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ARROW “Identity” Review

Oliver may be off the island, but Arrow is still stuck in two places.

Although Oliver (Stephen Amell) has spent most of his time this season in Starling City thwarting the Triad and fending off corporate takeovers, we’re still seeing a lot of flashbacks to his days the island. It’s hard to keep track of exactly how much time has elapsed since he first arrived there retrospectively, but we seem to steadily be moving forward. Judging by his physical progression, I’d say that before too long he’s going to run out of interesting back story. And then what?

His evolution from entitled billionaire playboy (I still don’t understand the appeal of that awful haircut) to devoted philanthropist moonlighting as a superhero, started when he was shipwrecked on that island. It wasn’t a choice he made willingly, it was one that he made out of necessity. If getting off the island was just as simple as hailing the first passing ship, I would think he wouldn’t have waited five years to do so. Something made him decide that it was time to leave, and the culmination of that storyline is definitely something to look forward to as the series moves along.

In the meantime we have front row seats to the decline of Oliver Queen’s public image. Instead of being able to just open his wallet and let his alter-ego do all the actual charity work, like he has been doing since his return to civilization last year, his character is finding it more difficult to save Starling City in either costume. And, to make matters worse, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is taking a strong stance against the Hood, leaving her former ally (and still unbeknownst to her, dear friend) searching for his jaw – which is probably located around floor-level after that last scene.

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With Moira (Susanna Thompson) still behind bars awaiting trial for her role in the man-made earthquake that shook the city last Spring, Thea (Willa Holland) is finding herself busy behind a different kind of bar. Between chairing the family business and re-branding his anti-hero image, Oliver’s plate is overflowing, and running Verdant is a good look on this privileged teenager.  Not only is it an opportunity for her character to find a purpose, but it also gives her an excuse to wear all of those dresses in her closet that are clearly inappropriate for alternative venues.

Despite her skin tight wardrobe, Thea can’t keep Roy (Colton Haynes) from venturing out into the Glades looking for ways to help. Since the vigilante saved him, Roy seems to have developed a Hood-complex – if you find him, try to be him and he’ll find you. And, it worked. In an act of pity (or, possibly endearment), Oliver has officially recruited Roy to his merry team of undercover do-gooders.

Roy may be on his way to superhero sidekick, but Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) has been demoted in the corporate infrastructure of Queen Consolidated – and she’s not particularly thrilled about her new role at the company. In order for Oliver to keep his associates within shouting distance for the occasional extra-curricular chat, Felicity has went from IT guru to his own personal assistant/secretary. She may have a better view from her perch high in the Starling City skyline, but I’m guessing job fulfillment is limited.

Oh, well. Felicity will have to settle for the comfort of knowing that she’s part of a bigger picture; one that involves saving an entire city from itself. In season 1, Oliver had a list to help on that front, but going forward he’s going to need to develop a different strategy for dealing with what goes bump in the night. At least for tonight’s episode of Arrow, Oliver’s task was fairly obvious – stop the Triad from intercepting the hospital shipments, save lives. But, with police interference escalating and new rivals that think they’re Wolverine joining the party, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

What do you think Oliver will do with this new-found freedom now that the list is obsolete? Do you like the direction Arrow is going? Let us know in the comment section below!

The Author

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling has A.D.D. and her tastes reflect it. Her movie collection boasts everything from Casablanca to John Tucker Must Die to every season of Sons of Anarchy to-date. She adamantly supported a Veronica Mars Movie, hopes that the Fast & Furious franchise continues far into the future, and has read every popular YA book series turned film in recent years (except Harry Potter..). When she's not on an indie film set or educating the youth of America, she uses her time arguably productive as a freelance writer.

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