Wipe away your tears, friends. The sun can’t shine every day. An episode that focused heavily on Oliver and Laurel’s relationship was bound to come along sooner or later. Apparently it was just a case of “sooner, and in the worst way”.
There aren’t a lot of good things to be said about this episode, but I am going to discover them and I am going to say them!
But first let me say that this felt like an episode without any soul. I think it’s because THERE WAS NO TOMMY. NADA. ZERO TOMMY. TOMMY-LESS. Really? REALLY? No Tommy at all? Who signed off on that decision?
Bring me my bow because I have some threatening to do. Where they got the idea that it’s acceptable for Tommy to be absent for an entire episode I do not know, but it is NOT OK.
Last episode’s cliffhanger was a poisoned John Diggle waking up to see that Oliver is “that hood guy” (as he seems to be called by everyone).
Oliver invites John Diggle to join his mission, but Dig’s not having any of that. He calls Oliver a “criminal” and walks right on out. Oliver points out to him that he might have taken him to his home, but that he brought him to the lair instead. (Well, he said “here”. I’m still waiting for him to call it a lair.) I don’t think he meant, “I could have left you for dead,”, but the alternative meaning is that he was actively seeking John Diggle to join him, which surprises me. Because as much as we might all be rooting for a certain young lady to join his team, Oliver really seems like the type to prefer to go at it alone as much as possible.
John Diggle tenders his resignation offscreen, officially recorded as him disapproving of the way Oliver spends his nights, “especially since they start with [Oliver] ditching him”.
Oliver is assigned a new bodyguard – Rob Scott. Oh, my poor, sweet Rob. He’s so adorably gung-ho, so naïve. It really made me angry how Oliver treated him so disrespectfully, not just by ditching him, but his snide comments, like “I feel safer already,” and “You’ve got to keep up.” I know he’s trying to come off as irresponsible, but does he really need to be such an asshole to everybody? I found it attractive, though, LOL. I’m getting all hot and bothered while I am yelling at him to be nicer. (I guess this is what it’s like to be Laurel.) Rob ends up quitting as well. That made me sad, because I would have welcomed him warmly to the cast. Now I just want him and Felicity to run off together.
I wasn’t sure we would see her again so soon, but this episode made it pretty clear that Dig eats at least a meal there a day (someone is a burger fan…or a CARLY FAN). Oliver shows up (I wonder how he knew he was there?), repeats the offer, drops the bomb that Dig’s brother (who has a name now – Andy) was killed by Deadshot, and gives him the full story about why he is doing what he’s doing.
The next time we see Dig, he’s eating at the BBB again, and it’s clear that he’s reconsidering his earlier position. He’s tired of the bodyguarding gig and wants to do some good. We learn that Carly and Andy had a son, which means there’s a little Diggle out there somewhere. Poor Carly – a single mother and a waitress at a place called Big Belly Burger. No wonder we haven’t seen her smile yet.
By the end of the episode John Diggle has agreed to join Oliver in his venture. He’s hoping that if he helps Oliver, here will be “fewer casualties”, including Oliver. Amen to that. This isn’t the first time that I’ve mentioned that, in my opinion, Oliver’s collateral kills are a little excessive.
“I’m not looking for anybody to save me,” Oliver protests. I think part of the reason he doesn’t want anybody to know is he doesn’t want anybody trying to stop him. He doesn’t want anybody in his ear making too much sense. Because Oliver is stubborn. He may have changed, he may be on a selfless mission. But his ego is still astronomical. And he is convinced that he is right and justified at every turn. And anybody who thinks he needs saving is wrong. And anyone who thinks what he’s doing or how he’s doing it is wrong, is wrong as well.
“Maybe not, but you need someone just the same. You are fighting a war, Queen, but you have no idea what war does to you. How it scrapes off little pieces of your soul. And you need someone to remind you who you are. Not this thing you’re becoming,” Dig replies.
YES, BUT CAN’T IT BE THEA? WHY ISN’T IT THEA? IT. NEEDS. TO. BE. THEA.
I do like Dig’s insight here. Oliver, in his narration, has talked about being forged into weapon, becoming “something” else. But here we are talking about him losing his humanity in order to achieve his goals. The master soldier has no soul. That’s the price. I think we’ve already seen it, with the way that Oliver has been pushing everyone (especially Thea) away.
I like Dig a lot in this episode. But I still can’t help but resent that it’s not Tommy or Thea who is in on the secret. Tommy who, right? If you’ve only seen this episode, you don’t even know who the f- -k Tommy is. He wasn’t even mentioned.
Walter, Moira, Felicity
I am starting to really love Walter. I was so suspicious at first. I guess I assumed that Oliver’s instincts would always be right, so if Oliver didn’t like Walter, then Walter must be no good. But Walter IS good. And I love him and Moira as a couple. They are so sweet together. But there is trouble in paradise now. Walter is alerted to a missing 2.6 million dollars. Moira tells him that it was money she invested on a friend’s company that failed, but Walter is suspicious. So he asks Felicity to investigate.
I was definitely not expecting to see Felicity again so soon. But my darling girl was back and just as delightful as before. I particularly loved when she said to Walter, “I’m your girl”, and then felt that she had to inform him that she wasn’t making a pass at him. NEVER CHANGE, FELICITY SMOAK. YOU’RE A QUEEN. (Only not literally. Not yet, anyway. *crosses fingers* Oh, and can I just say something that I didn’t mention before – Felicity would be the perfect person for Oliver to end up with – if he has to end up with someone other than Thea, LOL – because she’s such an opposite of Thea. I mean, on one hand it would be great to see Oliver with some Thea-copy. But on the other hand, him seeking someone completely different from her is perfect as well, because if he can’t have her, then why bother trying to approximate it?)
Felicity does some digging, and discovers that the money was actually used to set up on offshore LLC called Tempest. I don’t really know what an offshore LLC is, but the important part is that Moira is a LIAR. It’s essentially a dummy company, except that it purchased a warehouse in Starling City three years ago. Duhn duhn duhn!
(Felicity brings up the interesting question of Moira’s last name, which no one seems to know what it is. She’s married to Walter, so it seems like her last name would be Steele. But Quentin addresses her as Mrs. Queen in either the first or the second episode. Felicity thinks that she seems like a woman who would hyphenate. So is she Moira Steele-Queen? And if she is: HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT LAST NAME?)
Oliver treks out to the warehouse and guesses the codeword that unlocks the door. It was Robert. (Moira being sentimental? Or is it because the contents of the warehouse were related to him. When Moira was talking to Thea about Robert in the last episode I had to ask myself if she was really involved in killing that man, because she seemed so loving when talking about him. I don’t know.) People guessing passwords in movies and on TV is sort of a pet peeve of mine. I mean, if it’s something that you are really trying to keep private, it just seems to me you wouldn’t make it that easy. Even if you’re lazy and don’t have a long, multiple-word password with capitol letters and numbers, I still think that you would know better than to pick your dead husband’s name! I’m not going to freak out about that too much, because it looks like it would have been fairly easy to hack or break into to.
The Queen’s Gambit. Aka the sunken yacht that killed Robert and Sarah and like 10 other people. That’s right. Whoever and Moira had it salvaged from the bottom of the ocean and brought to Starling City.
We know the boat was sabotaged. But I don’t think raising it off the bottom of the ocean and bringing it home is the best way to hide the evidence of that! So, it seems to me, that they were searching it for something. Even that seems a little farfetched. Well, if they were looking for the notebook: sorry, Robert kept it on his person and Oliver’s got it now.
(You may recognize him as Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who?)Is John Barrowman’s unnamed character (referred to, apparently, as the “well-dressed man”) the same unknown man that Moira met with at the end of episode 2? He was holding what looked like the same notebook, so I am going to venture a guess and say yes.
He greets her with, “You look nervous, Moira.” An intimidating start to things. And if he is indeed the same man, she seemed rather afraid of him then, as well. He reveals that that hood guy isn’t just targeting the rich – he’s targeting “the list”.
We know that Oliver has a list of names, but it would seem these people have something more in common than just being corrupt douchebags. I had assumed (falsely), that Robert knew through his various business dealings that the people on the list he gave to Oliver were bad dudes. But apparently there’s more to it. Now, would Robert have been on that list if he hadn’t written it himself (or whatever)? Or would Moira have been on the list?
This plot is thickening like cooling cheese sauce.
All of the flashbacks in this episode take place in the dwelling of the Chinese man. Oliver has his wallet with him. He pulls out a photo of Laurel (gag) and stares at it. He tells her that he’s sorry. Good, I say. It means he’s thinking about the fact that her sister died because he brought her on a yachting trip, and he’s not just like, “Oh my god Laurel I love you so much I just have to stare at this picture of you forever and ever.”
The Chinese man brings him a bird, which he obviously wants Oliver to kill, although it takes Oliver god knows how long to realize that, and even longer to get hungry enough to do it. I really love when he yells at the man, “I don’t speak Chinese!” Because I felt like in that moment we really, really saw the old Oliver. Not just the superficial stuff like the drunkenness and the womanizing, but the weak, privileged, self-indulgent man that he was.
The Chinese man notices him staring at the picture, and tells him that he in order to survive he has a lot more killing to do, and he won’t survive if he keeps staring at Laurel’s picture. He needs to forget her. BLESS THIS MAN. Obviously that’s not what happens, since Oliver tells Tommy in the pilot that he missed Laurel the most, although I think it was neck and neck with ice cream.
The Mess That Is Everything Else
Oliver heads home, probably more than little stressed about what John Diggle is going to do. He’s back in his suit, so I guess he went back to the Exchange Building to get it? If he stuffed it in a bag, it sure looks pretty good.
Laurel is waiting in the dark. Kind of hilarious, since he’s going to do that to her later. We learn that she heard about the shooting and came over to see if he was all right. (IT’S CALLED A TELEPHONE, LAUREL.) I guess she hung around, in the dark, alone in a house that is not hers, sitting there, waiting for him to get back. That’s not weird.
She’s angry, because his family was terrified that something had happened to him, but he just disappeared, and didn’t come back for hours.
He’s obviously not used to considering the effects his actions have on other people. I guess that’s what being on your own for five years will do to you. I’m even angrier at him than Laurel is, so as I see it dawning on him that he has put his family through hell, I’m hoping that it cuts him like a knife.
They really didn’t do me any favors by starting off an Oliver/Laurel-themed episode with a scene that made me really like Laurel.
Oliver is self-centered. He is a good person, but he is still a work in progress. And he is not very considerate of other peoples’ feelings. He’s so used to the idea of survival. He forgets that there’s more to life than just still being alive. He makes sure that Thea gets out of the building – that she lives – but he’s not thinking about the way she’s going to be feeling after it happened.
Oliver freely concedes that she’s right – but else can he do? Because she is right. She’s so freaking right that it hurts me.
“I made peace with your selfishness a long time ago,” Laurel continues. “But Moira, Thea, Walter – they don’t deserve that. They deserve better. Someone who doesn’t care only about himself.”
I like that she squeezed Thea’s name in here, and I like Oliver’s face as he’s considering what she’s saying and who he has been hurting. But I’m a little put off by the way she designates herself as someone who knows him better or is more used to his true self. I appreciate Laurel giving Oliver his well-deserved slap in the face, but I do not like her stepping in and mediating the family relationships. I guess I just feel like it’s more traditional that family are the ones you get to treat like crap because they’re family no matter what. It’s like Laurel elevated herself to that level, and pushed the family (aka Thea) out of it.
Oliver takes a deep breath, and sincerely thanks her for coming.
“I care about the lives of other people, Oliver. Maybe you should try it some time.” I think her self-righteousness got a little out of control with that last line. She walks away, revealing Thea standing in the back. It’s unclear how long she has been there or how much she heard.
It’s an artistic shot. One might ascribe meaning to it, if they wanted to. Laurel walking out, Thea having been there the entire time though Oliver didn’t realize it. IT COULD ALL BE SYMBOLIC!
Now, last time we saw Laurel, she was leaving the courthouse with Tommy, which was probably just a few hours ago, coinciding with the shooting. Somehow she heard about the shooting – so she saw it on the news or heard it on the radio. Why was she watching TV when she should have been having sex with Tommy?!!!!!! If he had been with her when she found out, he would have come over to Queen Manor as well. So they had already parted for the night. And it was a Friday night, which means chances are neither of them had an early morning meeting or anything like that.
Are you trying to tell me that not only was Tommy not in this episode, not only was it a festival of Laurel and Oliver’s relationship, but you’re actually going to take away my headcanon and Tommy and Laurel had lots and lots of sex after leaving the courthouse? Really? REALLY?
The only good thing is that she has obviously changed her clothes:
But the more I think about it, the less significant it becomes. Because I doubt she was lounging around her house watching TV in her work clothes.
He’s sighing heavily, throwing his head back in recovery. The discussion with Laurel was obviously very unpleasant to him, although when I think about how his face looked after Thea said, “And you’re barely my brother” and huffed off, it really doesn’t compare.
Thea walks in slowly from behind him, sighs sympathetically, puts her hand on his shoulder, and says, “That was harsh.” OK, no, she doesn’t just put her hand on his shoulder, she sort of slides it along and then around to the other side as they both shift to face each other. The loudest sound during this part is literally the sound of her hand on his jacket.
There’s also something intensely sensual (I couldn’t even say why) about the shot starting with the back of Oliver’s neck. Even though we already know that Thea is there and that she’s walking towards him, there’s an anticipation created by showing the back of his neck that makes him seem vulnerable.
This is all extremely gratuitous touching. I think she’s basically got a “let me hold you, baby” mentality after watching Laurel rip him a new one. I don’t think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill when I say, “Holy crap, Willa. You’re not putting sunscreen on him. It’s just a sympathetic pat.” I guess she was checking out his guns. She really loves touching his shoulders and arms, if you’ll recall, and recall again.
She asks if he’s OK, and he replies, “Sure” in the most unconvincing way possible. I really hate this part because this is the first time that Thea has been present in a scene and Oliver’s focus hasn’t been almost exclusively on her. He’s looking off into the distance, still recuperating from Laurel.
She laughs, because she knows he doesn’t mean it. She’s back to looking at him like he hung the moon, which is nice. (Although not as nice as eye sex.)Things get a little better when Oliver says, “Second time tonight a friend of mine has taken me to the woodshed. Kind of tires you out.” I am not familiar with that phrase, so I just keep thinking about Oliver taking Thea out to the woodshed, and instead of lecturing her, they get it on. OK, so I just looked it up, and apparently “to take someone to the woodshed” means to punish them. The woodshed sex just got a little rougher.
But the actual best part of all of this is the famous quote from Cold Comfort Farm. I’ve never read the book and it has been a while since I saw the movie, but there’s this (senile?) old woman who always walks around saying, “I saw something nasty in the woodshed.” Now, it has been a while, so I can’t remember if there was an actual implication that she saw two people having sex or that the sex was incestuous, but when I saw a mashup with Bran saying that after he saw Jaime and Cersei (who are brother and sister) having sex, I remember thinking how perfect and appropriate it was. Unfortunately I can’t find it, through I tried to track it down. So, anyway, woodshed had incestuous connotations for me already.
But I lied, because the actual best part of Oliver saying that is the fact that he’s still thinking about Dig, too. So, Laurel left her mark, but she’s not the only reason he’s upset.
Thea nods sympathetically. I think I have severely underdescribed the way she is looking at him. I think I shall call it “Adoration Manifest”. And the thing is, this expression on her face isn’t some sort of prelude to a smile. This expression remains on her face basically the entire conversation. And I think she’s trying to have this look on her face like “I’m on your side, brother” but it’s more of a “I want to get you on your back”.
THESE TWO ARE GOING TO KILL ME.
He’s still distressed and “not ok”, but he seems to cheer up a little once he starts joking with her:
I think the issue here is that he’s just really, really tired. Stephen Amell does a good job of showing tired, because just watching this scene makes me want to go to sleep.
Anybody else feel like she wants to say, “Take me with you!” I feel like her running her hand over his arm like that is a last-ditch effort to get him to sweep her into his arms and carry her up to his bedroom.
And then she just stands there thoughtfully for a few seconds.Now, I love that Thea saw Oliver and Laurel having a moment, and then walked in and put her hands all over Oliver. A territorial move if I ever saw one. Did you also notice how close they are standing to each other? I almost wonder if Thea has decided to start off her conversations with Oliver by touching him so that she has an excuse to stand that close to him. Or maybe it has something to do with her trying to hold him in place, trying to get him to look at her and pay attention to her. Basically what I heard Thea saying with her body during this whole scene is “Me me me me me me me me me me me. Not her.”
And there was just a contrast between the Laurel/Oliver interaction and the Oliver/Thea interaction. Laurel chastises Oliver, and they stand far apart. Even when they step towards each other, there is still several feet of distance between them. Then we have Thea who approaches Oliver gently, touches him softly, stands very close to him, speaks to him kindly and sympathetically and almost in a whisper (and she even comments on the “harshness” of Laurel). It’s almost like she wanted to present herself as the pleasant alternative to Laurel.
The opposite thing happened in the club scene in the last episode (which was only technically the day before, and the last real one-on-one conversation we saw between Oliver and Thea): Thea looks over, sees Oliver and Laurel smiling and having a pleasant conversation, so she runs right on over there and causes hell. It’s like she’s saying, “Whatever you do, don’t confuse me with her. I am me.”
I find that interesting, but a part of me is confounded that Thea isn’t angry. She might have mellowed a little after the shooting, and after the conversation with her mother, but the issues that were present during that fight in the club still exist, and even more so, why isn’t she angry for the same reason that Laurel was angry? Maybe she saw that Laurel had said what needed to be said. I don’t know.
Redbanker commented in the episode discussion on the Oliver/Thea livejournal (let’s get that place going, guys!) that she felt like there should have been a hug during that scene, and I felt the exact same way. Thea is there, practically clinging to his arm for dear life, and Oliver just walks away. Let’s forget for a moment that their physical proximity and general body language in that scene was basically leading towards a hug, and let’s focus on the fact that Thea was in a shooting earlier that night, and that is not something that she’s used to, and he’s not even going to ask her if she’s doing OK and give her a hug? Really? REALLY?
I can’t with you right now, Oliver Queen.
We’re shown the first set of flashbacks to the island (which basically consist of him looking at Laurel’s picture) as if they’re Oliver’s dreams. But honestly, does anyone dream memories like that? I never have. He wakes up as if it was a nightmare. It is a nightmare. My nightmare!
Oliver comes downstairs and sits next to Thea on the couch in the living room. She’s watching the news. I’m impressed that she’s watching the news and not MTV. But I do seem to recall her having some disdain for the Kardashians. The Queens are culture snobs.
Oliver and Thea are both ridiculously over-dressed in this scene. Oliver’s got a bathrobe on even though he was sleeping in a shirt and pajama pants, which is practically the same as being fully dressed.
Thea’s wearing some ugly, baggy tee shirt.
Her daytime PJs from last episode were prettier! The wardrobe department had treated us so well up until this point, with Thea’s sexy undone Catholic school girl uniform from the pilot and her visible black bra from episode 3. And now this wasted opportunity for Oliver’s arms and Thea in a camisole if not a lacy nightgown. God, I wear sexier stuff to bed!
The CBMOTW is a man named James Brodeur. He has been dumping toxic waste in the Glades. One of his employees was going to blow the whistle on him, so he had her murdered and framed her husband. The husband is about to be executed, and Oliver recognizes the name of James Brodeur from his list, so he figures out pretty quickly that the husband is actually innocent.
Urgh. That’s how I feel about that. Urgh.
Is his nightmare about Laurel because he keeps hurting her and letting her down?
Couldn’t it be: “Oh Thea, I dreamt that I was with Laurel instead of you! It was the worst nightmare I could imagine.”
Of course the first time he opens up to her and tells her the truth about something, it turns into a conversation about Oliver and Laurel and their stupid endgame relationship.
Because the person he really wants is you, I think to myself.
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. This is where we cross the line into Thea actually supporting Oliver/Laurel. The only way this will even be remotely OK is if it has something do with Thea having a crush on Tommy.
Or maybe…just maybe…not really….but maybe Thea is pushing Oliver and Laurel together now because she knows they’re not ready, so she’s hoping they’ll try again and it will be a train wreck, thereby ensuring that they never get back together again. It’s a risky move, but possibly a check mate.
Of course, it’s not as if I actually believe that Thea is being written as having that motivation, but as long as my playful theories don’t contradict canon I’m free to have some fun with that interpretation.
And Thea precedes to list all of the complications that she knows about – the cheating, Quentin hating him, etc. Including, “And you basically being a jerk to everybody since you got back.” So she did slide something in there about herself, which he, rather visibly, chooses to ignore at first.I’d say this was Thea trying to discourage him, except that she gives him some good advice later on.
It really is a very, very sweet moment. There’s really something about the way she looks at him, whether she’s smiling or she’s angry. I’m pretty sure in her eyes somewhere there was a “you can kiss me if you want to”.
And even though Oliver turns his face away, he just seems so comfortable there on that couch. The most relaxed that we’ve ever seen him.
“I know that it might not seem like it sometimes, but I’m not the same person I used to be,” he says. And I’m pretty sure he’s saying it to Thea, since she just called him a jerk, and because of the way he’s looking at her. And Thea, stupid Thea, is the one who makes it about Oliver/Laurel right away by saying, “So show her. Be yourself. I mean your new self.”
This scene had some nice elements. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest conversation they’ve had, so that’s a plus. Oliver was obviously making an attempt to open up to her a little more. He threw his arm around the back of the couch, which inevitably made me think about the guy pretending to stretch and then dropping his arm down around his date’s shoulders. By stretching out like that, he was making Thea a part of his personal space. Honestly, I sit like that too, because I find it the most comfortable, but I don’t sit like that when I’m sitting next to someone!
But I really can’t love this scene, because even though it was between Oliver and Thea, it was about Oliver and Laurel. (And did you notice how the subject of Tommy never came up? Thea didn’t even list it as one of the complications in Oliver and Laurel’s relationship. I mean really? REALLY? I can’t even!) And also because it just came off very platonic to me. It’s the first scene between them when I haven’t felt the need to ask, “Are these two for real?”
But one thing can be said about Oliver and Thea’s first two scenes – no matter what they are talking about, there is something in their body language that just really makes it seem like they want to be together.
Joanna tries to get Laurel to go out again, but Laurel is busy. Joanna is chiding her, saying that she’ll never meet a man if she doesn’t get out a little. Um, SHE HAS A MET A MAN. HIS NAME IS TOMMY. Really? REALLY? I mean, I know Joanna doesn’t know Tommy’s name (!), but she knows who he is and that Laurel has been seeing him. I guess Laurel didn’t feel like telling Joanna that Tommy has reinvigorated his efforts, and now wants to be a man that she deserves, and wants to be with, and oh no it’s raining on my face. Laurel jokes that she might meet a man – she could get mugged on her way home. And Joanna says that she hopes he’s cute and single. Which of course leads into this scene:
Oliver realizes that he needs a lawyer’s help to get a stay of execution for the victim’s wrongfully-convicted husband. So he goes to Laurel, of course. He waits for her in her apartment. He turns off the power so that he can stay in the dark. (Not exactly a mugging, but I can’t help but think that it’s supposed to be ironic.) It’s a smart way to keep her from recognizing him, especially since his costume is hardly adequate in that department. He also uses a voice disguiser (is there another word for those things?). Though he counteracts all that when he decides to walk right up to her instead of keeping his distance. Although he does this weird thing where he walks behind her (he does it in a later scene, too), and Laurel just lets him.
She doesn’t even turn around she just lets him stand behind right behind her. I mean, I know why it was done: 1) so that we can see his facial reactions without it making it seem like she can see them, too, and 2) because it has a certain visual quality reminiscent of a beauty and the beast dynamic wherein she’s fascinated by him but afraid of him as well, and he’s drawn to her but unwilling to reveal himself. Neither of those reasons make sense in-story. And Laurel, with her self-defense training, is unlikely to let him circle her like some sort of predator. She’s going to keep her eyes on him.
I’m not going to lie: reason #2 is a type of love story and aesthetic/visual that appeals to me considerably. What the writers and directors were attempting to do with that scene was not lost on me – I was not immune to the effect, despite being a deeply entrenched anti-Oliver/Laurel shipper. But I was also easily able to pick it apart and analyze the stylistic effects at work, which pretty much erased all of that. And I realized that what I was almost shipping in that moment was a sort of AU in which Arrow wasn’t Oliver, and there was no Tommy, and Laurel had never met this man before.
Laurel takes the case. She tells Joanna that it was that hood guy who put her on the case, and Joanna tells her she should be afraid of him and all that jazz, and then says that when she told her to meet someone, this wasn’t what she had in mind.
And how about Joanna? I feel like she must be in love with Laurel or something, because she keeps trying to get her to go out with her, supposedly to meet guys, but then she’s got a problem with every single one of Laurel’s love interests: Oliver? Cheater. Tommy? Oliver Lite. Arrow? Dangerous criminal. Somebody’s standards are too high. (/joking)
Laurel and Hood!Oliver’s first rooftop meeting is probably the worst. First of all, it’s all romantic with the lights and the view and the light wind. Then she approaches him. He walks behind her like I mentioned before, although this time is a little different. I think this time he was afraid she would get too close to his face and recognize him. But then Laurel doesn’t turn around, she just leaves her back to him.
Katie Cassidy, I love her, but she is majorly, majorly over the top in this scene. She’s doing this girlish shtick, with Laurel all wide-eyed and bosom-heaving. Speaking in this just god-awful cheap romantic near-whisper.
Do you remember how bad this scene was? Katie, you’re a much better actress than this. I can only assume the director just kept telling her “More! More!” like some crazed lunatic who thinks he’s directing Dracula and that it’s 1955. There’s a special ring in Hell for him.
And Laurel: Cool it, sister. What about Tommy? WHAT ABOUT TOMMY? You’re falling in love with this psycho vigilante when you’ve got Tommy on the line. Really? REALLY?
Hood!Oliver brings her a file later on. Laurel can admit that as a lawyer she never would have gotten that file. That she had always considered the law to be sacred but she’s seeing now how much a vigilante can get shit done. This is all making me do a lot comparison thoughts with Dexter. Maybe Oliver is a lot like Dexter. Maybe there is a legal way to get this done, but Oliver will reach a point where he is unable to give it up. Like Dexter, who has to start stealing cases from the police department even if they might have gotten a conviction.
I would prefer to see the law prevail. But sometimes it can’t. But Laurel can’t be so naïve that she didn’t already know this.
“I think there are too many people in this city who only care about themselves. People who are selfish.” Yeah, Laurel, that’s what the first sentence meant. “I think they need someone who cares about the lives of other people. Someone like you.”
So, we’ve got Laurel who hates Oliver because she’s selfish, telling Oliver that he’s not selfish. I can just hear the Oliver/Laurel shippers squeeing right now.
We return to Queen Manor, where Oliver is lolling around the house, grinning like an idiot. Thea walks in, dressed like I don’t even know what. But the outfit doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination, does it? Tight pants, bare midriff, and another white shirt. With a heart made of bones? What? But I’m OK with the heart imagery and the bone imagery.
I think we’ve seen these pants before.
She pretends to be confused by the thing on his face, aka his smile. Pretty funny. Pretty darn funny. And accurate.
Because as I was looking more closely at his smile, I realized how unfamiliar it was. And it reminded me again that Tommy wasn’t around, because so far Tommy is the one who has made Oliver smile the most – and Oliver actually laughed when they were talking about Oliver sleeping with Max Fuller’s fiancée at the rehearsal dinner.
“That’s cute,” he says.
We’ve heard that phrase once before on this show. Do you remember? It was in the club scene in episode 3 when Tommy is saying to Laurel that her being out and having fun must be breaking some sort of law. “That’s cute, Tommy,” she says. It’s a flirty phrase.
“It’s helping.” Oliver is delusional if he thinks it’s helping. Bruce Wayne had the good sense to know that a girl who is in love with Bruce is better than a girl who is in love with Batman. The same with Clark Kent and Superman. Sure, when Lois moons all over Superman it makes him feel better when she’s walking all over him as Clark, but if she’s not in love with Clark then there’s something wrong.
“I got mad relationship skills, bro,” Thea responds. Oliver doesn’t even lift an eyebrow at the idea that she might have dated enough guys to be an expert. But she does seem to be locking herself in as a future confidant, and someone he would seek advice from. “Let me know if you need trendy places to propose,” she finishes.
I like that she used the word “trendy”. It’s like she’s setting up Laurel and Oliver’s relationship as something run-of-the-mill or ordinary. She’s not going to help him plan some special proposal – she’s going to tell him what everyone else is doing. (And there’s the idea that she’s imagining Oliver proposing to her!)
And I like to think about that line being more about Thea touting her own relationship skills (as in, “I helped you so much that you’re on the fast track to marriage”) rather than entertaining the idea of Laurel and Oliver getting married.
Also, maybe Thea suggested marriage as a way of scaring Oliver off – provoking the commitment phobia that probably caused him to cheat on Laurel in the first place.
This was a really cute scene. Very brotherly/sisterly, very lighthearted and playful. The Oliver/Thea scenes in this episode weren’t very rewarding for a shipper going against the current, but we did get a glimpse of the harmonious relationship they could have once their issues are resolved, and, in my opinion, how much nicer that relationship would be than Oliver and Laurel’s.
But I have to complain that again this scene, though between Oliver and Thea, was very much also about Oliver and Laurel.
Stop hijacking our scenes, Oliver/Laurel!
It’s just RUDE.
Laurel has the evidence that the murdered woman went to her supervisor to talk about the toxic waste, but the judge won’t reopen the case. Which is ludicrous. There was more than enough evidence to stay the execution. Although it’s silly that this man is about to be executed anyway, since the murder was only three years ago. Death row is usually decades, isn’t it? Laurel is very angry, so she tells off James Brodeur, and says she won’t give up. Stupid, stupid girl. Dumb, stupid girl. It’s like she wants to be murdered. And what do you know, one of Brodeur’s guys concocts a plan to kill her during a riot at the prison while she’s visiting her client.
Oliver catches wind and sweeps in to save her, dressed as a prison guard. (We learn the name of another Starling City establishment: Iron Heights, the prison.) One of the inmates is choking Laurel,
Apparently this little interaction puts Laurel off (despite the fact that he just saved her and her client’s lives). She had been fighting with Quentin over the goodness and trustworthiness of that hood guy (a fight she made considerably worse by lying to him and by insulting the police for failing to catch the right murderer), but she flies into her father’s arms at the end and tells him that he’s right: Hoody is a killer. “I looked in his eyes. It’s like he had no remorse.”
I don’t know if Oliver heard this conversation, but I think he got the general message from the way Laurel reacted to him. This is punctuated by the flashback scene when Oliver finally kills the bird. No, Oliver is not the man he was before – he’s a lot more violent. And the part of him that recoils at that violence is deadened and hardened. (This isn’t just him punching paparazzi.)
I love love love that they’re exploring this dark side of him, that Laurel no longer has stars in her eyes about him or his vigilantism, and that he’s being called out again on some of his unnecessary killings. I need Oliver to not just have secrets, I need him to be damaged.
The “innocent man” is freed after one of James Brodeur’s bodyguards confesses. I don’t know why he confessed – maybe he was caught at the prison? The prison riot can be classified as a long action sequence, so even though I’ve seen it twice, I’m still a little fuzzy on it because I got bored and stopped paying attention. Apparently some Laurel fans are upset she was bested during the prison riot. I can’t even remember. It’s all just a blur. Wasn’t she outnumbered by a lot? She took Max Fuller by surprise last episode.
But the story is not over! When Quentin learns that the hood guy was dressed as a prison guard, he realizes that there might be something tangible on the security footage. And there is. Not just a lead, but Oliver Queen’s freaking gorgeous face in all its glory, running up the stairs. I believe it’s from the Stock Auction, when Oliver pulls his green arrow outfit out the garbage where he stashed it. Quentin doesn’t keep this to himself – he shows up with a posse at Queen Manor and arrests Oliver Queen.
While a part of me is simply delighted at the pace of the plot, at the jaw-dropping nature of this development, I’m 90% displeased. Oliver is being accused of being the hooded vigilante. Everyone is going to know that he’s being accused of that. The family was right there while it was happening, Walter trying to tell them to stop and Thea was crying desperately for Walter to stop them. They all heard that he is accused of various killings and vigilantism. And it’ll be all over the news. EVERYONE IS GOING TO KNOW. Even if Oliver can get rid of the evidence, disprove the charges, get out of a conviction, or even convince the police that it’s not him and that they’re mistaken. Even if he comes up with a perfectly plausible excuse for why he was holding the costume and running up the stairs. Even if he gets Dig to dress up like Green Arrow while he has an alibi. Well, the idea that he’s the hooded vigilante is still going to be out there. The next time Laurel sees Hood!Oliver, she’s not going to be able to help wondering if it’s Oliver. She’s going to be studying him. And the worst part is Thea. Because I was just dying for her to encounter the Green Arrow, whether he was saving her, or she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I really didn’t want her to know that it was Oliver. And even if she doesn’t believe that it’s Oliver, there’s still going to be a part of her mind that is considering it.
I prefer superheroes with a secret identity. I think that’s why I could never love The Avengers or any of those heroes as much as I love Batman or Superman. The secret identity is one of my favorite parts.
So, as much I have bemoaned the Oliver/Laurel in this episode, honestly, this was the worst part about it for me. I just feel like it changes everything, even if, ostensibly, it changes nothing on the surface after the actual court case is resolved.
And Laurel will probably be his lawyer. GAG.
I’m sure most of you know by now that there is an Oliver/Laurel kiss in the promo. I’m not going to talk about it, I’m going to wait until after I’ve seen the episode. But this looks a little familiar, doesn’t it:Like REALLY REALLY familiar?
One thing I can’t wait for, though, is to see Oliver just denying over and over and over again that he’s the Green Arrow. I just want to see the lies pouring out.
This entry wound up being pretty late again. I’m going to try better next week. Assuming I write another one. I probably will, since I’m still so obsessed.
And before you get too discouraged, remember the scene I alluded to above. And this:And this:And this:And this:And have a picture of Stephen Amell with a dog:And some lovely but extremely unflattering pics of Stephen and Willa: