Feeling hot, hot, hot…conga line everyone!
Right, show. This week, our life’s lesson was about overcoming fear. Oliver was afraid after having the crap kicked out of him by the Dark Archer. Moira was afraid because her husband disappeared (no thanks to her) and the company needed her to take charge. So both did things the Queen way, they avoided the issues and came up with excuses! For Oliver, he had to help Tommy with the nightclub every time Dig brought it up. As for Moira, her family needed her, except they didn’t.
As you would have imagined, Digg eventually got through to Oliver, and Thea eventually got through to Moira. But that statement avoids the true gist of the episode, the journey getting to those points. I’ll get Moira’s out of the way now. She sulked around the house until Thea gave her a verbal kick in the ass. There, problem solved. That leaves us with Oliver’s saga.
Oliver is clearly hasn’t perfected this hero thing yet, probably because he never intended on becoming a hero. Fighting for survival on an island (which we got to see this week), wasn’t ideal on the job training for being a superhero. As Oliver told Digg, he didn’t fear death on the island, because he had nothing left to lose. When he went against the Dark Archer, he feared what his death would do to his family and friends again. Gee Oliver, perhaps you would have thought of that before you started all this? Right, then there would be no show.
If anyone (other than Digg) can get through to him, it’s Laurel. She comes in possession of the phone that her Dad had to get in touch with The Hood (accidentally on purpose) and calls him. Her co-worker Joanna’s firefighter brother was murdered in a fire. That’s all it takes to get him to put the outfit back on. Still, when going after the bad guy based on her intel and Digg putting the pieces together, Oliver didn’t do so well. He failed, and another firefighter burned extra crispy. The confrontation was enough to see the fly tattoo on the guy’s previous burned hand though, so he has all the clues he needs!
A perfectly good setup gets cartoonish from here, or at least a parody of the hero movies. Tommy gives a benefit at Oliver’s incomplete nightclub with the tackiest and most hideous giant firefighter cardboard cutouts looming in the background. Everyone is around partying, looking awesome in their party garb, and having a good time. Except, isn’t this a fundraiser for families of the firefighters that were burned until they died a horrific, painful death? They weren’t exactly saving the whales here.
Then, evil Firefly the Firefighter (say that five times fast) shows up. Oliver by this time had already figured out he was a firefighter from a big fire long ago that really survived when everyone thought he was dead. Yep, the dude was seeking retribution, and he was burning people alive doing it. That’s why the title is called “Burned.” Clever. Although, the motive was still a little lost on me. What did those firefighters do to screw him? Save their own lives? Since the dude had no backstory, we’ll just say he’s nuts.
Oliver though, being the unprepared superhero that he is (it’s the poor job training thing again), kind of left his garb in the basement. So the scene went a little something like this:
Oliver: Oh, hey, I see you’re here to kill everyone. Could you do me a fav and stand here, monologue a bit while the fire burns, and slowly threaten your old boss with the lighter in slo-mo until I can run downstairs, get my hood and arrow, change clothes, and come back up here just in time to save the day?
Firefly: Yeah, got you covered. I’ll even burn myself to death in the end so I get a nice yet dramatic easy way out. Oh, oh, I even I have lame line I could use, “Too late, I’m already burned.”
Oliver: Sounds like a plan. Thanks much! (runs off)
Fine, that conversation didn’t take place, but that’s exactly how the scene non-verbally played out. It just goes to show you, those slow flicks of the lighter, followed by multiple tension building close ups of the victim and villain, works great in the comics, but it kind of sucks on modern day TV. I took it to be the Green Arrow does comedy, for I was laughing instead of recoiling in horror.
But hey, the really cheap final showdown didn’t take away from the fact that the shirtless workout meter was off the charts this week. Not only did we get two Oliver workouts sans shirt, but Digg had one as well! Hmm, he’s got quite a bit to show off. Do this again show. I’m assuming that boxing upside down on the salmon ladder builds the core, because other than giving me hot flashes, that’s the only reason I see Oliver wanting to do that.
No matter how preachy it gets at times, I love how Digg talks sense into Oliver, and pushes him into becoming something more than a one dimensional vigilante. These talks have value, and these two interact better than any other characters on the show. It’s funny how others are starting to see “The Hood” the way Digg seems him. The one newswoman is taking to the airwaves to prove that The Vigilante (man this guy needs a superhero name bad) is doing more good than harm. Laurel is certainly stricken by the infatuation bug.
Oh, but Detective Lance. When will he realize he’s trying to take a good man down? MAJOR high fives to his lackey at the station, who told him flat out that putting a tracker on the vigilante’s bat phone and giving it to Laurel without telling her he’s spying was “stone cold.” That dude needs to date Felicity the IT tech at Queen Industries. I also hope when Laurel becomes the Black Canary she kicks her Dad’s ass. This is so going to blow up in his face.
So, all in all, it’s a shaky return, but it’s much better than no return and I’m thrilled the show is back. If you read Mo Ryan’s interview with Arrow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, there’s some really good stuff coming up. Just remember though, if you click that link, SPOILER ALERT!
Until next week!