Category Archives: manhunter
“Arrow” is at a point now where you need a score card to know what’s what and who’s who. I’m not sure that’s a place this show should be at right now. I’m sure there’s a core audience, but despite the handy elevator pitch origin story in the opening of every episode, I’m not sure that any new viewers wouldn’t be hopelessly lost. No matter how you slice it, even I was having trouble keeping all the balls in the air at the beginning of “Betrayal.”
Oliver confronts his mom about the notebook full of names that he got from Felicity last episode. She throws it in the fireplace, suggesting the only way the family can heal is to stop asking questions. Diggle tails her throughout the episode, discovering some nasty secrets. When Oliver confronts her later as Arrow, heh, well, that’s this episode’s cliffhanger.
In the main story this episode, Cyrus Vanch, former muckety-muck of the Starling City underworld has been released from prison, Iron Heights specifically – nice shout out to the comics. He wants what’s his back, as well as the Triad’s and the Bertinelli family’s (I guess that means we haven’t seen the last of China White or the Huntress). And he also wants Arrow out of the way. Using his contacts on the police force, he learns Laurel knows Arrow, so he kidnaps her. This forces Dad to cooperate with The Hood.
In the attack on Vanch, I am again struck by the violence of this so-called hero’s methods. By my count, there are at least eight of Vanch’s men who take arrows right in the chest. Can you live through that? It’s what bothered me about previews of the show before it aired. Have they made Green Arrow into a serial killer? Man, give me an old-fashioned boxing glove arrow any day.
In the soap opera portion of the show, honesty gets between Laurel and Tommy. Disappointingly this coupling has yet to be used to its potential as far as being a plot complication. So much unused potential, but I’ll keep waiting. Laurel’s relationship with her dad is suffering from problems similar to hers with Tommy as well this episode. I wonder what’s next on “All My Arrows”…
On the island, Oliver meets Slade Wilson, played by Manu Bennett, Crixus of Starz’ amazing “Spartacus” series. Comics readers will immediately recognize the name Slade Wilson as the not so secret identity of Deathstroke. Again, for TV they have flipped things. Wilson is apparently one of two Deathstrokes, and not the one Oliver encountered earlier. Apparently Slade is who trains Oliver. I won that bet.
There are other cool shout outs this episode as well. Vanch’s lawyer worked for Wolfman and Perez, referencing the writer/artist team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez, who created the New Teen Titans, a team that occasionally featured Speedy. They also, most notably, created Deathstroke. Laurel wants to call DA Kate Spencer for help to put Vanch back in prison. Kate is of course the civilian identity of Manhunter. Arrow and Laurel meet atop the Winick building – Judd Winick, former MTV “Real World” wrote the Green Arrow comic for a while.
Be here next episode when Oliver tells his mom that she’s failed the city, same Arrow time, same Arrow channel.
Before I start my review of this episode, I want to backtrack to something I missed initially in last week’s “Damaged.” The attorney prosecuting Oliver in that episode was none other than Kate Spencer. In the DC Comics source material, crusading attorney Spencer is the secret identity of the crime fighting superheroine Manhunter. Perhaps that’s a hint to an upcoming encounter.
“Legacies” represents a turning point for Oliver in his vigilante mission, going from personal vendetta to full-on crimefighter and protector of Starling City. To make that transformation, enter the Royal Flush Gang. In the comics these high tech card-themed villains regularly took on the Justice League with a revolving cast of thugs behind the masks. Here in “Arrow,” they are a family of bank robbing terrorists in painted hockey masks. Same as they ever were, just with less special effects.
I’m impressed that Diggle is able to turn Oliver’s head in this way. He can’t just fight the cause of his city’s sickness, he has to fight the symptoms as well – and this week, the symptoms are the Royal Flush Gang. I did not however dig Diggle’s Alfred impersonation when he saved Oliver from brunch to stop a bank robbery. Speaking of Batman, I loved seeing Oliver stealthily break into police headquarters, kinda part Batman, part Dexter.
We get more trick arrows this time around as well as more Felicity Smoak. Tommy Merlyn has a bigger part, trying to get back into Laurel’s pants. I’m not sure which is creepier – Tommy and Laurel or Tommy and Thea. Maybe the latter is what pushes him and Oliver apart? Get to it already, when is he finally putting on the black leather and crossing bows with our hero?
Tidbits from the quiver: Yao Fei is finally named in the show, Keystone City, Coast City, a pseudo Legion ring, and Stagg Industries are among the comics name drops this time around. I see that Philadelphia’s Comcast building has been added to Starling City’s skyline. And there’s also the fact that Laurel’s law firm is abbreviated CNRI – yeah, that’s right, Canary.