Hey everyone! Welcome to a NEW weekly series of blog posts, which will review the following Comic Book Themed TV Shows:
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- The Flash
I will be giving my TOP 5 Moments in the weekly episodes, Easter Eggs and my Predictions for future episodes and seasons, along with Final Thoughts.
BE WARNED, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!
So, if you haven’t seen this week’s episode, DO NOT READ THE REVIEW! I’ve broken it down by show, so you can skip reviews of episodes you haven’t seen yet, or don’t intend on watching. The blog post review for the current week’s episode will be posted on the day following the episode’s air date.
Arrow (Season 3, Episode 5, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”; Airdate: 11/05/14)
When a cyber attack threatens Starling City, Team Arrow is determined to contain the destruction and put an end to the threat. Things are complicated for Felicity by her mother, Donna’s surprise visit. Meanwhile, Ted Grant aka Wildcat, is suspicious of Laurel’s motivations and is at odds on how to approach her training, and Thea uses Malcolm Merlyn’s money to purchase an apartment, which vexes Oliver. Actions and relationships (both with her mother and college acquaintanes) from Felicity’s past begin to surface in connection to the cyber attack and she must come to grips with the consequences of that past and how it will effect the present and future.
This episode focused on Felicity Smoak, which I had been looking forward to. I liked Felicity’s character from the first moment she was introduced and find she adds charm to the show. However, not much had been revealed about her past and she remained a familiar mystery. We learn a lot about Felicity, in that she wasn’t always the organized voice of reason. In fact, she was a rebellious, Goth/Punk “Hacktivist” in college, along with her boyfriend, Cooper Sheldon (cool nod to The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper) and his roommate, Myron Forest (who diehard DC Comics fans will recognize this as the name of the scientist who was originally responsible for the creation of Brother Eye—a semi-autonomous artificial intelligence surveillance system.). In more recent incarnations of Brother Eye, it was Batman who created it. While in the show, Forest isn’t the one responsible for the mayhem, it’s still a solid nod to the comic roots. Another thing to note, is that in a past week’s episode, Ray Palmer was looking at plans for OMAC, while researching Queen Consolidated archives. This ties heavily into Brother Eye in the comics and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in future episodes. In case you didn’t know, OMAC in the comics, used to refer to Buddy Blank aka One Man Army Corps. Now, OMAC is an acronym for Omni Mind and Community—cyborgs who take over human bodies via a virus and are controlled by Brother Eye. While in the recent comics, OMAC ties into the Batman mythos, more so than Green Arrow, it’s still great to see this concept being realized nonetheless.
I loved that Felicity’s mother, Donna Smoak, showed up for a surprise visit in the midst of all the chaos Felicity’s past brings about. I liked the stark contrast between Donna, a somewhat ditzy, but honest to who she is sort of woman and Felicity, the incredibly smart and focused woman we all know and love. The relationship between mother and daughter, reveals a lot about Felicity and helps us to relate to her character even more. I thought that this plot thread of the episode was well woven into the larger overall plot thread concerning Cooper Sheldon and Brother Eye. Actress, Charlotte Ross did a great job of portraying Donna Smoak and she’s a character I’d like to see revisited at some point during the show’s run.
Top 5 Moments
- The episode opens with training! Ollie and Roy, Thea and Merlyn, Laurel and Ted Grant…even Felicity was exercising. I think this dynamic further illustrates the relationships being developed in this season.
- Felicity Flashbacks! All of the episode’s flashbacks were of Felicity, not Oliver. I think this was handled well and I found myself loving them. We get to see a side of Felicity that fleshes her character out and going forward, we can look back to this origin moment and how it has shaped her character, as she is today.
- Palmer Tech is here! This episode dealt heavily with technology. Not just the computer virus Felicity created 5 years prior, but also the wearable technology developed by Ray Palmer. Also, the concept of cogeneration was introduced and may play a significant part in future episodes. If you didn’t know, cogeneration is the process of converting waste into energy.
- Thea is using her daddy’s money! It was brought to light in this episode that Thea is using Malcolm Merlyn’s money to fund the renovation/reopening of Verdant and to fund her new digs. She even ends up inviting Oliver to live there with her, which is funny considering he is opposed to her using Merlyn’s money to begin with. However, the two eventually meet each other in the middle when Oliver accepts the fact that Thea’s using the money and she agree to give the proceeds to charity aimed at helping those affected by the earthquake machine debacle. I see Thea evolving into the Mia Dearden character from the comics at some point, but only time will tell. Another thing of note, is Laurel’s transformation into Black Canary. I feel that this tempering process is not only a predestined realization we comic fans know will come to pass, but also a personal journey for the character, which will give her a more fulfilling role in the show and eventually as a part of Team Arrow. Up to now, Laurel’s character has annoyed most fans and now we see that being turned around. Her training with Ted Grant aka Wildcat is using the tragedy of Sara’s death as a catharsis for her metamorphosis into the character we all know she is meant to be.
- Shout out to Zork! This is one of the earliest interactive computer games and to be honest, one I never played. I heard about it back in the 80’s but by then it was sort of passé. This is something only older geeks like myself would have even known about, let alone played. So, to any readers born after 1970, this was indeed a WTF Moment.
- Cooper Sheldon (again, cool shout out to The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper) was wearing a t-shirt with a giant starfish on it, who happened to have an “eye” in its center. This was a shout out to none other than Starro, the alien adversary of the Justice League.
- Myron Forest. As I mentioned earlier, he was the scientist who created Brother Eye in the comics. Although they are utilizing his character differently in the show, it’s nonetheless a solid nod the comic roots, as it the whole Brother Eye concept to begin with. There’s so much that can be expanded on here. Like, what if A.R.G.U.S. gets a hold of this tech? Will we eventually see Team Arrow go up against Brother Eye and an army of O.M.A.C.’s? Remember, Cooper Sheldon’s death was faked so that he could go to work for the NSA. This is just the sort of thing that Amanda Waller would love to get her hands on and could play out in future episodes to great effect, in my opinion.
- There was a Robin Hood poster (Errol Flynn, 1938) on the wall, over her mantle place of her apartment (which we get to see for the first time). While very tongue in cheek, I thought it was also charming and a great nod to Felicity’s penchant for emerald clad bowmen.
I think that the OMAC tech that Ray Palmer was checking out and the cogeneration concepts, will somehow be tied to his debut as The Atom. I’m not really sure how, but these things seem to be more than just trivial items mentioned for naught. I also see the character of Cheshire being introduced at some point, perhaps not this season, possibly next season. Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but I think that she is needed for Roy’s character to evolve into Arsenal and be fully fleshed out. Right now, he’s been peripheral at best. Felicity got her episode, Diggle’s had his, now I think Roy needs his. Especially now that he’s become a full fledged member of Team Arrow.
Going into next week’s episode, we get Roy dreaming that he was responsible for murdering Sara. In the episode’s trailer, we see him opening up to Felicity about the dream and leaving us to wonder if it’s just a nightmare or did he actually kill her (likely as a side effect from his Mirakuru addiction). It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and if this becomes a plot thread that unravels throughout the entire season. I give this episode an A!
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