Although many, including myself, were disappointed and disheartened by news that the Arrow showrunners would be focusing the next few episodes of the CW show on Laurel Lance and other supporting characters over Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen, I find myself in the unusual position of acceptance.
Lets forget the utter cheese and squirm I endured and suffered through when they swooped the camera up to reveal a biker gang Canary saying, not screaming mind you, “I’m the justice you can’t run from”. I think you’ll find there’s this red guy in Central City that can run away from your ‘justice’ just fine thank you.
Lets forget the fact that the Arrow, who the show is named after, appeared on screen for 10 minutes and for half that length he was unconscious.
After all the bad scenes and all the disappointing arcs, I am still content. And I put that content down to Diggle, Merlin, Roy and Felicity.
Since the introduction of Roy as Speedy/Arsenal, David Ramsey’s Diggle has had to take a few steps back when he is, in truth, the far more compelling character – we saw that character shine in the season 3 mid season premiere.
Merlin, played by the effervescent John Barrowman, is great. He’s scary yet funny, he’s sly yet charming, you like him and you hate him – he knocks it out of the park whenever he’s on screen.
Roy, a character I never liked, has grown on me. Yes his screen time and annoying relationship with Thea has all but gone but it is the nuanced way that the show runners are writing him that excites me. Now I want to see him grow when before I wished him the same fate as Laurel.
And Felicity, despite Hipster-hipsters who hate her because it’s cool to hate her now, is a significant staple in not only Arrow but also the CW universe as a whole. She played the grieving widow well and acted like a real human being – proof that the writers have some sense. Hopefully they don’t make her into a vacuous hole … which they might.
If the end of the episode is anything to go by then perhaps we will see Oliver Queen sooner rather than later – I just hope that they don’t surrender all hope to the charisma vacuum that is Laurel Lance.