The week of our favorite shows returning continues as Arrow is back! When last we saw them, Felicity was presumably fatally injured by Darhk's men, in an attack on Oliver's limo. Right away we see Oliver regress to his more ruthless and killing ways from the first season in order to find Darhk but he's coming up empty. He plans to use Anarky to track Darhk and his plan goes awry when he releases Anarky from police custody and essentially uses him as a weapon against Darhk. Anarky attacks Darhk's wife and daughter but Oliver and Thea arrive in time to save them, however Anarky is still on the loose. Darhk actually let Oliver go because he saved his family but threatened much worse harm to Oliver.
There were a lot of subplots for this episode including Diggle and his brother, as well as Thea dealing with her bloodlust and the result of her attack against Anarky from the first time they met. We also discover that Felicity wasn't killed but she is paralyzed after her surgery. She still acts as Oliver's moral compass from her hospital bed, explaining to him that revenge should not come at the cost of who Oliver has become. This stops his tailspin (for now) and keeps him from letting Anarky go too far, even though he's still in the wind as our hero would say.
I liked everything with Anarky in this episode. I'm excited to see him return, possibly, in future episodes and I would love it if he was Thea's arch-nemesis. The closing scene, showing four months in the future and revealing that Felicity isn't in the grave was a bit surprising. She was the most obvious choice to be dead so I'm not that surprised but I'm at a loss as to who died that would make her be ok with Oliver killing Darhk. I liked seeing that Darhk's wife is just as ruthless and power hungry as he is and I get this Apokolips/New Gods vibe from the two of them, but I might be reaching for theories at this point. I'm not too thrilled with this season so far, but hopeful that the intensity and drama pick up from here.
What I Liked:
- The return of angry vengeful Oliver. The Oliver that would stop at nothing to get justice. I'm not okay with the killing, but the aggressiveness is nice to see again.
- The return of Lonnie Machin aka Anarky (Alexander Calvert). He didn't get the attention I thought he would the first time we saw him, it was fun to see him back again. And his mask is so simple yet very creepy. I kind of like that he could be a nemesis for Thea.
- Lyla being the voice of reason for Diggle. He needs to at least attempt to deprogram Andy from Darhk. He needs to save his brother. Good to see Diggle take that to heart and try to reach his brother.
- The Canary Cry. Can't get enough, though I would like to know why Team Arrow is seemingly immune to the cry.
What I Didn't Like:
- The flashback storyline. It hasn't been great or that telling as the previous seasons had been. They used to really link to the present day and aside from Constantine, they've been useless.
- The number of characters on the show. There's so many characters and it's getting hard to keep up with their arcs and locations and such. And this episode didn't have Curtis Holt. Starting to feel as complicated as Game of Thrones.
- I knew the writing was on the wall, and that she has essentially been the Barbara Gordon to Oliver, without the fighting as a masked hero, but I really don't want Felicity to be a faux-Oracle character on this show. It's a dead horse, but I'm tired of Arrow using Batman storylines. These writers are more talented than this.
These are just my thoughts on the episode. What did you guys think? Who do you think is in the grave? How do you feel the season has been so far? Sound off in the comments below!