Saturday, February 23, 2013

Arrow 1.14: "The Odyssey"

“You have two choices; escape or die. Choose.”
- Slade Wilson

We pick up right where we ended last week. Oliver has an arrow pointed right as his mother and as she reaches for her phone he shoots. She cowers behind her desk and a photo of Oli and Thea. Unfortunately, it seems Oli is still pretty blind when it comes to his mom because he lets his guard down as she begs for her life because of her children. As soon as he lowers his bow, she grabs a gun and shoots wildly. One bullet hits Oliver and he’s bleeding pretty badly. Of course, he’s gone by the time Moira calls for help and peers over the top of her desk. Down in the parking garage, Felicity climbs into her car to find a wound Oliver in the back seat. So in the span of about thirty seconds she knows his identity and is cool with it. Well as cool as someone can be when you’re panicking about not bringing a wounded person to the hospital. But she gets him to Diggle and it looks like they’re going to have to operate on Oliver.

I have a feeling with Oliver unconscious and in surgery; we’re going to spending a lot of time back on the island. Slade is training Oli to fight and Oli is getting frustrated. The soldiers have guns and they’re using sticks. So to prove his point, Slade hands over his gun to Oli. Not a shock to anyone, Slade disarms him and knocks him to the ground. After that little exercise, Oliver chooses he wants to live and escape the island. So they move out the following morning bright and early. They have eleven guys to take out. Ten wouldn’t be a problem for Slade except the last guy is in a radio tower with bullet proof glass. So he’s Oli’s target. That night, Oli dreams of Laurel. It’s kind of weird because she asks him if it hurt when “they” killed him. Oli wakes up abruptly and they’re off. They get a ways and Oli asks to stop for a rest. Well he gets to stop. He steps on an active pressure mine. Of course, soldiers are hot on their trail so they appear to be pretty well hosed.

With a little bit of quick thinking on Oli’s part and a seeming abandonment by Slade, they take out the soldiers and discover the mine isn’t actually active. Well, at least no one blew up. Over on the other side of the island, the Archer gets called in by the boss and told he will be training the soldiers in archery. There’s a vague mention of a “her”. I guess eventually we’ll find out what that means. That night, Oli spends two hours trying to light a fire and is a little annoyed when Slade just pulls out a zippo and handles it. But Slade was entertained by Oli’s pathetic efforts. They share stories about their pasts. Oli reveals the fact he was with his girlfriend’s sister when the boat went down. More interesting, for me at least, was Slade’s story. His partner (the Deathstroke that tortured Oliver), was a good friend and his son’s godfather. But they were captured and his partner, Billy, decided to join up with the baddies. So Slade isn’t feeling very sympathetic to Oliver’s plight. Everyone is in it alone. A little while later they make it to the airstrip and get into position to take out their respective players.

Back in the man cave, Diggle has managed to stop the bleeding. Felicity is still a little shaken but Diggle is impressed with generally how calm she’s being about the whole “her boss is a killer vigilante”. She wants to know why Oliver went to her. Diggle says that even Oli needs help. I did like that they both acknowledged how awful Oliver is at cover stories. Guess he has something to work on. Back on the island, Slade and Oliver are executing their plan. Slade is taking out the soldiers quite handily and Oli is sneaking up the tower. Unfortunately he doesn’t do a very good job of taking his guy. Slade has to come to the rescue. And he can’t even follow directions. As soon as Slade goes to check that they’re safe, Oliver calls Laurel.

Back in the man cave, Oliver is having a seizure and then his heart stops. Dig and Felicity work together to get him back and hope that nothing else goes wrong. I have to say, I’m so glad Felicity is in on the team now. It was meant to be. Oli needs his crew. Back on the island, Slade gets a radio call from the incoming cargo plane and stumbles on the challenge question to verify identity. If he gets it wrong, the plane will turn around and they’re screwed. By some stroke of dumb luck, Oliver read one book in college and it’s the one that gives them the answer they need. They verify with the plane and just have to wait a few hours for it to arrive. Slade explains his real agenda is to blow the baddies to hell and it sounds like it may not entirely give with Oli’s hope of getting home.

Oliver is not keen on the island going boom with the Archer still there. Oliver makes the conscious choice to be a better man and care about others for once in his life. After al it was Slade’s mission to rescue him before things went sideways. So Slade tells Oli if he can get the Archer and be on the plane before it takes off, they’ll leave together. Oli makes Slade promise that if he doesn’t make it back, Slade will call his family. Somehow, I doubt that’s gonna happen. Somehow, Oliver makes it back to the camp and is trying to convince the Archer to leave when the boss shows up. He has plans to rid the island of Oli permanently. Just as Oli blacks out, we catch a glimpse of the Deathstroke mask.

The solution to the Oliver problem seems to be having Deathstroke kill him. But Slade hasn’t abandoned him thankfully. After telling the plane to land, he shows up and blows up a bunch of stuff and scatters the troops. Then he gets in the thick of it and takes out his old partner. He gets shot for his trouble but Oli manages to get him to safety and they may just make it on the island together. We see the boss get a call from his benefactor and it seems that there are others behind what he’s doing on the island (just as Slade thought). Since the Archer didn’t help Oli or go with him, he gets five minutes with his daughter. We get a close up on an interesting tattoo on her shoulder.

Oli finally comes around in the man cave and thanks Dig and Felicity for helping him. Felicity has also taken it upon herself to upgrade Oli’s system and network. She’ll help them find Walter but that’s the extent of her involvement. For now. I can see her sticking around long term. Oliver still has a blind spot for his mother. He says until they know what they’re really up against, she’s off limits. He gets home just in time to see Detective Lance leafing (Felicity deleted the sample of Oli’s blood from the office). As Oli was getting dressed in the man cave, we see he’s got a tattoo that matches the one on the Archer’s daughter. I’m looking forward to the story behind that ink.

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