jedi_of_urth: (daniel glow)
[personal profile] jedi_of_urth posting in [community profile] tori_reviews
Arrow 1x10: Burned

As much as I said that the last episode left me cold and probably did when it first aired, this is the episode I actually remember not being a fan of most of the time. I think a lot of that comes from the plot of the week being kind of weak so I’m not going to focus on that very much because there’s actually a decent amount worth discussing otherwise.

Oliver’s character arc this episode is a bit of a mixed bag. I had I guess forgotten this was the episode where he and Digg talked about the differences when you have something to lose, because that’s a pretty good aspect of it and that part actually still works even now. A lot of the episode his hesitation is portrayed as a reaction to failing in the last episode and that might have seemed even a little shallow at the time, but seemed a really badly handled to from my view now of how worn down he was even before coming back; but since that wasn’t really the point it’s not really something that needs a ton of comment.

What it does is make this a very clear step away from where Oliver started the season. I do wish Digg wasn’t so invested in following the list, but I can’t remember how much I might have felt that then (though still with what amounts to out of character knowledge); isn’t Digg the one who wants Oliver to branch out beyond the list in saving the city? Because what gets Oliver back into the Hood is not the list or the mission, it’s trying to be a hero; I definitely think the people/pundits are being pretty quick to forgive him (I question if the murder rate being down includes people the Hood kills), but he’s clearly starting to look beyond the initial list-based-mission in what he could do. Maybe that has something to do with finding out the list isn’t exactly what he thought it was, though that isn’t addressed here.

One thing I definitely like about this episode now that I’m analyzing it, is how it’s used to give us a window into what the people in Starling went through after the Gambit went down. Some of it’s just told to us (for example, Laurel was convinced the boat couldn’t have just gone down like that; she was right but never realized it), but we’re also given it in parallels. Johanna losing her brother is compared with Laurel losing Sara; and Moira again having to go through the process of losing her husband (where I can’t remember if she knew they were going to kill Robert back then, if she did I feel like she would have kept Oliver at home; but she definitely has reasons to be guilty about Walter being lost). In some ways Thea’s rant to Moira could be considered out of character, considering she hasn’t wanted Moira to actively parent her before, but I think it is coming from a place of what she wishes she had found a way to say when the Gambit went down; that she needs her mom and they can’t each isolate themselves in times of loss.

Though as a comment, Lance says he wouldn’t have gone outside the law to get answers about Sara. For one, as is he’s already shown that he’ll use the law to the extreme to go after Oliver (and will do again in a couple seasons). For two he’s been looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle for years. For three...well, give it time.

There are multiple times this episode where Oliver is clearly only spared by main character shields, both is present and flashbacks. The flashbacks are relatively interesting, because they’re all about a moment that is only partially relevant to the present day story; the first time that Ollie intended to kill someone. It’s debatable if this counts as his first kill since it was the fall (that Oliver shouldn’t have survived) that really did it, but it does signal a change in his character.


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