Oh thank god it was just a fluke. Yes, Arrow was back in fighting form this week with a fantastic episode, “Guilty” which chose to focus on the fallout of last week’s cliffhanger as well as delve into Ted Grant and his past. Even with everything that is going on we still managed to get some fantastic character work for both Roy and Ollie and everyone was so ready to just toss Roy aside it was not even funny. I will be the first to admit I had feared that Arrow was losing it’s quality after the last two weeks of just straight up let down episodes, but “Guilty” did what Arrow tends to do best. Draft high quality action around a surprisingly solid A plot. Let alone that we got more great nerdy nods and humor than you can shake a stick at. So let’s dive in shall we.
Let’s talk about the real star of the episode the boxing glove arrow. I mean Roy, of course I mean Roy after all this episode was meant to parallel his story with Oliver to Ted and his apprentice. Major Kudos should go to Colton Haynes who nailed all of the feelings Roy was going through this episode. You could easily recognize the fear, remorse, and desperation in Roy’s mind as he can’t stand to lose Oliver as a friend and mentor. Ollie’s team might indeed be the only family that Roy has left and it was crystal that he desperately did not want to be responsible for killing someone he viewed as a sister. It was great that Ollie, despite everything Roy has done believes in him as a person although I was kind of surprised to find out that no one told Roy that he killed that cop in the five months they were training. This issue could have been resolved months ago rather than have Roy suffer from unexplainable nightmares.
The other star of the episode was easily Ted Grant as his story was used as a framing piece for this entire episode. It was great to find out that Ollie was not in fact the first vigilante to grace Starling City’s streets as Wildcat apparently went wild in the streets while Ollie was in Hong Kong. Although it was predictable for Ted’s former protege to be the villain I felt that he was definitely much stronger than Brother Eye last week, and really managed to push the buttons of the team. Stanza was clearly unhinged due to the amount of torture he had suffered and for Ted to kick him to the curb kind of set him up for the payback we saw tonight. I really liked what J.R. Ramirez did with Grant’s character because it is easy for everyone to see that Ollie could eventually become like him if a mistake is made. It is clear that they are building up Ted to become the Wildcat we all know and love I really just hope they are able to stick the landing.
As for the flashbacks this year, my god they mean absolutely nothing to us at all. I mean look back at last year Ollie was on Ivo’s boat and we were well on the way to Slade being a super villain. This year I have no idea what is going on or how it is supposed to connect to the larger story as a whole. This is partially the fault of us not spending much time on the actual Hong Kong flashbacks this year, and also the fact that we don’t care about Ollie’s team. Hand to whatever deity you choose, if Waller just walked into the apartment and killed everyone sans Ollie I would be totally cool with it. I know Ollie is supposed to care about the kid and Tatsu’s family but they are all so incredibly bland that they mean nothing to us as an audience. Something important better happen fast or else Waller will need to start dropping bodies to make me care about Hong Kong.
So yeah a great uptick in quality and hopefully forward momentum on a lot of storylines.
Final Grade B
+Ted Grant’s backstory
+A lot of great Roy material
+Solid action scenes
+Box Glove Arrow
-Seriously no one told Roy he killed a cop in the five months
-I just don’t care about Hong Kong
-Yay it’s Cupid. Said no Green Arrow fan ever.
-For once in his life Roy did a useful flip. See when it’s useful we don’t make fun of you Roy.
-Best line of the night Ollie remarking that Waller not wanting someone dead was “refreshing”.
-So there is a trailer for the upcoming episodes that involves Captain Boomerang. I am excited for this.