Sunday, 5 June 2016

Arrow 'Lost In The Flood' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt for you, please do not read further.

This episode of Arrow saw Ollie and Diggle finding their way into Darhks secret underground town in an attempt to rescue Thea whilst Felicity and her father continue to try to prevent global annihilation.

Whilst the action is fairly solid the story begins to drag a little as we close in on the season finale, mainly due to some fairly dull flashbacks to a story that has been stretched beyond thin and moments of quiet as Oliver and John hide-out in a family home.

Strangely enough the dullest parts of the episode aren't the scenes with Felicity and her family, which are actually fairly entertaining, but the scenes with Oliver.  It's not necessarily the writing, though the choice of how to use Thea this episode is pretty bad, but a pacing issue.

For me the main issue was the fact that a lot of the scenes involving Oliver and Diggle are happening in broad daylight, or at least in artificial daylight.  The problem with showing superheroes in daylight is that sometimes they can look a little silly, and whilst the Flash has managed to mostly avoid that, Green Arrow very much falls into that category here.  It might be because I'm used to seeing these particular characters at night so much but they just seem a little off when viewed in the daylight.

This issue seems to be heightened by the fact that they spent a lot of time hanging out in a family home discussing their next move, which really makes the episode drag when it should be running at a brisker pace.

The writers also seem to make something of a strange choice in how they use Thea this episode as they have her fight Oliver under the sway of the mind control drugs that Darhk has been using to control his army.  Whilst this itself isn't a terrible idea, pitting siblings against each other is always a popular choice in fiction, the fact that Thea very quickly overcomes the effects of the control lets the idea down a little.

After seeing the powerful effects that these drugs have had on Andy, to the point where months without taking the drug and being surrounded by family can't break the hold Darhk has on him, it comes across as bizarre that Thea is able to do so after one conversation with her brother.

Despite these issues the story does begin to pick up again towards the end of the episode as the siblings go up against Anarky, who as usual manages to to inject a little energy into proceedings.  The fight with him is choreographed particularly well, with his three piece staff adding a flair to the combat that is sometimes lacking.

Whilst all of this is happening Felicity and her father are still working towards preventing Darhk from being able to achieve full nuclear Armageddon, though they are now joined by both Curtis and Donna.

Curtis manages to bring his usual charm and enthusiasm to the situation, managing to get excited with childlike glee when he realises that Felicity's father is a famous computer hacker.  The levity continues as we witness some of the family drama that ensues when Donna realises that her ex husband has returned.

Whilst these kind of scenes would normally work fairly fine, they ignore the fact that Felicity played a part in the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the last episode.  I get that there would be a certain amount of compartmentalisation going on, but it would seems that between episodes Felicity managed to get over it.

I can't help but feel that it is something that the writers have made a mistake with, as it should be something that affects her a whole lot more.  We might see the lasting repercussions of this going forward into season five, but I can't help but feel that it was a mistake not to address it here, even if it was a brief scene of Felicity putting aside the emotions she would be feeling in order to tackle the bigger problem.

Whilst the episode does have its ups and downs it at least ends on a fairly dramatic note as Anarky murders Ruve Adams, Darhk's wife, and the underground refuge Hive have been building is completely destroyed, changing Darhk from a man who wants to reshape the world to someone who wants to just destroy everything in a blaze of nuclear fire.

'Lost in the Flood' stumbles slightly in the final approach to the season finale but manages to put itself back on track by the last five minutes and sets the stage for one of the biggest season finales the show has had yet.


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