Archers Quest: City of Heroes & Identity
Hey There Evil Geeks!
Big Evil here, and I will be spilling all the news on everyone’s favorite Emerald Archer this season, but as you can see I’m a little late. With all the hub-bub of NYCC and the much needed recovery time, I was unable to get to Starling City for the premiere, but I promise you that you’ll start to see these reviews much more regualr moving forward. So what makes me qualified you may ask? Well, I’ve been reading Green Arrow almost as long as I’ve read Batman and have followed Mr. Queen into battle for years now, so the idea that there’s a TV show about him (that is really friggin’ awesome) simply brings a smile to my face. The creators have managed to use Ollie’s rich history but update it for the modern era and work alongside with DC Comics in their current iteration of the character to really make a cohesive story… So, here we go.
Episode 1: City of Heroes
This episode picks up from the finale from last season where Starling City was ravaged by the destruction of The Glades. Malcolm Merlin was outed as the architect behind the plan, but Ollie’s mother did so by sacrificing herself and Tommy Merlin was killed trying to save Laurel. All in all, Oliver was a beaten man, her returned to the city and couldn’t save it and his “list” didn’t exact justice the way that he hoped. We open with a helicopter going towards the island that Ollie was stranded on for all those years. While the public face of Oliver Queen went traveling around Europe, the real man retreated to the only place that made sense to him. Diggle and Felicity have come bring him back; his mother is in prison and ready for trial, Thea is lost and needs him, and the company has a hostile takeover on the rise and they convince him that Oliver Queen needs to return to Starling City. Upon his return we find the Thea has taken over the club and she is still with Roy. Roy regularly runs around the streets trying to fill the hole of the vigilante along with other copycat “Hoods” that Digg describes as not having the honor or restraint that Ollie had.
Our hero agrees to return to Starling City, but wants to hang up the Hood identity because he felt that he didn’t prevent the destruction of his city in the end, but quickly reverses that decision when the copycats drag him back into the game. The “Hoods” are a group of people from the Glades who all lost something or someone and feel that the city has turned their backs on them. First they attack and kill the mayor during a benefit, then they go after Ollie directly at Queen Consolidated because they blame his family for the earthquake machine, but are unsuccessful. They go after him at the club as well, but take Thea hostage until he turns himself over to them. Ollie decides to don the costume again to save his sister and the city from these copycats. Some felt that Ollie was an anti-hero in the first season and chose to kill the people on his list, including his best friend Tommy Merlin. The fact that Tommy died thinking that his best friend was a murderer weighed heavy on Ollie, so he feels that killing more people will only disrespect Tommy’s memory. I like this angle myself, because I think that goes with being a “hero” rather than a “vigilante” and the studio and network realize that in this age where superhero is king that they’ve got a good property on their hands.
Ollie saves his sister, disarms The Hoods, and wraps them up almost in a Spider-Man style for Officer Lance (thats right, not Detective…he was demoted after working with Ollie at the end of last season.) to find. Lance makes reference that these guys are alive and Ollie tells him he’s trying something new. He returns to his “Arrow-Lair” (they really need a name for that place 🙂 ) and tells Felicity and Digg that he doesn’t want to be known as The Hood any longer, and then the show ends… Is he Arrow? Is he Green Arrow? Is he crazyhungrgmesfan1342? Only time will tell and you’ll have to keep tuning in.
Along with the major plot of Ollie returning to his role, we see quite a few other things to open up the season. First off, Thea and Roy are still together, but Roy has been playing junior vigilante at night, which she doesn’t like. Meanwhile, Mama Queen is in Iron Heights and Thea is so mad at her for what she did to the city that she won’t visit her and Roy thinks she should… so these two are at somewhat of a stalemate throughout the episode. Laurel has changed her career from a pro bono lawyer to the Assistant DA and blames The Hood for the death of Tommy, rather than his father and wont rest until he is incarcerated or dead. Along with that, she tells Ollie that sleeping together was a mistake and that they cannot be in a relationship and ultimately feels that her actions led to Tommy’s death somehow.
Oliver visits his mother in prison and they have a great talk. Unlike Thea, he realizes that life isn’t black or white and forgives her and understands why she did what she did. She jokes that if all she had to do was screw up for him to take responsibility of the company, that she would’ve done it long ago. She also tells him to use his family, all of his family for help with Queen Consolidated because they are in some trouble. Mama Queen’s actions have led to a possible corporate takeover by Stellmoor International with Isabel Rochev (played by Summer Glau) leading the charge. This requires Ollie to step it up and become the face of the company (which I really like) and also bring in his mother’s ex; Walter for financial support so he can own 50% of the company and protect what it stands for. You may remember that Isabel Rochev’s name was on the list, and everyone who talks about her says that she cannot be trusted, Summer is slated to be on the show throughout the season so this should lead to some interesting developments. Last but certainly not least, Thea decides to go and see her mom and makes a deal with Roy to stop going out at night, he agrees but in usual Mr. Harper fashion he goes out anyway. He attempts to help out a young woman being mugged and appears to be out numbered when a new masked vigilante with blonde hair and black leather comes to save the day… and we have Black Canary!
The last episode laid the groundwork for the season, but this one really turned it up a notch in my opinion. We start with FEMA trucks attempting to make a delivery but they are being trailed by what appears to be a motorcycle gang. The camera cuts to Roy, who in the previous episode promised Thea he would hang up his lack of a costume and stop pretending to play hero. He’s in a red car and starts driving head-on at the motorcycles. He takes one out, but the other one begins shooting at him and he flips and wrecks the car. The FEMA truck is then stopped and the driver killed by China White (played by Kelly Hu.) The cops come on the scene and go directly after Roy, who tells them that the real bad guys are getting away. Seriously, if I had a superpower I think that it would be to be like TV-Roy Harper because he’s pretty damn indestructible.
Next we cut to Laurel interrogating Roy. She’s trying to lay it on thick, thinking that he knows The Hood and he brushes her off. He tells her that The Hood is necessary because the rest of the city doesn’t care about The Glades and that someone needs to protect those people. She releases him and Thea comes to collect him and is angry at him for going out again. Ollie shows up and tries to talk to him, but per usual, he brushes him off. He then tells him that he understands what he’s going through and it seems that he’s getting through to him, and then Roy throws it back at him and tells him that someone needs to help the people in the Glades, because the FEMA relief hasn’t gotten to the hospitals.
At Queen Consolidated Ollie is the new CEO. Felicity is up in arms because he needs her to basically become his secretary and she is angry because of her IT background. He tells her that its part of the charade that they have to do because of his vigilante activities and that it wouldn’t make sense for the CEO to go down to the IT department every time they need to speak. Digg tells her that at least its not as bad as being his black driver, but she still storms off and yells something about not getting him coffee. Digg and Ollie visit Glades Memorial Hospital to see exactly what is going on there. Without the FEMA supplies people are literally dying in their beds. Ollie sees a man talking to a bunch of reporters; Alderman Sebastian Blood (a new politician trying to clean up The Glades, and the name of a DC staple villain :)) who is using the media to blame to fat cats of the city (classic GA!) for their lack of support in this situation. Ollie reveals himself and Blood basically crucifies him on TV and gets the people of The Glades to go after Oliver and run him out of the hospital. The media then start going after Ollie the the question “What can you do for me now Oliver Queen?”
After accessing the situation, The Hood (still hasn’t given us a new name to call him yet) decides to get involved but first goes to see Laurel. She tells him that he is a vigilante and that she will be coming after him. He tells her that she didn’t always feel this way, and she tells him that was before he let her friend die, before he didn’t save Tommy. She tells him that she saw him running away in the night and that a true hero wouldn’t hide his face, but a coward would. He tells her that he lost someone too that night, but she doesn’t care and tells him that she will do whatever she can to take him down.
At the club Thea confronts Roy and gives him an ultimatum; either her or his nighttime activities. He tells her that he doesn’t want to choose and she tells him that she’s sick of people that she loves getting hurt, or worse.
“The Hood” learns that another FEMA shipment is going out and goes to a warehouse where members of the motorcycle gang beat him to the punch. They’ve taken out two drivers and are about to take out a third when our hero shows up to take on the gang members. He tells the driver to get out of there but ends up being killed by China White who brings a friend to play… Bronze Tiger!!! (Played by Spawn, aka Michael Jai White) The original Tiger is a martial arts master who regularly works as a mercenary with the Suicide Squad, but is a noble type of warrior, this one on the other hand appears to be a mercenary who doesn’t mind killing, or working for some bad dudes. He also has these claw-like talons that can slice and dice our archer. A brawl ensues and China White steals the FEMA supplies. Ollie tries to put some space between him and the Tiger, but he goes after him into the warehouse mocking our hero that he thought this would be a challenge. The police come to the scene in force and take some shots at both Ollie and the Tiger and clip Ollie’s ankle. They both escape and Ollie drops a smoke bomb and gets into the rafters. I liked this scene because it reminded me of Batman Year One and shows that although our emerald archer is just trying to do the right thing, he remains to be hunted.
Back at Queen Consolidated Ollie invites Sebastion Blood to his office and they discuss a way that he could help. Blood doesn’t want his money, but would rather have a public face to help in his efforts to rebuild The Glades. Ollie agrees to throw a benefit with the wealthy people of the city to get not only some money for The Glades, but also an awareness of the situation. Blood also apologizes for what he did to Ollie previously, but that his temper can get the better of him. He leaves and it appears that Ollie will get to repair at least one of his images.
Next we see Roy in an alley, he hears something behind in and throws a small red dart (or arrow…hmmm) and it’s knocked down by The Hood! He is star struck and tells him that he’s trying to be like him. The Hood tells him that all he’s going to do is get himself killed and that he has to stop. Roy fires back by asking him to train him and I’m not gonna lie, my inner geek was screaming YES!!! bc Roy Harper is a favorite character of mine. But alas, there wasn’t a reveal or anything. Ollie tells him that he could help by being his ear on the ground to let him know what is going on. Roy tells Thea that he chooses her and he seems happy because he’s on the “team.” Most likely we will see “Red Arrow” in one way, shape, or form before this season is over.
Next we move to Ollie’s benefit and Blood and Laurel are there, but no Ollie. On the way there Felicity lets him know that another FEMA shipment moved out 5 minutes ago and we see our hero make the choice, give up his real identity for the mask. At the benefit Blood gets angry and addresses the crowd, despite Laurel trying to stop him and tells them that Oliver Queen is not who he seems, and that he doesn’t care about the city.
The Hood and Digg go after the new shipments and meet China White, Bronze Tiger and her gang. Ollie takes the Tiger while Digg goes after China. A battle ensues, but Ollie learned from the first fight and uses a trick arrow to take out the Tiger. He then saves Digg from China White and she makes a comment that he has changed (his lack of killing…) and that the police would be after him. He ties her up and get the FEMA supplies delivered, and although he saved the day, it seems that Blood has gone to the airwaves and has dragged Ollie’s name in the mud once again.
Throughout the episode we see flashbacks to the island and the story with Ollie, Slade, and Shado. At this point it seems that others have found the island, but for what purpose? And what is the island doing to Mr. Queen? I really hope that in the end Slade turns into the Deathstroke that we all know and love and somehow returns to the present day, bc he’s too good of a character to strictly be in flashback.
The Hood visits Laurel again in the DA’s office and tells her that he is trying to be a better hero, but she doesn’t care. She tells him that she was going to come after him and alerts the cops who were waiting for this to happen. She tells him that she knew he couldn’t resist coming back and we end our episode with Ollie trapped with about 20 officers guns on him.
So after two episodes there are a few things that I would say are rather apparent about Arrow this season. 1) Both the studio and the network have put more money into this show, with better sets and graphics, more characters and actors, and more marketing. 2) The show is pulling from the DC roster heavily and hopefully it sticks to their actual characters and not just using names to use names. 3) Unfortunately, I don’t think that Ollie will ever be know as Green Arrow, in the same vein that Smallville Clark was never Superman…:(
OK nerds…thats all I got, promise that they’ll be up a lot sooner in the future!
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