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Arrow – Broken Arrow Review

"Finally, Something Happened!"

After weeks of disappointing episodes with nothing of note happening, “Broken Arrow” gave us some serious plot movement. I just wish that story advancement hadn’t come at the expense of Thea Queen.

Arrow trimmed its cast by two in this episode (barring some major life saving measures), and I’m not particularly thrilled by this development. Will I miss having Roy on the series? Not particularly, as the character never really added all that much to the series. Colton Haynes may have been the prettiest person on the show (which is saying something, considering the attractiveness level on this show), but he was one of the weakest actors on the series. On the other hand, after two seasons of being the most annoying character on the show, Thea Queen had blossomed into a complex and layered character. And as Thea became someone worth watching, Willa Holland really stepped up to the plate. Her performance this season has been incredible, and I’ve loved seeing Thea grow from a spoiled party girl into a strong and fearless fighter. Which is what makes her apparent death particularly hard to take.

I supposed, if the writers were looking for the best way to crush Oliver without really making the fanbase angry, killing Thea made the most sense. After all, offing Felicity would have brought mobs to their offices and threats of boycotts (but, man, what a gutsy move that would have been). I completely understand the need for angst in a superhero (particularly in the post-Dark Knight Batman world), but does the series really have to kill off every woman in Oliver’s life that meant something to him? It’s only been a few months since we lost Sara, and before that, Moira. Do we have to kill off one of the three women in Oliver’s life? Couldn’t they have killed Diggle? And, furthermore, killing off the most seasoned fighter of the three strikes me as particularly harsh (and, frankly, disappointing). Sure, Thea’s death is also on Merlyn’s hands (where is he anyway?), but having Ra’s kill Roy would have sparked the same fire in Oliver for vengeance.

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I understand the need to kill someone to force Oliver to act. I get that this decision will build suspense moving into the final episodes of the season. But it just felt a bit been there, done that. Having Slade kill Moira last year was the spark that pushed Oliver to eventually defeat him. Dipping back into that same well of inspiration just strikes me as a bit lazy. Oliver shouldn’t have to repeatedly lose those closest to him in order to act against a major evil. He knows Ra’s is out there. He should be ready to finally fight him. He must know that there is no way The Demon simply walks away (heck, he can ask Nyssa if he needs a reminder). He shouldn’t need another body on his conscience to get to that point. If our hero needs to experience the peril of those around him in order to act, that’s a problem – both for him and for his loved ones.

Another problem the show is refusing to fix is the Captain Lance issue. It’s fine if he’s at odds with Oliver, or even angry with him for his part in Sara’s death. I can completely understand that. But having Lance actively hinder Team Arrow in such a blatant way isn’t good for the series as a whole. Having him as a quasi-antagonist works fine, but charging into the lair and ransacking apartments is a waste of the character and Paul Blackthorne. It is clear that the show doesn’t want a reunion between Laurel and Lance any time soon and that’s fine. But Lance cannot continue to be a roadblock to the degree he has been. It takes away screen time from character who could use it, like Thea or even Laurel. We know Lance is angry and wants some form of revenge (or at least thinks he’s owed that). But there needs to be more for him to do than be mad and do stupid things to trip Oliver up.

Having said that, I will say this was one of the stronger episodes of Arrow‘s second half, if only because it move the story forward after several stagnant weeks. There are still four more episodes left in the season, and we all know that this show does finale arcs very well. I have high hopes that Thea’s death will be the start of a strong finish. I just wish the show didn’t have to resort to something of that magnitude to spark it.

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Final Thoughts:

— I’m actually starting to root against Oliver and Felicity ever getting together, if only out of hope that we can stop having awkward scenes between them where one or the other starts and then stops confessing their feelings. It’s not cute. It’s just annoying now. And I suspect it’s even more annoying for the fans who actively want the pair together.

— So, when is the Atom going to start shrinking?

— Tuesday’s Flash had a mini-crossover, with Ray and Felicity popping over the Central City for some help with the Atom suit. Not sure where this episode fits in the timeline (I’m assuming afterwards, although one would think they would have talked about the I love you slip before this episode). But it was nice to see Felicity happy for once.

— Those Hong Kong stories are just getting more and more dull. And the time jumped quite a bit without really filling in the blanks, right?

— Seriously. Where is Merlyn?

Rating
7.0
Pros
  • Good plot movement
  • Roy moving on
Cons
  • Killed Thea
  • Still focusing on Oliver and Felicity
  • Why doesn't the Atom shrink yet?

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Comments

  • Irish Jim

    It has been obvious for some time that Oliver is going to have to accept Ra’s offer. He can always turn over the day to day management to Nyssa or one of the others. I am guessing that Ra’s can bring back Thea with his pool. I don’t think she stays dead.

    I don’t like Felicity and Ray together, mostly because I don’t like Ray. I don’t like Oliver brooding over Felicity. They never should have gone there. Laurel is a better match for Oliver and makes more sense.

    I won’t miss Roy much. He didn’t add a lot.

    I don’t know how Oliver gets his Arrow persona back. He is wanted for murder and Lance thinks he is the Arrow. Unless Lance gets on the team or gets killed, I don’t know how he goes back to the

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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