Here’s what you need to know about Arrow 3.06 “Guilty”: BOXING GLOVE ARROW!!! End of review… Well, technically there was more. But, man, that boxing glove arrow bit was great! Oliver is not the first vigilante in Starling. Ted Grant beat him to the punch six years earlier (I couldn’t resist the wordplay). Maseo, Oliver’s handler in Hong Kong, is married to Katana and I am embarrassingly connecting those dots. Roy confessed his nightmares, words were had, a candle was lit and he’s realized he was innocent. Roy got his nickname, Arsenal (I think?). Laurel is continuing her training, Oliver’s advice be damned. Cupid made a late appearance to set up next week. Subtlety did not exist during this episode. Six years ago a younger Ted “Wildcat” Grant (J.R. Ramirez) worked the Glades as a vigilante along with his protégé Isaac Stanzler (Nathan Mitchell). Unfortunately, things got out of hand, Isaac killed a drug dealer and, as a result, Ted got out of the vigilante game (and Starling). Fast forward to today and Isaac has returned seeking vengeance against Ted for abandoning him. That basically summarizes the plot of the episode. Just about every other part of this episode uses that storyline as a reflection of the struggle between Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Roy (Colton Haynes). The could have just as easily titled this episode “An Arrow Carol,” because it was basically Oliver meeting the ghosts of vigilantes past, present, and future. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the episode. It was a very fast-paced and fun episode overall. But it lacked any semblance of depth or subtlety. However, it made up for that with some fantastic action, an interesting backstory for a new character, and a resolution to the question of whether or not Roy actually killed Sara. This episode didn’t push Oliver into the background like last week, but it also wasn’t entirely Oliver-centric either. At least, not directly. The focus wasn’t specifically on Oliver and his decisions so much as it was focused on the act of decision making. The ramifications of Ted’s decision to become a vigilante, and then to give it up, came back with deadly results. Oliver’s decision not to train Laurel (Katie Cassidy) continues to drive a wedge between them, and, ironically, Roy’s decision to come clean about his nightmares is one of the few things that managed to unite them. Roy’s confession also set up Oliver’s decision about Roy’s future. Ultimately, Oliver tells Ted that his mistake was losing faith in Isaac and that’s a mistake that Oliver doesn’t intend to repeat. I find that I enjoy Ted Grant more and more with each episode. J.R. Ramirez has been another great addition this season. He did an excellent job of coming across as a highly capable teacher and mentor, showing that Ted is has learned from his past mistakes. He also proved to be one hell of a fighter and definitely held his own against Oliver. It’s interesting to see how he’s being situated in the greater scheme of things. I’m hoping to see Ted and Oliver become partners instead of adversaries. Granted, I know that Wildcat is one of the “good guys,” but he’s currently being built up as a contra-Oliver. It’s another way that we’re seeing a challenge between Oliver the man, and Oliver the hero. Where Ray Palmer is a challenge to Oliver Queen, the former CEO, Ted represents a challenge to Oliver, The Arrow. Ted, with the benefit of time and hindsight, is completely comfortable with the role of teacher. Yet teaching seems to be one of the few things that actually scares Oliver. As I’ve discussed previously, the transition from vigilante to hero has meant that Oliver has more than himself to consider. Slade was a teacher out of necessity, teaching Oliver meant they were both more likely to survive the island. However, that kind of need, that desperation, doesn’t exist any longer and Oliver is no longer just one guy chasing down a bunch of names on a list. He has become, as the intro states, something more. He’s now a symbol. Except, he wasn’t taught how to be a symbol. He’s having to learn while doing; but learning to be a mentor is nearly impossible to do while mentoring. It becomes even more complicated when your job frequently puts your life, and the lives of your friends, at risk. Up until this point, Oliver has been able to lean on Diggle (David Ramsey) for guidance. But Diggle is a soldier, he’s a bottom-line guy. Ted is different, he’s a teacher and, at this point, Oliver needs a teacher. We got another glimpse into Oliver’s time in Hong Kong. We to see Oliver being trained to recover seemingly lost memories, to see what he didn’t realize had been seen. The payoff, which I’m sure everyone saw coming, was Oliver using the same technique with Roy to give him clarity about his nightmares. The good news for Roy is that he didn’t kill Sara. The bad news is that he now knows that he killed a police officer. Hong Kong giveth, Hong Kong taketh away? Perhaps the more interesting aspect of that storyline was the introduction of Maseo’s wife, Tatsu (Rila Fukushima), who we have already been told will be Katana. As noted above, I am totally late to the party with regards to connecting the dots between Maseo (Karl Yune) and Katana and, unfortunately, what that means for Maseo (assuming they stick with their history from the comics). Suddenly, in spite of a lack of any real substance for this episode, Oliver’s time in Hong Kong just got exponentially more interesting. This episode did a very good job of moving many stories forward. We’re gradually watching the various factions congeal and the larger story take shape. I think that the hunt for Sara’s killer will drive the story up through the mid-season break, and I’m assuming the appearance of Cupid (Amy Gumenick) next week is designed to drive that story forward (although I doubt Cupid will be the killer). After mid-season I anticipate that we’ll see a new “big bad” that will drive the story through the end of the season. For now I’m still holding out hope for my Brother Eye/O.M.A.C theory. This episode poked some holes in my thoughts regarding mind control, but I’m not ready to give up on the idea just yet. The Good: FREAKING.GLOVE.ARROW! Not only did they manage to work in a boxing glove arrow, but they did it in a way that it seemed to make sense. It actually felt, dare I say, logical! Slowing down the pace of Laurel’s story has done wonders for her character. This was easily her best episode of the entire show. That is saying quite a bit considering that I usually feel like she’s the weakest part of the show and she was a central figure in this episode. I would watch an entire episode of nothing by Roy doing random parkour flips. They’re usually completely gratuitous and borderline ineffective (if not counter-productive). But I can’t help it, I think they’re awesome. Everything about Ted was great, I loved his back story. I don’t know if the writers intentionally took their cues from Rocky Balboa. But, as far as I’m concerned, they totally lifted “It’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get up” directly from that movie and I highly approve. You can’t go wrong quoting Rocky, ever. It’s a universal law of science. The Might Be Good: Ted, like Ray, has the potential to be an awesome permanent I really hope that the plan for his character. I’m pretty sure that Roy became Arsenal, but the comment was done in such a way that I’m not 100% certain. Ergo, might be good. The Bad: Isaac, the character was good stuff, albeit contrived as all hell. The actor playing him? Not so good. He made the contrived parts worse. Roy’s timing of his confession was a serious case of bad timing. It’s one thing to drop a bombshell that can derail an active investigation. I’m not against doing that in a story, but I really didn’t feel like it was handled nearly as well as it could have been. That scene really threw off the show’s rhythm for a bit. Where is Waller? We’ve seen Hong Kong, but no sign of ARGUS. She seems almost too pivotal to be sidelined for so long. The lack of subtlety started to get really annoying about halfway through the show. I don’t expect Shakespeare, but could we get a little less expositional dialogue? C’mon guys; give us the benefit of the doubt and assume we can connect story beats on our own. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.