Well, well Ollie.  That plan backfired, didn’t it?

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the previews for “The Odyssey,” fearing that it would be a whole hour devoted to handwringing over Oliver’s critical state with a few flashbacks thrown in for entertainment value.  But no, it ended up being a flashback heavy episode, with minimal tension back at the homebase.  Since the flashbacks have been the real strengths of this series lately, this episode ended up being a big winner and one of the season’s best.

May I start out by stating how excited I am that Felicity is part of this tiny vigilante network now?  Sure, she refused a regular position with the team because she likes being safe in her life, but she’ll soon learn that once she’s in she can’t get out.  Oliver and Diggle need someone to liven up the HQ and man is Felicity lively.  She’s even taking the computer network out of the 80’s!  You know, not the good 80’s with leg warmers.

Felicity just happened to be at the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time.  Oliver let his guard down while disguised as the Hood because Moira begged for her life based on her family.  He promised he wouldn’t hurt her, so she responded by shooting him!  Talk about having trust issues.  A badly wounded Oliver somehow managed to work his way down to the parking garage without being detected by anyone or any cameras after openly attacking the company CEO and went straight for Felicity’s car.   I’m with her, that little red car was too pretty for blood stains.  I did enjoy watching the light bulbs go off in her head when Oliver took off the hood and revealed it was him.  So many things made sense to her now!

I’m so happy that Diggle and Felicity had a chance to bond.  It’s my two favorite side characters fulfilling my dream pairing!  I can just see them in the future, manning mission control together.  She followed his orders so beautifully and was the eager and helpful assistant, jumping in when her skills were needed.  I especially love the talk he had with Felicity about why he helps Oliver.  His story of killing innocents in Afghanistan while under orders to protect a scum bag leader resonated, giving us another big (and believable) clue as to why Diggle is committed to protecting citizens.  I thought for sure that would be the speech that convinced Felicity to come aboard, but at least she’s committed now to finding Walter.

Why don’t I just give away the ending?  Oliver lives.  Duh.  But that wasn’t the heart of the story.  It was about “The Odyssey.”  Actually, it turns out Oliver’s whole island story has been his own version of “The Odyssey.”  It’s about his very long journey home, coming across many adventures along the way.  Kind of inspirational, but I don’t think Homer had this story in mind when he crafted his epic tale.  This week’s adventure is about Oliver stepping up and helping Slade on the island with his escape plans.  Except he kind of messes things up in the process, but that may prove in the long run to be a good thing.

Oliver has been on this island six months now and he’s still pretty green.  He fights like a pansy, and Wilson made sure he knew it in very painful ways.  Yet Oliver was tasked with storming the tower anyway to take out the one person, and he failed.  Good thing Slade had already taken out his ten men and had time to help Oliver with his one (told you, pansy!).  While waiting for Slade to clean a few things up outside, Oliver sees the phone and gets stupid.  He calls Laurel!  There is she on the other end, wondering if the person will identify him/herself, but Oliver can’t speak.  He’s too overwhelmed.  Yes, I couldn’t help but think “Great job, now it’ll be four and a half years before your next chance,” but there was beauty in that moment.  At that point, he was truly a fool in love.  Even though it was a dream, I did enjoy the sight of Laurel and Oliver in bed together.  It felt right, not her and Tommy.  Too bad Wilson interrupted the call before he could make a peep, thus yanking away our sweet visions of star crossed lovers reuniting.  Right, history already dictated that didn’t happen.

While Slade Wilson was perfectly happy waiting for the cargo plane, Oliver was determined to rescue Yao Fei, which was Wilson’s mission all along.  He swore that he was done being self serving and he was going to do something right for once.  Yao Fei saved his life, he owes him.  Wilson thought the whole plan was foolish and gave him three hours, or he’d leave without him.  Oliver went back to the camp, but Yao Fei wouldn’t go with him, so he was caught by Fyers.  Turns out Yao Fei is cooperating because Fyers is holding his daughter captive.  In that meeting of the two, another mystery was born, for her tattoo on her left shoulder looks exactly like the one current day Oliver wears.  What does it mean?  Who is Fyers working for?  Why do I think it’s related to Robert Queen?

While I’m asking questions, who is the real Deathstroke?  Wilson ends up abandoning his wait for the plane and rescues Oliver from execution, leading to an awesome fight against him and his betraying partner in the mask, Billy Wintergreen.  So will Deathstroke be Slade Wilson, or did Wintergreen not really die?  It kind of makes sense he didn’t because Wilson stabbed him in the eye.  Doesn’t Deathstroke have an eye patch?  See, I’m learning these things.  I’ve also learned that Slade Wilson and Oliver Queen in the comics are sworn enemies.  Then why are they in this flashback having one delightfully watchable bromance?  That’s the fun of these flashbacks I guess, finding out what happens next.  In the meantime, Oliver is stranded on an island and his best friend’s name is Wilson (his words, not mine).

Once we were left with all those island curiosities, the remaining issue was a now conscious Oliver having to deal with Moira.  He made it clear to Digg, she was to be left alone.  He believes that whatever she’s hiding, it’ll come to light eventually.  Luckily, thanks to geeky Felicity, the lab samples with his blood were destroyed, thus protecting his secret (see, she must be part of this team!).  In the meantime, Oliver forgives his mother for shooting him because she was scared and plead for her life on behalf of her children.  Bad guys don’t do that.  No, but bad mothers do!  It all ends with him coming home and being there for comfort and support.  Fine, we’ll play that way for now.

Coming next week, I really don’t know.  The preview was a tad vague.  I guess it’ll come to light eventually.

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