TV SHOW: Arrow
SEASON/EPISODE: 3.03 ‘Corto Maltese’
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Erik Oleson, Beth Schwartz/Stephen Surjik
As Oliver, Roy and Diggle head to Corto Maltese to find Thea and bring her home, Laurel tries to be the next masked Vigilante appears of Starling City.
Okay, I am at odds with this episode. On the one side we have a very interesting plot about Laurel as she gives masked vigilantism a go as a way to work out the anger she has been keeping to herself since Sara died, which I find to be really very interesting. But then on the other we have what should be an interesting plot about what happened to Thea since she left Starling City at the end of the last season with her Father.
Okay on to the Laurel side of things and as I said in my previous Arrow review, I am enjoying where they are taking the older Lance sibling in this new season (looking to follow in her late sister’s leather-clad footsteps). Katie Cassidy is playing Laurel really well and her scenes at both the Alcoholics meeting and in the Hospital with her Dad were really well acted, as well as her final scene with Oliver. Because she is showing just how lost and angry she feels. But instead of losing herself to drugs and alcohol, she is instead inspired to use it to help others and bring some justice back to the city streets (even if she fails the first time, which makes me remember a certain line from the Nolan Batman movies. ‘Why do we fall?’).
And so it seems that (in tradition with Black Canary in the comics and the DCAU) that Laurel will be getting trained by Ted Grant (Wildcat as he is known in the comics), and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out, especially when Oliver and her Father find out what she is doing (also waiting on the reveal to the latter of Sara’s death, you know that is coming).
One little nitpick though and it is probably the comic-fan in me noticing this. But doesn’t the actor playing Ted Gant (J.R Ramirez) look a little young to be playing the washed-up Boxer and vigilante.
Now onto Thea and I have to say that this was another character that I felt was not very necessary to the previous two seasons of Arrow, but having the spoilt little half-Sis of Oliver now with her Father, Malcolm Merlyn (played brilliantly by John Barrowman ) was a master-stroke that has breathed new life into her story. And the flashbacks in this episode were almost perfect (when compared to the previous ones in this season), though they could have been a little longer. But what we got was a good explanation of how the Dark Archer managed to train his daughter into a warrior (which would have been hard to accept considering it was only six months, but the flashbacks and their scenes together sold this well).
Now the scenes where Thea met Oliver and Roy were also well done, especially when the former confessed to what happened between him and their Father before he reached the Island. But unfortunately instead of focusing on this plot or the one with Laurel back in Starling City, we instead get focus on a rather weak story about a rogue Argus Agent. And okay, we do get a rather cool action scene where Oliver and Roy take out a large number of soldiers with home-made bows and arrows (also loved Roy’s reaction to his mentor using a gun). But because it did not have anything to do with other more stronger plot-lines of the episode, it ended up feeling rather hallow and unimportant.
Oh I almost forgot to mention that I again enjoyed the scenes between Felicity and Ray Palmer, especially the scene where she gets calls from both Laurel and Diggle to help while she is working with her new Boss. Also there was a nice set-up for her appearance in Flash, which played on earlier scenes between the two (it’s a long story).