By: Kyle Shultz
Finally, we get the episode where Oliver confronts his mother. Took them long enough! But it was a long time coming, unfortunately the tables turned on Oliver, unexpectedly & in a very poetic way! I absolutely loved this episode. Also the episode gives us a better look at what happened to Oliver on the island, with Slade Wilson becoming his ally. So much happened, and I didn’t want it to end. The beginning with Moira and Oliver shows that the two of them can act, Moira acting scared, begging for her life on the names of Thea and Oliver, and Oliver actually threatening Moira’s life. Once he lets his guard down though, Moira takes her shot. I love the interactivity between the two in that scene, it shows they have great chemistry and when Stephen Amell portrays both Oliver & Arrow, he can play off both really well.
They finally brought Felicity into “Team Arrow” which I think is perfect, though it seems like she’s not 100% committed to the team, she’s more of a background character sort of like she’s always been, but now she just knows what Oliver is really up to. Either way, I’m glad that she’s getting involved more, and with the second season pick-up, she gets bumped to a series regular. With this being a mainly “flashback episode” we get to see Slade Wilson train Oliver on the island, we see some moves that Oliver has actually used on Diggle to train/spar with him. Slade Wilson also admits to Oliver that the guy that tortured him previously was his old partner, Billy Wintergreen, which comic fans will know the name really well. He says that originally him and Billy meant to go to the island to rescue Yeo Fai, but from the looks of things, it seems that the rescue mission had failed. They put so much thought in this episode with nods to the comics; it’s actually quite impressive.
Now Slade is all about leaving the island, which is where Oliver comes into play, helping Slade overcome the guards to make sure a plane can pick them up although, Oliver doesn’t want to leave the island without Yeo Fai, he wants to repay the favor he owes Yeo Fai for saving his life. One thing I love about this episode is that before Ollie runs off to rescue Yeo Fai, he admits to Slade that all he ever thought about was himself, he has always been selfish, and now he wants to start anew. I thought that was a nice touch to add into the ever-growing development of Oliver, and it’s neat to see him think like that this soon into the island, it’s already starting to change him. The final fight scene between Slade and Billy was great, perfectly choreographed. Loved how it ended with Slade sticking his sword in Billy’s eye, but is Billy Wintergreen really dead? With this show, the question of whether someone is really dead is always up in the air, we’ll eventually find out, but I’m pretty positive that he’ll come back.
We also get a little inside story on why Diggle likes working with Oliver, he tells Felicity that when he was in the military, he was doing guard duty & was protecting a bad person, and he ended up taking the life of a kid, to which he regrets to this day, and he tells Felicity that he likes doing what he’s doing with Oliver because he’s doing some good, it’s great to finally get a peek as to what happened in Diggle’s past, and how come he’s never really had a problem with any of this. I do really hope we see more of that soon. I’m not sure if they’ve done more on Diggle’s past in the comics, because I’ve only read the first one, but I’m definitely going to hunt those down here soon! The ending scene with “Team Arrow” is great, Oliver asks Felicity if she’s involved with Ollie’s and Diggle’s crusade of justice, but she declines, saying that she only wants to find Walter, Ollie’s step-dad, but I’m pretty sure she’ll join the team a lot sooner than she realizes.
Oliver’s promise to his Mom at the end that the “The Hood” will never hurt her again is interesting & is just as poetic as Moira shooting Oliver. This episode was just beyond amazing, I hope my review gives it some justice, and I cannot wait for the next episode which features Roy Harper!!