Category Archives: big belly burger

Arrow: Darkness on the Edge of Town

Not the final episode of the season, but this is what all roads have been leading up to on “Arrow.” We know what The Undertaking is – some sort of seismic device that will level The Glades, and Malcolm Merlyn is behind it. Can Oliver stop him, and save the city? The clock is ticking.

The episode begins with a late night killing raid on Unidac Industries by the Black Archer. Unidac is of course the company that made the Markov Device. Killed in the attack, Brion Markov, who in the comics, is Geo-Force. Just so we wouldn’t have a fast paced action adventure show, we’re stalled by more romantic parrying between Oliver and Laurel. It’s getting monotonous.

Meanwhile the two Speedies, Thea and Roy, are still stalking The Hood. It doesn’t take a genius to know they will be in the middle of it when the Markov Device goes off, and also likely for Hood vs. Archer, round two, as well. I hope we’re not headed toward Thea dying and Roy joining Oliver under the name Speedy.

But let’s not say this series can’t surprise me. A clever ploy by Oliver and Diggle forces Moira to confess the specifics of The Undertaking. Nice to see Diggle back in the Arrow togs though.

Revelations continue on the island, in flashback of course. Fyers plans to blow up all planes entering or leaving Chinese airspace to destabilize their economy. He has set Yao Fei up as the fall guy, after blackmailing him by shooting up Ollie, Shado, and Deathstroke. Fun reference for the comics folks, the first target is a passenger jet from Ferris Aircraft.

Back in the now, the Markov Device must be found, and the only way to find out is through the mainframe at Merlyn’s corporate headquarters, thus demanding a break-in with all of the Arrow crew. Nice to see Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity going all Oceans 11. Oh yeah, I want a Big Belly Burger jacket like Felicity’s if there’s anyone listening who can do anything about such a thing. I’ll take a XX.

What I don’t get is that as soon as Oliver knows for sure what The Undertaking is, and who’s behind it – what dies he do? Try to find the Markov Device? Showdown with Merlyn? Any kind of Arrow action? Nope. Booty call with Laurel. And quite possibly creating a new archenemy in Tommy. Yep, we’re back to bad idea theater.

Eventually The Hood does go after Malcolm, and we finally get to see John Barrowman do something other than talk and look pretty. Not for the first time, he hands Oliver his ass, this time getting a look under the hood. A perfect cliffhanger to lead into the season finale.

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French Fry Diary 482: Big Belly Burger

Arrow: Dodger

Lots of stuff going on in this episode, even though it seems a bit like a fill-in issue from the comics. First and foremost there’s a new baddie in town, the Dodger, who uses hostages to do his dirty work in robberies. Basically if the hostage doesn’t do what he says, he blows their head off by remote control. He also has a nifty taser stick similar to the old TV Green Hornet’s Hornet Sting. For the record, Dodger is a minor Green Arrow villain from the comics, notably affiliated with the League of Assassins – the group headed by Ras al Ghul over in the Batman universe.

Also thrown in for good measure is Moira meeting with an old family friend named Frank who I suspect could be China White’s father. Whatever the folks on The List are up to, it’s coming soon, and the writers have given it a name – The Undertaking. Supposedly, according to Moira at least, it started as a way to help the Glades, the dilapidated area of Starling City where the ‘Arrowcave’ is.

Then there’s also the grumbling fit Felicity has made on the Arrow team. For a temporary member, all she seems to be doing is causing trouble. She not only interferes with tactics in pursuing The List, she makes Diggle ask out his widowed sister-in-law Carly from Big Belly Burger, and Oliver ask out the beautiful Detective McKenna Hall from a few episodes back. Felicity has some kind of pull, eh? Neither date goes very well, sadly, at first at least.

And then, yeah, then there’s the kid in the red hood. He steals Thea’s purse while she’s walking with Laurel. His name? Yeah, you guessed it. Who else would be wearing red in a show about Green Arrow? His name is Roy Harper.

For those who read the comics, Roy Harper was Oliver Queen’s ward, Green Arrow’s sidekick in red, and the first hero to go by the name Speedy. He later became addicted to heroin, which Black Canary (Laurel in the show) helped him kick. He was later known as Arsenal and then Red Arrow when he took his mentor’s place in the Justice League. Just for the record, Green Arrow later trained a second Speedy – her name was Mia Dearborn. “Arrow” has a close counterpart in Oliver’s sister Thea Dearborn Queen.

The TV version of Roy Harper survives on petty theft, neglected by his parents. In a switch, mom is addicted to Vertigo, and dad is dead, buried in Norris Cemetery, a nod to Paul Norris, the artist who co-created Speedy back in 1941 with writer Mort Weisinger. Other comics call outs this episode include the corner of Adams and O’Neil, the writer/artist team that brought us the award winning Green Lantern/Green Arrow series in the early 1970s.

Apparently the Starling City Police, except McKenna, but Lance is included, are a lot like the old Philly cops or Gotham’s cops. They have lots of ammo and don’t give a crap about property damage. When they try to ambush the Dodger, they just open fire on an illegal fence’s warehouse like they were in a Rambo movie. Who knows what kind of priceless antiquities were destroyed forever?

Emily Bett Rickards cleans up really nice as Felicity later in the episode when the Dodger turns her into a human bomb. I’d like to see her like this more often. As a bombshell that is, not as a bomb. And as far as bombshells go – our cliffhanger this episode? Moira has hired China White to take out Merlyn. Oh yeah, this is going to be bad… for everyone…

Arrow: An Innocent Man

Right off the bat, I have a problem. Perhaps it’s been in the first three episodes as well, but this is the first time I’ve noticed it. In the pre-credit, pre-opening intro sequence, Oliver refers to his father’s ‘dying wish.’ The dude took his own life, how it that a dying wish?? Oliver must have some psychological damage if that’s how he’s remembering that incident. Creepy.

Anyway, when last we left our anti-hero he had saved bodyguard Diggle from poison and brought him to his underground hideout. Oh, screw it, let’s call a spade a spade – it’s the Arrowcave, and we all know it. There he revealed he was Arrow. Diggle appears to be less than cooperative.

Curious. In the previous episode I was almost positive Diggle knew this already, and Oliver must have as well. Miscommunication. Between the writers? Or mischaracterization for Diggle? I find it makes him seem not as bright as I thought him, troubling. And disappointing. For most of an episode at least.

When Oliver meets with him later in the episode at Big Belly Burger, he offers up the explanation that he believes his father shot himself to atone for his crimes. This boy needs a therapist. In the comics, there has always been the joke that Green Arrow was a wannabe Batman with a bow. Now, psychologically, the show has made him Batman. Not happy.

The Big Belly Burger chat also connects Deadshot to Diggle’s brother’s shooting, and in another nice nod to the comics, the brother is Andy, Andy Diggle being a former Green Arrow writer. Well, John Diggle has made a decision. We’ll see how that works out. One thing is for sure, he’s no Speedy.

The Monument Point, Iron Heights, and Bludhaven name drops were also nice. But I have to say, much like the home city’s name change, I don’t care for the newspaper’s either. Although, really, who reads newspapers any more? But still, the Daily Star has a lot more pizazz than the Starling City Star. Awkward, and silly. What was so wrong with the name Star City?

Despite the subplots continuing to move along the ongoing storyline, this episode has the icky feeling of a fill-in issue in the comics. The main plot of this episode seems much less important than those subplots. This isn’t a lawyer show with a vigilante in it, this is a vigilante with a lawyer in it, ya know? I don’t like being strung along.

Hopefully next week’s episode with possibly Deathstroke will be a step in a better direction. Of course that’s if Oliver gets out of jail… ah, that would be telling. Maybe we’ll also find out what’s up Tempest. See you next week, same Arrow time, same Arrow channel. Hmmm… Scratch that, I just got carried away after that Arrowcave comment. 😉

Arrow: Lone Gunmen

The third episode of “Arrow” begins with a bang, the bang of assassin Deadshot getting to one of Arrow’s targets before him. Deadshot is of course not in costume, except for his trademark eye scope. Instead he is given the rather creepy motif of tattooing his victims’ names into his body. Creepy. And limiting. Eventually you will run out of space, and places you can reach easily with a tattoo needle.

The geek in me loved the shoutouts to Corto Maltese, Markovia, and especially Big Belly Burger – nice, it’s like the little touches they used to have in the “Flash” TV series two decades ago. Speaking of interesting drop-ins, seeing Felicity Smoak from the old Firestorm comics was out of left field, but good to see her, and good to know the writers are geeks like us. I guess if we can’t have Oracle or Chloe, Felicity is an excellent sub.

An annoyance point – much like The Blur over in “Smallville,” what is this resistance to calling our protagonists by their correct names? It’s bad enough the show is called “Arrow” but now the police are calling him ‘The Hood.’ Is the jump really that hard to call the guy in green using green arrows… Green Arrow? The name has worked for over seventy-five years through several different incarnations.

Stephen Amell’s chest continues its starring role in the series, and I loved him climbing the building to find bullets. Also continuing are our subplots, some starting to get stale like Laurel’s wishy-washiness and Thea’s partying, some heating up like the island flashbacks and Diggle’s discovery of course. I have to wonder, could the island be the site of some sort of ‘most dangerous game’?

I don’t want a Commissioner Gordon dynamic, or cliche, but I love the begrudging trust Detective Lance is starting to have in Arrow. It was also cool to see Laurel show off some mad fighting skilz. If only we could get some small canary or bird reference… I am still digging Diggle but can’t seem to find any warmth for Moira or Walter, maybe because they don’t deserve any.

Something to think about for the hardcore geeks – could that Davis name on Arrow’s list be old Green Arrow foe Doctor Davis?

French Fry Diary 428: Fictional Fast Food