The Extremely Ill-Advised Arrow Project: Episode 2.01 – “City of Heroes”
|April 7, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Television, The Extremely Ill-Advised Arrow Project|
Time for Season 2! We open with Ollie running through the jungle on the island, but this clearly isn’t a flashback, since there’s no wig. And what’s this? The light is clear and bright and cheerful and I can actually see Ollie’s face??? I LOVE IT. He stares at a plane overhead.
And who’s on the plane? Why, it’s Diggle and a terrified Felicity! (And a Chinese pilot.) There’s some cute banter about how scared she is, and then the island looms ahead. Diggle slips into a parachute, and Felicity protests that he said those were just in case. “Yeah, just in case we made it here,” he replies. Cut to her saying she doesn’t think she can do this as they edge out the door. “All right, Felicity, on three,” he says. “One!” And jumps. Hee.
They land on the beach and Felicity pukes. IT’S SO BRIGHT AND SUNNY AND HAPPY I LOVE IT. Uh, the lighting/color filter, not Felicity’s puke. They trek off into the jungle, Felicity stopping to look in puzzlement at Deathstroke’s mask with the arrow through the eye socket.
In the jungle, Felicity steps on a mine and freezes. Diggle tells her not to move and that he’s going to try to disarm it. “YOU CAN’T!” Ollie yells. They look up to see him in a tree, aiming an arrow at them. AHAHAHA OLLIE WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
He tells Diggle to back up and Felicity not to move, then shoots a line to a distant tree, swings down like Tarzan, and scoops Felicity up, carrying her to safety as the mine explodes. Pinned beneath Ollie, breathing hard, Felicity says, “You’re really sweaty.” Hee. “You’re a hard man to find,” Diggle adds. “You shouldn’t have come here,” Ollie replies, gazing manfully into the opening title.
The plane, now heavily overgrown with vines. Ollie’s made it all homey with some new supplies, though. He’s super grim and Felicity asks him to at least pretend he’s glad to see them, considering they spent weeks tracking him down and jumped out of plane for him: “You could at least offer us a water. Or a coconut.” Ollie turns away to hide his smile. Hee and aw.
He gives her a canteen and tells them he’s fresh out of coconuts, but he is happy to see them. TEAM ARROW <3. But, he adds, he’s not coming back to Starling, considering he went about his mission the dumbest way possible and also failed. “Malcolm Merlyn destroyed the Glades. Tommy died. And the Hood couldn’t stop it. So don’t ask me to put it on again. Ever.” Diggle and Felicity tell him it’s not about him being the Hood, it’s about him being Oliver Queen: Moira’s in jail, Thea’s on her own, and Queen Consolidated is about to be hostilely taken over and gutted by “Stellmoor International.” Diggle tells him he understands why he had to leave, “but it’s time to come home.” Flashback. Ollie and Slade are sparring with sticks in the plane. Ollie is holding his own, and as they reach a standoff, they start laughing. In comes Shado, wearing her father’s hood and carrying a bird in a cage. AW THEY’RE ALL SO CUTE AND MARRIED. Ollie looks at her, and Slade whacks him in the face: “Women are a distraction.” Ollie just grins at Shado, who tells him he’s doing very well: “Don’t beat yourself up.” “Apparently that’s his job,” Ollie replies. “And I love my job,” Slade adds. NOW ALL OF YOU KISS. “While you two were playing with each other, I was hunting,” Shado tells them. “Well, there’s nothing more attractive than a woman who can hunt,” Slade replies. SPARKLY HEARTS EVERYWHERE. But as Ollie and Shado banter cutely and kiss, Slade snaps the bird’s neck with a bit more violence than necessary. Slade, I’m sure if you just asked, they’d be up for it.
Suddenly something starts beeping: “Fyers’s proximity detector,” Slade explains. Something’s approaching the camp, even though Fyers and all of his men have been dead for five months. The machine shows an infrared image of three armed men. “We’re not alone on this island,” Slade concludes.
Present day, Starling CIty. Ollie, Diggle, and Felicity drive slowly through the Glades, which are full of rubble, memorials, and graffiti saying “Vote for Blood!” Diggle explains that he’s “an alderman from the Glades trying to save the city. Fill your shoes.”
Felicity hands Ollie a file on Stellmoor International and its VP, Isabelle Rochev, a.k.a. River Tam. Two of the three pictures inside are identical. Your intel-gathering skills are slipping, Smoak.
Ollie says he wants to go home and check on Thea, but Felicity says she’s not at the house. “Where is she?” he asks.
Cut to Thea (with cute shorter hair) and Roy getting hot ‘n’ heavy at Verdant. Get it, girl. The mood is spoiled, though, when Roy winces and Thea sees a huge scrape on his side. She angrily pushes him away and storms off, helpfully expositing that he keeps picking fights with drug dealers and the like: “It’s like you have a death wish. And guess what? It’s going to come true.” Roy says someone needs to stand up for what’s right like the vigilante did, and Thea points out that the vigilante hasn’t been seen since the earthquake and is probably dead – just as Ollie walks in.
Thea hugs Ollie, who gives Roy a death glare, and Roy makes himself scarce. She asks how Europe was and he apologizes for being incommunicado. “I hear rumors that my club is under new management,” he adds. She cheerfully tells him that it’s her club now, and he can’t have it back.
“Have you made it to Iron Heights?” he asks. “To visit the woman who dropped a city on 500 innocent people?” she asks. “No thank you.” Ollie says it wasn’t Moira’s fault, but Thea says Moira had a choice not to be a mass murderer, and Thea has the choice not to be her daughter anymore. Then she heads off to take care of club business and Ollie smiles proudly.
He turns to the TV, where the anchorwoman is talking about the new particle accelarator in STAR Labs in Central City. I’ve seen enough of this season to know that is much better planning than they’ve ever demonstrated before. How exciting! She then goes on to talk about his return, because on TV shows, the news is always about whoever’s watching it. I’m just glad he’s not doing this in front of a TV store full of screens.
Night, a fancy benefit. Some smug guy who turns out to be the mayor is asking “Mr. Donner,” the DA, if our country wasn’t founded on vigilantism, i.e. the Revolution. Donner squirms around the giant stick in his ass as he disagrees, but the mayor is more interested in the approaching Laurel, who has apparently grown out the messy curls that Thea chopped off. She shrewdly sides with her “new boss,” and the mayor expresses regret that WLLI won’t be opening its doors again. “There were no doors left to be open,” Laurel replies. I’m really glad they’ve put Laurel in the DA’s office; it just makes so much more sense with what they want to do with her character and will put her in the center of the action re: the Hood/the Arrow/Captain Ollie/whatever without making her, you know, sue people for murder or defend criminal cases that have already been closed when she’s a civil attorney. Ahem.
The mayor heads over to the podium to make a speech about how hard this year has been, but that Starling City will bounce back, and…“YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY, MR. MAYOR!” someone yells. “THE GLADES DESCENDED INTO HELL ON YOUR WATCH! YOU SWORE TO PROTECT ALL THE CITIZENS OF STARLING, NOT JUST THE WEALTHY!”
The mayor assures everyone that they’ll have this little problem sorted out in a minute – and is shot to death. Donner hustles Laurel out of the way as three masked gunmen come in, firing into the crowd. They take out all the cops guarding the event, then grab Donner – and Laurel punches one of them, disarming him. Go Laurel!
…Except she turns to see another one holding a gun at her head and immediately goes frozen with fear. Sigh. SIIIIIIIIIIGH. I guess Laurel’s still Laurel. Like, look, she doesn’t have to be a physical badass, okay? That’s completely not necessary. Moira, Thea, and Felicity have no combat skills at all and they are still badasses, because they set goals and accomplish them and demand to be treated with respect. Having Laurel occasionally get a punch in is pointless if it’s only to put her in greater danger so that she can be rescued by someone, usually Ollie. It doesn’t make her look like a badass, it makes her look like an incompetent moron. How about instead you give her legal work that makes sense, and let her stop waffling on Ollie and/or the Hood?
“We are the Hoods,” the gunman menacing Laurel says, “and what was taken from us, we will take back.” He pulls the trigger, but it’s not loaded, and he walks away. Laurel gapes.
Post-commercial, Quentin runs in and hugs Laurel. Donner tells him he’s got “one very brave daughter.” “Yeah, one daughter’s right, and I can’t stand to lose another,” Quentin replies. FORESHADOWING! He starts asking Laurel if she spotted any tattoos or other distinguishing marks on the Hoods, but he’s caught by Lt. Frank, who reminds him that he’s no longer a detective and has no place questioning witnesses.
Laurel spots Ollie coming in and excuses herself to go talk to him. She seems happy enough to see him, considering that he slept with her, then ran off to Europe for months while she mourned Tommy’s death. He tells her he saw her on the news and ran over to make sure she was okay. She’s like “Eh, I get attacked all the time, no big.” Legit.
He apologizes for leaving and she says it’s okay, but that sleeping together was a mistake. Even though it wasn’t exactly cheating, since she and Tommy were broken up, “I feel like I betrayed him. And now he’s gone, and there’s nothing I can do to make it right.” Ollie says he felt the same way when he brought Sara on the boat. Okay, but Ollie, that was cheating. “There’s no forgiveness for what I led Sara into.” MORE FORESHADOWING! Seriously, good job, show. They hug and agree they would do anything to undo their mistakes. I like these two so much better as friends.
Outside, Ollie tells Diggle he doesn’t like being played: “It’s why you came to the island and brought me back to Starling City, these Hood copycats.” He insists that he’s done being the vigilante and Diggle says the city still needs him. They glower at each other and Ollie asks Diggle to take him home: “I’ve got a big day at the office tomorrow trying to save my family’s company.” Diggle opens the door for him, dripping with disdain.
Elsewhere, the Hoods watch the news, furious that despite their killing the mayor, the top story is Ollie’s return. This is such a comics trope – that everyone knows who all these young billionaires are and there is tons of news coverage of them – when in actual fact the mayor’s death would most definitely be the top story. Also, I love that the footage they’re showing is Ollie and Diggle having a very public conversation about Ollie being the Hood. Smooth, guys.
Angry Lead Hood, who is a comically terrible actor, tells the others they need to take out the Queens, since they’re to blame for the quake. I’m a little surprised they haven’t tried that before. I mean, Verdant is sitting right there, all cheerfully open for its frivolous business in the middle of the wrecked Glades and run by some rich teenager whose fancy lawyers got her out of jailtime for driving while high on illegal drugs. Ollie explicitly said when he opened it that its purpose was to draw rich partygoers to the Glades. I would’ve blown it up the night it reopened.
Speaking of Verdant, we cut there next. Thea’s wearing an adorable orange dress and Roy is devastating in a black polo. Yowza. Roy notes that she’s out of it and asks if she’s distracted by what Ollie said about Moira. “Eavesdrop much?” she asks. “What I lack in height I make up for in wicked good hearing,” he replies. Hee!
She asks what he thinks, “though keep in mind I do control your paycheck and your sex life.” Yowza again. He says neither of his parents were worth a damn, but he’d still be glad to see them: “Look, you’ve already lost your dad. Your mom, she’s still here, and I’m sure she’d love to see you.” “I’m sure she’s dying to,” Thea says, tearful anger in her voice, “just like a lot of mothers in the Glades, who won’t ever get to see their kids again. Because my mother helped kill them. I’m not going to that prison. It’s the only way I know how to hurt her.” Oh Thea, you’re so wonderfully teenage and I love you. “You might want to consider how much it’s hurting you,” Roy says as she walks away. UGH THESE TWO. <3 Queen Consolidated. Felicity greets Ollie and Diggle: “They’re in the conference room. Just FYI, no one is eating the bagels.” ILU Felicity. Ollie walks into the conference room and shakes hands with Isabelle, apologizing for his lateness. “For this meeting, or for a career in business?” she asks with a bizarre non-expression.
“I didn’t realize hostile takeovers were filled with so much hostility,” he says. Au contraire, she’s in a very good mood, because she’s confident she can destroy him: “Since you majored in dropping out of college, let me put this in terms that are easy for you to understand. You control 45% of Queen Consolidated stock, I control 45%, leaving 10% outstanding, but in two days the board will release the final 10%.” Ollie plans to buy it, but Isabelle points out that he doesn’t have enough money, and no investor’s likely to be willing to help the Queens out. “Companies rise and fall, Mr. Queen. Your company has fallen.”
Suddenly the Hoods burst in, heavily armed. “Oliver Queen! You’ve failed this city.” They start shooting, and everyone ducks under table except for Diggle, who shoots back. Aw, they shot the bagels!
Ollie gets Isabelle to safety, then turns back for Felicity, only to come face to face with a Hood – who suddenly falls, bopped on the head by a terrified Felicity. Where’d she get that random piece of paint-stained lumber? They run towards the window as the Hoods shoot at them; Ollie grabs the pull for the blinds, scoops Felicity up, and swings through the window feet-first, swinging back in on the next floor down. They crash to the floor in a shower of glass and exchange shellshocked expressions.
Later, with the cops on the scene, Ollie apologizes to Isabelle for all this. She snits and walks away.
Quentin’s there, in a beat cop uniform, because he works every precinct. He and Felicity exchange genuinely pleasant pleasantries, and he asks if she’s heard from their “mutual friend.” “Nope,” she says, looking directly at Ollie. Come on, girl! “In fact, I keep waiting for him to show up.”
When the cops leave, she snappishly tells Ollie he could’ve stopped the Hoods, and Ollie says it would’ve given away his secret. Diggle asks if Ollie didn’t specifically avoid fighting them. Um, yes, he just said he did. Pay attention, Dig. Ollie says he didn’t come back to Starling to be the Hood and Diggle’s like “But whyyyyyyyyyy.” I’m usually Team Diglicity way more than Team Ollie, but they’re being morons here. Even if Ollie was cheerfully Hooding it up, if he gave his secret ID away to Isabelle, that would be the end of it.
Anyway, Ollie finally says why he doesn’t want to be the Hood anymore: “The body count.” THANK YOU, SWEET BABY JESUS. “And excuse me for saying this, but so what? Since when do you care?” Felicity snaps. Uh, you were the one who was most against the killing, Smoak.
“Since Tommy,” Diggle says quietly. Ollie says Tommy called him a murderer and he was right: “Anyone that I kill dishonors his memory.” Felicity points out that he doesn’t have to kill when he’s the Hood, and Ollie’s like yuh-huh, because reasons. You guys are all assholes. Anyway, Ollie storms off to talk to “somebody” who will help him save the company. P.S. Props department, you might want to clean all those fingerprints off the glass doors on the QC set, they’re super smudgy.
Flashback. Ollie, Slade, and Shado track their trackers using the proximity detector. Shado splits off so that they won’t all get jumped at once, and she and Ollie exchange niceties in Chinese before she leaves, much to Slade’s annoyance. A gunshot wipes the smile off Ollie’s face and they run off in the direction Shado went, only to find her hood on the ground.
Iron Heights. Moira, in a prison jumpsuit, is let in to see a be-suited Ollie. They smile at each other and he apologizes for not coming sooner, but she says she’s the one who should be apologizing, “for the rest of my life.” Ollie says she saved hundreds and Moira says she killed hundreds more, “including Tommy.” Ollie snaps that that was Malcolm, and Moira says Thea doesn’t agree, and if Thea can’t forgive her, how can a jury? Side note: I don’t think we ever get Thea’s reaction to Tommy’s death and that makes me sad, because their relationship was great.
Moira asks him about QC and jokes a little about how glad she is to finally see him in charge over there. He tells her about Isabelle and that he’s not sure what to do, and she reminds him that this is a family business. He doesn’t think Thea wants any part of it, but that’s not who she meant.
Verdant. Business is booming, because who wouldn’t want to party in the Glades right now, right? Roy takes a quick break to urge Thea to go see her mom, and she says she will when he stops fighting crime: “I guess they’re both things that are never gonna happen.” Hee! ILU Thea.
Suddenly the Hoods walk into the club and start shooting up the place. Finally, you dumbasses. “WE’RE LOOKING FOR OLIVER QUEEN,” one bellows. When Ollie doesn’t emerge, Boss Hood says he’s going to start shooting until Ollie “grows a pair,” and aims his gun at a terrified girl. Roy tackles him, despite Thea’s panicked scream, then throws a second one, grabbing his gun. The second dude’s gloved comes off and Roy looks startled at the Hood writhing on the ground, clutching a hand with only two fingers, before one of the Hoods grabs Thea and holds a gun to her head. He tells Roy he’s “just as happy to kill this Queen as her brother,” then drags Thea off.
Cut to Quentin taking Roy’s statement. Ollie walks in and Quentin tells him, not unkindly, what happened. Sounding near tears, Roy apologizes: “I really tried to stop them, but…” Ollie walks off and Quentin calls him back: “Queen. Oliver! [Aw.] We’ll get your sister back.” Ollie nods: “I’m just gonna check something downstairs.” Felicity and Diggle, lurking in the corner, follow. When did they get here? Did they know about this before Ollie and just call him all “Hey, come to Verdant, there’s a thing”? They’re being kind of dicks in this episode.
Downstairs, Felicity boasts about the improvements she’s made to the Arrowcave. I’m so glad Ollie’s teenage sister got kidnapped so you could show off, Felicity! Seriously, she and Diggle are so pleased and smug about this development, I’m so mad.
Ollie tells her Roy said one of the guys was missing some fingers: “Maybe a veteran?” Or he lost them in the quake, which would make more sense, you dingbat. Felicity checks the local hospitals for amputation records (annnd if he was a veteran this would not have happened in a local hospital, unless it was the Great Northern California War of ‘09, a tragic time for this country indeed). Lucky for these dumbos, Felicity comes up with a veteran who lost his fingers in the quake. So Ollie could’ve said “Maybe he’s a baker” or “Maybe he’s a lion tamer” and it would have been exactly as relevant and/or helpful. I bet a lot of lion tamers are missing fingers, actually.
Felicity adds that the guy’s wife died in the quake (on the 52nd St bridge, yes, I get it, show). Phone records show a lot of calls to a church support group in the Glades called “Standing Strong,” which Diggle points out is a great place to meet other people angry about the quake.
Felicity then presents Ollie with a new bow, a compound she had custom-made. “How’d I do?” she asks. He sighs. “It’s perfect,” he admits. She smiles and admits that he was right, that she hadn’t been thinking about the body count, but “maybe there’s another way.” “They have my sister,” Ollie says. “What other way is there?”
Flashback. Ollie and Slade find Shado in a little clearing, hands bound, being interrogated by the three strangers. Ollie tries to barge in, but Slade holds him back, telling him he’s not the only one who cares for Shado, but they’re outnumbered.
One of the strangers holds a knife to Shado’s neck and asks “Where are the graves?” When she coolly, angrily tells him she doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he hits her, grabs her by the hair, and places the knife against her cheek: “Tell me.” Ollie snaps, running into the clearing and tackling him. Slade quickly takes out the other two guys, and he and Shado watch in horror, yelling Ollie’s name, as he smashes in the one guy’s head with a rock, over and over. It’s pretty gruesome.
Present day, that church in the Glades. The Hoods are trying to figure out what to do with Thea, who is tied to a chair. Angry Lead Hood wants to kill her; Marginally Less Insane Hood doesn’t want to, as Thea’s about the same age as his sister who was killed in the quake. ALH says that sister is dead because of Moira, and Thea angrily says Moira didn’t kill anyone: “Malcolm Merlyn destroyed the Glades…Merlyn killed my father. He thought he killed my brother too. She was afraid of him. She must have been so afraid…” Oh, Thea, baby.
ALH is unmoved, and is about to shoot Thea when an arrow shoots the gun out of his hand. “Get away from her!” Ollie shouts. The Hoods shoot back; Ollie knocks two out and shoots the gun out of a third’s hand. But ALH grabs Thea and drags her across the back balcony.
Ollie cuts them off before they can get out of the church. “Let. Her. Go,” he says, aiming an arrow at ALH. ALH can’t believe Ollie’s on Thea’s side: “There was no justice for people like the Queens ‘til you showed us how to get it.”
Ollie shoots him in the chest. He goes stumbling back over the edge of the balcony – and Ollie grabs his wrist. “Go,” he tells Thea, who bolts.
ALH aims at Ollie. “You shoot me, we both die,” Ollie says. “You’ll drop me anyway,” ALH says. “I know you. You’re a killer.” That’s some excellently subtle writing there, show. *eyeroll* Ollie hauls him up, of course.
Cut to Quentin finding all four Hoods cuffed to a fence. Ollie steps out of the shadows and tells him to bring them in. Quentin asks why he didn’t kill them. “I’m trying another way,” Ollie says, then shoots an arrow into, presumably, the moon, and ziplines away.
Cemetery, day. Ollie kneels before Tommy’s grave as Laurel approaches. She’s wearing very heavy makeup with a cute day dress in coral. Get your styling together, show. She apologizes for disturbing him and he says it’s okay, and that he understands why they can’t be together: “I still need you in my life.” She agrees. They hold hands and look at the grave.
Laurel says that before the Hood this wouldn’t have happened, and Tommy was killed in the crossfire between him and Merlyn: “And I’m gonna help my boss catch him.” Ollie’s like “…Awkward.” This is contrived but it’s setting up some decent plot possibilities so whatever.
Iron Heights. Thea comes in to visit Moira; they both try to talk at once, laugh-cry, and stop. Moira asks what’s going on with Thea, if she’s still seeing Roy, etc. Thea tearfully says that if she’d died last night, Moira would always think Thea hated her, “and I want to hate you. I really tried to. But I can’t.” They’re both in tears. UGH SO GOOD. “However long I am in this place, you have freed me,” Moira says. Thea looks around: “If I hug you, are they gonna shoot us?” Moira says she’s willing to risk it, and they hug. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.
QC. Isabelle tells Ollie she owns 50% of the QC stock now and if he continues to fight her he’ll end up penniless, “and trust me – poverty isn’t as glamorous as Charles Dickens made it look.” I feel like Isabelle hasn’t actually read any Dickens. But Ollie says he found an investor to help buy up the rest of the stock – someone from his family.
In walks…Walter! HI WALTER HI I LOVE YOU.
He tells Isabelle that he’s now CFO of Starling National Bank and they gave Ollie the money. Ollie’s like “HAHA I GUESS WE’RE PARTNERS NOW.” Isabelle wishes she was still in a universe where she could kill people with her brain. She storms off, and Walter says he’s glad Ollie still feels like he can count on Walter. He tells Ollie Robert would’ve been proud, and leaves. Sadly, this is the last we’ll see of Walter for…at least as much of Season 2 as I’ve seen so far. BOOOOOO. NO WALTER, NO PEACE!
Felicity’s all “You did it!” and Ollie’s all “You were right, I had to find another way.”
Flashback. Ollie stares in horror at the guy he killed. The guy’s radio starts crackling. “Where did they come from?” Slade asks. Pan up past the trees to a ship, just off the coast of the island. Uh-oh!
Present day. Roy is walking through an alley at night when Thea comes. He’s pleased to hear she visited her mom and tells her he’ll stop fighting crime, then spots a woman being assaulted by three men. “Hey, I’m gonna pick us up some Big Belly Burger right now,” he says, and hangs up.
He tells the woman to run, which she does, then charges at her assailants. One pulls a knife, and just as Roy is clearly thinking “Oh shit”…BLACK CANARY LEAPS INTO THE FRAY! Well, a blonde woman in leather with escrima sticks that she uses to kick the dudes’ asses. WHO IS BLACK CANARY YAAAAAAAY.
“Where the hell did you come from?” Roy asks. Canary’s only response is to pose dramatically, then run off.
Arrowcave. Ollie tells the others that he’s had enough of avenging his father, and if he’s going to continue, “it has to be about honoring Tommy…The city still needs saving, but not by the Hood. Not by some vigilante who’s just crossing names off a list, it needs something more.” Diggle’s like, uh, the word you’re looking for is hero. Felicity points out that the Hoods kind of ruined his name and Ollie says that’s okay. “I don’t want to be called the Hood anymore,” he says, and stares at the arrow in his hand. HMMM, I WONDER WHAT HE’LL BE CALLED NOW?
Okay, it wasn’t perfect – as noted, Diggle and Felicity are kind of assholey in their aggression to get Ollie back in costume and skewering people ASAP, and Laurel’s kind of abruptly shoved into her new occupational and emotional roles, but oh man, this is already so much better than Season 1. Ollie has a moral compass! Killing is wrong! They turned the lights on on the set! BLACK CANARY! I’m so pleased.