Arrow Review: The Choice

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"The Odessey" was really the seminal moment when Ollie became Oliver, who then became Arrow during his time on the island. It was a very specific moment, and at first Stephen Amell made sure it was recognizable by ditching the slightly stuttering little boy voice he had carried with him until Oliver grew into the man we watch now.

Oliver made a choice to be a different man.

It was the moment he put someone's life above his own. In his case, it was Yao Fei. He wouldn't leave the island without saving the man who first saved him.

Saving Oliver

Unfortunately for Oliver, he didn't know that Fei had a woman in peril on the island and everything he was doing was done for her sake. He couldn't leave her behind any more than Oliver would give up his quest to get home to make things right with Laurel.

The woman was Shado, Yao Fei's daughter and an important character in DC Comics Green Arrow lore. A fellow archer who not only gets involved in future missions of Oliver's but, in comic land, took advantage of Oliver while nursing him back to health and had a son by him, then refusing to allow Oliver to be a part of his life. How much of that comic universe Shado will come to be remains to be seen.

We also found out for sure that Slade and Deathstroke were two different people. They may have been two halves of the same team, but definitely not one person with a split personality, although Billy/Deathstroke suffered from a split skull by the time his buddy Slade was done with him.

Slade did a lot of talking about everyone being out for themselves, but he sure didn't act accordingly. He saved Oliver's ass more than once when he could have just as easily walked away. I'm very happy that Slade took out Deathstroke (another foe down the drain!) because Slade is good for some awesome Arrow quotes and, as Oliver said:

Slade: What?
Oliver: I'm trapped on an island and my only friend is named Wilson. So... | permalink

That nod to one of my favorite island movies ever, Castaway, was as perfectly timed as was just about every word that came out of Slade's mouth.

It was almost unbelievable that Oliver made a call from the tower and it went through to Laurel. I cannot imagine being lost like that and, no matter what the circumstances of our last meeting were, not being able to talk when the person answered the phone. If he had said something, his entire life could have changed in an instant.

One little nit-picky thing about the island: If we're seeing what happened there through Oliver's memories when he's sleeping or near death, how do we see things he wasn't present to see himself? For example, the scenes with Yao Fei in the tent and with Shado... was Oliver lurking around watching and we just didn't know it? I wouldn't mind if it wasn't supposed to be a story told from Oliver's point of view, but that's what I've been lead to believe. Thoughts?

Felicity finally learned about Oliver and was almost relieved. She made it seem like she was questioning her sanity thanks to the little nuggets Oliver and Diggle were dropping and expecting her to believe.

Felicity: I may be blonde, but I'm not that blonde. | permalink

She offered to help them out only long enough to find Walter and then return to her life as an IT girl. There is no way she's going to spend a lot of time around Oliver and want to return to her regular life. She hasn't even had a taste of what they're all about yet. If she thinks she enjoys digging for information in a computer for Walter, wait until she knows lives are at stake. She's going to be hooked. How could you get partially immersed in that life and then walk away? Someone with her brain will be left screaming for more.

The biggest disappointment of the evening was how easily Oliver walked away from Moira. After such an incredible cliffhanger in "Betrayal," the follow through came up short. Moira's motherhood angle tugged just enough for Oliver to drop his guard and for her to pick up a gun and shoot. Funny how the one thing he seems to hate (Did you see how he handled the gun in the tower? He can kill with an arrow but a gun bothers him. Weird.) was the weapon of choice for his mom.

The look on Moira's face fit Diggle's scenario of having something to hide much more than it did Oliver's suggestion of innocence, not only because we know she is aware of Walter's fate. Moira has a way of looking deliciously evil, like an evil witch in a good witch disguise. She really teeters on the edge of morality. That has to be incredibly frustrating for Oliver.

So what did you think? Deathstroke was given a death blow, we met Shado and Felicity joined the party. At least one of these things had to excite you, so share your thoughts in the comments section, and keep reading TV Fanatic for all the latest news on Arrow Season 1!


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (131 Votes)

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


I tried watching this show a few times but I just can't wrap my head around this actor as "Green Arrow" after Justin Hartley's portrayal in "Smallville".Too soon to cast someone else in the title role.


This was too much Island for my liking. It seems that the writers are determined to turn this into another show with so much lengthy island flashback. They are really risking losing a loyal audience with these moves. Positives: I am glad to see Felicity become a member of the team. This and Diggles holding firmly to his principles that the Moira might be in deeper than Oliver expects. Hopefully the writers will wake up and develop intense storylines instead of these extended island scenes. Our patience is wearing thin.


I dont't get the island love, I understand it is necessary so we can learn what happened to Oli but I can't wait to finally move on from that. I like the interaction between the Present characters and I didn't get much of that this episode, nonetheless it was a great ep.


We still have ALOT to go through on the island. First, Oliver is around them long enough to learn Mandarin. Second, we have YET to be introduced to the Russian mafia aspect. My guess is that whatever Fires and the mercs are doing on that island, draws the attention of some Ruskie criminals as well, and there is a battle between them and Fires crew. Lastly... since Oliver saves the life of a high ranking Russian mobster, then why would they not take him off the island when they depart? Probably they were in a getaway, and Oliver, like tonights show with Slade, missed the departure ride to focus on something else. And THAT must take some time as well... for Oliver to get Tatted, trained, and learn Russian. Back story has a LONG way to go too... as does the list and intrigue of the present day one.


This was a really good backstory episode. Not having been a Green Arrow comic book fan, it's really helpful to see more of his time on the island. I liked the way Felicity got more involved and yet was able to hold back from embracing it all--yet. Seems like she's destined to be more involved than she plans to now, but her story is unfolding in a cool way. The more I see of this, the more intrigued I am. Liked Moira even less when she followed up Arrow's mercy with shooting him--almost fatally, no less. That woman is more "morally challenged" than I even thought she was!


awesome episode!!!! best so definitely getting better and better

Sarah silva

I loved that they mixed it up this week and we got to see almost a whole epiosde of flashbacks. I like Slade Wilson!
We all knew Ollie would survive! I am glad to see that so far my suspicion that Felicity is bad has so far been proven wrong. I really like her.
For Oliver to be the great fighter etc that he is now, he sure came a long way in 4 1/2 years as they flashback showed that he has been on the island for 6 months but was still (for lack of a better word) meek.


Incredible episode! I'm glad Slade Wilson is an ally to Oliver (for now) and definitely didn't see that coming. The fact that they have a deep history together should make it all the more interesting when Deathstroke appears in the current timeline. Great info on Shado I was not aware of the tie-in (and other reviewers are apparently unaware) good on you. I was on the edge of my seat the entire episode. i enjoy the flashbacks thoroughly (mostly b/c Deathstroke is one of my DC favs) so having an almost entire episode about the island was like a dream come true... and it didn't disappoint.


I like it when oliver&Felicity join screen time so i am glad she found out, though i thin kshe suspected something, Oliver really has to work on his coverstorys For the island scenes I don't think it is told from Olivers point of view, i think we are learning what happened there and especially what happened to Oliver, how did he become the man he is today, how did he become Arrow. And without those scenes we would never understand what happened. I wonder if he ever got off the island before the boat saved him. Because the phonecall was so intense! i don't even know who to call if i got stranded on a island I like that there was more island than Starling city in this episode, Arrow is still thrillingly awesome! I want more


I don't like flashbacks. I like the flashbacks when they are absent or few in number and directly related to the present but I did like learning a full story this episode. The flashback did drag in places. Now that Felicity will have a bigger role, I hope there's not as many "Felicity magically solves X in 2 seconds" moments. I hope Felicity doesn't pine over Oliver for years. The 2 characters, Oliver has the most chemistry with are Felicity and Diggle. Felicity walking in on Oliver training should be amusing.

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Arrow Season 1 Episode 14 Quotes

Slade: Obviously you were never a Boy Scout.
Oliver: Really? What tipped ya off?

Oliver. Oh. Wow. Everything about you just became so unbelievably clear.