By: Kyle Shultz
Arrow has finally returned to our small screens and it’s been six weeks since the events of what happened in “Year’s End”. In that episode we saw Oliver as Arrow get severely beaten, left contemplating that there may be a bigger threat in Starling City. In this episode we see him dealing with the ramifications of the fight between him and the Dark Archer. That fight shook his mental and emotional core, it hit him in the one place where he felt safe and in control. In “Burned” he basically hung up the hood, giving up being a vigilante. This reminded me of a couple other franchises that have somewhat done the same recently. Those franchises are Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, in the third film it’s been 8 years since the events of “The Dark Knight”, and Bruce is Batman no more. Until he gets the push to put the cowl on one more time; the next is James Bond in Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall”, where after the prologue in which Bond is shot & seemingly killed, he comes back months later, he can’t shoot a gun or hit the target right, he has a hard time doing the physical test to be back in MI6; and lastly in the third season of BBC’s “Robin Hood,” the events that happen in the 2nd season take an emotional toll on Robin, where in it’s 3rd season premiere he tells Much, his friend/assistant that “Robin Hood is dead. He died with —- in the Holy Land” Name is blocked out because I don’t want to spoil anything. Seriously though, readers definitely should check that show out, especially if you love Arrow.
This episode also dealt with the disappearance of Walter. Nothing from Oliver’s link with the Russian Mob, & nothing Diggle’s contacts with various investigative agencies, and a guy named Ned Foster came in talking to Moira about taking Walter’s place since he’s gone. “Smallville” fans will recognize the actor who plays Foster as Godfrey from Season 10. There was a nice scene between Moira & Oliver where he tries to get his Mom to come downstairs for a movie night with him & Thea, where Thea kind of ruins the night by saying “I’ve already seen that one” Come on, Thea! Give the guy a break, he’s been gone for five years & been running rooftops in a green hood since he got back. Speaking of Thea, it seems as though we’re getting a repetitive streak of Thea being nice for a couple of episodes, then being a bit annoying for a couple more episodes. Is anyone else getting tired of this? There was a nice little newscast in that same scene, I believe where the newsperson vouches for “The Hood” as they call him (Can someone in the show call him Green Arrow again, it makes me smile) & goes on to say that since he’s been in the city crime has gone down, it was nice to see Oliver getting some outside recognition, and it was nice to see Oliver’s reaction to that too. Maybe we’ll see him deal with actions that are not a part of the list.
Finally I’m getting to the villain of this episode, Garfield Lynns, who is also known as Firefly, though never directly called Firefly in this episode. I liked how Lynns & Oliver were half-baked (excuse the pun) versions of each other. Lynns’ motivation to survive was pure revenge, whereas Oliver’s was his father’s list that drew him to move on. Though with Oliver’s admission to Diggle that he’s afraid of dying because he doesn’t want his family & friends to go through that trauma & pain of loss again. In the final showdown at the gala, we learn that Lynns is doing what he’s doing because his Fire Chief & friend, out of fear, left him to die in the building that nearly cost him his life. During the dialogue exchange between Arrow & Firefly we learn that Lynns’ fear is the exact opposite of Oliver’s. His fear wasn’t dying; his fear was to live. In the end, I did not like how they just wasted the character of Firefly like they did. Though, he did it so he wouldn’t be in pain anymore, he had over 90% of his body damaged from the fire. I guess I don’t have to feel too much disappointment from it. Though I do think Arrow should’ve tried to stop him, we could’ve got another fight scene probably. I loved the actor who portrayed Firefly. He showed promise, yet his career on Arrow ended briefly or did it? Never know with TV shows.
Dinah & Tommy were up to their usual unnecessary relationship, which is getting boring. Tommy wants a drawer in Dinah’s dresser, Dinah says no; they’re not there yet in the relationship, etc. Let’s end this relationship, have Oliver & Dinah get back together, that’ll be fun. Dinah’s best friend Joanna De La Vega actually seemed like an important character in this episode with her brother’s life being taken at the beginning thanks to Firefly. In the end, when Joanna gets her brothers badge back, and she gives it to Dinah to give to Arrow, saying something along the lines of despite what the others are saying, I see him as a guardian angel, I thought that was a really nice touch, and made me like her character a little more.
Overall I thought this was a really good midseason return episode for Arrow, and I cannot wait to see what happens next Wednesday, and all the Wednesdays that happen after that. I’m really excited for Count Vertigo, Deathstroke, and Roy Harper’s episodes