Friday, February 27, 2015

Arrow, Season 3 (Episodes 9-13)

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

When last we saw Oliver, he'd just made nice with The Flash. Unfortunately, the good feels were short-lived as he soon learned that his sister (Thea/Speedy) had been drugged by his archrival (Malcolm Merlyn) and killed his ex-girlfriend (The Black Canary), which put her firmly in the sights of the League of Assassins and its leader (Ra's Al Ghul). (Pause for breath.) So how would things go when Starling City's emerald archer faced off with Batman's most deadly in-law? When answering what might be the most important question in the history of science, it's best to leave it up to the nanobots.

Episode 9
  • Ollie vs. Ra's... = +20pts
  • ...shirtless... = +10pts
  • the snow! +5pts
  • Taking a nap after being stabbed through the chest and kicked off a rocky cliff and left to die. = +8pts (You earned it.)
Episode 10
  • Pre-Arrow Ollie is starting to look a lot like post-grunge Eddie. = -3pts
  • Testing  your high-tech supersuit's new weaponry on inflatable clowns. = +2pts
  • Giving a man a gun before you beat him to death, thus giving him an 8% chance at survival. = +3pts
  • Don't try this with Malcolm Merlyn because he thinks guns are annoying. = +2pts
  • You know the old saying: If at first you don't succeed in sliding across a city street to crash through a window, hang there like a yutz for a while and then kick it like a toddler till it breaks. = +4pts
  • Fighting crime in your street clothes. = +1pt
  • Diggle in the green suit. = +5pts
  • Turning the lights off on your friends mid-discussion. = -3pts
 Episode 11
  • Given how unaffected Roy's knees appear to be despite his high altitude jumping and parkouring, we're calling Mirakuru. = -3pts
  • Hero-shaming the new hero-shamer. = -2pts
  • DJs who think their DJ gear is a primary target for crime bosses who've taken over entire portions of a city. = -5pts (And by "gear" we mean a Mac Book Pro.)
  • Watching Laurel take on a bunch of criminals reminds us of that episode where Scrappy took on that mob of soccer hooligans. = -2pts
  • Shooting the black Alderman first when there are plenty of other Alderman's to shoot. = -5pts
  • Oliver kills good with guns. = +6pts
  • Laurel admirably fighting crime with her face. = +2pts
Episode 12
  • Staying open when your neighborhood is overun by thugs and the cops are like, "YOLO!" = -2pts
  • Anytime Thea takes the words of her mass murdering father at face value. = -1pt
  • John Barrowman takes a turn rocking the horrible flashback wig. = +3pts (And kills it.)
  • Captain Chesthair busts Roy's secret identity in their first meeting, but can't recognize his own daughter or her playboy ex-boyfriend? We hereby diagnose him with emotional TV blindness. Which is a real condition TV characters suffer from. = -2pts
  • Vinne Jones' "Brick" may be an expert in hooliganism, but we bet he sucks at magic. Edge, Malcolm Merlyn. = +4pts
  • Hanging out with your murderous father while sharpening a large blade. = +0pts (Because it can go either way.)
  • Falling for the old "this-guy-killed-your-wife-so-you-should-kill-him-yourself" play. +3pts (Because it's a classic.)
  • Leaving your weapons behind in your police station for the criminals when you bailed and left all of the poor people to fend for themselves. = -3pts
  • Thea's justifications for her involvement with Merlyn border on the idea that only children and white men live in a world without consequences. = -2pts
  • The Arrow crashing your us vs. them "brick" party... = +5pts
  • give a speech. = +1pt
  • Merlyn's magic. = +5pts
Episode 13
  • Malcom has dealt a lot of pain to Oliver, but the label "failed businessman" somehow cuts deeper than all the others. = +5pts
  • Thea's reaction to Oliver's secret is probably her best response to anything in the history of the show. = +10pts
  • Peter Stormeyer returns freshly botoxed and newly accented. = +3pts
  • Standing around talking about who should do what, while nobody does anything to help the person on the medical table in front of them. = -2pts
  • Sneaking in a quick bone before trying to kill someone. = -1pt
Episode 14
  • Taking your sister on a camping trip to that island you hung out on that most people refer to as "hell on earth." = -2pts
  • Letting your daughter's mother's killer out of jail in order to help your daughter become a better killer. = +5pts (You got to learn somewhere...)
  • Dropping into an empty office despite there not being a vent anywhere in the vicinity. = +2pts
  • Diggle's long dead brother utilizes his break from Bones to lecture him on not appreciating the smell of white privilege and vomit. = -2pts
  • Killing your sister's drug dealer at your best friend's party and then acting surprised several years later when you find out she still doing drugs. = +5pts (That's commitment!)
  • Dislocating your sister's arm in order to help you break out of jail. = +10pts (That's hardcore!)
Episode 15
  • "Hot Baths with Ra's" is the new name for our scorecard R&B boy band. = +5pts
  • "My friends call me, Dig. You shouldn't even speak to me." = +10pts
  • Brandon Routh has been a delight, but he loses the manscaping war with Oliver with that weak sauce facial hair. = +3pts (For trying.)
  • Watching Merlyn get transported away, and anticipating Oliver's inevitable suicide run, we can't help but ask ourselves, "Didn't we already watch this already?" = -4pts
  • Fessing up to your friend, who's just asked you to be his best man, that the real reason you dragged him on this suicide run because you didn't like getting stabbed in the chest and left for dead. = +3pts
  • Ollie and Ra's: Second verse, different from the first. = +10pts.
Season Score: +114pts

Let's just all agree that the Ra's of Arrow is the best iteration of the character we've seen outside of the comics. The fact that it's played by Matt Nable, a former Rugby football player and co-star of Riddick (we all saw Riddick, right?), is as much a testament to the writing as it is to the actor's performance. This season's theme seems to be building towards a "we can fight for this city for you, because you're likely to die or (redacted)." John Barrowman has been so Boranez-like in his ability to transition between concerned parent and master manipulator, that we've stopped shouting, "It's Jack Harkness!" every time he's on screen. (Trust us. That's saying something.) Members of the extended family have also been given a moment or two. It's especially nice to see Thea and Laurel work their way into the show in a manner that isn't a momentum killer. While we weren't sure about the whole, "I have to go fight Ra's, again" trajectory of the last few episodes, the writers gave us something new by having Oliver fess up to the fact that what drives him is ego as much as a willingness to do good. Which, if you think about the character, is such a Green Arrow thing to do.

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