The Arrow is out of the hospital and back from hiatus!
So it’s been six weeks since the events of the last episode, and the Hood is nowhere to be found. Presumably because Oliver needs time to recover from getting thoroughly trounced, but also because he wants to be there for his family while Walter is “missing.” Moira has taken to locking herself in her room, much as she did when Oliver and her first husband disappeared. The company needs Mo to step up as CEO, but she’s having trouble getting out of bed.
Meanwhile, according to the news, Starling City is definitely feeling the Hood’s absence. Ollie gets his call to arms when Laurel steals the Hood-phone from Papa Lance’s desk. Her friend Jo’s brother Danny died in a fire under mysterious circumstances. The police don’t think the circumstances are quite so mysterious, as Danny was a firefighter actively engaged in fighting a fire at the time, but the investigation unit found an accelerant on his suit and evidence that he “burned hotter than the fire that killed him.” If the police aren’t going to look into this, Laurel knows someone who will.
Oliver’s still reluctant to get involved, but when he sees Laurel getting railroaded by the firefighters, he starts to step up. It turns out that several firefighters have died recently, and all from the same disbanded unit, the members of which conveniently all have firefly tattoos on their hands, just like the killer! Ollie’s still blinking when it counts, though, getting taken out by the mysterious killer (known to DC fans as Firefly, a Batman villain) as yet another firefighter dies.
Ollie gets his groove back when Firefly attacks a firefighter’s benefit held right on top of the Arrow Cave at Ollie’s nightclub. He suits up to save his friends and family and tries to talk the killer, now known as Garfield Linns, down. Linns, heavily scarred from a fire in which he was left for dead two years ago, believes that vengeance is all he has, and suicides by walking into flames of his own making.
Back in the Queen mansion, Thea is sick of the way her mother just checks out during family crises. She storms the castle and delivers a well-placed verbal slap, telling Moira to “be my mother so I can stop being yours.” Large props to Willa Holland for this scene. She manages to pull off a great balance of brassed off and vulnerable, really selling the moment and the way her relationship with her mother has gone downhill. The throw-down effectively pulls Mo out of her funk, and she finally gets out of the bedroom and back into the boardroom.
Well, this was a good way to welcome Arrow back from hiatus. Thank heavens that they built a hiatus into the story, as well. I can handle skipping the physical therapy montage and jumping right back into the Hood’s active plotlines. I do think I’m going to start keeping a checklist of all the Ninja Warrior obstacles that we’re going to see Ollie complete. We’ve seen the Salmon Ladder and the Jumping Bars so far. I’m waiting to see Ollie take on the Warped Wall.
I love where this episode went with Oliver’s storyline. Ollie’s been slowly, even reluctantly, rebuilding the connections that he lost when he was stranded on the island. It’s great to see that start to affect his performance as the Hood. Even better was Digg’s advice, to stop thinking of those ties as liabilities and start thinking of them as something to work to protect.
We saw a distinct turn in public opinion towards the Hood in this episode. I can only assume that his absence made the hearts of Starling City grow fonder. I doubt that this is going to be a continuing trend. Arrow seems to be building a Gotham City, not a Metropolis. I’m guessing the Dark Archer (both in and out of the costume) is going to play a major role in changing public opinion from “hero” back to “dangerous vigilante.” What do you think?
Ollie: “What did that prove?”
Digg: “That this is one sturdy desk.”
Things to ponder:
- Moira knows where Walter is and that he’s (supposedly) coming back unharmed. Was this episode’s angst just missing him, totally a front, or is she starting to lose confidence in Malcolm’s organization?
- Did anyone else assume that the heads of the construction company behind the Nodell Tower Tragedy were going to end up being names on the List?
- Rumors say that someone else is going to learn Ollie’s secret very soon. Who’s your guess? Laurel? Thea? Papa Lance?