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Did Arrow Come Back From Its Break...Wrong?

After a couple months off, is Arrow even the same show it used to be?

Arrow's back, and it's got a new direction. And that direction is that everyone speaks in raspy whispers in pretty much every scene. I know I'm supposed to talk about the plot and junk, but mostly what I came away with was that no one talked like a normal person. Whether it was someone talking to Diggle the prisoner or discussing Evil Laurel or even just arguing about what to do next, it was all raspy whispers everywhere. I can only assume it was supposed to seem gritty.

...Okay, just wanted to get that off my chest. Back to describing the events of episode. So! Evil Laurel didn't hold together her impersonation very long, huh? It took ten minutes to get through the usual "Welcome Back To Life" party and then she was Canary-Crying all over the place and dressing in a leather outfit that she must have had hidden somewhere. Oliver still seems into her, because he doesn't understand the concept of an alternate universe where everybody good is evil and everyone evil is good. It's pretty basic comic-book science, Oliver.

Diggle's back in jail, and now the plan to get him out is so elaborate that it involves a civilian District Attorney acting as a military defense attorney but also arresting Diggle on a bogus charge of assaulting a city official so he doesn't get murdered by a general. It's pretty silly when you read it, but it was cool when everyone talked about it in raspy whispers. Maybe not the coolest thing in the world, but it was okay.

Anyway, raspy whispers aside, how Arrow-y was Arrow?

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Trick Arrow Oliver did manage to drug Prometheus in the middle of their fight, but he used a dart, not an arrow. It's like he doesn't even know the name of his own show. And I'm not giving him credit for the bolo arrow, because we've already seen it and it didn't even work.
Oliver Queen: A Jerk I don't think it counts as being a jerk that Oliver yelled at everyone for trying to kill Evil Laurel against his orders. I'm pretty sure that's the sort of thing that should be his call, not Felicity's.
Comic book reference The name "Black Siren" has already appeared in the overall CW superhero universe, so it doesn't count here. There was that moment where Wild Dog called her "Trinity," but references to the Matrix movies don't count either.
Someone walks into the Arrowlair without warning. I'm going to count the time that Evil Laurel showed up right after Felicity figured out that she was from Earth-2. It's a bit of a stretch, since she was allowed entry to the lair, but it was dramatic enough to justify the "without warning" part.
Flashback scenes mirror the present day. Not so much. The flashbacks are pretty minimal, and they mostly just consist of Oliver being punched in the face until Talia shows up.
Things get gory. Oliver is not looking at all well in those Russian flashbacks, huh? A face completely covered in blood probably counts as being gory. And if it doesn't, Felicity told Oliver, "Well, now that you're killing again, I figured why not put it to use?" And that was absolutely brutal. Only a couple people care about Oliver killing her boyfriend last week, but she cares enough for everyone.
The Only Hospital Room In Town No hospital room at all. That's a shame. It seemed like Curtis's storyline could have landed him there, but he just complained a lot.
Someone gets kidnapped I don't think I can count Evil Laurel being captured as a proper kidnapping, and I also can't count Prometheus busting her out of Star Labs.
Someone goes shirtless. Boy, this hasn't been very Arrow-y so far, has it? And there's no change here, because everyone kept their shirts on. It's probably just that the show's having trouble getting back in its groove after the midseason break.
2 / 9
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