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“Code of Silence” wasn’t Arrow‘s finest hour of this season, but it was a perfectly fine episode. And, considering the show’s spotty track record, I’m going to classify this one as a win. I really enjoyed getting to spend so much time with Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne has really been missed this season), the Demolition Team were serviceable villains of the week, and Thea was given a chance to be relevant in her discovery of Oliver’s secret. That being said, there were still some missteps, namely the kidnapping of William.
But let’s touch on the hours best element: the return to prominence for Captain Lance. Arrow is a show with an incredibly deep bench (strong actors like Blackthorne and John Barrowman are often relegated to supporting roles, and the show’s guest stars are routinely excellent character actors), but due to the show’s focus on Oliver (and its ridiculous need to continue with the useless flashbacks), there often isn’t enough time to give the bench much focus. So, after thirteen episodes that saw Lance operating in the background of the show (and occasionally not even appearing in episodes), getting him front and center for most of the episode was wonderful.
It also makes me increasingly worried he’s going to be the one who dies. Sure, it could absolutely be William (while I assume a dead William would be buried in Central City, it’s entirely possible Darhk has already killed Samantha, creating the need for a burial on the Queen estate). But, if the show wants this death to have any resonance, it needs to kill one of the show’s main cast members. Seeing as Lance now has everything to live for (and is being hunted by Darhk), he’s the top suspect (Diggle also has everything to live for- and seems to be losing a disturbing number of fights lately- but Darhk doesn’t have his identity yet). But if Lance is the one to go, I’m glad he (and Blackthorne) got this showcase episode first.
Lance may have begun his time on the series as a thorn in Oliver’s side, but he’s quietly morphed into one of the show’s smartest and most complex characters. His best qualities were once again on display this week, particularly when he proved he’s a much better man than Oliver when he confessed his secret to Donna. Perhaps Oliver should take a page from his book and mention that William is out there to Felicity?
And speaking of the great William debacle, I was less than thrilled to see the writers (through Thea) trying to justify Oliver’s keeping of the secret. Considering everything that has befallen these characters in the past, one would think that they would have realized that secrets have a way of coming out. Merlyn telling Oliver that he knows about William should have been the first step in Oliver realizing this was going to become common knowledge sooner rather than later. Secrets are a huge part of superhero stories, and I understand that. However, when a character continues to make stupid choices in keeping a secret that doesn’t need to be kept, well, that only causes me to question the intelligence of that character.
Now that Darhk has William, it is pretty clear that Oliver’s secret is about to come out in a big way. And, judging from the last flashforward we were shown, it likely has a major impact on Oliver’s relationship with Felicity. Making matters worse, Oliver doesn’t seem to understand that he’s playing with fire here. Yes, he gets that he doesn’t want to keep William a secret, but it doesn’t look like he understands what keeping this secret could cost him. And that is what annoys me the most.
— I wish we got to spend some more time with the Demolition Team. While I am not familiar with their comic counterparts, they really seemed like they could have been interesting villains for longer than a single episode.
— I’m not sure how I feel about Ruve Darhk being so Lady Macbeth-lite. I like that she has her own agency, but I’m not sure if she feels like a strong enough character when placed next to Damien.
— With the number of times Diggle has lost that stupid helmet while fighting, I’m not sure it’s really doing much good in protecting his identity.
— I almost want Darhk to kill William next week so we can begin to put that whole stupid storyline behind us.