A solid cliffhanger on this week’s Arrow keeps me hanging on, but also wishing that this week’s bad guy could have had just a little bit more screen time.
Let’s bitch it out..
I love David Anders. I have loved him since the Alias days circa 2001. I don’t say this about too many actors (Connie Britton goes without saying), but I would follow him anywhere. Obviously I was beyond ecstatic when I heard that he would be guest starring on one of my new favourite shows as the criminal mastermind Cyrus Vanch. However, I am really not impressed with Arrow’s under use of such an epic actor. Anders has an amazing range for playing the bad guy and we barely get to scratch the surface on this week’s instalment.
There is so much potential there for Anders’ acting and for the character, but it just feels too rushed and busy. Cyrus is almost an after thought in the episode; the token bad guy that’s trying to bring down The Hood (Stephen Amell). His war with the vigilante and attempted take over of the criminal underworld had potential to be played out over several weeks (which means I could have enjoyed the return of the actor for several weeks) but instead it gets overshadowed by the Moira (Susanna Thompson) revelations. I think he was out of jail for what, about three days total? Well, since he wasn’t killed I guess I can hold out hope that he will return in later episodes. <sigh>
Now, having said all that, I did really enjoy the rest of the episode. The cliffhanger with The Hood and his mother is everything that a cliffhanger should be – completely unexpected and leaves you wishing it was next Wednesday already. Since Oliver had been so certain earlier in the episode that his mother was being falsely accused, I don’t think I’m the only one who is in shock when he comes at her with the same fervour as he does the others who have “wronged this city”. I’m happy to see another solid episode where they are stepping out of the episodic nature of this show with one big bad guy each week, and stepping in to a deeper arc that will have great consequences on the characters. That’s where this show is going to be made – on those stories that make us care, not about how many names Oliver can cross off the list.
Also taking away from my dear David Anders tonight is the arrival, via Oliver’s flashbacks to the island, of Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett). The reveal at the end that he is Deathstroke comes as a shock to Oliver, and to viewers as well (…here’s hoping I wasn’t the only one picking my jaw up off the ground!) There is still a lot left to be explained about all the betrayals on the island and who Oliver can really trust, but I really enjoyed my introduction to Slade. So I, for one, am really looking forward to the next set of flashbacks to learn more about what he and Yeo Fai (Byron Mann) are really doing on this island, and how he trains Oliver.
How Oliver became The Hood is one of the great mysteries of the show, and the brilliance is that the writers have five years worth of material to use. At the beginning of the season, we all thought that Oliver had been deserted on that island alone, but as the weeks go by, we find out that nothing could be further from the truth! I am amazed at how this rich, spoiled brat managed to grow up so much on the dinghy ride from his sunken yacht to the island because as soon as he stepped foot on that island, he was like a different person. Tonight’s flashback is no different. He is almost killed a few times, has to fight for his life, and is going to be trained by a mercenary. This is a far cry from the playboy who left Starling City.
- Not enough Thea (Willa Holland) !! She is witty and catty, and I love watching her. One short scene is definitely not enough.
- Too much Laurel (Katie Cassidy) !! Her holier than thou attitude gets tiring sometimes and while I like to think I would be spouting off a list of crimes to my would-be killer while he holds a knife to my throat… let’s be real. I guess we can’t all be as mighty as Laurel Lance.
- Diggle (David Ramsey) as a sidekick who sometimes has to go rogue for the greater good is played to perfection.
So what did you think of ‘Betrayal’? Were you also hoping for more David Anders? What did you think of that cliffhanger?! Sound off below!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on the CW.