I haven't chimed in on a round table in a while because I haven't had much to say. The Return was, at times, a reminder of what is The Best about Arrow and, at the same time, The Worst. Arrow has made it clear from the start that Oliver wasn't always on the island. He "chose" to return home. I expected the show to, during the flashbacks (which are never my favorite part of the show but I actually like Maseo & Tatus) illustrate how he got off the island, what he did in the meantime, etc., and I've always suspected that his flashbacks and the present day storylines aka Andy/HIVE/Diggle and even Felicity and her father would collide. It did not shock me at all that Oliver had sideways encounters with both Diggle and Felicity in those flashbacks. I actually liked that. I predict Season 4s flashbacks will bring Andy into Oliver's flashback storyline and incorporate HIVE. I'm not saying Oliver will know who Andy is in them... but I fully expect them to go there while Diggle is getting closer to solving Andy's murder in the present. As for the rest Slade returning could have been great. Instead he was toss away. He got some great lines and that acting is always good. I enjoyed that implied threat against Felicity. I'd love to see Oliver/Felicity/Slade scenes. Slade & Oliver have great chemistry together but they need to drop the Shado thing as the main reason these two hate each other. As a whole though, this was a throw-away episode that made zero sense because, again, it falls back to Malcolm Merlyn and how absolutely nothing he's done this season is built on even a single shred of logic. If Oliver is against Malcolm turning him into a killer, why's he training with him? Why's he even trusting the guy not to start slipping him the mind-wiping drug? If he's not going to reclaim that killer instinct needed to defeat Ra's, what's Oliver doing? Motivation went out the window a long time ago. Everything about season 3 has hinged on the "mystery" (using that word loosely) of "Who killed Sara." There were no clues, no grand conspiracy, nothing she uncovered (at least so far) to warrant her death. It was Malcolm scrambles Thea's brain so she commits murder because.....? Um. Is anybody exactly sure? Because Malcolm knew Oliver would put Malcolm under his protection and then, when the Thea reveal came out, be forced to take his place in a duel against Ra's to protect his sister because Malcolm was going to tell the guy Thea did the murder because... huh? You get dizzy just trying to figure this out. Unless all of this is just so Malcolm can manipulate his way into being the one to stick a sword in Ra's back and ascend the League of Assassins throne as a horrified Team Arrow looks on, realizing this was his plan the whole time (more power!), I'm not buying a single second of it. It's been 13+ episodes of What is the point? Where are we going? What is this about? Why is everybody doing what they're doing? WHO's the bad guy? With a lot of plot holes and logic leaps thrown in. It's a mess. There's so much going on you can't see the forest for the trees here. On top of that, pretty much everything I liked about Arrow has been sidelined. Diggle's never really doing anything, even Oliver feels very sidelined lately, Felicity's rarely with the team, with Oliver, in the field, in action, or even driving a story of her own (though her scenes with Malcolm were fantastic). There's nothing pressing enough in this story to build a sense of urgency. All the characters I care about and the dynamics they're involved in are rarely included. I feel like we're just kind of floating around waiting for something to happen and then when something does happen it's disappointing and makes no sense. I really need Arrow to slim down, stop bringing in all these new characters and building more story and character development for them, and get back to the core characters of Arrow, on Arrow, for Arrow, and tighten the story up so you don't get all these plot holes, unexplained motivations, and loose threads. This show is so overcrowded it's about to sink itself. Stop building things around easter eggs and start building story around characters again. Get back to Diggle/Hive/Andy, Felicity/Mom/Dad, Oliver/Bratva, etc., that I was expecting when Season 2 ended. For the first time ever I can actually say Arrow's boring. I'm actually okay if I miss a week. Or two. That ain't good.
Oliver and Felicity! Loved their first date. Amazing pairing on Arrow.
Love the list. So many great shows. Thrilled Arrow made the cut and you're right, TV Fanatic, it's Oliver, Felicity and Diggle that bring me back each and every week.
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