Arrow: 3.18 Public Enemy
A little later than usual, here's the review of the latest UK-paced episode of Arrow before this week's installment...
The conflict between Captain Quentin Lance and the Arrow escalated into all out war as the actions of Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins turned Oliver Queen from hero to hunted. With Maseo killing the mayor and Ray Palmer critically injured, Lance formed the largest anti-vigilante task force in the city's history. Ra's al Ghul might have been the villain pulling the strings but it was Captain Lance was the primary antagonist.
The police hunting down the Arrow, Arsenal and Black Canary was spectacular, full of car chases, hiding in alleys from police helicopters and heroes fighting back against the police; it felt right out of a Batman movie. But it was the confrontation between Canary and the captain that had the most bite, leaving the audience to wonder how far Quentin would go to stop the vigilantes. You certainly believed her would through Laurel in prison, maybe even shoot her and it looked as if their relationship was about to be destroyed forever.
Public Enemy did not scrimp on the action and it also delivered plenty of twists and turns as Ra's al Ghul captured Captain Lance and revealed the Arrow's true identity. With Oliver named and shamed on public television, there was the feeling that the events in play would irrevocably change the show forever. I was still surprised and bemused the moment the city's most wanted man walked straight into the police precinct, but it was believable. Oliver was willing to protect those around him even if it meant giving up his own freedom, though even this was turned upside down when Roy appeared at the end to give himself up as the Arrow.
With Oliver's identity as the Arrow putting him in the public eye and the heroes called villains once more, there was a great sense of the show going full circle. Even the flashback continued this theme. While the shocking reveal that Shado was alive in Hong Kong fell flat - it was her twin sister Mei- to revisit her and her father Yao Fei through their surviving family member felt like a great way of honouring what had come before, giving closure to the island story line of season one and two.
I also loved the attack on Mei's house and the return of Maseo and Tatsu to save the day, the latter swinging around, sword in hand, taking out Waller's men. The episode ended with them reunited with their son Akio, his fate still unconfirmed. Yet again, the flashback offered nothing of real value but it was fun none-the-less.
Talking of fun, I loved that Ray Palmer had the instant cure to his possible brain damage or death. Happening to have some nanobots on hand to remove the blood clot in his brain would have been a cheesy cop out in any other show, but with Ray it absolutely worked. After all, he is a brilliant, billionaire Bruce Wayne meets Tony Stark superhero that happens to look like a disney prince.
Yet despite all that, Felicity doesn't love him. She genuinely cares for him and even broke every protocol to inject him with the nanobots despite the doctor's objections. The return of her mother Donna proved to be a great accomplice for Felicity, distracting doctors with back spasms and seeing the truth; that Felicity only really loved Oliver. I really like that they are so different and yet have this great connection, with Charlotte Ross's Donna having a great spark with Emily Bett Rickards's Felicity.
With Oliver public enemy number one, Laurel at odds with her father in every way, Roy giving himself up to save Oliver and Ra's al Ghul bringing everyone to their knees with his master plan, Arrow is heading for its most exciting finale yet.