The last time we joined ‘Arrow’ after a brief hiatus, the results were fairly lackluster and filled with clichés. I’ll even go so far as to say that ‘Blast Radius’ was a glorified filler. However, in the most recent installment of the Emerald Archer’s escapades, Team Arrow clocked in with one of their best episodes of the season so far.
Previously, Green Arrow and Black Canary were reunited at last as Sara returned to town to protect her family from the deadly Nyssa Raatko, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul and member of the League of Assassins. After getting some background on the Lance family and learning a little bit more about Sara’s time away from Starling City throughout the episode titled ‘Heir to the Demon’, the long-lost daughter revealed herself to her mother and sister, but didn’t get the welcome from Laurel that she expected.
In this week’s episode, we’re introduced to William Tockman AKA The Clock King, a villain with a keen intellect, impeccable timing, and a mission to aid his ailing sister. Combined with a terminal illness of his own, Tockman has nothing to lose, but everything to gain, especially when he manages to trump Sara, Ollie, Diggle, and Felicity at their own games. Meanwhile, on the mild mannered side of life, Sara is readjusting to regular life with her family, even though Laurel isn’t exactly welcoming her sister back with open arms like her parents. Things don’t get much better when Oliver, who is also dealing with some family problems, shows up at a Lance family dinner with Sara. Finally, while family matters aren’t the best, things are all good among Team Arrow, except for Felicity, who is feeling a little left out and somewhat replaced by the new badass, intelligent, and tech-savvy girl in the Arrow cave.Robert Knepper as The Clock King
There are so many great things to talk about this week, so I’ll start with the one thing that I thought was missing: Roy Harper. A few episodes back, he was initiated into Team Arrow and started training with Ollie, however, we haven’t really seen him team up with the vigilante since. Where is he when Diggle, Sara, and Oliver are all training? I know that he has a job at the club, but I was hoping to see more of him fighting crime alongside Arrow and Black Canary. With business really picking up thanks to the final scene of the episode, maybe Arrow will need to call in all his reinforcements and we’ll get to see the young hero back in action once more.
With that out of the way, I can just talk about the good stuff now and I think I’ll start with my favorite character. I loved Felicity’s storyline in this episode. Although I did enjoy the scene where the group shared their scar stories, I felt bad for Felicity when she was feeling left out and her attempt at being passive aggressive during her training session was really adorable. I’m glad to see her getting a more organic and understandable story as opposed to her involvement in uncovering the true identity of Thea’s father.
One thing that made Felicity’s story even more satisfactory was Clock King, played by Robert Knepper. I never, ever thought that I’d type these words, but he was a pretty badass villain. It’s always interesting to see an antagonist that has layers and a compelling motivation, but it’s even better when they are unique in their methods. Tockman could have easily been a cartoony supervillain, but the writers did a great job in grounding him in reality while still keeping elements of the original character from the comics.
Finally, the cast’s performances all around were stepped up this week. Stephen Amell is usually stuck playing the brooding, aggressive hero, but we got to see a very human side of Oliver Queen when he confronted Laurel about the way she’s been acting. Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorne, Caity Lotz all stood out with their performances in this episode as well.
I’ve said in the past that the quality of this show is definitely a rollercoaster with a ton of ups and downs. It turns out that this week was a huge up and there’s not a whole lot to complain about this time around. Things are made even better because of that last scene where the two former friends from the island meet face to face once again. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for and it’s finally happening. Business is surely about to pick up and it’s bound to be a slobberknocker when Slade finally goes head to head with Oliver on the battlefield.
‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.