The Extremely Ill-Advised Arrow Project: Episode 1.06 – “Legacies”
|September 26, 2013||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Extremely Ill-Advised Arrow Project|
First things first: I’ve been neglecting the Kill Count. With one in “An Innocent Man” and two in “Damaged,” we’re at 14. Wow, Oliver. Wow.
Three men in hockey masks with playing card motifs painted on them storm into a bank and start shooting. Screaming, the patrons and tellers all hit the floor. One teller hits the silent alarm. They get the safe open and one man stands guard, backhanding another teller at one point, while the others shovel cash into their bags.
On the floor, one man slowly reaches for the gun strapped to his ankle. A woman spots him. “You’re gonna get us killed,” she whispers. He shows her his badge and tells her not to worry. “Please don’t do it,” she says, a little too loud. “I don’t want to die!” The playing card standing guard – Ace – hears her and shoots the cop in the back. People scream. King comes out to see what’s going on; he doesn’t seem happy about the killing.
The cops pull up outside. “Someone triggered the alarm!” Ace said, and lifts his gun again, but King tells him that’s enough and it’s time to go. Outside, Detective Exposition speaks into a megaphone, telling the bank robbers (the Royal Flush Gang, in the comics) to lay down their weapons and come out. Ace looks down at the woman who told the cop not to be a hero and she hastily looks away.
A minute later, the hostages pour out of the building, all of them wearing masks. The cops stop them and enter the bank, where they find no one but the injured cop. The vault is empty, and there’s a hole in the ground.
Elsewhere, the robbers emerge from a hole with the money. King is pissed that Ace shot a cop. They pile into a van and drive off.
Arrowcave. Ollie and Diggle spar with metal sticks. YES PLEASE. Diggle asked where Ollie learned his moves and Ollie says “His name was Yao Fei.” “Did he give you those scars?” Diggle asks. “One of them,” Ollie says. “You know one of these days you’re gonna be straight with me about what happened on that island,” Diggle says. “Absolutely,” Ollie replies. They hit each other with sticks some more. YES PLEASE DO THIS FOR THE NEXT FORTY MINUTES. Actually this episode is really good so it’s okay that other stuff happens. BUT THE SWEATY STICK-HITTING IS PRETTY GREAT.
Ollie wins the sparring match, then announces that he’s going to use his “sweet moves” on his next target. Oh honey, did you realize that was a double entendre? The target is Scott Morgan, a cartoonishly miserly water and power baron. Diggle tells him Morgan can wait and tells him about the Royal Flush Gang.
Ollie figures the cops’ll handle it, since one of their own was killed. He dismissively tells Diggle that he doesn’t fight street crime in the same tone of voice you might use to say “I only bake with Plugra and Tahitian vanilla.” Street crime, he says, is a symptom, and he’s after the disease. It’s a deeply racist and classist statement on several levels; obviously he’s ignoring the direct victims of street level crime, but also, dude, poor people are capable of making choices regardless of the actions of rich white men. Side note: Does Starling City even have a middle class? Besides, I guess, Laurel and Felicity and Diggle? (Who all have very healthy incomes, even if they’re not one percenters.) Everyone seems to be either loaded or in the Glades.
Diggle suggests that Ollie “can make a difference if [you think] beyond the scope of those pages. I’m sure your father wouldn’t mind.” Ollie angrily tells him that his father died so that Ollie could live, and crossing the names off the list honors that sacrifice. “Oliver, there’s more than one way to save the city,” Diggle says. “Not for me,” Ollie replies. “Crime happens in this city every day. What do you want me to do? Stop all of it?” Wow, he is a terrible person. Also, he just got dropped off Batman’s Christmas card list.
Diggle tells him he has a narrow definition of being a hero, and leaves. “I’m not a hero,” Ollie says.
Flashback. Ollie lies slumped in the cave, ripping pages out of the blank journal and throwing them in the tiny fire to keep it going. Suddenly he’s grabbed – by Robert.
We’re Lawyers, Laurel, Inc. Laurel and Joanna are very upset, as Stagg Industries (hee), their largest donor, has dropped them, and they may have to close their doors. Do they run this office? Because they’re both like 27.
In walks Tommy, who announces that it’s “fiesta time! Or is it siesta time? Which one means a party and which one means a nap?” They’re not amused. Tommy tells Laurel he wants to take her to Coast City (hee) on his private plane for dinner. She’s in no mood, and tells him about Stagg: “Which means that all of the hard work and sacrifices that I have made to help this legal clinic survive may have been for nothing.” “Maybe another time,” he says, and takes off.
Queen Castle. Thea asks if Ollie’s noticed how sad Moira’s been lately, but Ollie’s not worried about Walter’s business trip. Moira comes in and tells them she just got off the phone with “Janice Owen, Carter’s mother.” “Carter Bowen, the perfect son,” Ollie says with a derisive laugh. “Is he perfect?” Moira asks. “According to you,” Ollie says. He puts on a simpering voice: “Carter Bowen just won the national chess championship. Carter Bowen is anchoring the debate team.” “I’m sure I didn’t make that big of a fuss,” Moira says. Thea jumps in: “Oliver, Carter just got accepted into Harvard and Princeton.” Ollie: “Well, that’s because Carter got a perfect score on his SATs.” Thea: “And how did he manage to study and cure cancer?”
Moira tells them she gets it and that the Owens are coming for brunch. Ollie: “I have plans.” Moira: “That’s fine, brunch is tomorrow.” Thea laughs: “Inches from a clean getaway.” Moira: “Well, you too, Thea.” Thea’s laughter dies. Ollie: “Snap.” Thea: “Nobody says that anymore.”
Ollie tries again to get out of it, but Moira tells him that she hasn’t seen the Bowens in years, so Ollie can make this one sacrifice. Ollie caves and tells her they’ll both be there. Moira smiles and leaves. Thea: “I hate you.”
YOU GUYS THAT SCENE WAS SO CUTE. Seriously, it was better than it had any right to be. The banter was zippy and perfect and this family has such great (platonic) chemistry. PERFECT. (Also, how much do I love that Ollie hates a guy named Carter? Screw you, Hawkman!)
Ollie’s phone rings. It’s Diggle, at the hospital. Apparently, Scott Morgan tried to kill himself. Ollie starts to leave – and Tommy comes in. He just bought a new sports car and he thought maybe they could – but Ollie’s already excused himself and out the door. Tommy’s left in the foyer, looking forlorn.
In walks Thea: “Moves fast, doesn’t he?” “It’s ironic, since you’re the one we call Speedy,” Tommy replies. She asks him to drop the nickname, but if he needs to talk, she’s available. “There’s this girl that I’m interested in,” Tommy says, “and I am really not sure how to pursue it.” “Have you tried using your usual lines?” she asks. “Hi, my name is Tommy Merlyn and I’m a billionaire, but I don’t look like Warren Buffet.” Tommy says money isn’t a big deal to this girl. Thea says he should tell her how he feels, and Tommy says he’s known her for a long time, “and I’m not sure the direct approach is the right way to go.”
Thea suggests he find out what’s important to the girl in question and start caring about it. He lights up. “Thea, you are amazing,” he says, kisses her cheek, and leaves, calling “Love you!” as he goes. She beams after him. Oh honey, no, that’s not what he meant.
Hospital. Ollie pulls up on his bike and asks if Diggle’s sure Morgan tried to kill himself. Diggle says it was the best lie he could come up with on short notice. As Ollie glowers, paramedics move the cop from the opener out of an ambulance. A woman shakes Diggle’s hand and thanks him for having her husband moved to this hospital, presumably a better one. Diggle tells her to thank Ollie, since he’s paying the bill. Ollie’s clearly annoyed, but he puts on his sincere voice as he tells Mrs. Cop how concerned he was about her husband. “He should’ve just kept his head down,” she says. Diggle says that’s not how cops are: “Always willing to help others, even if it means putting themselves at risk.” Ollie glares at him.
Mrs. Cop leaves. “You lied to me,” Ollie says. Heeeeee. “You asked me to work with you, not for you,” Diggle replies, “and when you did, you said it was because you understand the kind of man I am. Well, Oliver, I’m the kind of man who doesn’t walk away when there’s a change to make a difference.” Can we change the name of the show to DIGGLE? Or DIGGLE AND SMOAK? Ollie starts to walk away and Diggle’s like HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING YOUNG MAN. “To make a difference,” Ollie says. “Let’s go catch some bank robbers.” Diggle smiles. WHY IS THIS EPISODE SO GOOD.
Arrowcave. Our boys watch the security footage from the bank. Ollie spots a college (“High school, more likely,” Diggle corrects) ring on Ace. He says it’ll have left an impression on the teller he backhanded and the police will have it in the evidence room. “Please tell me you’re not going where I think you’re going,” Diggle says as Ollie grabs his hood. “Diggle, why do you even ask?” Ollie replies.
Police station, night. Ollie, in costume, climbs through the window. Detective Exposition and another cop walk down the hall where he’s lurking, and we see he’s tucked himself against the ceiling as they walk beneath him. The place empty, Ollie plugs a USB drive into a nearby computer, downloads something, and leaves.
WLLI, day. Laurel walks in to find Tommy chatting with Joanna. He tells Laurel that “the Merlyn Global Group is looking to expand its philanthropy and I thought that we could start by sponsoring a benefit for [WLLI].” Laurel somewhat snidely tells him they don’t need his handouts, and Tommy’s face falls. Joanna pulls Laurel aside and is like UM??? “He’s not interested in having a fundraiser,” Laurel says. “What he cares about is the First Annual Attempt to Get Back Into My Pants Gala.” Hee. Joanna’s like “Woman, you will whore yourself out for this company and you will like it.” I mean, not in so many words, but. They glance at Tommy and he oh-so-casually looks away. Hee.
Anyway, Laurel caves and sullenly thanks Tommy for the offer. Tommy grins. Aw bb.
Arrowcave. Ollie does some truly ridiculous keyboard mashing to turn a photo of a bruise on the teller’s cheek to a legit lead – seriously, he enlarges it and the computer’s like “Oh, that’s Larchmont High School.” #NOPE. I forgive the show because Ollie admits that Diggle was right about it being high school with a slightly pained look and Diggle smirks. #YEP. Ollie somehow cross-referenced Ace’s height and approximate age with a list of students (???) and found Kyle Reston, who dropped out unexpectedly before senior year and disappeared, along with his parents and younger brother.
Diggle says that fits with the other two dudes in the gang, and Ollie says the mom fits too: 13 women came out of the bank, but there were 14 inside, according to the security cameras. Mama Reston was a ringer, planted in the crowd. And speaking of moms…
…Queen Castle, where Moira is making Ollie’s excuses to the Bowens, mother and son, who are making a fair bid to eclipse Tommy as the preppiest person alive. Ollie comes in just in time, blaming his lateness on traffic. Thea’s wearing a see-through shirt, an excellent choice for brunch with family friends.
Carter tells Ollie he’s a celebrity: “You know there is a bidding war for the rights to your life story. At least that’s what my agent says.” “Agent?” Ollie says. “I thought you were a neurosurgeon.” Carter humblebrags about how he wrote a scientific text and now an agent wants him to be Dr. Oz. “Why would he want you to be a wizard?” Ollie says. Oh bb.
Carter smugs something about how “It’s our duty as Starling’s most fortunate to help those most in need.” It’s really clear why Ollie and Thea hate him. He asks if Ollie agrees. “You’re the hero, Carter,” Ollie says.
First Bank of Starling. The Restons pull up in a van. King, who is obviously the dad, tells Ace not to shoot anyone.
Brunch. Mrs. Bowen asks Ollie what he plans to do now that he’s back and he says he’s opening a nightclub. Thea muffles a laugh. I love her. Diggle walks in and tells Ollie that his “liquor distributor” has called, and Ollie excuses himself. Moira and Thea are not pleased. It’s still super not clear what they think Diggle’s job is.
In the foyer, Diggle tells Ollie that the Royal Flush Gang just hit another bank, and probably made their getaway through some nearby tunnels. Moira walks in and asks where Ollie’s going. “Something’s come up,” he says, “I’m really sorry.” The men leave.
Bank. Cops pull up outside as the Restons head into the tunnels with their bags full of cash. The cops find their way into the tunnels as well and a shoot-out ensues. Suddenly, Ollie’s there! He shoots one of the duffels out of a Reston’s hand and the arrow, um, expands and clamps the bag to the floor? It’s hard to describe. He shoots at the Restons a few more times and pins down the second duffel. The Restons book it.
The cops swarm in and start shooting at Ollie. He shoots out the light fixture and takes off.
Somewhere off the side of a highway, night. All four Restons are puzzling over Ollie’s involvement. Mama Reston turns out to be the woman who got the cop shot in the opener. She’s not at all happy that Ace shot him, by the way; she just wanted Ace to disarm him. Daddy Reston – King – thinks Ollie’s interference is a sign that they should pack it in and move to Mexico, but Ace and younger brother Jack say they don’t have enough yet. The parents think they’ll be okay, but Ace says “I didn’t spend five years risking my life and my freedom to just be okay! No, set for life. That was our deal.” King agrees to do one more job.
Queen Consolidated. “I should add Personal Internet Researcher for Oliver Queen to my job title,” Felicity says, opening a laptop. FELICITY! “Happily, I mean,” she adds hastily. Diggle smiles. WHAT IF THEY GOT MARRIED.
Anyway, Ollie wants her to look up “Derek Reston. We were close before I…went away and I wanna get back in touch.” It’s called Google, Oliver. Felicity and Diggle sass about Ollie’s lack of Facebook and MySpace on the island and he scowls. SERIOUSLY. TEAM DIGLICITY. FELIGGLE. WHATEVER.
“I guess you guys must’ve met at the factory,” Felicity says as she searches. “Wait, what factory?” Ollie asks. “The Queen Steel Factory. Derek Reston worked there for 15 years until it shut down in ‘07.” At Ollie’s surprise, she adds, “You weren’t really close friends, huh?” OLLIE U R A DUMBO. Felicity goes on to say that about 1500 employees got laid off, Derek included, when Robert outsourced to China. The finance guys even found a loophole to get out of paying severance packages and pensions to union employees. “They all pretty much lost their homes, including your ‘friend.’” Ollie looks perturbed. Uh oh, Oliver! The selfishness of Starling City’s rich white elite has trickled down in a way that doesn’t give you anyone to terrorize dramatically! Guess you’d better pack it in.
Flashback. Ollie stares at Robert. “You died.” “I asked you – I begged you – to survive,” Robert says. “But if you don’t think you can…” He hands Ollie his gun. “There’s still one bullet left. But Oliver, my death is made meaningless by yours.”
Ollie takes the gun. “I’m starving. I’m gonna die anyway, and I just want it to be quick.” He apologizes and puts the gun to his head.
Present day. Ollie tells Diggle he’s going down to a bar where the factory guys hang out to see if Reston’s there and “Give him a chance to do the right thing.” “Ollie, he already had his chance to do the right thing,” Diggle says. “It’s called not being a criminal.” Ollie says it’s his family’s fault, and Diggle tells him the Restons aren’t the victims here. But Ollie’s determined to make right what his father did to the city. I’m seeing a lot of anger towards Robert here, which I like. Because Robert sucks.
WLLI. Laurel yawns and Tommy tells her to stay awake, because they’ve got a ton of decisions left to make. “Now cake: chocolate or mocha?” “Mmm…carrot,” Laurel says, because she makes bad life decisions like it’s her job. “Are you sure about that? Because Bugs Bunny hasn’t RSVPed yet,” Tommy says. She laughs, then asks why he’s been so insistent about dating her lately. “You know, I was in a bar last week,” he says, “and things were progressing, if you know what I mean. We finally go back to her place, and I realize all of a sudden that I’ve been there before. Been with her before. Two years ago. Didn’t remember. So I left.” He leans forward. “You know, I remember some of the mornings when you and I were together and I made you omelettes, and I’d be in your kitchen and I would think to myself, this isn’t just fun. This is more than fun. This is different. I never felt that way with anybody else.” TOMMY. Laurel looks torn between swooning and running for the door.
A working class bar. Ollie sits down at Reston’s table. Reston says he didn’t figure someone like Ollie would hang out in the Glades. Ollie says his dad used to take him there after visiting the factory: “There was a Pacman machine in the back. I had the high score for two months.” Aw. Reston says the last time he saw Ollie’s dad, Robert promised them the factory would remain open; a week later it closed.
Ollie says Robert hurt a lot of people, and hurt people don’t always make the right choices, but those choices don’t have to define you. “There’s always one moment when you can turn it all around.” More than one, I hope. That’s really absolutist. (Oliver Queen? Seeing things in absolute terms? Balderdash!) Reston’s not impressed by flowery words, so Ollie offers him a job – all he has to do is make a phone call and Reston’s hired. Reston says he doesn’t need charity. Ollie hands him a business card and stands up: “We’re both dealing with the consequences of my father’s actions. What he did then, that’s on him. What we do now, that’s on us.” He drops a bug in Reston’s coat pocket and leaves.
Arrowcave. Ollie listens to Reston trying to convince Mama Reston to quit, along with Jack, and let Ace do what he wants. Mama Reston refuses to abandon Ace, and Reston gives in. Ollie looks disappointed. “Now what?” Diggle asks. “We take them down,” Ollie says.
The WLLI Gala. Ollie gives Diggle an earpiece with which to monitor the Reston bug; when the Restons go into action, he’ll let Ollie know. Inside, Tommy tells Laurel she looks lovely, to which she replies “It’s nice that you’ve extended your vocabulary beyond words like ‘hot’ and ‘mega-hot.’” Hee. They’re having a moment when Joanna comes over to thank him.
Tommy spots Thea arriving and excuses himself to say hi to her. He kisses her cheek and thanks her for coming: “I figured the entire Queen family and their checkbooks should be present.” And then he thanks her for her advice: “I thought about what the girl was interested in, and…” He gestures to Laurel, surrounded by happy gala attendees and looking thrilled.
Thea’s face falls. “You did this for Laurel.” He thanks her again and leaves. She downs a glass of champagne. Oh, honey. He’s literally a decade older than you.
Carter Bowen greets Laurel and Tommy. (Apparently they and Ollie all went to high school together.) He compliments Laurel’s appearance and hard work and tells her he’s thinking of opening a free clinic in the Glades – perhaps Laurel would like to discuss that over a drink? They walk off. Tommy looks crestfallen.
Ollie approaches Moira, who greets him with a sarcastic: “I’m surprised you made it tonight given your hectic schedule.” He apologizes for brunch. “It’s nothing new for you, Oliver,” she says, and he looks stung. “I know you and I have had our difficulties, but despite my many mistakes I always thought you and I had a connection,” she continues. “So can you imagine, just imagine, after being granted the miracle of having my child returned to me that you seem to have little or no interest in being with me. Or telling me the truth.”
Diggle hoves into view and Moira’s annoyance cranks up a level. Sure enough, Diggle murmurs that the Restons are trying a nighttime hit. Knowing exactly how bad it sounds, Ollie tells Moira he has to go. “Don’t apologize,” she says. “Honestly, Oliver, there are times when I wonder why you bother coming home at all.” He leaves.
Redwood United Bank. A guard patrols with a flashlight. Suddenly one of the Restons jumps him, holding a presumably ether-or-similar-substance-soaked cloth to his face. He drops. The Restons – just King and Ace – open the vault door with a small explosive that disables the lock, then head inside and start scooping up cash.
There’s a noise outside and Ace heads out to investigate. “Kyle Reston,” Ollie says, and shoots at him. So apparently Ollie’s version of “giving someone a chance” = “ask his dad to quit and if the dad refuses, MURDER HIS SON NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT IN SELF-DEFENSE.”
But Kyle/Jack’s got a cop’s riot shield! He deflects the arrow, says “I came prepared,” then starts shooting. Ollie ducks behind the teller counter. Derek heads out of the vault out to see what all the commotion is.
Ollie manages to shoot Kyle in the chest, but he breaks the arrow off (???) and keeps fighting. He shoves Ollie through several panes of glass, and out in the van Queen and Jack look up in alarm at the noise. “It’s okay,” she assures him nervously.
In the bank, Ollie and Kyle fight. The security guard gets groggily to his feet and picks up Kyle’s gun. “Hey, I got this!” Ollie says, sounding a little offended. Derek comes running out and Ollie shoots the gun out of his hand. Kyle grabs Ollie. “Drop your weapon!” the guard yells. He aims the gun at Ollie and Kyle. “NOOOO!” Derek yells, and leaps between Kyle and the guard as the guard fires.
Ollie knocks Kyle out with a solid punch. The guard lowers the gun in horror. “He’s bleeding out,” Ollie says as Derek twitches on the floor. “Call an ambulance. NOW!”
The guard runs out (does he not have a radio or cell phone?) as Ollie kneels by Derek’s side and removes Derek’s mask. “Kyle,” he gasps. Ollie takes his hood down and tells Derek Kyle’s okay. REALLY, OLLIE? Your whole subplot in this episode is about lying to the woman who gave birth to you, but you reveal your ID to this jackass? What if he doesn’t die, smart boy? “It wasn’t his fault,” Derek pleads. “I turned my son into this.”
Flashback. Ollie pulls the trigger but nothing happens. He throws the gun on the ground. “Of course it doesn’t work,” he says petulantly. “I’m hallucinating.” “What if you weren’t?” Robert asks, then berates him for throwing away Robert’s sacrifice. Ollie says he’s not as strong as Robert and Robert says he’s not the man Ollie thinks he is: “The things I’ve done…what I was about to do…” “Dad, what does that mean?” Ollie asks. “I don’t know what that means.” Don’t feel bad, cupcake, neither do the writers. Seriously, I will never believe that they had any idea what the Big Evil Plan was until, like, Episode 19.
Robert yells at him to right his wrongs some more, and Ollie asks how when he’s stuck on an island. Robert apologizes for not telling the truth, “but I hope that you know that I love you.”
Present day. Ollie looks like he’s biting back tears. Oh, honey. Sirens blare outside and he takes off. Cops come in and take Derek’s pulse. He’s gone.
Gala. Tommy watches Carter and Laurel dance. “Did you know that as a doctor I was able to diagnose myself as a giant tool?” he mutters. Thea staggers up to him, drunk as a skunk: “How about a dance, handsome?” “Hey, I thought we agreed that you were gonna call me before you did something stupid,” Tommy says, concerned. Oh my God, you guys, do you think they decided that while Ollie was on the island? I can’t even with their friendship.
Thea tells him he needs to have fun and tries to kiss him. He hastily stops her. “You said I was amazing,” she says. “You are amazing, but you’re also like my sister. My baby sister.” Thea maturely protests that she’s not a baby, then catches sight of Laurel and Carter and laughs. “Laurel doesn’t even like you. She doesn’t understand you. I do.”
Tommy starts to lead her out as he says that says talking to her about girls has given her the wrong impression. She says no, the rejection is pretty clear, but between her mom, Oliver, and everyone else, she’s pretty used to it. She turns to stride off – and crashes into a waiter, knocking him down and spilling a tray of champagne glasses. Tommy catches her and ushers her out as people stare.
Laurel finds them in the alley outside the venue. Tommy’s watching Thea retch behind a dumpster, his coat over her shoulders. Laurel worriedly asks if Thea’s okay and Tommy says she just ate some bad crabcakes. Laurel’s face softens as she asks if it wasn’t something Thea drank. Tommy tells her he’ll take care of Thea and to get back inside: “Looked like you were having a nice little do-si-do with the good doctor.”
“Tommy, I’m gonna let you in on a little-known secret about Dr. Carter Bowen,” Laurel says. “The man is a gigantic ass.” An ass, however, who wrote a huge check to WLLI. Tommy admits that he doesn’t always think straight when it comes to Laurel, and they smile tentatively at each other. It’s actually really sweet.
“Can you call me a cab?” Thea asks in a miserable voice. “Absolutely not. I am taking you home,” Tommy says, opening his car door. Thea shamefacedly apologizes and Laurel kindly tells her to feel better. “Hey Tommy,” she says as she starts to walk back to the door, “I owe you a dance. You earned it.” She kisses his cheek. He looks dumbstruck.
Back in the car, Thea is fighting back tears. “Please don’t hate me,” she says as he gets in. “Never,” he promises her softly.
YOU GUYS, EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT WAS SO CUTE. Like, considering how wretched Laurel’s been the first two episodes, it’s amazing how she comes alive when she’s written well with an actor she has chemistry with; she’s smart and kind and an actual good judge of character, and her playful smile after she kisses Tommy is just wonderful. And Thea is heartbreakingly believable – someone paid attention to her! how could she not have a crush on him? especially her older brother’s cute, charming best friend – and I just want to give her a toothbrush and tell her it’ll be okay. And Tommy is such a sweetheart: witty, jealous over Laurel without being an entitled ass about it, so protective of Thea. It’s such a well-written subplot and everyone comes out of it immensely likeable.
It doesn’t hurt that Tommy is played by far and away the best actor on the show. And while we’re on the subject of Colin Donnell, I should note that around here was when the niggling feeling that he looked familiar made me look him up and discover that I’d seen him on Broadway in Anything Goes a couple years ago, where he played Billy Crocker:
(Side note: Sutton Foster is one of my all-time favorite actors of ever, so seeing these two bro-ing it up together fills me with inexpressible joy.)
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how I feel about triple threats, especially those trained in the classic Broadway style. I was about 90% done at that point, and then this summer I saw him star in a musical version of Love’s Labour’s Lost as Berowne, where he entered dressed like this:
And sang Mr. Big’s “To Be With You” in a boy band-style arrangement complete with this:
And that was about the time I started referring to him as the Future Mr. Colin Plummer. So there you go.
Anyway, Arrow (now that I’ve spent the past half hour watching clips of Colin singing showtunes). Back in the Arrowcave, Ollie broods. Diggle tells him it wasn’t his fault. Ollie’s not so sure. “I’ll tell you this much,” Diggle says. “You say going after the guys on that list is the way you honor your dad? Well, if your dad could’ve seen you this week, the way you cared about the people he had hurt, the way you stepped up to try to help them, I’d say he’d be pretty damn honored.” Ollie admits that this might be a valid way to save the city, and Diggle tells him that the cop shot in the opener is going to pull through. This is a sweet scene that would be made sweeter if Ollie hadn’t gone to “help” the Restons with lethal weapons strapped to his back.
Flashback. Ollie wakes up from his hallucination/dream. He’s alone in the cave. He rips another page from the journal, but as he holds it to the flames, words start to appear. He looks more closely, then holds the whole journal close to the heat. The List appears on the pages. “My responsibility,” he whispers. “I promise, Dad.” What exactly does he think it’s a list of? And invisible ink? Was Robert a nine-year-old with a mail order spy kit?
Present day, Queen Castle. Moira’s pouring herself a drink when Ollie walks in. After a beat, she apologizes for what she said earlier and he tells her it was deserved. She admits that she’s lonely without Walter. “You know, you and I used to talk. I used to know what you were thinking,” she says. “But now even when you’re home you’re somewhere else, I…I guess I just miss my son.” “I miss you too,” he says, “and I wish…” He pauses. “Are you hungry?”
Big Belly Burger. Moira laughs a little dubiously at her burger, then starts to cut it with a knife and fork while Ollie drinks his milkshake. This is the cutest tableau in the world. He’s all “omg Mom you are so embarrassing eat that like a normal person.” She takes a normal bite and makes some satisfied hums: “That is a great burger.” They grin at each other. “You know, I bet Carter Bowen doesn’t know where to find the best burger joint in Starling City,” she says. “So I have one thing on him,” Ollie says. “No,” she say, “you have everything on him.” UGH SO CUTE.
So yeah. Like I said in the first recap, this was the episode that got me. It downplayed the show’s weaknesses (no legal or police work, no List, few flashbacks, and NO QUENTIN) and showcased its strengths (character development and interpersonal relationships that have nothing to do with fighting crime). Ollie is legitimately likeable the whole way through, Tommy and Laurel are adorable, Tommy and Thea are adorable, Moira and Ollie are adorable, and Diggle wears a tank top. It’s basically perfect. GOOD JOB, SHOW.