by Demi Moumas, Reporter
Arrow is back for 2013! After the drama in the last episode, I am ready for more! So everyone prep your bows and stock your quivers because we are ready to dive into the review!
It starts with a hilarious shot of a bumper sticker that says ‘Stay safe at night, sleep with a fireman’. Next we a burning structure surrounded by firefighters. The chief calls into a firefighter in the building who is about to come out. As the man finds a problem point, he calls out to the mysterious other firefighter there only to be dosed in an accelerant and set on fire. The fire starter turns and leaves the man to burn. Let it burn, but know this is not a beginning to an Usher song.
The next scene is Oliver working his tight ass off while flashbacking to the Dark Archer he fought with last episode. We know from the end of the last episode that he feels as if he failed when he couldn’t defeat the man. This is shown when he tries to shoot a tennis ball in the air and misses. Remember what Oliver said about archery, it’s about concentration, patience and control. So his balance of those three must be all out of sync. Diggle enters and tells him that there is no news on the disappearance of Walter from six weeks ago. The bodyguard tries to see if Oliver is ready to take up the mantle of the Hood again, only to have Oliver evade it saying his family needs him. Me thinks I smell a nervous fox. Personally I think that Oliver thinks himself a failure that shouldn’t be working on the names in the book until he is at peak performance.
At the law clinic, Laurel’s dad visits to tell her friend Jo that her brother Danny was killed in duty last night. So now we know who the firefighter who died was. It is said because Jo tries to vehemently deny the death while Laurel comforts her.
In the Queen mansion, Moira is admiring a picture of her and Walter together. I am really starting to question her faithfulness to her family. She schemes with Malcolm in order to kill her former husband due to the things he was trying to do, now she allows her new husband to get kidnapped. It does not seem like she is the mother she keeps claiming herself to be. Any chance she has to fix things she continues on this path that she has been on. I know that Malcolm probably has a good hold on her, but she’s Moira Queen and she knows the workings of this organization she’s with. Heaven knows she probably has the power and collateral to dismantle it if she wanted.
Oliver tries to cheer up his mother, who is most likely very troubled with her decision to allow such travesties to happen to her family twice. But she denies him in a typical depressing manner that you would expect from a grieving widow. Oliver is then left alone to continue with his movie night idea with his sister Thea alone. She explains how Moira snapped out of her depression when Oliver and his father were gone, it was Walter. Thea also tries to justify the absences of communication from the man. They fall into silence before the TV is shown talking about the Hood. The woman on the news explains how because of this vigilante crime has gone down. Well I would assume it would because really, no one wants a green arrow in their ass or anywhere else in their body. It is when the new reporter asks where he has been does Thea comment that everyone is disappearing. For a moment after that, it seems as if those words strike a cord in Oliver.
Back with Laurel, she goes home and finds a bit of comfort in Tommy. Jo interrupts them and shows them both evidence that her brother might have been murdered not killed in an accident. The next day Laurel tries to bring it up to her father only to find out he has no jurisdiction. Detective Lance, I’m sure there are a few strings you could pull to look into it, but no you wouldn’t do it. Why? Because he is too busy trying to see if he can trace the phone that the Hood gave him. That’s when Laurel gets the idea. She takes the phone and calls the Hood in order to get his help with Jo’s brother’s murder.
At her home, the lights go out and the Hood appears. Laurel at first doesn’t believe it, but then Oliver speaks (using a voice altering device of course). She explains Danny’s situation to him. He replies with a comment about how he heard her tell her father that he had no remorse. She begs him to take the case and Oliver relents, taking the file and leaving. No, there is no dramatic exit like the entrance sadly.
Oliver goes back to the Hood-cave and sees Diggle training. Why are the vigilantes and allies the hot ones with muscles? Seriously…those muscles. Oliver tells Diggle that if he gets any clues to tip off the police. Diggle questions Oliver’s silence for the last six weeks, he had thought the younger man would have been ready to ‘Hood-up’ by now. They get interrupted by Tommy upstairs, trying to get the club’s construction set up. Meanwhile, Laurel gets reprimanded by her father for taking evidence from him, in which the Hood took back. Well now, I guess we are back to just dialing the Ghostbusters for help.
Back at the mansion, Oliver walks into Moira trying to be persuaded to take over the company as CEO. When he tries to convince her too, she says she doesn’t care. I swear, this woman needs to own up to her own deeds. It’s her fault Walter is taken and it’s not like she doesn’t know who has him! Our ever faithful bodyguard comes in and whisks Oliver away to tell him where the next target is. Oliver is hesitant, but Diggle tells him if he waits for someone who will even listen to him the firefighter will be dead.
So off to try to save the man Oliver goes! Unfortunately, he is too late. He fights with the person starting all this and is ultimately defeated. Oliver was able to see the firefly tattoo and scar on the hand enemy’s hand. Sulking in the Hood-cave, Oliver reflects on his survival on the island. He then calls Laurel as the Hood and tells her of the pieces of evidence he has collected. When she asks him what she should do about the information, he tells her to go on her own. Diggle appears and reprimands Oliver for putting her in danger. Oliver attests that he can’t right every wrong in the city, but Diggle says it isn’t about that. The bodyguard figures out that the Dark Archer has taken something from Oliver, made him feel fear. The billionaire vigilante denies it and leaves when Tommy texts him for the firefight benefit. As he leaves, Diggle tells him to figure his situation out soon. Well I love sulky Oliver, but I can’t help but think this is different from the Oliver in the beginning of the season who would own up to the mental issues he had. With him acclimating back into society, he is also opening his heart to the people around him again. Perhaps he can no longer isolate himself like he did on the island, when he knew everyone he loved was safe. Interesting character development if I do say so myself. I wonder how it will play out when more isolated habits start to clash with new social ones.
Outside of the firehouse, Oliver and Laurel run into each other. They have a lovely conversation that a former boyfriend and girlfriend should never have. Talking about how Laurel’s current boyfriend wants drawer space. Isn’t that forbidden somewhere? Someone look that up and tell me. He even helps her when she is interrogating the Fire Chief about Danny’s death.
During all this the view is shown flashbacks of Oliver’s time on the island after his savior gets capture. It shows how he killed for what I assume is the first time and how he survived without his savior to help him. Aw, our young billionaire is growing up!
Diggle finds Oliver looking into the case just before the firefighter charity event. He then apologizes to the younger man at coming at him so hard about not being the Hood. Oliver let it roll off, but says that now that he is letting people back into his heart that he now has something to lose. Bro, you always had something to lose (does your life mean nothing?). The older man convinces him to use that as an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Fight for your loved ones, don’t fear because of them. Finally, someone gave him a bit of sense. Really, Oliver should have known that when he came back to the city. The younger man, to avoid an awkward silence, continues to give Diggle his theories on the case. Perhaps Garfield, the firefighter who supposedly died, wasn’t dead…but back for revenge?
Above the Hood-cave, the charity event is in full swing. Oliver steals Laurel away and goes talk to Fire Chief again, subtly suggesting his theory as well as gaining more information about a past fire. While they are interrogating each other, Garfield enters the charity and throws some napalm bombs around the area forcing people to flee. It’s a firefighter event…where are the firefighters to put out the flames? We finally see the melt face of Garfield while he allows Laurel and Oliver to escape in order to monologue to his victim. Yes, monologue. I don’t think that will ever get old (it has but we need to know how he escape so voila!).
Oliver uses the confusion and the fire to go downstairs and change into the Hood. When he gets back topside, he shoots a lighter out of the air saving the fire chief from burning alive. After getting Garfield alone he tells the man he can help him, knowing that the man is afraid to live. The former firefighter refuses and lights himself on fire, rejecting the offer.
The episode ends with Moira taking up Walter’s mantle as CEO thanks to some tough love from Thea. And wait… Detective Lance how dare you use your own daughter to try to trace the Hood! That is just despicable! Oliver is back to his crime ass-kicking self and thanks Diggle for giving him a kick in his own ass. Back to the hunting of the names in the book! So everything is back to normal! Well…except for the whole good detective using some dark side techniques.
The flashbacks were timed extremely well in this episode coinciding with Oliver’s sulking demeanor perfectly. I particularly liked the dynamic between Moira and Thea in this episode. Oliver tries to help, but he wasn’t the only one who needed a kick in the ass. Thea gave her mother a look into how she feels. The female Queens both have a top-dog attitude that clash. These clashes result in various arguments and them not seeing what the other is trying to say or do. Fortunately, Thea was able to push through all that to allow her mother to see her way of things. On the other side of things, Oliver’s stubbornness made it hard on Diggle to his own feelings through. Thankfully, Oliver has been able to confidently admit when he was in the wrong, which he did at the end of the episode. Now that we had a sad and angst filled episode, can’t wait for the next one!
ComicsOnline gives Arrow – “Burned” 4 fire starters out of 5.