Arrow gets back on track this week, despite another lackluster villain-of-the-week.
Arrow continues to suffer from a lack of strong villains, but there was enough excitement in other areas to make up for it this week. Cyrus Vanch was introduced to us as he was leaving prison, and they implied a fair amount of back-story for him. At one point I wondered if maybe he had been mentioned in an earlier episode and I just didn’t remember Unfortunately, he was as cartoonish and shallow as The Count was last week. He exists for no reason other than to give Ollie something to shoot arrows at. Played by David Anders(The Vampire Diaries) Vanch was silly and over-the-top, as these villains seem to be every week.
But the show made up for its weak villain this week by throwing in a lot of great subplots. In fact, it seemed like the main conflict with Vanch was the sub-plot in light of all the important events transpiring in Starling City and back on the island.
We were given a ton of new information in the flashback portions of the episode. The most exciting thing to happen on the show for a while was the introduction of Spartacus’s Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson. Comic fans who know who Slade Wilson is, were likely confused that the character’s demeanor was completely different from the Deathstroke we saw in earlier episodes, torturing Ollie and killing prisoners. Turns out that guy wasn’t Deathstroke at all, but Deathstroke’s partner and an Australian secret agent. This situation is getting complicated and confusing, but we were definitely given enough new information this week to feel satisfied, even if most of what is happening on that island remains a mystery. Also, the idea of it being Deathstroke that teaches Ollie how to kill rather than Yao Fei makes for an interesting twist.
Det. Lance’s betrayal of Laurel comes to a head this week, and he seems to really be losing it in his single-minded obsession with The Hood. Laurel Mentions his drinking as well, which we haven’t seen first-hand. One has to wonder if alcohol is playing a part in Lance’s downward spiral. Even after working with Oliver to save Laurel, she wants nothing to do with him. It was also unexpected that Lance tried to kill Vance, stopped only by the timely intervention of Ollie’s batarang(when did he start carrying batarangs?) I am curious to see now that Laurel has pushed him away, how he will react. Will he get his act together, or continue to slip downward into borderline craziness.
[youtube width="600" height="485"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D0dY_GaFm4[/youtube]
Also this week, Oliver discovers, thanks to Diggle’s investigation, that his mother has been lying to him all along and is involved, somehow, with the list. Oliver was absolutely crushed when Diggle presented him the proof, and his reaction was not what I expected at all. When he said he was going to have a talk with his mother, I assumed he meant a strongly worded conversation as Oliver. Cut to The Hood smashing through Moira’s office Window, taking out her bodyguards and pointing an arrow at her head.
It was also fun to see Laurel handle herself extremely well against Vanch’s goons. She may have been the damsel in distress this week, but she put up a hell of a fight first. One could almost see her teaming up with Oliver someday down the road…
Another week, another lame villain, but this week the villain didn’t really need to amount to much more than a plot device with all the other exciting action going on.