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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Arrow 1x10 - "Burned"

"Burned" is sort of the Rocky III episode of Arrow. It's been six weeks since Oliver got his ass handed to him by the Dark Archer and while he's physically healed, mentally he's not quite the hot shot with the quiver he was when he was showing off to Helena Bertinelli. We also get to see a shredded, chiseled and jacked John Diggle training with his shirt off and if Oliver is ever short on cash, he and Dig could probably make a few bucks doing a photo shoot for Men's Health in the Arrowcave.

Oliver spends about half the episode hesitant about getting back into action as the Hood and in his first physical confrontation with this week's DC Universe Guest Villain Firefly, Oliver doesn't even last a full round before getting trounced. Later, he sits and pouts about it, even temporarily sending Laurel on the trail of the guy who sets firefighters on fire, which Diggle admonishes him for. Diggle's really good with the Apollo Creed pep talks, but Arrow didn't go all the way with the Rocky III - Diggle never yelled "There is no tomorrow!" and he and Oliver never ran on the beach together and hugged in the surf. But by God, they should have.

Firefly, real name Garfield Lynns, was a firefighter who was left to die in a blaze but mysteriously survived ("I was pulled from the building") and lived as a John Doe with his skin melted off until he decided it was time to start killing his fellow firefighters by burning them alive, let's see how they like it. His first victim in the episode, but second victim overall, is the brother of Annie Ilonzeh, Laurel's co-worker, and former Charlie's Angel, who seemingly gets written out of the series here so she can go grieve about her brother and audition for 2013 pilot season. The final confrontation between the Hood and Firefly was kind of a letdown. Oliver offers Firefly some form of help, Firefly instead decides to finish roasting himself alive. But Oliver did manage to save the fire chief from Firely taking the sky from him, which is more than he did for the poor guy Firefly let fall into a flaming blaze while Oliver was leaping around the building trying to get to Firefly.

Meanwhile, Laurel gets her hands on the iPhone the Hood gave her dad Detective Lance. Laurel uses it to contact the Hood and they have a secret meeting in her dark apartment so that Laurel can tell her about Annie Ilonzeh's brother and clue him into the villain burning firefighters. Did the Hood expressly order Laurel to keep the lights in her apartment off for their meeting? Wouldn't he have been surprised if she suddenly flicked the lights on? I wish we'd all gotten to see the look on his face. But Laurel wouldn't do that to the man she once called a murderer. The Hood sure was offended by that. In the end, Detective Lance let Laurel keep the iPhone, which we'll now dub the aPhone. Laurel should keep it in a serving platter with a clear lid in her office a la 1966 Commissioner Gordon. Unknown to Laurel and the Hood, Detective Lance didn't let her keep the aPhone so she could run up data charges sexting the Hood; he can now listen in on their phone calls.

For six weeks, the Hood was missing from Starling City and getting a lot of positive commentary on TV news shows as a hero, but for the same exact amount of time, the CEO of Queen Industries, Walter Steele, has also been missing and presumed dead. Moira knows what happened to him, of course, but has spent the six weeks moping about Stately Queen Manor, refusing her children's invitation to eat Big Belly Burger and watch Oliver learn who Zach Galifianakis is. It's up to Thea to have something to do this week, and that task would be to yell at her mother for being a lousy parent for five years, thereby somehow motivating her to take the CEO position in Walter's absence. When Moira suddenly gets her groove back, Thea is suspicious, because she knows her pep talk was pretty lousy and shouldn't have garnered that desired result.

In other news, Tommy, who once rented out a stadium to play naked touch football with some models (Lingerie Football League his, and my, ass) has transformed into a savvy, cost-conscious manager, although one who has yet to get Oliver's nightclub built. Tommy does throw a low-overhead fundraiser for the dead firefighters' families on the future site of Oliver's nightclub, which then gets burned down by Firefly. Luckily, the Arrowcave is right below so Oliver could do a relatively-quick change to green leather. Tommy was more successful in getting Laurel to give him a drawer in her apartment, which Laurel took the whole episode to deliberate.

Finally, five years ago on the Island, Deathstroke beats up and takes Yao Fei prisoner while Oliver escaped. In hiding out from the soldier tracking him in the woods, Oliver makes what I believe is his first human kill. For his troubles, he gets a cool, black paramilitary uniform and a map of the Island. Now Oliver knows where the pirate ship, the three toed statue and that hatch are.