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– by Mark Cook

Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

Talia returns in the flashbacks.  She clearly did her homework on Oliver tracking his story over the past years.  She also shows Oliver the green hood he had on the island.  We not only find out how she got it but that one of her former students was Yao Fei!!  Does this allude to Yao Fei being Prometheus?  Could it still be Shado since she was trained by her father?  This may be the connection when Oliver was facing Prometheus and he said he recognized a move from the Bratva.  Could he have been alluding a move from Talia which could have been passed down to Yaoor Shado?  Talia views Oliver as something more.  She realizes that a man who survives the situations he has been through has the potential to be much more.  She said she will help him take down Kovar if he will listen to her. After they take down one of Kovar’s head men, Talia tells Oliver that his actions were a reminder of what he has become and that he can go around the world fighting, but the real fight is in front of him; the book his father left him.  She then tells Oliver to give the monster inside of him an identity, and become something else.  Talia gives him the hood, outfit he wore in Season 1, and a bow with the intentions of training him so that he will be ready.  The flashbacks were great in this episode.  Bringing Talia in to continue his training helps bring him full circle as Yao Fei started his training and he was also trained by Talia.  I wasn’t sure how they were going to connect his time in Russia to his return, but the introduction of Talia has tied the loose ends together.  I knew this season was going to connect to Seasons 1 and 2, but this gives more depth in the connection to Season 3 and how Ra’s already knew of Oliver.  The writers provided a nice nod to the Lazarus Pit when Oliver asked how Talia could have trained Yao Fei as he is much older than her.  Talia’s reply? “It’s a family secret.” I am curious to see upcoming flashbacks as Talia is going to be the key to finding out who Prometheus is, and defeating him/her.

Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

The episode opened with viewers finding out that Tina Boland, the soon-to-be Black Canary, got her powers from the STAR Labs Particle Accelerator 3 years prior.  I get that Oliver is trying to let the legacy of the Black Canary carry on, but it feels too rushed.  It reminded me of last season when Felicity was shot.  The emotional connection has barely settled then it is taken care of.  Felicity lost the ability to walk then a handful of episodes later they solved the issue.  Laurel died, some episodes passed, now they are replacing her.  Some of the pacing of Arrow is great while other parts are rushed.  As they try to get Tina to join them they realize that she is much more brutal than they expected.  She was an undercover cop and saw her partner/lover murdered in front of her which has left her completely jaded. I found it odd that Green Arrow was speaking to Tina about how she killed a man who was involved with killing her partner when Wild Dog clearly just shot the men who ambushed them.  If the Green Arrow is so adamant about not killing people, why does he let Wild Dog use guns?  In the comics he does have some stun guns, and maybe that is what is used even though it isn’t clear.  This seems like a moot point as Green Arrow later takes down a helicopter with an exploding arrow. Green Arrow, Mr. Terrific, and Wild Dog tell Tina they will help her take down the man who killed her partner in hopes of gaining her trust, but she rejects their offer.  Oliver then takes it a step further and reveals his identity to Tina.  I don’t agree with how loose he seems to be with his identity this season.  In Seasons 1 and 2 he kept his secret identity from everyone, especially those close to him.  Now if he wants someone to join the team he will reveal who he is.  It seems far-fetched.  We do find out at the end of the episode that Tina’s real name is Dinah Drake.  This actually made the transition to a new Black Canary better for me since the versions in the comic were Dinah Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake Lance.  Staying close to the source material makes their decision more reasonable.

Oh, Felicity met someone who knows of her past as a hacker.  They end up meeting face-to-face in which the individual gives her information to help release Diggle.  Felicity’s fellow hacker is almost exactly like her…great.

What’d you think of this episode of Arrow?  How will Talia’s inclusion in the flashbacks help Oliver track Prometheus?  Do you think Prometheus is Yao Fei?  Leave your comments in the usual place and thanks for reading!