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Arrow Review: Unhooded

by at . Comments

"Dead to Rights" had a bit of everything for Arrow fans.

There was a nice dose of Slade on the island, a generous helping of father/son angst with Tommy and Malcolm and sneaky hints at the proposal of a Canary sighting coming to Starling City. What else? Let's check it out...

Malcolm in Trouble

Alright. I've had it. I'm done with Detective Lance. Absolutely finished. The Hood called him to tell him there was a hitman out to kill someone high profile the next day, requested his men put someone on it and his answer was to enlist McKenna to aid him in taking down the vigilante?!?

At that moment my wish was for the blind dude hired by China White and his refreshed eyes (an assumption) to shoot at Malcolm and take down Det. Lance. Just kill him already. He is not worth my time. I had to get that out.

Two interesting things happened relative to DC Comics Green Arrow canon tonight:

  1. The reference Laurel made to the canary her sister was given by her father.
  2. The introduction of Dinah Lance.

In the comics, Laurel was passed the helm of the Black Canary from her mother, Dinah. And, waddya know, mom gave her a ring during the episode. Alex Kingston (ER, and most recently of Doctor Who) was cast as mama Lance, and she made her first appearance by knocking on Laurel's door with the news that Sarah may be alive.

What?! In the comics, Laurel had no sister, so it's possible some of her birth story might be mish-mashed with Sarah's to make a complete character, one who will take over for her mother. I'm merely theorizing, of course, but it would flesh out the family history a bit more and tie Sarah into the lore. After tonight, I have no doubt they're fully intending to explore the Black Canary with either mama or daughter originating the thematic character.  

With Dinah's supposition that Sarah is alive, that might mean she has been in the super hero business and is ready and willing to pass the torch to her daughter. We do know, from the kick-ass scene in "Betrayal" when Laurel's only trouble with Cyrus Vanch's henchmen turned out to be an aversion to tasers, that she's ready for the job.

At the heart of the episode was the relationship between Oliver and Tommy and their respective fathers. While Tommy still struggled to find some sort of common ground with Malcolm, Oliver expressed his deep anger with his own father, yet admitted he'd give anything to have him back in his life. It's really hard to understand, while you still have a chance to rectify things - even if you don't think you'll ever take it - that one day that opportunity will cease to exist. Tommy almost lost his chance to forgive and get to know his dad.

When the hit on Malcolm was in progress, Tommy got to see a different side of his dad. He was dumbfounded at his father's ability to fight and just as Malcolm opened the door to reveal his secret as the Dark Archer to his son, he was shot.

Even though I predicted something would happen to Malcolm because I expect Tommy to eventually be pitted against Oliver - a la Peter Parker and Harry Osborn in Spider-Man - I still didn't imagine it would be quite as violent as it was, and I never expected it would lead to the conclusion it did.

Oliver revealed himself to Tommy.

Tommy: Why should I trust you?
Oliver: Because you always have.
Tommy: Oliver. | permalink

We ran into a little snag after that because when Tommy asked Oliver if he'll ever tell him what happened to him on the island, he said no. No. Not maybe or some day - a flat out no. As much as Tommy trusts Oliver, and is no doubt grateful for saving Malcolm's life, something tells me that "no" will pound away at him. Each time Malcolm talks to him, he'll question what he knows and believes and since Oliver won't fully share with him, and has told him that, he'll start to side with his father, who he'll start to trust.

Thoughts on that?

A few more things to mention:

  • Felicity is in the gang for good, it seems. She's taking combat lessons from Diggle and continuing to verbally spar with the boys. It's so refreshing!
  • The island scenes didn't add too much to the overarching theme of the night, but Slade was good for more noteworthy Arrow quotes. Every time he opens his mouth, gold slips out. I can only hope that he makes it to Starling City soon and that his wit has remained in tact!
  • The romantic path with McKenna just isn't cutting it. There is no spark between her and Oliver. When I thought she would be an Arrow ally, I was excited for her arrival on screen. Now? She's just a barrier between Oliver and someone he can really relate to. 

Suit up and hit the comments. Did this week shine as the promos promised? Post away!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (122 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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This episode was freaking awesome!!!

Sarah silva

To quote Stephen Ammell himself he said this was the "holy sh*tballs" episode, and that it was!
Such a fantastic hour! I was convinced that Malcolm would die but he must have known something was up, why else was he wearing a bullet proof vest. However he still would have died from the poison had Olvier not been there.
I was not that shocked though when he revealed himself to Tommy. That makes 3 that know his secret, that is almost too many, however I think it is a good thing as now he does not have to hide the goings on in the basement of the club from Tommy any more.
I did gasp when Malcolm opened up his secret lair though but it closed before Tommy could see.
I am liking Felicity more and more.
I totally missed the canary reference! I wonder if Laurel will be Black Canary or if Sarah is alive and she is Black Canary.

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I don't like Laurel and would rather Felicity be Black Canary.

Soapjunk

The Island that is owned by somebody else.. I think it is Moira or Malcolm. I hope I am not the only one but i really didn't want Malcolm to die, he is a fun character with a shady past that we have yet to discover. It would have been a shame if he died, Thank god he didn't! But will Moira finish the job?

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How stiff Oliver is when he is in costume just bugs the shit outta me

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Thompson turned in a very good performance. I loved her face when she was looking at Tommy while Malcolm was giving his speech. Poor kids - each has a parent trying to kill the other's parent. Could cause conflict between the boys. I hope Tommmy doesn't go Harry Osborne, but it's worth pointing out that Harry only donned the mask once as a villain, and the other times as a hero. At least, that's what I read - haven't read the actual comic issues from then. I feel so bad for the "kids" sometimes. Oliver tries to put back together/mend fences for Tommy and Thea and their parents, but both their parents are killing people (directly or indirectly). They might have been better off without the relationships. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the long-term effects on Tommy and Oliver's relationship, and cautiously optimistic about the Sarah revelation, the Malcolm/Moira effects, and Digg finding out his brother's killer is alive.

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The Tommy revelation was fantastic. I'm still hoping against hope he doesn't go bad. I loved his reaction. He told Lance he knew nothing. He acknowledged Oliver as saving his father's life. But he's also upset that Oliver lied to him, was never going to tell him. He, according to Oliver, always trusted Oliver. But Oliver didn't trust him, and never planned to tell him. And that affects Tommy deeply. But Oliver's still his boss, and I hope their friendship withstands and things turn out well between them. Now Tommy and Laurel will have more dishonesty between them (could play out as good drama or bad, IMO). And Tommy knows about his father's fighting ability. He doesn't know that's relevant at the moment, but it'll be interesting to see how it plays out if he ever does. He's the one that knows Oliver and Malcolm are both capable of killing in a matter-of-fact manner. I can't see him being okay with Dad's plan, but right now he doesn't know the plan.

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I'm hoping Sarah turns out not to be alive. But the family drama of them hoping she's alive, believing she could be alive, could be great. It's actually very logical for one of them (probably Laurel) to ask Oliver for more details on exactly how Sarah died, because then they can know better if it's even a possibility that she's alive (presuming they don't think Oliver's lying).

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Hey, I don't like McKenna/Oliver, Huntress/Oliver, or Felicity/Oliver as a pairing. And while I accept Laurel/Oliver as meant-to-be per comic history, they don't do a lot for me, either. Although I'm not actively against them like I am the others. I more enjoy seeing Tommy/Laurel, because it's good character stuff for Tommy (I like him) but won't shed tears when that ends, so long as they remain friends. I don't like Roy, either. I have nothing against Carly/Digg, but I'm not really engaged by them, either. I could ship Tommy/Thea, but not for at least a year or two from now. I do like seeing them interact. Actually, I think my favorite pairing is probably Moira/Walter (great interaction as he learns more, doesn't trust her, etc. - really engaging for me). But not liking a ship does not mean a person must be pulling for an alternative ship. I'm hoping Sarah turns out not to be alive. But the family drama of them hoping she's alive, believing she could be alive, could be great. It's actually very logical for one of them (probably Laurel) to ask Oliver for more details on exactly how Sarah died, because then they can know better if it's even a possibility that she's alive (presuming they don't think Oliver's lying). The Tommy revelation was fantastic. I'm still hoping against hope he doesn't go bad. I loved his reaction. He told Lance he knew nothing. He acknowledged Oliver as saving his father's life. But he's also upset that Oliver lied to him, was never going to tell him. He, according to Oliver, always trusted Oliver. But Oliver didn't trust him, and never planned to tell him. And that affects Tommy deeply. But Oliver's still his boss, and I hope their friendship withstands and things turn out well between them. Now Tommy and Laurel will have more dishonesty between them (could play out as good drama or bad, IMO). And Tommy knows about his father's fighting ability. He doesn't know that's relevant at the moment, but it'll be interesting to see how it plays out if he ever does. He's the one that knows Oliver and Malcolm are both capable of killing in a matter-of-fact manner. I can't see him being okay with Dad's plan, but right now he doesn't know the plan. Thompson turned in a very good performance. I loved her face when she was looking at Tommy while Malcolm was giving his speech. Poor kids - each has a parent trying to kill the other's parent. Could cause conflict between the boys. I hope Tommmy doesn't go Harry Osborne, but it's worth pointing out that Harry only donned the mask once as a villain, and the other times as a hero. At least, that's what I read - haven't read the actual comic issues from then. I feel so bad for the "kids" sometimes. Oliver tries to put back together/mend fences for Tommy and Thea and their parents, but both their parents are killing people (directly or indirectly). They might have been better off without the relationships. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the long-term effects on Tommy and Oliver's relationship, and cautiously optimistic about the Sarah revelation, the Malcolm/Moira effects, and Digg finding out his brother's killer is alive.

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"I hope that some of that self defense training takes. Maybe then she can build some techy sonic weapon and become the Black Canary, and Dinah Laurel Lance can go die in a "tragic" car accident or something." LOL You haters never seem to amaze, does hate drive you so much to come up with stupid theories, grasp so much on straws. Dinah Laurel Lance = Black Canary deal with it. Your hypocrisy and selfishness is shameful. You are envious that Dinah Laurel lance has something cool for herself, she made Black canary cool, its hers and her legacy. No this alter ego doesn't belong to your pet favorite, she is awesome you say, so whats the problem. Btw I like Felicity, she actually is cool as she is. Too bad some people arent satisfied with who she is, and think she needs to be someone else, something else.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 16 Quotes

So you're hoping aircraft maintenance is genetic?

Slade

Slade: I do have one idea. If you go into the forest and gather as much bamboo as you can find...
Oliver: Yeah?
Slade: We can build ourselves a boat, like they did on Gilligan's Island.

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