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– by Mark Cook

 

Arrow has really started the season off being consistently strong.  Has Oliver been taken over by the Level 2 psychiatrist? Will we find out who is behind Green Arrows mask?  Will Oliver find The Demon?  Read on to find out!

Inmate 4587 — Dr. Parker prepares Oliver for Phase 2 where he is moved from his isolated cell to a newer one among the others incarcerated at this level.  Oliver awakens in his cell to an attacker who turns out to be…Talia al Ghul!  I didn’t see this coming at all, and it makes complete sense that she would be The Demon! Duh, it was so obvious, and I didn’t even think of it.  Anyways, Talia has definitely seen better days according to the look of her face. How is she connected to Diaz?  She does drop a nice Easter Egg about being in Gotham going against an old foe, and is sporting some massive burns from the Lian Yu explosion (finally, someone who actually has some type of injuries from the aftermath). The only way she survived was through massive drug treatments supplied by Diaz in return for everything she knew about Oliver.

The Demon — Talia needs Oliver’s help getting out.  In an interesting plot point, Oliver is mad at what Talia did to his family, but she reminds him of what he did to hers.  It’s all about perspective.  Oliver doesn’t want anything to do with her until he notices that Level 2 play by their own rules and look to be killing prisoners.

Oliver tries his own approach and meets with Dr. Parker to try and find out the truth of what is happening with the “therapy” they offer.  Oliver decides to help Talia in return for exposing Dr. Parker.  In a touching moment, Talia receives an apology from Oliver for killing Ra’s because all he could think about was his city, not Ra’s’ family.  I enjoy how smoothly the writers are incorporating the other seasons into Season 7.  In hindsight, some parts of Season 6 seemed forced, but the subtle inclusions this season make sense.

Oliver and Talia fake a fight in order to gain access to the back room of Level 2.  As Dr. Parker goes to inject Oliver, he boldly announces that “His name is Oliver Queen!” then proceeds to take out everyone.  Oliver and Talia are in typical badass mode and take out the riot officers while trying to exit the prison.  Isn’t it nice that they aren’t fighting in an abandoned warehouse?! In a turn of events, the two have the chance to break out, but Oliver says that he has to stay because he will otherwise be a fugitive forever.  He gives Talia Dr. Parker’s flashdrive to give to Felicity.  The man is level-headed, or crazy.  As Talia escapes, the rest of the riot officers come in and beat Oliver.  So, can Talia be trusted?  He doesn’t really have a choice. Regardless, he gets moved back to Level 1.

I’m glad they aren’t breaking Oliver out yet.  The issue I had with Flashpoint (and when Barry was in jail) was that it was over in about three episodes.  The writers are doing a good job of making this imprisonment last while still making it interesting even without seeing Green Arrow often.  His time in prison may be coming to an end soon though as they can possibly use Dr. Parker’s flashdrive to free Oliver.

Talia, in typical League fashion, pays Dr. Parker a visit as he is being released, and kills him!  Definitely don’t piss her off.

Undercover Curtis — Now that Curtis apparently works for A.R.G.U.S., they are sending him undercover to find a man named Malcolm Byrd who is behind chemical weapons distribution. Curtis took part of the mission, but wants nothing more to do with it as he told Diggle he was done in the field when Oliver was arrested.  This storyline isn’t as interesting to me.  I am sure it will connect to Diaz eventually, but as of right now I would be fine without it.  Curtis decides to go back for the second part of the mission and of course, overcomes his previous issues.

Birds of Prey — The odd team-up returns with Felicity doing her weird (annoying) speed talking.  They are still on the hunt for Diaz.  They also enlist the help of Dinah in what feels like a Birds of Prey nod.  This could be interesting as Dinah and Laurel are at each other’s throats, but Felicity keeps having her quivery, crying voice, which is distracting to me.  The ladies do find out what Dr. Parker has been up to through previous case files: erasing individuals. He has to be connected to Diaz, right?  What better way to get rid of Oliver for good than to erase his memory.

The end of the episode shows Silencer finding a very pissed off Diaz looking to get revenge as he holds up Anatoly!!

Yet another strong week of writing!  No flashforwards and no Green Arrow this week, but we got a good blast from the past in the form of Talia and Anatoly.  Will Diza get his revenge?  Who will Talia side with? What did you think of this week’s episode?  Leave your comments in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

Arrow returns next Monday at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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