Thursday, January 24, 2013

Arrow 1.10: "Burned"

“This guy, the other Archer, he got in your head, took something from you. He took what’s in your heart that lets you jump off buildings and take down bad guys. ”
- Diggle

We pick up six weeks after the end of our fall finale. We’re on the scene of a fire in progress and one of the firefighters gets doused and ignited, burning alive. The perp (in firefighter gear) walks away unseen. In the man cave, Oliver is doing the salmon ladder and tries to shoot a tennis ball but misses. Clearly, he’s off his game. Diggle tries to entice him by getting back to the list but with Walter missing, Oli’s head isn’t in the game. He thinks his family needs him, especially since given the time frame and the lack of ransom or proof of life, Walter is likely dead. We flash back to the island to the same part we saw in the last episode with Deathstroke beating the crap out of the Archer and Oli running away. In the present, Oliver swings by the burger joint and picks up dinner for the family, but ends up on the couch with just Thea. She explains that Moira was pretty distant after the Queen’s Gambit went down and that it was Walter that saved her.

The next day, Detective Lance shows up at the legal aid office with I’m guessing the fire chief. The firefighter who was killed was Joanna’s brother. Jo doesn’t want to believe it and she shows up at Laurel’s apartment (interrupting a sort of awkward conversation between Laurel and Tommy). Jo is convinced her brother was murdered thanks to the incident report she snagged from someone in the coroner’s office. Laurel begs her dad to look into it, or at least convince the fire marshal to start an investigation (she did some digging of her own and found another case from the week previous). He can’t really help but Laurel gets an idea. CSU returns the phone Oli gave Detective Lance in the last episode and Laurel snags it to ask for his help.

Oli and Laurel meet at the legal aid office and Oli says he’ll look into Jo’s brother’s case. He basically hands it off to Diggle. He’s really just doesn't have his head in the game. And Laurel’s little lift of the phone didn’t go unnoticed by her dad. He’s poised she stole evidence and even more worried that she met up with him. In the man cave, as Diggle says he’s got a friend of a friend in the fire investigations department, we hear Tommy yelling at someone. Turns out to be the contractor who isn’t doing the work they wanted for the night club. But Tommy has a great idea; hold a fundraiser with really low overhead and give the proceeds to the fire department. Tommy is actually being kind of nice.

Back at the Queen mansion, Moira is arguing with the company’s COO. He wants her to fill Walter’s seat as CEO but she’s not having it. Just after Moira takes her leave, Diggle shows up and says Oli needs to leave right away for his dentist appointment. Code for another fire is underway and the same truck spotted at Jo’s brother’s fire is at this place, too. Oliver is hesitant to suit up but Dig talks him into it. He gets there and takes a few good swings at the guy, noticing he has burns on his hands but it’s too late to save the firefighter (he went over a railing) and Oli gets beaten down and left in the blaze. I’m thinking he probably had some flashbacks going on about his last beat down. Speaking of flashbacks, we catch up with Oli a short time after he took off. He’s managed to make a little fire but he barely has time to warm his hands when he hears footsteps. The soldiers are closing in.

Oli is looking pretty defeated when he calls Laurel to give her info on the firebug. He’s got a firefly tattoo and a burn on his wrist. We flash back again to the island and Oliver decides to try and rush his pursuer. They struggle, Oli drops his knife and they go tumbling down the hill and Oli lands in the water. He comes to and sees the other guy dead. Guess he killed his first bad guy. In the present, Diggle lets into Oliver again. Seems Oliver is not ready to be back in the fight. And he can ignore it all until he’s ready because right now, the other Archer might as well just kill him. Laurel takes matters into her own hands and confronts the chief of Jo’s brother’s old station. Four of the eight firefighters from the station are dead. Oliver listens in as he’s at the station confirming headcount for the benefit. Laurel is frustrated but it looks like hearing about the fire that killed one of the guys two years earlier spurs Oli to action.

He’s doing some digging and he thinks that the firefighter that died in the tragedy two years earlier may not have died. And we learn why Oli’s been so hesitant about getting back into things Arrow wise. On the island, he wasn’t afraid of death because he had nothing to lose. Now he does. Diggle presents it in a different light; Oli has something to fight for now and that gives him an edge. Back at the Queen mansion, Thea gives her mom a stern talking to about holing herself up in the house again. Thea would worry about Walter but she’s too busy worrying about her mother. At the benefit, Oliver and Laurel sort of team up against the fire chief. He admits he pulled his guys out of the building fire but that the one guy wouldn’t leave. Turns out Oli’s theory was right. He shows up at the benefit and starts lighting things on fire.

Most of the civilians make it out of the fire and Oliver dashes downstairs to don his gear while the firefighter basically gives an abbreviated evil speech of evil before attempting to light the fire chief up. Oli’s aim is back on and he tries to offer this guy help but he’s too far gone. He ends up just stepping into the fire and burning to death. It seems public sentiment towards the vigilante is changing, seeing him as a hero. And it sounds like Thea’s words spurred Moira to action. She’s taking Walter’s place, at least temporarily. Over at the legal aid office, Joanna is taking a leave of absence and asks Laurel to get her brother’s badge to the hood as a thank you. Detective Lance shows up to take the phone back, but then returns it, thinking maybe Laurel is safer with the vigilante putting himself between her and danger. Of course not two seconds later we learn he’s bugged the phone. With one final flashback to the island before we end, we find Oli has changed into the dead guy’s clothes and scored a map of the island. And back in the present, Oli is ready for some good hunting.

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