Oliver Queen has lost his mind. And that hurts. Green Arrow has always been my favorite comic hero. Batman comes close, but the royally peeved Oliver Queen who always sees the big picture and does his best to build a better society is miles away from Batman reacting to the latest Big Bad Threat to Gotham. Which is why Queen placing an arrow into the rib cages of the irredeemable is now a canonical part of his backstory in many of his iterations. Seriously, how can Bruce Wayne sleep even a wink when he constantly not only lets the Joker live, he returns him to Arkham where he is absolutely certain to murder a bunch of red-shirts (sorry, wrong rant) in his inevitable escape?
Which is exactly why the CW's "Arrow" has lost me. There is not one decision Ollie has made this season regarding Malcom that has been the least been reasonable. I can't even say, "Well, I disagree with you but I do see your point." I can't say that because there's nothing to see here, folks. Just another comic book hero with too many head wounds, following his comic book logic to its illogical comic book conclusion.
First, Ollie allows Malcom to escape. He bested him in combat and had him at his mercy. Nissa was calling for his execution. And Ollie lets him walk. Why? because Malcom spurts "You know no jail can hold me." Malcom presents his moment-of-truth as an either/or proposition and Ollie just folds and obeys. Ollie could have shot Malcom's hands, his wrists, his triceps, taken out his Achilles's tendons.... even punched him so hard that he would have been spitting up ulcerated blood for weeks. Why not? He's done it to countless red-shirts (oops, there I go again.) But no.... Malcom wears black, not red, and so he lets Malcom walk. And then decides to put Malcom under his protection in defiance of the League. Why? To honor Tommy, the son whom Malcom murdered? “Let the sins of the father pass because the father's sin was killing his son.” That is how the parable goes, right?
Then we learn that Malcom manipulated his own daughter to brutally murder Ollie's partner and friend, so that Ollie will eventually duel perhaps the deadliest person in the world. It was Malcom's fault that Ollie was stabbed to death (more on that later) and shoved off a cliff. Malcom is the sole reason that Ra's has his eyes on Starling, he's the man who murdered Ollie’s friend, drugged and manipulated his daughter (and Ollie’s sister), and maneuvered Ollie himself into a duel he could not win. And now Ollie wants to team with him? A man who has murdered hundreds, and now Ollie enlists Malcom to teach him how to kill?? And remember, Olliver Queen is a guy who spent, I believe, six years on a killing spree. He needs to re-learn how to do it? Really? And the only place to do that is back on.... Bum-Ba-Bum.... THE ISLAND.... a week after he promised his fellow Starlings he would “never” leave again? Sigh. Just writing all that is exhausting...
You know, in the first half of the season I stayed with this narrative because I thought that Ollie would come to his senses but now I see that he’s just bat-shit insane. Instead of backing away and seeing the light, he instead digs deeper into this .... this what, exactly? It’s not even a moral quandary, though the sluggish writers are presenting it as such. It’s insane. And though Team Arrow questions him oh, so firmly, in the end they sign off on his lunacy.
But to get even this far, we the fans had to sit though a thrilling battle sequence, then wait another month on the edge of our seats speculating and theorizing, to be served our sumptuous resolution in all its high-def glory..... No, I’m kidding. The writers backed out of this one, didn’t they? It seems clear to me that Ollie died and they had to so something like introduce the Lazurus Pit or some “DC shared television universe” doojab as their Deus ex Machina - and I’ll tell ya, at first I did not want to go along with superheroes or metahumans coming into Ollie’s world. But Flash was done well and after only a little push-back from me, I decided to go along for the ride. Hell, it was fun to see Barry and Ollie go at it. So I figured I could take another baby step and go along for the ride of the Lazurus Pit, too. Just something to give this crazy DC universe a little internal consistency. But after that being our setup - because really, how else could anyone suffer multiple stab wounds and be pushed off a cliff - it looks like Ollie wasn't dead after all. Oh, at first Mateo says he is brought “back to life.” But the writers tucked tail and ran on that one, because the next thing we know Tatsu is saying the snow and cold saved him. Didn't die, mind you, but saved his life.
Really? I mean, really?? First off the camera tracked his descent down the cliff. It was at least a 100 foot fall. Without being too graphic, Ollie’s body would have multiple gaping wounds and contorted limbs from that fall. Second, he was not laying on a huge pile of snow. He was, however, on a very convenient ledge, one that Mateo found awfully quick considering the sunlight on Ollie’s body was the same as it was during the fight scene. And third, if the cold really did congeal Ollie’s wounds (which remember, should have included gaping wounds from the fall) then by the time Mateo found him, the skin he had left should have been one large purplish mass from frostbite.
Then there’s the point of Ra’s - not only the world’s deadliest assassin but the most experienced to boot, and you’re telling me he would walk away without being certain Oliver Queen was dead? Don’t tell me it was a ploy or test because we heard Ra’s utter a prayer for Ollie to be accepted into Heaven and not Hell. And while we’re on the subject please won’t someone tell me how Sarah dies by falling off a low-rise building and hitting a dumpster while Ollie falls farther off a cliff and lands on rocks?
Finally, after a year and a half of watching the lethality of all the League’s members, apparently we’re supposed to believe that not only does the League have C-listers but Ra’s decided to send them and only them to find Oliver Queen and dispatch his rescuers? Tatsu and Mateo keep reminding Ollie (that is: us, the audience) that he is wounded and could die from over-exertion, then Ollie climbs aboard a wagon and the next thing we know is fully recovered, swinging on a cable-line in Starling making promises he'll never keep.
Hey, I just figured out who must have ghost-scripted all of this narrative drivel: Christopher Nolan!
All of this so that the writers (I mean Nolan) can let Malcom utterly destroy whatever dignity Oliver Queen has left, and whatever gullibility we the audience have to be able to stomach this nonsense.
The show’s writers must think we’re all red-shirts. Just taking orders and boldly going where every soap opera has gone before. But sad as it is to say: it’s time for me to abandon ship.