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!

The Odessey Review

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 and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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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.