Here it is, finally!
My title mojo is gone. Oh well. (Or maybe I never had any???) There’s nothing wrong with short and to the point.
That’s why I call this blog Shipping Brother/Sister Incest (on TV and in Movies). I want you to know exactly where you are and exactly what you’re getting. I don’t want anyone here who doesn’t want be here. Of course, I have to wonder if the title is the reason more of you haven’t subscribed. Maybe you don’t want the word incest randomly popping up in your inbox. I totally get that. But I do recommend subscribing, so that you get an e-mail every time I make a new post.
OK, I don’t want to give any of you the impression that I’ll be writing about every single Arrow episode (links to the earlier entries: episode one, episode two), but I’m at a point where I’m still really excited about how much I love Arrow, and how wonderful my ships are, and how attractive Oliver Queen and Tommy Merlyn are – so, for this week at least, I am writing again. I really love discussing the episodes with you guys, so please comment if you have thoughts, and be sure to subscribe to the comments as well because they are full of clarifications, elaborations, alternate theories, and fanciful imaginings of possible scenes and fanfics. I would hate for you to miss out on all of the great stuff born of those post-entry discussions.
Further opening business: there is now a second livejournal for Oliver/Thea here, with some, I believe, exclusive fanfic postings. So if you’re hungry for more fanfic and community, head on over there. Although I would strongly encourage all of you, if you’re a fanfic writer, to crosspost on Fanficion.net and/or Archive Of Our Own – not only will get more readers/reviewers, but it’ll make more of a splash in the fandom.
I have a dream. That dream is all of the Oliver/Thea shippers united. Of pages upon pages of Oliver/Thea fanfic. Of galleries and galleries of Oliver/Thea fanart and graphics. Of 30 different GIFsets for each Oliver/Thea scene. Of blogs and messageboards and forums bombarded with favorable Oliver/Thea discussion. Of Stephen Amell and Will Holland blushing and unable to look each other in the eye because of what they have seen and read on the internet. Of executive producers telling us to calm down on Twitter. And of Oliver/Laurel shippers crying and gnashing their teeth. It’s a beautiful dream, and we can make it happen.
(Excuse me. I have something in my eye.)
Oh, and I have zero authority to be saying this, but I think we’re going with “queencest” as the official shipname? Any consensus contrary to this that I’m not aware of? I like queencest over the alternatives because there’s no chance of confusing it for just a platonic brother/sister family ship. But it also forces you to outright say you ship it when tagging it that way, which might make some people uncomfortable. But uniqueness and consistency are the most important things, I think. Ship names are important for places like tumblr where tagging is how many posts are found. Or Google images. Places like that. Think how wonderful and useful it would be, knowing that every time you saw the word “queencest” it meant you had found Oliver/Thea content.
Have you all heard the good news? Arrow was picked up for the rest of the season. HELL YES. Whatever the future of the show, we at least know that there will be 19 more episodes. That’s a lot of episodes. And I hope hearing that the show is on solid ground will bring in even more viewers.
And one more note: sorry I’m so late this week! I realize it’s almost time for 1.04. Things conspired. But I guess you can think about this as a nice refresher, getting you all jazzed up for the new episode. I am going to check back more often to see if there are comments, so please do still discuss even though we’ve only got about 24 hours until the next new episode.
I found this episode to be exhausting! My emotions were all over the place. There was laughing, and squeeing, and crying, and terror, and anger, and above all: sexual frustration. Am I right?
So, we start out, like in the episode before, with Oliver Robin Hooding it up. He’s doing his usual thing – shooting some warning arrows, telling some douchebag to make some sort of amends or else – when the corrupt businessman of the week (CBMOTW) gets shot right in front of him by a sharpshooter. Now, it’s only the third episode, but I was already tiring of the formulaic set up: Laurel tries a case, Oliver tells her defendant to do something, they don’t do it, Oliver visits again and gets it done. So I was pleased to see this episode turn all of that on its head – not only was Laurel’s lawyering not relevant to Oliver’s plot, but Oliver was not pursuing a CBMOTW!
The shooter is a professional assassin nicknamed Deadshot by INTERPOL. Oliver identifies him by the poison on his bullets, after realizing he has been poisoned himself by one that grazed his arm. He makes it back to his lair in the basement of the abandoned Queen Industrial warehouse and sews up his wound. I suppose this is a skill he picked up on the island. I guess he’ll have another scar for Thea to innocently stare at. What he needs is a doctor friend who doesn’t ask any questions. He’s back in civilization now – he doesn’t need to do this himself anymore with these crude tools!
I rewatched the pilot, and picked up on a line from the doctor in one of the first scenes that I had never noticed before. The doctor tells Moira that Oliver has 15 fractures that never healed properly. It made me think of that scene in The Dark Knight Rises when the doctor tells Bruce Wayne that he doesn’t have any cartilage left in his knee. These poor boys and their worn out bodies. I just picture Oliver’s bones shattering like the glass man in Unbreakable.
Ollie gets a little woozy, and realizes that he must have been poisoned. He rushes over to his beloved chest, pulls out some pine needle looking things and swallows them with some water. He wakes up the next morning totally fine.
Pretty lucky that his little antidote herbs worked for the very rare poison that was on the bullet. Unless it’s some sort of magical antidote for every poison, in which case why isn’t that on the mass market? Seems pretty selfish to keep that a secret.
Oliver heads home in a hurry, though since his excuse is likely to be an assignation of some sort, I don’t really see what it matters that he came home the next morning rather than late the night before. He walks into the living room to see several uniformed policemen. John Diggle (*giggling* – still not over it) is standing to the side, maintaining his professional bearing. Oliver asks if Thea is OK. Awwww: his first thought.
We learn that Thea and her friend got drunk, broke into a shop, and tried on dresses. LOL. Oliver Queen’s younger sister, ladies and gentlemen. It’s exactly the stupid sort of drunken stunt we learned about him doing – like stealing the taxi, or peeing on the cop. It’s not something you expect to get away with. It’s just something that you do because it’s stupid.
But first, Oliver understands that Dig is probably wondering why Oliver got up from dinner to go the bathroom and never came back until just then. Yeah, that’ll fly, Ollie. That’s not going to raise any questions later on. I think it’s kind of hilarious, but then I think that Thea was probably at dinner, and he’s a jerk for it. I mean, it’s one thing to leave dinner early. But if you say you’re going to the bathroom, you’re giving everyone the impression that you’ll be coming back.
I picture Thea eagerly anticipating his return, pushing peas around on her plate.
But I guess he had to say it was only to the bathroom or else John Diggle (STILL NOT OVER IT) would have followed him. So Dig says that now he’ll have to watch Oliver pee.
And I can’t be sure but I think instead of Dig I’m going to have to start calling him Flirty McFlirtysons. John Diggle/David Ramsey’s expressions of wry, patient, judgmental frustration have always come across a little bit like sexual interest but it has gotten out of hand. Like, try not to look so much as if you want to watch him pee. The cops funnel out, leaving Moira to tell Thea to go get ready for school. Thea wants a sick day, and Moira agrees, leaving Oliver to gape at his mother’s decision. (I got a pretty good laugh out of his face.)Thea passes by him, doing a mocking little dance,
(Do you see the way he’s pressing his lips together angrily?)
Now, Oliver had a rough night – he was shot, poisoned, and slept on the cement floor of an abandoned warehouse. But he looked just fine to me. Fine and fine and fine. So Thea must just be very perceptive. Dig McFlirtysons didn’t comment on Oliver looking like he had been through hell. So it must be Thea’s interested, observant eye that picked up on it.
(This is exactly the kind of ridiculous over-analyzation that you love me for, right?)
Or she was being ironic, because she was the one who looked like crap. Her make up was all over the place and her shirt was half tucked in, half tucked out. I won’t go into Thea’s sense of fashion – which mystifies me (although I suppose having to wear school uniforms makes her dress out in rebellion) – except to say bless her blouse.It was white and sheer, and you could see her BLACK bra underneath. It was Oliver’s turn to see some of the goodies after Thea’s peepshow last week.
Oliver turns angrily to their mother and lectures her on parenting. He points out, quite rightly, that the laid-back method she tried with him didn’t exactly work out. Moira’s appeasement method does not seem to be reaping the results she’s hoping for.
Oliver is so controlled all of time – detached, regulated – so I love that Thea makes him burn. When Thea tries to get a rise out of him, she gets it. And right away. We’ve seen the opposite with Laurel – she says her worst, and Oliver just smiles back.
Oliver has decided to turn the abandoned warehouse into a nightclub. The idea is that it’ll hide the lair, and be a useful explanation for where he is at night. At first I did not like the idea – it seems to me that he’ll spend less time at home if he has a place to run. And there’s something else about it that bothers me that I can’t quite put my finger on. But then I thought, THEA LIKES NIGHTCLUBS! And while Oliver was sewing up his injury, I was thinking to myself how sad it was that no one would ever walk in on him. And now they might!
I’m sorry, Oliver, but your not-very-little basement lair isn’t exactly a secret room – people are going to know it’s there. They are going to wonder what’s down there. I don’t understand how he thinks he can keep people out of there. I don’t think putting a lock on it and telling them that the west wing is forbidden is going to do the trick – it’s only going to incite curiosity, especially with Tommy and Thea.
He points out the prospective private office. For “private one-on-one meetings,” Tommy euphemizes. And “hopefully for the occasional two-on-one meetings,” Oliver adds. Is it bad that I so desperately want him to be the hound dog he is pretending to be? Aside from the fact that his so-far elusive sexual appetite turns me on (and I wouldn’t mind putting a further wedge between him and Laurel), I just feel like he would be living less of a lie if he would just get around a little. Keeping secrets is one thing, but I find it very hard to deal with the fact that he’s pretending to be an entirely different person. Not just to the public but to his intimates. But I think that it’s good that I feel this way. It shows how invested I am in the character and in his relationships. I hate these lies between him and Thea and him and Tommy so much.
Tommy points out, quite reasonably, that Oliver isn’t exactly a seasoned businessman:But Oliver is perfect, so I’m sure his business will be a roaring success. This seems to be his line of reasoning as well: the warehouse is in a poor part of Starling City called the Glades. Dig doesn’t think Oliver will be able to attract rich, white clientele to that part of town but Oliver thinks that people will wait three hours in line to go to his club. I would wait three days, so I guess he’s not wrong. Still, what an ego! But I guess the whole “I’m-kind-of-a-big-deal” shtick is part of the act.
Dig goes into a little rant about Oliver having a white-knight complex (because he talks about gentrifying the neighborhood), “sweeping in to save the disenfranchised”, which was all a little too self-aware in terms of the show itself for me to enjoy. He comes off as extremely judgmental, but I guess if I had to follow some rich a$$hole around all day, I’d probably jump at the opportunity to say something judgmental as well.
Tommy receives a text and has to leave right away. WHO IS SENDING YOU A TEXT, TOMMY? WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I WANT TO KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU. I don’t think it was suspicious, necessarily, I just want to know more about his life. Does he have a job? What does he do? Where did he go to college? What did he study? What are his parents like? Where does he live? What are his favorite movies? Cat person or a dog person? Boxers or briefs?
Stephem Amell’s voiceovers are still lacking. The dialogue isn’t anything special, but he’s not doing it any favors. And it’s funny, because there are so many lines that I could point to and say that I love how he delivered them. But the voiceovers are just so lifeless and clumsy.
Well, remember how I said the episode was exhausting? The following scene is one of the reasons why. It was one of the emotional dips. Joanna finds Laurel reading an article online about Oliver starting a nightclub. (Wow, he moves fast.) Laurel tries to hide the fact that she was reading the article, then acts all flustered, and protesteth too much, as they say, to Joanna’s accusations that she’s not over Oliver. All of this pointing very obviously to the fact that she is very obviously not over Oliver.
The pen in her mouth was particularly damning:But just to give you a sense of how horrible this scene was, THAT’S NOT EVEN THE WORST PART. The worst part is when Joanna – who, for whatever reason (she says the cheating but what about changing on the island and second chances, Joanna? Huh?) is dead set against Oliver – reminds Laurel that the only physical relationship she has had in those five years is with Oliver’s best friend, and so she has clearly not moved on.
DO NOT WANT.
First of all, how much does it suck that Laurel was so hung up on Oliver that she hasn’t had a boyfriend in five years? She says that she works a lot, and God knows that’s true, but she would have made time for a boyfriend if she had found one. I do not need this true love baloney in my show.
But the real kicker is the bit about Oliver’s “best friend”, because the implication is that Laurel only “lapsed” with him out of an attempt to connect with Oliver. Tommy isn’t Tommy – he’s Oliver’s “best friend”.
Jo, you are unforgiving and you are wrong and we don’t want your logic here, please leave.
This is certainly a step down from when Tommy was referred to as “your cute friend” in the pilot. Tommy, Jo is not on your side. She can’t even be bothered to learn your name even though she’s Laurel’s best friend.
I have to say, it does look bad – Oliver cheating on Laurel with her sister, and Laurel “cheating” on Oliver with his best friend. It’s like they both chose the cheating lite option: Want to have sex with someone besides your true love but don’t want to venture too far? Want someone like your true love but just a little bit different? Don’t have the time or the energy to meet new people? How about stepping out with a close friend or family member of your beloved. All the thrill of an affair with twice the help of keeping the secret and half the emotional distance! Great for awkward dinner parties and drunken confessions. Choose Cheating Lite!
But, then again, there are only so many characters on a TV show, and the most dramatic option is always the best. Maybe it’s not meant to mean anything. Except that we have Jo pointing one half of it out! And how come no one is saying, “Yeah, Oliver cheated on you, but with your sister!” That doesn’t make it any less of a selfish and hurtful action, but I don’t think it’s insignificant, either, that it was her sister.
Jo gets Laurel to agree to go out that night. (It’s to be expected that they’ll run into Oliver and Tommy who have already made plans to check out the “competition”, aka a new club called Poison. Really? Poison? A little on-the-nose, isn’t it? And why would you call your nightclub Poison?) I’d suggest they get drunk and break into a clothing store – that’s what all the kids are doing these days.
Moira takes Oliver’s advice to heart and grounds Thea. Thea is a little flabbergasted at first. I don’t get the sense that she has really ever been punished. She figures out pretty quickly that Oliver is responsible and has pushed his judgy agenda onto their mother. She calls it his “judgmental hypocrisy”, and it’s easy to see why Thea would feel that way about it after his drunken speech at the Applied Sciences Center’s groundbreaking ceremony at the end of last episode. I have to keep reminding myself about what these other characters – Dig, Thea, etc. – are seeing and not what I know.
But he seemed a bit showy about it. Like it’s the Olympics wall climbing routine. What song did he choose? Eye of the Tiger? What I find less buy-able is Oliver testing out the poisons and studying the bullets and all of this CSI crap that he learned where, exactly?
Well, Oliver tracks Deadshot to the Russian mafia, which he conveniently and obviously is a part of.
I mean WHAT? And he’s not just in the Russian mob (called “Bratva”), he’s a “captain”. That’s the significance of his shoulder tattoo. It made me think of the “stars” in Eastern Promises. An actual Russian, Viggo Mortensen’s character had to play babysitter to his boss’ unstable son for years and years and was still only a lackey. But not Oliver Queen. Well, we know where he learned Russian now.
I’m just really confused. Oliver starts out on the island – we see him drift there on the raft. And he ends on the island five years later, his hair so out of control that it’s obvious he has been living as a wild man for some time. But at some point in the middle he met up with the Russian mob and joined them? Not just joined them, but played them? (Because it’s obvious that he does not agree with their ideals. Deadshot is a hitman, associated with the Bratva, and Oliver wants to take him out because he’s an assassin.) But even though he’s a captain, they leave him on the island?
I’m willing to just accept that it doesn’t make sense right now because I don’t have the whole picture. I like the piecemeal flashbacks of the island we’ve been getting. Because I want to know that story, but I don’t want to watch it all at once in one entirely-flashbacks episode.
Oliver contacts the Bratva, and gets a location for Deadshot, who, conveniently, stays in the same hotel room at the same hotel whenever he comes to Starling City. Oliver attacks, but Deadshot gets away. However, Oliver is able to make off with Deadshot’s laptop.
OK, the club scene. It is time.
Oliver leaves Dig behind at the door. Apparently there’s a list, and John Diggle just isn’t on it.
I think he should be let in on merit of his name alone, but I guess those lists don’t work that way. I think Tommy and Dig are starting to develop an almost camaraderie – Tommy shrugs apologetically at Dig as they walk away. He gave him a goodbye arm-pat earlier at the warehouse, and then they were both abandoned together at the courthouse at the beginning of 1.02. I think Tommy’s just so easygoing that he’s the type to be really friendly to everyone he meets.
I feel pretty bad for Dig here. I mean, Oliver doesn’t need to shake him. He doesn’t have Arrow business planned. I suppose it’s possible that Oliver doesn’t want him intervening with Max Fuller, the owner of Poison – Oliver slept with Max’s fiancée at the wedding rehearsal dinner. He knows that if he runs into Max that there will be a fight. Tommy doesn’t seem to think it’s a very big deal.
(I just need them to be bestest friends forever, OK?)
Tommy spots Laurel almost right away. She’s standing off at the bar. I appreciate that she’s not a clubber, because I sure am not. In fact, Laurel and I are quite alike. She works overtime making a difference in court. And I change lives by writing silly recaps of her TV show.
The showmakers did the scene almost the exact same way as the scene from the last episode when he sees her at the Applied Sciences Center’s groundbreaking. The camera is on her, and we hear his voice offscreen, making a remark about how surprised he is to see her there. Just something I noticed.
Almost sort of possessive as well, eh?
“I’m so wasted right now there is two of you,” she tells him.
She didn’t really need to tell him, it was pretty obvious.
I would ask why she announced her presence when she might have gone unnoticed (though I think Oliver would have spotted her like he did at his welcome home party in the pilot – his eyes landing on her, drawn to her almost across a crowded room, some enchanted evening), but I think she just couldn’t resist rubbing his face in her rebelliousness and his hypocrisy. There’s something shippy to be said for how much she enjoys getting a rise out of him.
Tommy and Laurel turn their eyes away and towards the bar because AWKWARD. (Although as far as we’ve seen, neither one of them has a reason to know the full extent of Oliver’s disapproval of Thea’s behavior.) Tommy passes her a shot, which is really adorable. She’s gonna need it.
She said almost the exact same thing to their mother earlier: “What are you going to do? Call the cops?” Apparently Thea needs to be tattled on by and to an authority she respects, because I gather that has never happened before.
I do like this “Tell mom?” business because it makes them sound like squabbling siblings when Oliver is wandering towards the land of fatherliness.
Was I the only one who, after she said “What are you going to do?”, pictured him throwing her over his shoulder and just walking right out of there? I’m sure security would have had a problem with that, but how glorious would that have been!
I really liked that little part because it’s just so obvious that even if it’s only to make him angry, Thea is making emotional waves in him when so little else seems to. He’s just so confident and practiced with everyone else – his responses almost plotted out to maintain his persona. With Thea he is constantly reconsidering what he was gong to say, changing tacks, just being generally frustrated. It’s so perfect.
He tells her that she is hanging out with the wrong people. And he’s right.
But Thea thinks that’s pretty ironic: “You’re one to talk!”
“Thea, maybe you shouldn’t,” Tommy begins, but Thea interrupts: “Tommy, I think your BFF has a right to know.”
WHAT THE HELL, THEA? WHAT DID TOMMY EVER DO TO YOU?
It’s Tommy’s turn to look down in embarrassment. He begins to explain, but Oliver tells him, quite calmly, that it’s OK. And unlike at his first dinner home when he told Moira and Walter that it was fine that they were married, he actually sounds like he means it. I also think he’s like, “Dude, not right now. I’m busy staring at Thea.”
DO YOU SEE THIS? DO YOU SEE THIS?
Oliver looks back at her, giving pretty good what he’s getting.I mean, I just, I, what, IS THIS REAL LIFE?
Come on, Thea. Everyone knows you don’t mean that.
So is it still incest if he’s barely her brother? I think that might be what she’s trying to get at.
OK, where do I even start?
First of all, who let her in there? John Diggle (hahahahaha) can’t get in, but a 17 year old can? I guess if she’s hot it’s OK.
At this point in the episode I was getting tired of Thea’s shit. I mean, she wants to get drunk and break into places? She wants to go and party? OK. I don’t like it, but what I really have a problem with is her attitude. She’s such a little brat in this scene. But then she brings it around at the end. He’s barely her brother, because he won’t open up to her. Will barely even talk to her. She just wants him to let her in and he won’t. And she’s furious about that. So she’s acting out. And the attitude is the most important part, because if she’s not showing him that she’s angry, then she’s just a girl with bad habits and not a little sister begging for attention. And I can understand that she resents being ordered around. He wants her to do what he says, but he isn’t reciprocating. He wants to have one part of the relationship, but not the other part. The sharing part.
I’m not a fan of the “you’re not my father” line, just because of their age difference. He was already veering into parental territory when he told Moira to punish her. Just for shipper reasons, it’s not favorable for him to leave big-brother territory and move into paternal territory.
I’m interested in Thea’s motivation for “the revelation”. She rocked Tommy and Laurel’s relationship (how did she even know about that?), Tommy and Oliver’s relationship, and Oliver and Laurel’s relationship. But why? The purported reason was that Tommy and Laurel were being bad friends and she was doing Oliver a favor by revealing this. But I think it’s pretty obvious from the way that Thea was looking at Oliver that her actual intention was to hurt him. He had hurt her and she’s fighting fire with fire.
I also think it’s possible that she was rubbing his face in the fact that she was the best option for someone to spend time with and open up to, but he had chosen Laurel and Tommy instead, and they weren’t worthy. Like, “You should have picked me. I’m the one. They suck.”
And I dare I suggest the possibility that she was trying (perhaps even subconsciously!) to drive Oliver and Laurel apart? I mean, even if you just want to look at Oliver/Thea as a platonic brother/sister relationship, it’s still canon that she is striving to get closer to him and we see him choosing Laurel instead. So maybe Thea has figured out that she needs to get rid of Laurel.
But she also rocked the Tommy/Laurel boat. So…crush on Tommy? She looks at him in an almost taunting way, which I would like to understand better, whatever it meant. Maybe he flirted with her at one point, even inadvertently led her on. She knew about Tommy and Laurel’s lapses, so an argument could be made that she’s seen him at some point recently, before Oliver’s return.
Oliver stares off in distress for a significant amount of time after Thea walks away. I mean, it’s a really long time. And a lot of distressing things just happened, but I feel fairly certain when I say that I think it’s mostly about just having another unpleasant fight with Thea.
Someone on tumblr noticed the visual parallel with this Oliver/Laurel moment:And this might be a good time to point out that Oliver really has a type, doesn’t he? (Looks-wise, at least.) I wonder if Max Fuller’s fiancee had long, wavy brown hair too. Speaking of: Max Fuller, the cuckholded groom, shows up with some security and pulls Oliver into a back room. Oliver doesn’t really try and apologize, so I’m guessing this Fuller guy isn’t a treasured friend. Though he does start to say something that might have been on a conciliatory nature. Max punches Oliver, and Oliver just takes it.
It’s so hilarious watching him quash his instinct to fight back. He could take all those guys in a matter of seconds, but he can’t do it and it makes him so mad. Then Tommy, bless his little heart, runs in there, tells them to stop, and actually puts himself in front of Oliver.
He says that they’ll have to go through him. Now, maybe this is penance for the Laurel thing, or maybe this is just his duty because he invited Oliver to Poison and ignored the Max Fuller problem, but whatever his reason, YES! And even though he’s freaking out (“Wow, they are probably gonna go through me!”),
he gets a fantastic punch in (WAY TO GO, BABY!), then ducks (well, OK, I suppose it’s actually more that Oliver pushes him down), and overall makes a very good showing in the beginning of the brawl. It is starting to look a little grim for him and Oliver (whom I have to assume is still holding back) – although I’m not convinced they couldn’t have come back from it – when Laurel shows up, kicks one guy’s a$$, and tells Max that this fight is over unless he’s going to have his guys beat her up.
I think they should have beat her up too – fair is fair. But aside from being a girl she is also a lawyer, which is what would have stopped me.
Max bans them from Poison. I have to wonder about Jo, still cluelessly dancing away in there. Thea’s M.O. seems to be leaving in a huff, so I’m guessing she might have gone home. I doubt she’ll go back there if there’s no chance of running into Oliver – her true joy seems to lie in exhibitionism.
Tommy tells Max that he doesn’t care about the ban because his club sucks. Oh, Tommy.
Oliver is impressed with Laurel’s hand-to-hand combat. Apparently her father forced her to take self-defense classes. I’ve taken some self-defense classes – I CAN NOT DO THAT. Or maybe I can? Hopefully I’ll never know.
I don’t know what you know about the comics – my education is incomplete but existent – but this was some pretty heavy foreshadowing.
Laurel was doing this thing like she hadn’t just done something impressive – but it was the opposite of modesty, more like “I’m just that badass” which was bugging me. And she was all frowny. I was getting to a place where I wasn’t really liking her in that moment, but then Oliver started to say something to her about “the revelation”, and Laurel interrupted him and said, “Oliver, Tommy and I don’t need your blessing,
and I don’t need your forgiveness.” And that made me want to say “You go girl!” far more than when she was taking that guy down. Because it’s kind to be sensitive to Oliver’s feelings, but in the end, no, they don’t need his blessing, and no, she definitely doesn’t need his forgiveness.
It’s lovely that Laurel speaks in the present tense about her and Tommy’s relationship. She does not designate it to the past by saying “Tommy and I did nothing wrong”, or something like that.
Dig meets up with Oliver and Tommy and takes them to a diner called Big Belly Burger. Starling City: you need to try harder. Poison, and now this? Dig had a brother who was also in the bodyguarding business, and was killed doing it. His widow, Dig’s sister in law, Carly, is a waitress at the BBB. It’s nice to meet a working class gal. Tommy remarks that she’s pretty cute, but Dig shuts that down right quick, sending a babbling Tommy off to find a booth. I’m not sure if Dig is supposed to be in love with his sister-in-law or not, but that’s what I saw and I SHIP IT! She warns him about the dangers of the job (after making a dig – pun intended! – about him being a sucky bodyguard because Oliver was just beaten up – haha), so hopefully she loves him back. CHEATING LITE for all your cheating needs.
(I’m hoping some day Oliver will choose the Cheating Hardcore option: Are you dating/pursuing a woman you care about but are no longer in love with? Do you want to screw up your life as much as possible? Would you prefer to do that through sex? Could you melt a glacier with the heat between you and your younger sister? Consider choosing that sibling for your new illicit sexual partner! Half the work of finding a mistress, twice the emotional devastation. Great for tabloid scandal and making your mother faint. Cheating Hardcore – when you want to ruin your life as spectacularly as you live it!)
Tommy and Oliver have a heart-to-heart at the table (not to be confused with the two-on-one I would be having with them if I was there.) “Look,” Tommy begins. “man, about Laurel. I was gonna tell you. I was just trying to figure out the right way.”
Oliver: “To tell someone that you slept with their girlfriend after they went missing and were then presumed dead. What, there’s no greeting card for that.”
Oliver made a joke!
Tommy: “Look, it was wrong. And I am sorry.”
Oliver: “Tommy…I was dead.”
Tommy: “No, you were with Laurel. And whether you were dead, or, as it turns, alive, on a deserted island, you were my friend, and my being with Laurel violated that friendship in about fifty different ways.”
Oliver: “Thank you. But it’s OK.”
And here’s a summary in faces:Tommy is very surprised at how “chill” Oliver is being about the whole thing. Which tells me that either Oliver and Laurel were, despite his cheating, very, very serious before he disappeared, or Oliver was kind of a hothead. Because it seems to me, with all of my perceptions so far, that Oliver is behaving in a perfectly rational way and in-character. And whether he was bothered or not, he has zero right to tell Tommy or Laurel that he doesn’t want them together. Even if had never been “dead”, I think five years is long enough to erase the best friend/ex taboo. I can understand that it might have caused some weird feelings for Tommy and Laurel when they first started up, but I don’t think it could ever have been classified as “wrong” or a “violation”. So I think Tommy really goes over the top in his apology here, but that’s a good thing.
Oliver takes the laptop that he recovered from Deadshot’s apartment to the IT department at Queen Consolidated. Is that really wise? He has no idea what’s on there. He’s possibly implicating himself in whatever criminal material is on the laptop as well as possibly revealing himself as Arrow. I mean, questions will inevitably be asked and those questions would lead places. It seems to me some black market computer dude who keeps his mouth shut would be better. But I do like that we’ve finally found something the great Oliver Queen can’t do himself.
I think, possibly, that one of the reasons he goes to IT at QC is the woman he meets there: Felicity Smoak. Because I have a feeling we’re going to see her again. She’s an adorable blonde pony-tailed, glasses-faced cubicle nerd person. Oliver introduces himself, which sends her into a word-vomit spasm.
It’s easy to make a character likeable by making them socially awkward, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t perfectly valid. What I’m saying is, I loved her babbling self right away. The other women on the show – Moira, Thea, Laurel – are so witty and put together. I like that Felicity is kind of a mess. If she’s from the comics (with a name like that I’m guessing she is)? Will she be in another episode? I’m choosing not to seek out this information, but if it comes to me then it comes to me. I really like the actress, Emily Bett Rickards. She’s a great comedic actress. She took the dialogue and just did wonders with it.
So, I love this scene, because Oliver hands her the laptop and tells her that he spilled coffee on it, even though it’s very clearly riddled with bullet holes. I just can’t stop laughing about that.
Felicity is young and pretty, so chances are if she’s not supposed to be a love interest now, she will be at some point. Me jumping the Oliver/Thea ship for Oliver/Felicity is of course NEVER going to happen, but since the most realistic choices are Oliver/someone who is not his sister, then I choose Oliver/Felicity over Oliver/Laurel. It took me about 30 seconds of the Oliver/Felicity scene to figure that out. Shipping Tommy/Laurel wasn’t even a factor. I tend to ship opposites a lot, which probably was a factor. See: Tommy/Laurel. And Oliver and Felicity are just so delightfully opposite. He needs someone upbeat like her to temper his own gravity. And it’s a fresh start – no ugly history like with Laurel. I need to really stop thinking about Oliver/Laurel because my dislike for that ship is ballooning.
Oliver returns and Felicity shows him what she recovered from the hard drive. It seems to just be blueprints. Felicity recognizes that they’re blueprints of the Exchange Building, where an auction for a company called Unidac Industries is going to take place that night. All of the people that Deadshot have killed since he came to Starling City are prospective buyers. Walter is also a prospective buyer, which meant an ugly interrogation with Quentin, who really, really hates the Queens and sundry. I love Quentin and Moira facing off. She’s always quick to comment on his contemptuous tones, which most people would probably just ignore.
Felicty begins to grow suspicious when Oliver doesn’t know what any of things are on what is allegedly his laptop. When he reassures her that the laptop is his, he’s just so obviously lying that I love it. I mean, I’m pretty sure he knows that she knows that he’s lying and it’s all just a playful pretense. But it’s interesting to see Stephen Amell’s take on Oliver doing all different kinds of lying.
Darling Felicity knows that Walter Steele is a hopeful buyer of Unidac, so when she realizes that the laptop belongs to a competitor for the bid, she tells Oliver that she doesn’t want to get in the middle of some Shakespearean family drama. The reference goes completely over Oliver’s gorgeous head. She clarifies Hamlet, but he’s still not familiar with the story. What? The Russian Mob didn’t make you memorize soliloquies or write essays on Hamlet? It seems like they taught you everything else. Oliver defends himself very poorly by saying he never studied Shakespeare at any of the four schools he dropped out of. Well, Oliver, I studied it in high school. We did one play every year. I mean, he had to have graduated from high school or else he could never have gone to college. Even a GED has certain English requirements.
I love the Hamlet mention, not only because I made a Hamlet reference in my first entry and because it’s very appropriate, but also because the brother/sister relationship in Hamlet – Laertes and Ophelia – is very intense and beautiful. So if Hamlet was any kind of inspiration, I hope it inspires Oliver and Thea’s relationship as well.
Oliver knows he can’t protect all of the other bidders by himself, so he goes to Quentin for help. I can’t wait to see them working together more and more. Quentin hates Arrow right now for being an anarchist, but I’ll love watching him come to appreciate him.
The auction is, apparently, a family event. Moira goes to Thea’s room and invites her and tries to help her choose a dress. Thea doesn’t want to go (understandably – sounds boring as hell), but Moira tells her it’s important that she’s goes. “Important to whom?” Thea asks. And this causes Moira to have an epiphany. “Important to me,” she responds, which causes a reaction in Thea. Moira sits down, and tells Thea a story about when she was a kid, which makes Thea smile right away. Moira shares with her that Robert (the father) was always better with her, and that Moira was always jealous of that. She tells her that she thinks they have gotten into some bad habits, but she wants that to change.
I love this scene. It just makes it so clear (without being heavy-handed) that Thea is acting out for attention. She feels neglected, by Moira, by Oliver, by her dead father. She’s reaching out and no one is there, so she just keeps reaching out in bigger and bigger ways but all she’s getting in return is anger and disappointment.
SHE JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED.
At the beginning of the auction scene, we have our first moment between Walter and Moira where they are alone. Their deeds and motivations are some of the biggest mysteries to me. Walter is CFO, a very important position, and he was not pleased when he first heard that Oliver wanted to swing by the office in the pilot. So there must be some doings that Walter doesn’t want Oliver to know about. I’m guessing that when he and Moira encouraged Oliver to take a leadership role in 1.02, they had cleaned things up or hidden them or whatever. As for Moira, she seems to be under the thumb of a very powerful man who is associated with the symbol we saw in the notebook. I thought she was implicated in the sabotage of the yacht that killed Robert, but I’m realizing now it may only be that she is aware of the fact that it was sabotaged. She kidnapped Oliver to find out what he knew, but it’s the unknown man who needed to be reassured that Oliver didn’t know anything. So I think Moira may end up being more of a victim in all of this, and it’s possible that Walter isn’t anything more than her loving husband. I think, at this point, both of those things are possible. So, wondering about their possible villainy (and it seems so much more likely that they’re “in league” as they are almost always seen together, of one mind, although even that’s not for sure), I watched this scene very carefully. And all I saw was a man who loves Moira and cares about Thea.
See, with Thea, you give a little love, you get a little good behavior in return.
I really loved these Moira/Thea scenes. Because I care about these characters and their relationships with each other, not just their relationships with Oliver. I read a quote from Stephen Amell, that he didn’t have a life, he had a show. Because he is in nearly every scene. (Plus he probably has to work out all the time.) He didn’t sound very grateful – I’m sorry, sir, that you have a starring role on a successful TV series. Poor you. (Of course I’m one to talk, since I’m about the laziest person on the planet.) But he has a point: the other characters need more scenes with each other. Especially Tommy and Laurel, eh?
This episode also has Oliver treating Walter with courtesy and respect, which is a new one. He’s discussing the threat of the assassin with him, and the fact that they should take more precautions, when Walter reveals to Oliver that Moira is there, as well as Thea. At Thea’s name, Oliver looks around for her, clocks her, walks right away from Walter straight to her, and then instructs Dig to get the two of them out of there.
Deadshot starts firing, which turns the room into pandemonium. Dig covers Moira while Oliver clings to Thea. After the first burst of gunfire, Oliver puts his hand on Thea’s cheek and asks if she’s OK.
Do you see how she doesn’t look back at what’s going on first, she looks at Oliver first.
They are right by the door. Oliver leaves them to Dig to escort outside, while he runs off to don his Arrow gear (which he hid in a garbage can in the stairwell). I kind of laughed at thinking about how long it would take him to put it on, but I bet Batman’s suit is even more of a bitch.
Oliver finds Deadshot, and they have a philosophical discussion:
I think Oliver is severely underestimating the number of people he has killed and the necessity of their deaths. I’m not sure why he thinks it’s OK to use lethal force to get the lackeys out of the way so that he can attack the CBMOTW. These guys are just hired employees. Some of them are probably just like John Diggle – just bodyguards.
Anyway, Oliver has a shootout with Deadshot, and lands an arrow through his eyepiece. It seemed quite anticlimactic that he would be dead already. I thought he would recurring for a while. I mean, he was all cool with his tattoos and stuff.But you don’t really survive an arrow through the eye, do you? Even if it didn’t go very deep, that’s still fatal.
But the adventure is not over! Dig took a poisoned bullet to the leg (?)! Oliver rushes him back to the lair (or “base” as Oliver called it. Lair is cooler) and gives him some of the antidote. But uh-oh! Dig’s kind of in on the secret now, isn’t he.
I sincerely doubt that the Exchange Building is in The Glades, yet somehow Oliver got John Diggle back to the lair, and in time. I feel like the Queen Industrial warehouse is about a three minute walk from any given place in Starling City, somehow.
So, I warmed up to Dig a little in this episode, meeting his sister-in-law and hearing about his dead brother. But I can’t help but resent that he’s now a confidant. I did point out in the pilot that Oliver was only going to be able to shake Dig for so long, so I guess all that is over. Though I can’t really see him accompanying Arrow on his “outings”. And what kind of bodyguard can work for a guy who is constantly putting himself in danger like that? I wanted Tommy or Thea to be the first ones to know. But I guess Dig finding out is much less emotional. Oliver and Thea finding out are going to be much bigger deals, much more dramatic moments. Though, honestly, those reveals would probably have less actual consequences than this one, because Dig is supposed to be constantly by Oliver’s side.
In Oliver’s flashbacks to the island, we meet the hooded man who shot him. He’s Chinese (I’m assuming – I couldn’t tell from listening to the language) and he seems very settled. He tells Oliver that he shot him to protect him, although Oliver can’t understand what he’s saying because of the language barrier. I can’t understand what he’s saying either, but that’s because it doesn’t make any sense. He tells Oliver that they’ll kill him. Then we see some men with big guns in black uniforms traipsing through the jungle and following his tracks. The plot thickens.
Really, though. Why did he shoot him to protect him? How does that work? Was he just trying to get him down on the ground and out of sight, and then dragging him back to his cave? I forgot to mention that the Chinese man gives Oliver some of the magical antidote. So either it has healing properties, or the Chinense man poisons his arrows. Did the curare poison come from the island? Are there polar bear fossils too? What about a black smoke monster? The lab report classifies the curare as strychnos toxifera. That doesn’t sound very rare to me. I’ve read enough Agatha Christie murder mysteries to know a good dozen people at least murdered by strychnine poisoning!
He tells her that he wants to talk about last night (at the club). Laurel doesn’t care to talk about that. Very interesting, Laurel. I think she doesn’t like talking with Tommy about their relationship because she doesn’t know what she feels, or she doesn’t understand it, or she doesn’t want it, and she finds it easier to just avoid it until it springs up in another lapse.
Laurel swirls back around, and for a minute it’s like she’s digesting the information, but then she says, “That’s because he knew.” And she says that Oliver didn’t even blink when told him. That’s not really evidence, Laurel. Oliver never blinks when he’s looking at Thea. But I think we’re supposed to believe her. Which means Oliver really did overhear their conversation in the pilot. I feel like the writers missed a chance for some good-time soapiness with that choice, but what’s done is done.
It also means that all of Oliver’s distress during the club scene really is mostly about Thea.
I have to say, Laurel’s expression in response to the question is not particularly heartening. Katie Cassidy played this all very ambiguous. Because her face could be saying, “Me and Tommy? Is it possible? I want this, but will it work?” or her face could be saying, “How do I tell him I still love Oliver and I only want Oliver and Oliver Oliver Oliver?” Or she could even be upset that Oliver has given her up. Tommy seems to realize that he’s not exactly being encouraged, but he marches onward: “You said you didn’t think that I was a one-girl type of guy. I’m gonna prove you wrong.”
KILL ME. I think that Tommy said the absolute perfect thing, and I think Colin Donnell delivered those last two sentences is just the most absolute perfect way and so sincerely. OH MY HEART. Laurel is making Tommy want to be a better person! (That’s certainly not what happened with Oliver.)
He loves her so much he doesn’t even know what to do with himself. He’s just so happy when he has these moments alone with her, and then the reaction shots of him being sad and heartbroken when he’s watching Oliver and Laurel together just murder me.
I can’t. I am unable to can.
Laurel responds, with a slow smile: “That’s certainly a guy I’d be interested in meeting.” Kind of an underwhelming response, but I understand that’s she still unsure. Tommy’s charming, he can talk nice. She needs to see it in action first.
“Good,” he says. “Now how about we start by getting you out of here. It is Friday night.” He takes her books like they’re in elementary school so cute and then she puts her arm through his and they leave!
I’m assuming they go to her place or his place again and have lots of sex, and I feel pretty cheated that we didn’t get to see any of it. Someone on this show needs to kiss. It’s getting ridiculous.
Now, it’s all warm and fuzzy and hopeful right now, but I fear for the longevity of a couple that is “together” by the end of the third episode. This show moves quickly and doesn’t waste a lot of time, which is something I appreciate and usually a sign of good writing. But it does put the fear in me. That sort of fast-pacing is always great at the beginning, but then you’re on the 4th season and you’ve lost count of the retcons, a third of the cast wasn’t in the pilot, you’re not sure if your top ship is actually even together, the best possible pairing on the show is the only one the writers seem determined not to try out, and everyone you love is dead. I have been there.
Do you want to hear Colin Donnell sing? He is an accomplished song and dance man, it would seem. This is a track from his production of Anything Goes.
So, is everyone now even more pumped for episode 4?