We recap this week’s Arrow episode, which revolves around the story of a new vigilante in town. Who is the new vigilante? What are Oliver’s thoughts and our thoughts on this new player in town? What moral questions are brought up this episode? Check all of this in our TV Recap of episode 18: “Salvation” after the jump!
This episode opens to our hero, providing some lady-eye-candy as he does some pull ups shirtless while listening to a news broadcast. It is describing a slum lord who, by not keeping a building up to code, killed tenants of one of his many buildings. Apparently this man is on Oliver’s hit list, and informs Felicity of his impending doom. Unfortunately for both Oliver and the slum lord, another vigilante has gotten to him first, and the victim is whisked away. Oliver finds something up however, and is rather ticked that someone else got to him. Oliver heads back to base, and is bent on finding this man. Both John and Felicity are perplexed by Oliver’s need to find this man, considering he was doing what Oliver planned anyway. This is clearly a set up for the rest of the episode, (and is likely to be a recurring theme) raising the moral issue as to why Oliver can be a vigilante, while anyone else can’t.
Ha, that’s exactly what I was thinking when the episode began with him shirtless, doing pull ups, that they just had to throw that in there as eye candy for the ladies. Well, and some guys, too.
Back on the island flashback, Oliver continues his discussion for a boat, which seems promising but clearly is not going to work out as intended. We move to Thea making out with Roy, who answers his door, receiving what we find to be a gun to knock off a liquor store. Thea is bent on the bad guys it seems. Roy tries to comfort Thea by removing the bullets, which actually becomes a problem. Oh and Thea thought it would be a good idea to walk home in the dark even after last week’s episode.
Yeah, the richest girl in town walking through the Glades in the middle of the night is totally safe.
Next we find Laurel’s mom and dad getting very close, with both dead set on her sister being alive. What a happy family right? Not exactly. Laurel is actually annoyed, thinking the convincing would have gone the other way. Next John and Oliver are discussing John’s consistent “hooding up” rather calmly despite his recent losses. Reminds me of Alfred’s discussions with Bruce Wayne, both heroes not allowing themselves a personal life.
It seemed to me like Laurel was more upset about the fact that her dad was being touchy feely with her mom. Apparently she doesn’t like the fact that they are getting close, for some reason. Laurel’s relationship with her mother seems quite strained. Hopefully we’ll get some more back story on why she holds so much hostility towards her mother.
This scene is interrupted by yet another homage to Batman, specifically Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Felicity has sent Oliver a live feed of the new vigilante giving a “trial” to the slum lord he had caught, but shoots him rather quickly after finding him guilty. This scene and future scenes remind me of Joker’s videos shown on the news in The Dark Knight. The vigilante finishes with a dire warning to the criminals who “need to answer for their crimes”. We also have the moral dilemma of who can and can’t be a vigilante that is raised in The Dark Knight. Quite a few paralleling themes we have here (to be fair, they are common themes throughout many superhero stories however).
Back to the vigilante, we find he has another victim: a DA who the vigilante feels has let the Glades down. Oliver, John and Felicity are able to figure out who the man is after he provides some key information while handling the DA’s “trial”. They also begin tracing his internet connection. Felicity has been a nice addition to the crew, making the tech portions of the show more believable, and she has portrayed the “nerdy, awkward” girl fairly well (put glasses, moderate clothing and a ponytail on any girl and they instantly become nerd no matter how hot they are!).
I was noticing how odd Felicity’s outfit was in this scene. Very much covered up, with her cardigan and undershirt being matching colors, although wearing long dangly gold earrings, and nice manicured metallic light blue fingernails. Kind of a geek chic meets frumpy old woman look.
The episode leaves the vigilante’s scene, and moves to Oliver’s mom. She is discussing the failed assassination attempt of Malcolm Merlyn with Frank Chen. Chen assures Moira that the money paid to the assassin is untraceable, which seems to take the edge off Moira. We know that Merlyn is a very capable man if he does find out what happened though. The episode then flashes to Laurel and Thea discussing Thea’s “bad boy” problem. I think we all know the answer, “dump that bum!” Yeah, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Right before this scene ends, we get what seems to be a hint that maybe Laurel’s sister is alive, after her discussion on the phone with a contact at the Chinese embassy, but…
We move back to Felicity tracking the vigilante, seemingly finding his location. Oliver heads out to stop the murder (un-“hooded” since it’s day time). Oliver can’t seem to locate him at the given coordinates, and after he finishes searching the building, I came to a realization. He has to be underground. This was reinforced when his location magically moved, and Felicity can’t figure out why. Oliver heads to the new location, with some impressive acrobatics, leaping buildings and other obstacles rather quickly. The multiple “this can’t happen”, “How is this possible?” dispersed by Felicity during the scene were a little too much though. Unfortunately Oliver cannot save the DA, and he is found “guilty” by this new vigilante, and shot dead. Felicity is really beat up by the inability to save the DA. She also states her relationship status as being single, as she talks about her disappointment in herself (I think that’s a hint Oliver!)
I thought it was weird that he went out without his hood. Wouldn’t someone recognize the billionaire Oliver Queen running around, kicking doors in, doing parkour? I just assumed that the vigilante was using some sort of scrambler to disguise his actual location, making it appear he was in random other locations. Not that Felicity wouldn’t be competent enough to unscramble such a thing, but that the guy was Felicity’s technology match, or maybe even better than her. And as for Felicity hint dropping her relationship status to Oliver, that was probably her personal equivalent of putting herself out there. Unfortunately for her, doesn’t look like Oliver’s interested though.
Back to the island, the lead soldier has made a “counter proposal” to Oliver and Slade, threatening to kill Yao Fei’s daughter (which Oliver just now finds out exists). We quickly snap to Laurel, who breaks the bad news to her mother and father that she has found the girl who was in the pictures thought to be the their daughter. Unfortunately it isn’t, as Laurel has had this girl come to the station to prove it. I do find it weird that there just happens to be two of the exact same hats on two very similar looking girls that was taken within the same time frame as Laurel’s sister’s disappearance, but for the sake of the show I will go with it! Bouncing back to Thea, she shows up to try to talk sense into Roy, trying to stop his plan. Unfortunately for him, someone else has shown up to stop it for him. The Vigilante drugs Roy (very Dexter feeling), and since Roy had no bullets in his gun, he was unable to defend himself. Thanks Thea, thanks.
I guess if Starling City is supposed to be the equivalent of New York City, then the hat might have been as if someone was wearing a New York Yankees hat, which would make the situation a little more possible. But it still seemed like some sort of conspiracy going on there. I’m still not entirely convinced that it wasn’t her sister.
Back at the club, on the news we have another “trial”, as you may have guessed, Roy is the plaintiff. Tommy and Oliver are watching the news, when Thea runs in explaining what happened and who Roy is. Oliver promises that, “He (Roy) will be ok”. Dude? Really Oliver? Do you want everyone to know you are the hood? It is kind of suspicious if the hood shows up and saves him right after Oliver assures Thea that Roy is basically guaranteed to be alright. Who else could do that besides the other vigilante? Anyway, back to Moira, who has been called by Malcolm. Malcolm lets her know that he will know who his attempted murderer is very soon. By the look on his face, I would say that he suspects Moira already. He may even know the truth, but his “chessboard” he has set up may find more use for Moira alive than dead.
Yeah, I felt like Oliver was being too obvious at this point. I thought for sure Thea would be able to put two and two together.
We move back to Laurel’s parents, where we have a heartfelt scene with Laurel’s mom admitting that she knew that Laurel’s sister was going off with Oliver, and that she blames herself for her death. That seems a bit harsh, as she did not know what was going to happen to the boat (or does she? <insert conspiracy theory here>), but I can see how a parent could feel this way. As a side note, this is a very different role for Alex Kingston, (actress that places River Song on Doctor Who), and she did very well in this show I thought. I hope to see more of her here.
The episode moves back to Oliver and company, analyzing the ambient sounds the video recordings contain. John realizes that the sounds are from the old subway system Starling City used to have. I really enjoy these detective scenes, where the answer is not immediately apparent, and believable enough when Oliver, John and Felicity get to the answer to a clue they have found.
My complaint here is that I never would have considered they were underground in the subway, because, I don’t know about you, but any time I’m underground on the subway, I don’t get a signal on my phone! Apparently it’s possible to do so in Starling City, however.
Back on the island, we quickly learn that Yao Fei’s daughter can fight. When the discussion of the terms for the boat goes south, she quickly dispatches her guards, and chaos breaks lose. We see Oliver even provide some assistance at this point, rather than being the useless dead weight Slade has kind of inferred him to be so far. Unfortunately their victory is short lived, and reinforcements have shown up. In the process of escape, Yao Fei is shot in the leg, who demands that Oliver and Slade leave him, and save his daughter. We also discover that the negotiation was all a ruse, and the soldiers were just buying time to find the circuit board–and they did. We also find out that Yao Fei’s daughter knows the plans of the soldiers on the island. Which, from look on Slade’s face, may prove to be useful information.
We finally see the face of the vigilante who looks like an average person with the exception of the gun in his hand. Oliver shows up, and quickly dispatches the vigilante. Before he dies however, he raises the obvious question, how is what Oliver does any different than what he has been doing? The question is never really answered and likely will be a moral issue discussed throughout the series. As for Roy, could this be the realization he needs to turn his life around? For some reason, I get the “Robin” vibe from Roy–a sidekick in the making, perhaps to Arrow.
Sadly, Laurel’s mom seems to be leaving the picture for now. Back at the night club, Thea is visited by Roy, who is overjoyed to see him. He has something in his pocket that I can’t quite determine what is, that he pulls out and examines. It looks to me like a portion of an arrow? Anyway, Oliver has an odd discussion with Laurel, perhaps hinting at a rekindling of their relationship. She shares her family issues she has dealt with recently, and Oliver asks her to dinner.
As Laurel’s mom leaves, she says that she’s catching the red eye to Central City and should be home in a flash. This is a reference to the DC Comics character The Flash, who lives in Central City. Wonder what other DC characters exist in the Arrow universe? As for Laurel and Oliver’s conversation, that felt a little weird to me, like Oliver was trying to hit on his best friend’s girl (even though Oliver had her first). But it seems like Tommy’s still been distant and that is why Laurel is spilling her guts to Oliver. Again, I say Tommy needs to pay more attention to Laurel, or he’s going to lose her, and to Oliver, it looks like. Laurel appears to act all innocent when Oliver asks her to dinner though, asking “Why?” although she could be playing coy.
The show wraps up with Frank Chen being dead at the hands of Malcolm (as his hooded character), because Moira pinned all of the assassination evidence on him. Moira will do just about anything to save her own skin won’t she? At least she’s broken up about it after, as she cries in her car…Also, Oliver lets Felicity know that they can chit-chat when she needs to (aww, how sweet!). And finally we find out that the old subway line was a part of Oliver’s dad’s book he has been following, and Oliver thinks the Glades are the key.
As for my feelings on this episode: It was very enjoyable. Oliver/Stephen Amell is growing to be a likeable character. Felicity is shaping up to be a great addition, with her quirky demeanor, and ability to provide the “techy” role . She and John also provide an interesting moral compass to Oliver, that plays out quite nicely. I am interested to see which woman Oliver chooses, between Laurel and Felicity. My hope is for Felicity (could be awkward at work if they break up though…). As for Roy, he does seem to be heading to perhaps a sidekick role as I stated before. Having him stick around as just a character for Thea doesn’t seem like his final role in the show. Time will tell. Until next week!
I like Felicity as well, but I don’t think she stands a chance with Oliver. He’s got so much baggage, and it’s obvious they’re going to keep coming back to him and Laurel. If he and Felicity ever do get together, I think it will be short-lived as they quickly realize that they need to work together and that a relationship would just get in the way. Plus, it seems like he thinks of her more as a kid sister. As for Roy, if he turns from “bad boy” to “good guy,” would Thea still be into him? Or would she still be kept in the dark as to everyone’s secret superhero identities?