Too much shock value, not enough horror.
After last week’s fantastic 150th episode of Arrow, there were some pretty high expectations for “Star City Slayer.” Considering it was pegged as a horror type episode, it didn’t exactly deliver on that end. While packed with reveals, none of the surprises were surprising, especially if you had an inkling of what was going to happen. So, what exactly happened? Let me run it down for you
- Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is pregnant with presumably Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara), who is looking for her very much alive mother in the flash forwards.
- Connor Hawke (Joseph David-Jones) is Diggle’s son, John Jr. (Who we got introduced to in season 1 of Legends of Tomorrow.)
- And Curtis (Echo Kellum) leaves for greener pastures in DC, where his genius is better spent on humanitarian causes.
As I mentioned earlier, this episode was also lacking in the horror department. Brendan Fletcher’s portrayal of Stanley was overdramatic, taking away what truly made him a creepy character. Back at Slabside, he was a reserved, manipulative bastard of a man, able to fool Oliver (Stephen Amell) into trusting him, whereas, in this episode, he was over-the-top unhinged. When Stanley referenced his abusive father, it did make a rather clear reference to the “terrible dads” theme of the episode. Even though Oliver isn’t the father of the year material, he is by no means abusive like Stanley’s dad.
Seeing Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui) in this episode, even briefly, was a welcome sight, something I hope we see more of in the future. It was like a mini crossover, one that makes the Arrow-verse feel like a true, lived-in world. Dinah’s (Juliana Harkavy) fight lesson with Zoe (Eliza Faria) also added to that realness in both the present and future storylines. But what has me concerned is Dinah’s canary cry. Stanley did a number on her throat that, while it didn’t kill her, it probably ruined her metahuman ability. Is that setting up Earth 2’s Laurel (Katie Cassidy Rodgers) as the new Black Canary? God, I hope not.
Probably one of the most logical things to happen on Arrow as of late was Will’s (Jack Moore) grandparents coming to take him back to Central City (even though CC has enough crazy to deal with as it is). Seriously, it makes sense. Oliver is a convicted felon. He’s been absent most of Will’s life. And ever since he found out he had a son, Will’s been in danger whenever in Oliver’s presence. So, why didn’t this happen sooner?
But that’s not all, folks. It became pretty clear in this episode that Oliver and Felicity have been completely oblivious to Will’s feelings. It’s a sad moment when Oliver takes Will’s legitimate needs about his own feelings and twists them to serve his own purpose, which is telling Will how his responses make him feel bad. Seriously, Oliver, sometimes you need a good smack to the head when it comes to your lack of parenting skills. Simply put, Oliver isn’t putting his son first, something par for the course for male characters on TV to get away with. It makes for a better show to get rid of the kids somehow, but unfortunately, it also reveals Oliver to be a terrible parent.
At least by the end of the episode, Oliver finally asked Will what he wanted and figured out that he wouldn’t be able to keep his son safe, no matter what he did. Let’s just hope that in the future crossover, when Oliver and Felicity head to Central City, they’ll at the very least go and see their son. But this is Arrow we’re talking about, and more often than not, the show kinda has the memory of a goldfish.
So, Curtis left as well, and all I can say is: FINALLY! I could write an entire essay about why this is such a fantastic thing to happen to the show, but I’ll spare Y’all the shade-throwing for when I finally do get around to writing said essay. Let’s just say, I wasn’t exactly a happy camper when Curtis and the B-Team turned on Team Arrow a few seasons back, and the fact that Curtis never actually apologized to Oliver just pisses me off to no end. But that’s beside the point. Curtis is gone. Yay! Moving on.
The really good thing about getting rid of Curtis was that he gave Felicity sole ownership of Helix. Seriously, though, it was pretty much her company, to begin with. She was doing most of the work while Curtis seemed like a dead weight. Okay, maybe he had some stuff to contribute, but for the better part of the beginning of the season, he was working at ARGUS while she was coming up with high-end security software.
In the flash-forwards, there’s a fight brewing in the old lair, even though the place is now reminiscent of a Rainforest Café. While Will, Zoe, Roy, and Dinah go exploring, they’re ambushed by Blackstar and Connor Hawke, tranqued, and tied up. While Connor watches Roy and Dinah, Blackstar interrogates Will and Zoe, hoping to glean some information from them. Roy and Dinah get free, a fight ensues, and it becomes a hostage situation. It’s only when Will and Blackstar start talking about Felicity that we get our final big reveal: her real name is Mia Smoak and she’s Felicity’s daughter.
It isn’t much of a stretch to say that Arrow has had its fair share of problems using the two-timeline strategy. The future storyline has been intriguing so far but given that there were so many reveals in this episode, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on sometimes. It worked well earlier on in the season when the stories paralleled each other, but as of late, they’ve gotten out of touch. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things progress the further we get along in the season.
Photo Credit: The CW