The episode opens where the last one left off—with Oliver Queen (aka The Hood) pointing his arrow at Moira (his mother) and letting her know in no uncertain terms that she “has failed this city”. As he questions her about Walter’s whereabouts, she begs for her life and shields herself with a picture of her children. In a moment of compassion (I mean, come on, it IS his mom), Oliver drops his bow. Moira grabs a gun and fires repeatedly, hitting Oliver before contacting security. She peers over the desk to find him gone and blood pooling on the floor of her office. Wounded, Oliver takes refuge in the back of the car of the one person he knows can help him in his moment of need.
Enter Felicity Smoak, the cute and sassy Queen Industries IT girl who takes him to the factory where she and Diggle fight to save his life. Will Oliver survive? Of course he will!
While unconscious, Oliver flashes back to his time on the island where Slade Wilson trains him to be a better soldier, telling him “Let me show you how not to die”. Slade and Oliver want off the island and their only hope is a supply plane due to arrive soon. To get to it, they’ll have to overpower around a dozen guards. Oliver’s lone assignment is to take out the one man in the tower. He tries, fails and finds himself on the wrong end of a gun. Slade saves the day by stabbing the guard. Now they must confirm their identity to the incoming plane. Oliver proves invaluable by finishing a quote from the only book he read in school (and the inspiration for tonight’s episode), The Odyssey.
The rest of the episode bounces back and forth between Oliver fighting for his life while Diggle and Smoak do their best to keep him from dying. While Oliver likes to think of himself as a lone vigilante, Diggle notes that “Even Oliver needs help sometimes”.
To give away any more would be a crime and I don’t want to fail Arrow because I would never do it justice. You need to see it.
With a great script from Marc Guggenheim & Andrew Kreisberg (who shares a story credit with Greg Berlanti) and exceptional direction from John Behring, “The Odyssey” is one of the strongest episodes of the season. Stephen Amell, David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards are all exceptional with additional fantastic turns from the rest of the supporting cast (particularly Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson).
Bringing a comic book to life can be a tricky venture, especially with the budget constraints of television. As developed by Berlanti, Guggenheim and Kreisberg, Arrow wisely combines action with wonderful character development that transcends the medium for this type of show. They’ve also assembled a world class cast headlined by Amell, who brings a nice balance of grit and humor to the role of Oliver.
I recall reading an article months ago that gave odds to which shows would face an early cancellation. Though I’m unsure if it was Wired, Fast Company or Geek, the author put Arrow’s odds at 20-1, lamenting the fact that comic book shows probably would never make it very long.
This week, Arrow was renewed for a second season so that author doesn’t have to lament its chances any longer.
Neither do we.
If you haven’t seen it, go watch “The Odyssey” online at cwtv.com (available in the next day or so) or on your DVR where you should make a weekly space for it.
Best line might have been Oliver telling Slade “I’m trapped on an island and my only friend is named Wilson.”
Loved the showdown between Slade and Deathstroke (aka Billy Wintergreen, whose name I recalled but couldn’t exactly place him within the DC Universe so I had to look him up). I wonder if Deathstroke is a goner or will he be wearing the eye patch in the future? Something tells me he’ll be back.
I wish more IT people were like Felicity. Those of us who are technologically challenged would be more than welcome to be the brunt of their disdain when we require their help.
Next week’s “Dodger” is rumored to introduce Roy Harper, another DC Comics character who was Green Arrow’s old sidekick. Will he turn out to be Speedy (even though that’s Oliver’s nickname for his sister, Thea)? Arsenal? Red Arrow?
See you next week. As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.
Arrow can be seen on the CW Network every Wednesday at 8pm.