eat at him. 

In releasing Reverse Flash, the man who killed Barry’s mother, we get a huge blow for Barry. It calks back to what Harrison Wells says in the video message to Barry. He will never be truly happy, which brings us back to the Patty situation. 

Barry loved and was loved. He was happy with Patty,and he let her go to continue to be Flash and protect her life.  

If it was Reverse Flash’s goal to ruin Barry and keep him from ever being happy, he’s won. Without using any powers he’s won.

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Eobard + Barry sittin’ in a tree R-U-N-N-I-N-G


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…and Meg

We had a few subplots in this episode. One involved Cisco, as he, and Harrison Wells, worked together to get Cisco’s vibes under control. That resulted in Cisco getting the Vibe goggles, controlling a vibe, and looking into the future.

Cisco haa taken a big step toward becoming Vibe. It was actually pretty damn cool, and will definitely help team Flash in the future.

 The other subplot was much less interesting. It was Caitlyn’s attempt to find Jay Garrick’s Earth 1 doppleganger, in order to use his cells to replace Jay’s dying cells. This resulted in a big bomb being dropped.  Jay’s Earth 1 doppleganger is not named Jay Garrick at all, but Hunter Zolomon, which in the comics is the true identity of Zoom.

Since this show has strayed significantly from the comics, which in my opinion is a good thing, I can’t see Hunter Zolomon being related in any way to Zoom. If he does it will simply be bad story telling. 

Zoom has been such a frightening and intimidating villain this season, that to introduce his true identity as somebody we’ve never met before, this late in the game would be story suicide. 

Zoom’s identity needs to have a huge impact on the Flash universe. It has to be somebody with gravitas.

I’m predicting Earth 2 Barry, Joe or Henry Allen. Maybe  even Earth 2 Eddie.

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So, overall this episode was pretty good, albeit way too light on arc advancement. It was definitely a worthy episode, however, it is time to bring Zoom back into the forefront. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more appearances by some of the other Rogues, Grodd, Weather Wizard, and obviously King Shark, considering we only got a glimpse of him in his first appearance. 

See you next week!