I really wanted to get this commentary up before the new episode aired, but I didn’t want to be spoiled about the iCarly finale, which means I had to watch it as soon as I had the chance, and I was overwhelmed by feels. More feels than I was expecting, though I should have known better. So I had to write that entry out and get it done right then. So that’s why this got pushed back, and consequently 1.07, and probably 1.08 as well. C’est la vie.
But back to Oliver and Thea, and their ridiculousness. And this episode, which was all kinds of glorious.
The episode begins with Oliver saying, “My name is Oliver Queen,” which all of the episodes do, and to which I always say, “Yes, dear, I know.”
The real action of the episode begins with a bank robbery. It’s the first scene on the show (that I can think of) when at least one of the main characters hasn’t been present. It’s a dangerous precedent. And what’s even worse is that it was the teaser. Let’s just hope this doesn’t continue. Because it’s usually a sign of filler.
We move on to Oliver and John Diggle training at the lair. Oliver being shirtless during this scene did nothing to calm the Oliver/Diggle shippers, I’m sure. Oliver whoops Diggle pretty soundly at this metal pipes thing they’re doing, which I guess I liked, although they’re both so smug – I wish there was way both of them could have lost. Diggle is trying to get Oliver to tell him more about what happened on the island. Oliver tells him that Yao Fei (our wild and mysterious Chinese man) taught him how to use those pipe things they’re playing around with, but won’t say any more than that.
Oliver is ready to move on to another name on The List, a man who has been manipulating the price of utilities in The Glades. But John Diggle wants Oliver to help catch the bank robbers – he has studied their M.O. and knows they will rob at least one more bank in Starling City before moving on. He seems particularly affected by the fact that a police officer was shot during the robbery we saw at the beginning of the episode. Oh John Diggle. You’re so sweet.
Oliver doesn’t want to get involved – he knows that the Starling City Police Department will be all over it because a cop was shot, and he considers “street crime” to be symptomatic of the larger problem. More importantly, he seems to only consider names on The List to be worthy of his time because those were the people his father sacrificed himself for Oliver to take down.
As much as I sympathize with John Diggle wanting to make an immediate impact in a practical way, I have to agree with Oliver. He makes a good point when he says: “Crime happens in this city every day. What do you want me to do? Stop all of it?” But he comes off like such an ass when he says it that I almost want to side with John Diggle for that reason alone.
“It sounds like you have a narrow definition of being a hero,” John Diggle says, storming out petulantly.
We finally pick up the Tommy/Laurel thread three episodes after Tommy and Laurel’s big moment at the courthouse at the end of 1.03. I think that little Oliver/Laurel dalliance we had to suffer through is over for the moment.
Laurel and Jo have just received the very bad news that their biggest donor for the CNRI (their law clinic) has dropped out, which means they will have to shut down. Tommy breezing in and inviting Laurel to fly to “Coast City” on his private plane for the evening does not mix well with her fatalistic mood.
Well, I think that sounds like the perfect way to be cheered up, but clearly I’m not Laurel.
Also, “Coast City”? LOL. That’s some creative city-naming, people. (Though I appreciate the expansion of this alternate United States.)
Can I have an episode where Laurel, Tommy, Oliver, and Thea all fly to Coast City for a resort weekend? Romantic shenanigans ensue?
I’ve been trying to get more details about Tommy’s life for weeks now, and finally we’re getting some info. (If you’ve seen episode 7, then you know there is a lot more to come, but I’ll hold off on integrating that new information.) I assumed he was in the same wealth-class as Oliver, but that was all guessing until now: he has a private plane. So apparently he’s rolling in money, or at least, like Oliver, his family is.
“What is this?” Laurel asks impatiently, after he invites her. And I realize she has just received some very, very, very bad news, but what a bitch!
Whisking some lady off in a private plane for a sunset flight to a romantic dinner in a pretty coastal city isn’t typical “get-to-know-the-real-me” behavior, but I’m guessing Tommy has never really had to woo someone before, so the fact that this is a real date and not just a hook-up is what’s key here. And at least he’s not taking her to some homeless shelter to serve food pretending like that’s something he does all the time.
“Tommy, so you don’t misunderstand, CNRI just lost its biggest single donor, which means all of the work and sacrifices that I have made to help this legal clinic survive – it may have been for nothing.” I’m glad she told him the reason why today was not a good day and why she has so much on her mind. I would not have been surprised if she had just turned him down and sent him away. She still doesn’t seem to realize that he cares not just about sleeping with her, but about her life.
“Maybe another time…Yeah?” he says, and quickly leaves. Despite the fact that he knows why she is being so short, he still has such a downtrodden demeanor when he leaves that I think he was nevertheless hurt by her sharp rejection. Actual kicked puppy Tommy Merlyn. (And is it just me or is Colin Donnell verging on anime eyes here?)
I think that makes her uncomfortable. I think it’s just so much easier for her to pretend that he’s only interested in sex or only thinks he’s interested in her. Which is why I don’t think that she would have apologized, even if he had stuck around. And I think that she probably enjoys having the moral superiority in the relationship. We’ve seen how she lords her self-righteousness over Oliver. Apparently she gets off on it. I mean all of that in a nice way. I think it makes her a more interesting character.
Thankfully the precedent of Oliver and Thea having at least one scene together per episode continues. They’re upstairs at Queen Manor, walking down the hallway. Perhaps they met up leaving their rooms, perhaps they were already together (wink wink), I don’t know.
“I mean, haven’t you noticed she’s been acting a little down lately?” Thea asks. “What am I saying? Of course you haven’t,” she adds, with an embittered laugh.
THANK YOU, SHOW. Oliver and Thea have been getting along really well ever since Moira reached out to Thea in 1.03, and the shooting. But none of Thea’s issues with Oliver have changed at all. So it’s really nice to see that being highlighted again. She’s still getting along with Oliver, here, but she lets the fact that she thinks he’s being very distant and uninterested in his family shine through. It’s just such good, consistent writing for their relationship and for Thea.
And I think there’s probably a little nudge, nudge here, as in, “I’m talking about you not paying attention to Mom but I’m also talking about you not paying attention to me”.
What’s even better is that we see just how observant she is.
“Well, who are you to judge? Since when do you pay attention to how Mom’s feeling?”
“Since our stepfather suddenly decided to take a business trip halfway around the world.”
“I think when someone at Walter’s paygrade takes a business trip it’s always sudden, Thea. I wouldn’t worry.”
I’m not sure Oliver really has a leg to stand on when he accuses Thea of not usually caring about their mother’s feelings. We know that it’s Moira who has pushed Thea away. And even though Thea has acted out, and been disrespectful about it, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been paying attention. Plus, how would Oliver really even notice that Thea is neglectful towards their mother when he hasn’t even noticed that his mother is heartbroken?
Thea noticed right away. Walter taking a business trip to Australia isn’t suspicious at all, but Thea still picked up on the fact that something wasn’t right between Moira and Walter.
I really liked this part. Oliver and Thea talking to each other and about each other and their family? It’s exactly what they should be talking about. It’s a conversation that belongs only to them.
Moira is downstairs, and she tells her children that she was just talking with the Bowen family. Carter Bowen, Oliver’s age, was apparently always very highly regarded by Moira:
LOL. I think Thea gets the best one in with that bit about curing cancer.
I LOVED THIS. Not only was it funny and lighthearted, but the way Oliver and Thea were working in tandem like that was perfect, bouncing off each other. It was clear that despite their age difference they had both suffered the same sense of inadequacy where Moira’s estimation of Carter Bowen was concerned. I really felt like this scene was a glimpse of what it was like before the yacht accident. Before Oliver changed, before Robert died.
Moira tells them that the Bowens are coming for brunch, and she expects Oliver to be there. Oliver explains that he can’t come, but then she gets him on the hook, because brunch isn’t until tomorrow. Heh! Nice one, Moira. Thea teases him for getting caught in that well-laid trap, but then Moira tells her that she expects Thea to be at brunch as well. So we get another adorable exchange:
Oliver still tries to duck out, but Moira pressures him by making it sound important to her, and then he agrees, saying, “We’ll be there.” I love that he was presumptuous enough to answer for Thea as well. (You’re the one who is never around, Oliver. I don’t know why you’re pretending that you and Thea are in the same boat.) And Thea doesn’t seem to mind that he answered for her. Well, except that she says, “I hate you.”
John Diggle calls Oliver to tell him that his intended target is in the hospital. So Oliver moves to leave for the hospital just as dear Thomas is walking into the house.
“Hey, just the man I wanted to see,” Tommy begins. “I just picked up a new sports car, and I’m thinking we can open her up, pick up a few speeding tickets,-“
“That sounds great but something’s come up: I gotta jet,” Oliver replies, putting his hands on Tommy’s shoulders and then moving past him and right on out the door.
Tommy spins around to watch him leave: “O-Oh, OK. Nice talk. Thanks.”
MY POOR BABY!
Oliver actually smiles when Tommy first mentions his new sports car – sort of like a “typical Tommy” type smile. It seemed like more than just him getting his apology face ready to go for when Tommy stopped talking. At this point I’m really panning for gold for Oliver/Tommy friendship things, LOL.
Tommy is obviously downcast when Oliver blows right on out of there. And you can tell from his “nice talk, thanks” bit that he probably had more in mind than just speeding around with Oliver – he wanted to talk to him. (Though if he was going to talk to him about Laurel, I feel like that would get pretty awkward pretty quick, especially since Oliver and Laurel just kissed last episode.)
Tommy just wants to hang out with his friend. But if Oliver doesn’t need a party planned, then I guess he doesn’t need Tommy.
Come to my bosom, baby. Let me comfort you.
“He moves fast, doesn’t he?” Thea comments, reappearing from the living room.
“It’s ironic, really, since you’re the one we call ‘Speedy’,” Tommy notes. And I think it’s nice that he didn’t just agree with Thea’s sentiment, he actually sort of changed the course of the conversation and made it more about her.
She’s embarrassed yet again to hear that nickname. I don’t know why, it’s nice. She’s lucky to have a nickname at all. Some people go their whole lives wishing they had a nickname. I mean it could be a lot worse: Kate Fox used to be called “junkface”.
And I thought that the way Thea smiled back at him could lend itself to an amorous sort of affection. But we all know well enough by now that just because Thea is looking at someone like she wants to jump his bones (*cough* Oliver *cough*) does not mean that that’s what we’re supposed to assume. I had also wondered if Thea outing Tommy and Laurel’s relationship in 1.03 and aiding Oliver to get Laurel back in 1.04 might be related to her wanting Tommy for herself. But up until now that was just speculation. NOW IT’S FACT. Well, the crush is fact, anyway.
I’m just going to lay this out there right now: I like Tommy/Thea a lot. I’m kind of fangirling hardcore about this development now that it is canon, and shipping it hard, despite the fact that I love Tommy/Laurel as well, and that Oliver/Thea is my actual OTP. But the thing about Tommy/Thea is that it might actually happen, might even be endgame. So I think it’s only natural to get excited about that. But never forget that I am first and foremost an Oliver/Thea shipper.
And, like I mentioned in the post on 1.01, Thea having a crush on Tommy sort of supports Oliver/Thea, because Tommy can be viewed as a socially acceptable Oliver substitute. Old!Oliver, from before the accident, was just like Tommy, as far as we know. Right down to dating Laurel. So Thea has this crush on Tommy and we’re supposed to see it entirely separate from the way she feels about Oliver? I DON’T THINK SO.
Until we know more, we can even suppose that 12 year-old Thea sought out Tommy as a replacement older brother, and then fell for him. Which means, in a way, that she has already fallen for a brother. Even if she liked him that way all along, he was still in a brotherly position.
And, as you may have figured out by now, I’m sort of a Tommy fan. Yeah, I kind of like him a little bit. I think he’s OK. He’s alright. And, well, I guess I see Thea wanting him as being a huge source of character capital for him. It’s like she’s bestowing worth on him. Because we’ve got Laurel rejecting him on one hand, and Oliver rejecting him in a different way, but then we’ve got Thea, very much not rejecting him. And Thea isn’t just anyone – she’s Oliver’s beloved little sister. So her feelings have a worth to him, and she’s reinforcing the connection between Oliver and Tommy. And their friendship is VERY important to me.
“You know, maybe you could help. There’s this girl that I’m, uh, interested in, and I am really not sure how to pursue it,” Tommy begins.
Thea is smiling back at him. “Have you tried using your usual lines?”
So Tommy Merlyn is a billionaire. NICE.
“Why don’t you just tell her how you feel?” Thea suggests. No Thea, that’s common sense. It has no place here. THIS IS TV.
“Well, I-I’ve known her for a long time, and I’m not sure the direct approach is really the right way to go.”
“Maybe you just have to figure out what’s a big deal to her, and make it a big deal to you.” Damn. Girl does have mad relationship skills.
Thea smiles after him for a minute.
So, this scene was sort of brutal for me to watch the first time, because you can just tell that Thea thinks that Tommy is referring to her, but we the audience know that he’s talking about Laurel. Personally, I don’t blame Thea one bit for thinking he was talking about her. Not only does Colin Donnell have his flirty turned on (sparkle eyes, and damn that smile), but everything he said about Laurel applies to Thea. And then the bit about not wanting to use “the direct approach” makes it sound like this whole thing is just a playful pretense.
Not that there weren’t clues that he wasn’t actually pursuing Thea in this scene, but nothing I blame Thea for not noticing. And Thea thinks Tommy and Laurel were already a thing. He makes it sound like this a girl he has never been with.
And I love the way he says “Love you” when he leaves. Because it’s not like he’s saying, “Oh, you helped me, I love you!” in that throwaway manner we say all the time. But it’s more like the way you say it to a family member when you’re in a hurry: casual, but genuine.
Well, John Diggle is a big fat liar. He arranged for the shot police officer to be transferred to a better hospital and had Oliver foot the bill. Then he forced Oliver to admit that he had done it right in front of the officer’s wife. NICE. Oliver agrees to pursue the bank robbers. Even though he has been led by the leash on a long guilt trip, I feel like Oliver is actually gung ho about catching these robbers after talking to the wife.
“So, where are you going to take me today? Monte Carlo?” Laurel asks. What is this lady’s problem? I’d cut off one of my fingers for a trip to Monte Carlo. The fact that it would be with Tommy only makes it that much better.
“Actually, I was just telling Jo here that the Merlyn Global Group is looking to expand its philanthropy, and I thought that we could start by sponsoring a benefit for CNRI.”
“Thank you, Tommy,” Laurel begins, “but I think we can manage without your family’s finances.”
O rly? Because I was under the impression that you were about to flop.
And now we know Tommy’s company (or Tommy’s family company): Merlyn Global Group.
Jo pulls Laurel aside. “What are you doing?” she demands.
“He’s not interested in throwing us a fundraiser,” Laurel protests. “What he wants to have is the first annual attempt to get back into my pants gala.”
I don’t see the problem here.
Also, I’m pretty sure this is not his first annual attempt to get back into her pants. In fact, it would be the second this week. But never mind.
“We really do. So you’re going to listen to your best friend’s advice. You’re going to go over there and say ‘Thank you, Tommy. We’d be honored for you to throw us a fundraiser.’”
Even though Jo has said a lot of things that I have taken issue with, I find myself really liking her. And I like the actress a lot. I like her mannerisms, her way of talking. I think she’s very talented. I don’t feel like she’s acting. I feel like she *is* Jo.
Well, Oliver is late, but not too late, for brunch with the Bowens. He hugs Thea, and she whispers, “Thank God you’re here,” into his ear. I don’t know if she expects him to make the brunch better or if she just wants a partner in her suffering.
“One thing I didn’t miss on the island – Sunday drivers,” Oliver jokes. It was the perfect thing for him to say from a writing standpoint. He’s practiced at being polished and charming, so he makes a joke that lessens the uncomfortability of the topic of his time on the island and explains why he was late. But it’s just so fake at the same time. It’s like you can actually see him putting this fake persona on like a coat and wearing it to brunch.
The costume department was kind to us again – Thea’s black bra of showmanship is back. Although I’m not sure what’s up with the high-waisted mustard-colored not-quite-capris, but they were nasty. Despite all that, I think she looks quite grown up at brunch. Carter Bowen is rambling on about the title of his highly technical book (he’s a neurosurgeon), and Thea gives Oliver this look like, “Is he really saying all this crap?” Oliver does turn his eyes towards her:But we can’t tell that he has smiled until we see his profile, when the camera is actually on Carter Bowen:
It’s sort of odd, so I wonder if there was an editing mistake, or maybe a line or two was cut. I think maybe there was supposed to be more of an amused eye exchanged between Oliver and Thea.
There’s a passing reference to Dr. Oz, which Oliver equates to The Wizard of Oz, garnering a laugh from everyone.
Carter begins talking about the duty of the wealthy to help the less fortunate, and he asks Oliver if he agrees. “You’re the hero, Carter,” he says. Which is irony on top of irony, since earlier in the episode Oliver said, “I’m not a hero,”.
If you’ll recall, when I noticed that Raisa was not in the second episode, I was suspicious immediately that we would never see her again. After she had been gone for three episodes, I felt like we could conclude that she was dropped after the pilot. And now that we’ve had this scene, with an entirely different woman serving them all at the table, I definitely, definitely know for sure that she’s no longer a part of the show. Kind of strange, but I’m sure they had their reasons. Even though I liked her, I’m kind of glad they won’t be spending time on that relationship, since there are so many other relationships for them to spend that time on.
Janice Bowen, who is pretty darn gorgeous for someone her age, asks what Oliver’s plans are.
He says, “I’m opening a night club.”
This causes Thea to legitimately giggle. I guess it’s funny because it makes such a contrast with Carter’s neurology and Mrs. Bowen asking him if he was going to take a job at Queen Consolidated. That’s the only reason I can think why she almost did a spit take. (It would have been a spit take if she had been drinking anything.)
John Diggle comes in and whispers to Oliver that the bank robbers were in the process of hitting another bank. I think it looks really awesome when someone comes in and whispers something in someone’s ear and makes it look really important. I’m going to tell my friends to just start doing that randomly to me.
I’m pretty impressed that Oliver managed to get the 20 miles to Starling City, put on his hood gear, and make it to the bank while the bank robbery was still in progress.
Oliver recovers the money, but the robbers get away.
Oliver has done some research and figured out that robbers are the Reston family, but he goes to Felicity for more information.
I just love the way he smiles at her. Every time. I definitely don’t need endgame with these two, but I really need something to happen.
Just when I think I can’t love her any more than I already do, I start to love her more.
Dig is there, and he seems to think that Felicity is the greatest thing to have ever happened to mankind. Well, that might be exaggeration, but he gives her a very appreciative smile after what she has just said.
Oliver does not appreciate it.
Oliver tells her that Reston is an old friend that he is trying to get a hold of. As with their first interaction in 1.03, his lie falls apart immediately.
Felicity figures out that Reston used to work at the Queen steel factory, and he lost everything (severance pay and pension) when the factory was outsourced to China. (Maybe that’s why the Queens were yachting in that part of the world.) Felicity really endears herself to me with her obvious sympathy and outrage for what the laid-off workers had to go through. She doesn’t disguise her disgusted tone, even though she’s talking to the orphaned son of the man who made it happen.
I think it’s kind of hilarious that Oliver proved his own point from earlier in the episode: this street crime was 100% the direct result of what someone on The List had done. The name from The List just happened to be his own father’s. Because he knows his family is part of what drove them to crime, he decides to give Mr. Reston one more chance to do the right thing. He offers him a job at another Queen Consolidated facility in another part of the country, and then bugs them. Even though Mr. Reston is tempted, the rest of his family convinces him to pull off one more job so that they can retire in Mexico, or somewhere.
I’m really glad we had this. Because we were told right from the start that Robert was like the other people on the The List, but now we’re finally seeing some actual evidence of his wrongdoings. And despite what Robert has done, we’ve mostly seen Oliver put him up on a pretty high pedestal. But this episode shows that he doesn’t have any more illusions.
Meanwhile, Tommy and Laurel are working on the fundraiser. As in, planning the party. Yes, that’s right. Tommy is planning another party. But, for a change of pace, this one is for charity and for Laurel, and not an accidental cover for Oliver’s vigilantism. (Though, I guess you could say that in a way they were all technically for charity, Tommy just didn’t know it.)
Clearly Tommy missed his calling as a party planner. Well, actually he didn’t miss his calling, since that seems to be all he’s good for. Tommy has appeared in five episodes and planned three parties.
Laurel wants to know why he’s pursuing her now – with the invitation to Coast City and this fundraiser.
Tommy tells her that he went home with a girl he had picked up in a bar the week before only to discover that he had been there, with her, before. He says, “You know, I remember some of the mornings, when you and I were together, and I made you omelets. And I’d be in your kitchen, and I would think to myself, ‘This isn’t just fun. This is more than fun. This is…this is different.’ I’ve never felt that way with anybody else. And I miss it.”
Putting “awwwww” here doesn’t really cut it, but that’s essentially how I feel. He’s good at these speeches. Actual articulate motherf—ker Tommy Merlyn. Laurel is moved by his words, much more so than she was in the courthouse. You can tell she’s almost sort of shaken. I can’t wait for the day when he can get into her heart like that just by looking at her.
As much as I love what Tommy/Laurel is right now, when it was first revealed to us that they had hooked up a couple of times, I was kind of hoping there would be slightly more antagonistic tension. Laurel’s resistance seems to mostly be born of a fear that he has no intention of/is incapable of actually committing to her. I wanted to see a bit more of Laurel thinking she’s too good for him but finding him slightly irresistible, and him not having any interest in monogamy but being drawn to her. Which is what I think their relationship was like before the show started. But it seems that they have already moved away from that stage.
Well, Tommy smiles when he sees her walk into the gala. (Which is fabulous, by the way. Tommy only knows how to throw one kind of a party: a good party. But his varieties of good are remarkable.) “You look…really lovely,” he tells her.
“You could just say thank you, you know,” he responds. See, now that’s exactly the sort of bickering I wanted to see.
And then she thanks him, for the compliment, for the party, while gripping his jacket in a way that was indescribably wonderful. I mean, do you see how mysteriously sexy that is? I’m gonna get me some of that jacket, oh yeah….
And they’re exchanging lovey-dovey smiles. What is Colin Donnell’s face? His smile makes me smile. I’m smiling like an idiot right now.
Jo comes over to thank him for the party, which, quite rudely (Tommy, manners, please) causes Tommy’s eye to wander around the room. (You need to be nice to Jo. We talked about this.) He notices Thea enter, and goes over to greet her.
“Thank you for inviting me,” she responds.
“Well I figured the whole Queen family and their checkbooks should be present.”
Ouch. But apparently Thea doesn’t see herself as having just been insulted: “Right, and how is that going for you so far?”
“It’s going amazing. And all thanks to you. Thea Queen: the unlikely voice of reason.” Ouch again. Geez, Tommy, LAY OFF.
AND IT BEGINS.
“You gave me that great advice,” Tommy replies. “I thought about what the girl was interested in…” He pulls back so that she can see Laurel.
“And it’s working,” Tommy adds. “Thanks again, Speedy.” He bumps shoulders with her (an almost laughably platonic gesture, though I had never realized that until this moment), and heads back into the fray. While I think his use of the nickname is more good than bad, it’s clear that in this context it’s just another emphasis on their friendship.
Carter Bowen has been invited to the fundraiser. “Do you remember Carter Bowen from high school?” Laurel asks. A ha! Now, we don’t know if Tommy went to middle school with Laurel and Oliver, but he was at least in high school with them. Awwwww. Tommy and Oliver have been friends since high school! Just imagine little 15 year old Tommy coming over to little 15 year old Oliver’s house, with little five year old Speedy chasing after them.
Oliver is at the event as well. He joins up with his mother in an attempt to make amends, but she only has scathing words for him: “I know you and I have had our difficulties, but despite all my many mistakes I always thought you and I had a connection. So can you imagine – just imagine – being granted the miracle of having my child returned to me – that you seem to have little or no interest in being with me. Or telling me the truth.”
I kind of resent that Oliver and Thea didn’t have a scene together at the party. I mean, we know she’s off getting trashed, but I kind of wanted his eyes to find her the way they did at his party in the pilot.
Off at the bank robbery, one of Reston’s sons was ready with a plastic shield, which successfully blocked all of the arrows. That was hilarious. But Oliver gets the advantage eventually, and Reston dives in front of a bullet coming from the security guard in order to save his son, and ends up dying. But not before telling the Hood that he turned his son into the violent criminal that he is now.
This ties into Oliver’s flashbacks to the island. They’re mostly of hallucinated conversations with his father in which hallucination!Robert guilts Oliver into taking up his cause. (I didn’t realize until very recently that Jamey Sheridan, the actor who plays Robert Queen, also plays Vice President Walden on Homeland.)
I guess we’re supposed to see Robert as having turned his son into “this”. Frankly, I’m not buying it. Robert put a lot of pressure on Oliver, but not nearly the same pressure that Oliver puts on himself. And Oliver being changed is far more about the island, what happened to him there, and all the time he spent there.
This reminded me a lot of John Winchester on Supernatural. I could never dislike John as much as the show wanted me to. And they just kept piling John’s transgressions one on top of the other. It was horrible. They’ve done the same thing to Frank Morgan on Dexter. I don’t understand why it’s a tendency to take the dead father and then just, well I can’t think of another way to say it: shit on his memory. I guess writers feel like they can make their main characters look better by turning their father’s into dicks. (Not that any of these fathers were portrayed as saints to begin with.)
Anyway, it ends with Oliver burning pages from the empty journal he found in his father’s pocket, only to notice that the heat of the fire made words appear! I had considered that idea, and then dismissed it. Just like I had considered the yacht having been sabotaged, and then dismissed it. But at least things make more sense now.
“Did you know that as a doctor I was able to diagnose myself as a giant tool,” Tommy says angrily to himself as he watches Laurel and Carter dance. It’s too bad no one heard, because that’s probably the funniest thing he has ever said.
Well, prepare yourself for a lot of second-hand embarrassment.
Tommy is gaping at her, but it’s more about the drunk factor than the “handsome” factor. “Hey, I thought that we agreed that you were going to call me before you did something stupid.” I wonder when they agreed that? Is this just for the fundraiser, or did Tommy go and talk to her and tell her to call him whenever.
“You’re no fun,” she says.
What? This is Tommy Merlyn we’re talking about. Fun is his middle name. Tommy Fun Merlyn.
Thea puts her arms around his neck.
Then she puts her hands on the back of his head, and says, “I’m going to show you how to have some fun.”
OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP.
I have seen this scene at least three times already and I still can’t watch it without shouting “oh my god” and covering my eyes. I just can’t stand seeing anyone humiliated like that.
Fashion relief break: I LOVE Thea’s dress. I am crazy about lace overlay, and it’s got a conservative neck line but almost some side boob going on. It’s very flattering. And then she’s got these mid-arm metal bracelet rings. Maybe you know more about them than I do (that wouldn’t be hard). But I think they’re fabulous.
Tommy says, “Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa” over and over again, backs out of her embrace while simultaneously pushing her away. “What are you doing?” he asks.
Um, I think you know what she’s doing, Tommy. This isn’t your first rodeo.
And I can’t believe that was what he chose to say. “What are you doing?” I just feel like that’s pretty high on the spectrum of condescending/hurtful rejections. He got one of these earlier when Laurel asked, “What is this?” when he was trying to invite her to Coast city.
This is where Thea loses me a little. Because, yeah, he said that. But he didn’t say it in the type of way where it equals: “I am in love with you now let’s go to bed together.” It was not Tommy putting on the moves. And she already knows that he was talking about Laurel in that conversation.
Now, I don’t doubt that he cares about Thea the way he would care about someone who is in his family. And I don’t doubt that he thinks of her like a little sister. But he did give her that smile and remark that she has gotten hot. I feel so bad for her right now that I just wish she could know that. I mean, I understand why he’s pushing Thea away right now, and not just because of Laurel. But he does find her attractive, and right now he’s making her feel like he doesn’t.
Thea looks over and sees Laurel dancing with Carter. Uh-oh. I’m sensing implosion. Thea laughs meanly. “Laurel doesn’t even like you.” Tommy lets himself look at Laurel for a minute, and you can tell that he’s distressed. “She doesn’t understand you,” Thea adds. “I do. Why can’t you just see that?” Even though Willa Holland chooses to say all of this in a super annoying way, I really like what Thea says here. She doesn’t just want to hook up with Tommy. And her choice of Tommy isn’t arbitrary. There’s something about him that she likes, “understands”.
Maybe she has trouble understanding Oliver right now, and is drawn to Tommy’s simplicity. (LOL, no offense to Tommy.) Or maybe what she understands about Oliver is what she thinks she understands about Tommy.
Of course, there’s also the idea that she sought out Tommy (consciously or not) in order to get a rise/reaction out of Oliver (I don’t mean at the party, I mean in general). Especially with the boys sharing Laurel, so to speak, that seems like a highly explosive situation. Tommy slowly taking over Oliver’s life, one woman at a time.
I can totally see Thea being frustrated in her efforts to reach out to Oliver, so she decides to reach out to the substitute Tommy instead. I mean, that just makes perfect sense to me.
Tommy seems to be getting a little impatient with her at this point. I guess he’s getting a taste of his own medicine re: Laurel. “Thea…Thea, it was a mistake to talk to you about girls, and stuff. It was inappropriate. And I think it may have confused you.”
Now, clearly this is sort of the case. Thea was confused at first. But Tommy set her straight and she was still coming on to him. So clearly she’s not confused any more. If I was Thea I would have kicked him in the shin. He is perfectly within his rights to say that he has no interest in her in that way. But implying that she is somehow confused? That just pisses me off. (Dexter did the same think last week with Deb. Doufi!) I mean, I find it surprising that he’s surprised she has a crush on him. He would have thought it was cute when she was younger. Well, she’s older now, and she wants to do something about it. Doesn’t mean she’s “confused”! And “inappropriate”? That’s an interesting choice of words. Does this inappropriateness apply to Oliver as well? Cause he has talked to Thea about girls.
Tommy begins ushering her quickly and forcefully out of the ballroom.
She laughs bitterly. “No, rejection is pretty clear.” BOOMERANG, THEA. I’m glad she was able to essentially say, “No, I’m not an idiot or a child, I actually know exactly what’s going on here.” “But even if it wasn’t,” she continues, “between my mom, and Oliver, and everybody in my entire life, I’m pretty much used to it by now.”
Poor BB Thea.
She just wants to be loved.
And earlier she saw Tommy being pushed away by Oliver, and she saw that he needed someone, and she needed someone too, and now it’s just awful instead.
Well, she backs up and then turns around to storm out, but runs into a waiter, and the tray of drinks clatters to the ground, causing everyone to look over. It just keeps getting worse. I really hate that that happened. It made her look like she was too drunk to walk straight, when really it was because she just wasn’t looking.
Well, Tommy, perhaps counterproductively, puts his arm around her waist and guides her outside. Laurel follows. Go away, Laurel. Not right now, OK?
Thea is vomiting in a corner (with Tommy’s jacket around her shoulders, awww), and Laurel inquires about her. I’ll give Laurel this: she sounds very genuinely concerned.
“She just ate some bad crab cakes,” Tommy says.
Uh, huh, Laurel’s face says. “Are you sure it wasn’t something that she drank.”
Leave my baby girl alone!
Tommy tells her he’s got it covered, and she can go back in to Carter.
You can see Laurel sort of roll her eyes, even though she doesn’t actually roll her eyes. “Tommy, I’m going to let you in on a little known secret about Dr. Carter Bowen: the man is a gigantic ass.”
LOL. Poor Carter. I don’t know, from what we saw, he really wasn’t that bad. Confident and successful, yes. A little full of himself? Certainly. But in a sort of unintentional way.
Laurel tells Tommy that she danced with Carter because he gave a large donation. “Why would you think anything else?”
“I guess when it comes to you I tend not to think straight,” Tommy replies. I’m glad he said that, because I think it was pretty obvious that Laurel was just courting Carter as a donor and he should have known that.
Just when I was thinking, “My poor Thea, having to watch all of this”, she walks over and asks if they can call her a cab.
“Absolutely not. I am taking you home,” Tommy says. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. He opens the door for her.
“I apologize for making such a scene,” she says, climbing in.
“Just feel better, OK?” Laurel says.
A DANCE? THAT’S IT?
And then she tells him goodnight, and smiles at him widely as she runs back into the party. Seeing her smiling at him like that sent my shipper needle round the bend. We’ve seen her look guilty, surprised, touched, affectionately annoyed, etc. towards him, but we’ve never really seen her smile at him like she really likes him. And it was a lovely thing.
Tommy watches her for a minute, and then climbs into the car.
Is this the new car, I wonder?
Oh, my poor girl.
I hope that Thea still has her crush. Sometimes they do episodes like this to sort of “get it out of the way”. If she really had a crush on him, it wouldn’t just go away. She just needs to not to take “the direct approach”. She probably should have realized that from the start. I kind of wonder what would have happened if she had never gotten drunk.
As for Oliver, he feels very guilty about Reston’s death. John Diggle tells him that it’s not his fault, that his father would have been proud of him, that the injured cop is going to make a fully recovery.
He (rightly) tells her that she doesn’t need to apologize. She was being “honest”.
But she admits that she’s lonely with Walter being gone, and that was a factor. “You know, you and I used to talk,” she says, “I used to know what you were thinking. But now, even when you’re home, you’re somewhere else. I guess I just miss my son.”
“I miss you, too,” he says. “And I wish that…” Oops, can’t finish sentence.
Instead he invites her for the best burger in the city. The episode ends on an incredibly upbeat and tender note, with Moira and Oliver dining at Big Belly Burger, and Moira telling Oliver that he is better than Carter Bowen in every way. (But not before she tries to eat her burger with a knife and fork. Really? Really?)
Quentin was absent entirely. This is the first episode he hasn’t appeared it, and we had a couple of scenes involving law enforcement. But he wasn’t really needed.
Overall, I really loved this episode. I can’t complain about one that has so much Tommy. But I really need more Oliver and Tommy. Maybe the reason Oliver/Diggle has so many more shippers is because the two them actually interact.
Oh, and to those of you who made it to the chat: thanks a ton, that was awesome. We had a great time, and I don’t know when the next one will be but I hope you call can be there. We brainstormed a lot of ideas about how to spin some of what has happened on the show in an Oliver/Thea direction and I think it was a lot of fun and made us all laugh and feel pretty good about the ship.