Review: ‘Arrow’ – ‘Corto Maltese’

Senior Television Writer
10.22.14 17 Comments

A quick review of tonight's “Arrow” coming up just as soon as I don't know how to vacation like a normal person…

Sister show “The Flash” is the shiny new thing understandably getting all the attention, but “Arrow” has had a fine start to its third season. I didn't write about last week's episode, but it did a good job dealing with the emotional repercussions of Sara's murder, while “Corto Maltese” dealt nicely with the Malcolm/Thea relationship(*) and the way it in turn has altered Oliver and Thea's relationship. I don't much buy Diggle's rationale for Oliver not telling her the whole truth, but in general I have a much more anti-secrecy philosophy than the shared “Arrow”/”Flash” creative team, and Thea as secret ninja is a much better direction for her than Thea as underage club owner.

(*) I particularly appreciated the tabling of the Hong Kong flashbacks in favor of seeing the early stages of Thea's training with her father. Formula should never be something a show is chained to.

The trip to Corto Maltese also gave the stunt team a chance to show off its outstanding work in a different kind of setting, and much brighter light. I got a kick out of Oliver's facility with a handgun – and not just because it reminded me of a similar gag from the climax of the largely-forgettable “Quigley Down Under” – and Roy's stunned reaction to same, but mainly I just enjoy how confidently this show continues to do fight scenes, and how often they find ways to vary it up. (Last week's motorcycle joust was an excellent example of that.)

And “Arrow” keeps introducing names familiar to DC Comics fans – plus naming Felicity's assistant Gerry Conway, who wrote some of the best Spider-Man stories ever for the other company, and at DC created both Firestorm (who is awesome) and Vibe (who is much less so) – even if they're only sometimes in the same context. So we get a boxing trainer named Ted Grant who will teach Laurel how to be the new Canary, but this guy's a lot younger and more CW-friendly than any traditional depiction of Wildcat. Mark Shaw, at least for now, is just a name applied to an ARGUS agent, though he could conceivably return in a manhunting mode. And it's only my assumption that Ray Palmer will go full Atom at some point that doesn't have me worried about his interest in the  weapons from the applied sciences division.

What did everybody else think?

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