You know when you see someone after a very long time and you don’t know how to respond, that is Oliver the moment Slade shakes his hand. I would literally be shitting my pants and that is what “Time of Death” managed to do so well as it elevated awkward family tension to an art form. Whether your name ends in Lance or Queen you have some serious emotional problems and you need to work them out. “Time of Death” also had a really fun A plot as Felicity struggled with her role on the team and Diggle continued trying to out Alfred, Alfred. For a return from hiatus episode this one was definitely a step up from “Blast Radius” with all of the plots clicking from go. Hell even the island subplot which was slightly derailed this week happened to still be really enjoyable. So let’s dive back in.
One of the major highlights this week was definitely William Tockman AKA The Clock King as portrayed by Robert Knepper. Knepper was able to capture the right mixture of sociopathic tendencies and absolute brilliance in his portrayal as I was able to both fear and emphasize with Tockman as a character. He was not a bad guy like say Vertigo or Slade, he was simply a man aiming to make sure his family had a better life after he was gone. Cliche, sure but the way Knepper play him helped to make the plot all the more understandable. He also finally provided us with an adversary whom preferred to use their brains rather than their brawn. This gave Felicity a true foil, like Ollie to Slade or Diggle to Deadshot, an opponent who challenges our heroes at what they are supposedly best at. Of course this happened to come at the time where Felicity was doubting herself the most but we will let that slide, as it finally put her back out into the field. Luckily, Tockman was only incapacitated which means we have a chance of him showing up again.
Speaking of Felicity, she got an honest to goodness A plot about herself and proving her worth to team Arrow. It is interesting that the team has gained two new members and we are still wondering how they will mesh with the team. Luckily we got to see how Sara both fits in and throws a wrench into how the team works. Felicity felt unsure because there was another well equipped intelligent blond girl in the quiver, who happens to be able to kick a lot of ass. For all the things Felicity is, psychically capable of holding her own in a fight she is not. It is really surprising that Ollie or Diggle has not been training Felicity in their downtime, but now they will hopefully make sure she is ready to defend herself if the situation dictates it. Emily Bett Rickards did an especially fantastic job this week, hopefully the writers continue to expand her role more.
As for the awkward family times we finally reached the point of no return as Laurel accepted the fact that all of her miseries have been her fault and she is finally ready to make some change. All it took was Ollie saying enough is enough to get her to put two and two together which props to both Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy whom were both excellent in that scene. Similarly, Paul Blackthorne continues to excel as Lance and his attempt to put his family back together was both adorable and heart breaking at the same time. All of this has really elevated the Lance family to your one stop shop for emotional distress and it finally seems like everyone will be moving in the right direction moving forward. In comparison everything seems to be ice cold between Moria and Oliver although I have a feeling Ollie might actually be keeping a watchful eye now that Slade has made his presence know to his old friend.
Overall a very solid episode.
Final Grade B+
+Knepper’s performance as the Clock King
+Laurel seems to actually be trying to fix herself
+Felicity got some real strong material
-Moria and Oliver stuff was weak by comparison
-Roy not being in the Quiver with the rest of the team
-Island plot detour
-MacGregor’s Syndrome was a nice reference to the worst Batman movie ever. So many ice puns.
-Why was Roy not training or even included in the Team Arrow conversations.
-Felicity on oxycodone much better than Laurel on oxycodone. It’s the humor of the situation I guess.
-If you replaced Diggle and Felicity with Alfred and Barbara Gordon, I would not have been able to tell the difference.