Screen: The CW

Boxing Glove Arrow

What do you get when a boxer meets an archer? There's only one good answer, and it's extremely silly.

If there's one thing Oliver Queen hates, it's vigilantes. Especially vigilantes who might have killed one person in a fit of anger years ago. Some might find this a teeny bit hypocritical, since he is, after all, a vigilante. And he spent the first season of Arrow killing people left and right. In one episode, I counted twenty-five goons that he straight-up murdered. Just because your victims were nameless goons doesn't mean you didn't kill them, Oliver. But there's no time for that sort of self-examination, because there's a new serial killer in town, and Oliver's certain that it's former vigilante Ted Grant. ...It isn't, of course, but that doesn't stop Oliver from insisting that Laurel not get any training from him.

And I think Laurel's in the right here. She gets kidnapped all the time, and she should definitely learn some self-defense. It's like on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, where Xander and Willow eventually had to learn some hand-to-hand skills. (It wouldn't have hurt if they'd taken a first aid class, too. I'm just saying.) Sure, it's possible that Laurel's going to become an expert fighter in an implausibly short time. On an entirely unrelated topic, remember that time that Oliver spent two episodes slapping a bowl of water and was suddenly an expert archer? And then a few weeks later, he could fight as well as Deathstroke? I'm just suggesting that this is a world where people learn skills really quickly.

There's also some movement on the "Who Killed Sara?" front. Roy had some visions that made him think he killed her in a Mirakuru fit, but it turns out he didn't. It still counts as movement if the plot travels in a circle, right? Absolutely it does. And it keeps this MacGuffin around for later episodes to pick up, bat around, and forget about. That's how you know you're watching a serialized drama! But how Arrow-y is it, really?

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Oliver goes shirtless. Everything's very serious this season. Maybe Oliver feels that he's outgrown the shirtless salmon ladder? Never turn your back on your past, Oliver.
Someone gets kidnapped. Ted Grant gets put in handcuffs and dragged away, but when the police do it, that's called being arrested.
There's either a big dance party or a charity gala. It wouldn't be that hard to double up on these missing elements, you know. Maybe Oliver should infiltrate a shirtless rave?
Felicity has a crush on Oliver. If she does, she doesn't have time to stammer about it the way she used to.
Everyone's always watching the news on television. Even a new serial killer doesn't merit some television coverage? This town is jaded.
There are references to the DC Universe. I normally don't count references to Green Arrow, because that's what the whole show is about. But this episode contained my favorite ridiculous Green Arrow thing in the world: a boxing glove arrow! That's as explicit as it gets! Also, Roy Harper is called "Arsenal" in the comics.
Events on the island parallel modern day. In the flashback, Oliver gets hypnotized to remember something. And he also became an expert hypnotist so that he'd be able to do the same thing for Roy, showing him that he didn't really kill Sara. He did kill a cop, though.
Someone breaks up with or reunites with someone else on the spur of the moment. Roy's little pouting fit doesn't count because he's not doing it because he's angry at anyone but himself. And Laurel's allowed to be mad at Roy.
Oliver arrows somebody. Yes. With a BOXING GLOVE ARROW! Hooray!
3 / 9
Final Score
Boxing Glove Arrow
A show that's maybe starting to take itself a little more seriously than it really deserves to. On the other hand: boxing glove arrow!
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