Arrow: “Public Enemy” – Looking Ahead

When Ras al Ghul makes you an offer – word of advice – TAKE IT! This is a lesson that Oliver Queen has been learning more and more the past few episodes; but not as much as this. Now labeled as a “Public Enemy” by a Police Captain that is letting his personal vendetta’s drive his actions a little too much, the Arrow and his team seem to be at the end of their rope.

What new struggles and clarity did this episode bring our heroes? Find out that and more as we take a closer look at “Public Enemies” and see what’s next for Team Arrow.

The Vengeful Father, The Blind Cop – Quentin Lance:

Detective lance’s recent irrationalities and unfounded accusations are of course all due to his role as a morning father. Hearing him label Oliver as a villain in the police truck was not only complete bull, but also a very low blow when he brought in the death of Moira Queen. Quentin can’t tell the difference between upholding law & order (as a cop) and a personal vendetta (as a father); but we only need to look at his actions ‘as an officer’ to see just how blinded he is.

Arrow Public Enemies Lance Oliver

This isn’t the first time there’s been a copy-cat Archer in Starling. In the past it was Quentin who ever stood up for him and pointed out the inconsistencies (despite being anti-Arrow at the time). This method of thinking is nowhere to be found in the current Captain Lance. In fact, Quentin even admits that he knows the Arrow probably isn’t behind these murders; but he still deserves to be punished because it’s still his fault. He even blames the Arrow for the Flash – something that’s not only untrue but is also an honor considering the Flash’s role as pure hero. Though beyond all this, it is Quentin’s style of pursuit that reveals his true intent.

Since Season 1, Quentin has known that Felicity works with the Arrow and even knows who he Arrow is. Additionally he knows Roy Harper is involved, as well as his own daughter. It’s easy to see why he didn’t unveil his daughter as the Black Canary; but it makes no sense from an investigative standpoint why he didn’t place tails or warrants for Felicity or Roy. He is so consumed with ‘Get the Arrow’ than even the largest of details such as ‘known associates’ – not to mention the other murders clearly being an act – escape his view. He is still stuck in the Stages of Grief, which is negating his ability to be a good captain – and Ras knows how to play him like a fiddle.

The Odd Choices Of Truth & Sacrifice – Oliver Queen

Oliver Queen is the man who can think his way out of anything, except when it comes to Ras. The last time Oliver was suspected of being the Arrow, he had a grand plan to make it so that he’d never be suspected again. Though sadly, if Oliver is always 3 steps ahead, then Ras is 10. After turning the city against him and knowing the exact way to further enflame Quentin Lance, Ras seems to have backed Oliver into a corner with only jail cell and becoming the next Ras as his options. Though with all these deaths and sacrifices, we find ourselves once again asking why he doesn’t just become the next Ras.

Arrow Public Enemies Oliver

Once he is the new head, Oliver could do whatever he wanted, even if it meant turn over the League to Nyssa and go about his usual life. Through the course of the episode and flashbacks, we see how Oliver thinks the truth will set him free and solve all the problems; but why now? Oliver has kept these secrets for 3 seasons, and to tell them now won’t do much. Quentin can already assume the League is out for the Arrow too; but with his head so clouded by rage he doesn’t care. So why does Oliver think the truth now of all times will help.

Ras has Oliver out thought and outmatched in almost every way right now. So rather than try to avoid this impossible trap, why doesn’t he think ahead of the curve and find a way out? That is where Ras’s true strength lies right now. Oliver has no time to plan whilst Ras is always keeping Oliver on the defensive/reactionary side. Oliver needs something drastic to escape Ras, and that is exactly what he assumed sacrificing himself to the police would be. Though through all of this, Oliver forgot one of his greatest assets. Ras might have followers willing to die for him; but so does Oliver in a sense.

“They Must Be Willing To Die For Me” – Roy Harper:

Earlier this season, Roy asked Oliver to never abandon him like Wild Cat did his former sidekick. Within a two episode span, Roy has been left behind twice. The first was of course after getting zapped/knocked out in the Atom vs Arrow fight; and now he was left behind while running from the cops. Now yes, Oliver and Diggle hardly got out on their own; but there was almost no radio contact between any of the groups to see how their escape was progressing. Though despite being left behind twice now, Roy will still step up for Oliver.

Arrow Public Enemies Roy

It’s plain to see why Roy is such an amazing character; and it seemed like this episode was going to give him that happy ending with Thea we’ve been hoping for. Though not it seems as though that might never happen, or worse. With Roy now locked up for the Arrow’s crimes, you know a lot of people are going to try to kill him in prison. With talk of there being a major death very soon – and Roy having had come very close to happiness – I fear it might be him. Can Oliver get him out in time; and was there more to Roy’s plan than just scapegoat? This is one mystery we’ll have to wait two weeks for.

Becoming The REAL Atom – Ray Palmer:

Meanwhile at Starling Medical, Ray Palmer has just discovered that he a blood clot remaining after taking an arrow for Felicity. If the doctors operate, he could die since he’s weak from the initial arrow-removal; but if they don’t it could move and he could die. What’s Palmer to do? Find his own way of course. It just so happens that Palmer has some nanobots that can go into his bloodstream and shrink the blood clot. Sure this might sem totally random, but considering he is the Atom, it is the start of something much bigger …. or smaller.

Right now Palmer’s Atom suit operates more like Ironman than the Atom of the comics. Though now that his nanobots and their ‘shrink tech’ has been introduced, the groundwork has been laid for Palmer’s suit to shrink itself and operate more closely to that of the actual Atom. Between the new tech and Palmer taking an arrow for Felicity, he is that much closer to being an actual hero – Felicity on the other hand not so much.

The Flip-Flopping Love Triangle Returns – Felicity Smoak:

While Ray was busy becoming more and more admirable, Felicity went back to flip-flopping. Earlier this half-season we saw her ping pong back and forth between moving forward with Team Arrow and abandoning it completely. Now – after several episodes of showing us that Felicity and Ray are the new pairing – Felicity decides she doesn’t love Ray.

Arrow Public Enemies Felicity Ray

A shocking moment to be sure; but to me it seems a little forced. I feel like this road has come and gone so much. Also, last episode was all about Oliver passing Felicity over to Ray and telling him to be the man she deserves; and now that Ray took an arrow for her she decides no. I feel like we’ve had some many moments of why Olicity doesn’t work, that to keep perpetuating it does a little disservice to the show. Then again, maybe the writers just want to give Olicity a FULL chance to make fans happy before something terrible happens.

Whatever the case may be, Arrow isn’t Friends; and Oliver and Felicity shouldn’t be limited to that Ross and Rachel dynamic. Would it be nice for them to get together? Sure, but not at the cost of undoing so much character development and motivation. Last episode weighed so heavily on Palmer coming to trust Felicity and her swearing that she’s with him. Yes, people can always change their minds but in the context of a written show that introducing a very powerful hero, you need something a bit more substantial. Hopefully Palmer can get past the whole ‘my girl chose you even though she swore she chose me’ thing and work with Oliver in the future because his determination is quite admirable.

Rapid Fire – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:

  • A few months ago Stephen Amell posted a photo of him, Canary and Arsenal and captioned it as the end of an era. The photo was taken from this episode so it’s a matter of time to know if this foretold a simple end to the arrow/cops partnership, a change in costumes or a death.
  • Besides revealing how the ‘truth’ can lessen someone’s pain, the flashbacks also parallel with Oliver’s current situation of being on the run with no plan in mind
  • So it turns out that was Shaod’s twin sister.
  • Felicity: “All I did was stick something in you. Do you think there will ever come a time when everything I say isn’t some weird double entendre” – I hope not (the response of Ray and everyone watching).
  • You might have missed it; but Laurel’s fighting style has certainly improved after a few sessions with Nyssa. After all, she was able to survive an encounter with several League Assassins.
  • The brief shot of Malcolm seeing the Arrow Press Conference can possibly foreshadow Malcolm making a major sacrifice in order to help Oliver

Arrow Public Enemies Team Arrow

Does Roy have a plan, or did he just blindly sacrifice himself? Will we ever get an end to this Felicity love triangle? Is Quentin ever going to realize how much of a vengeful idiot he’s being? For the first time in a long time, I don’t know if anyone knows what’s coming next – not even Oliver – but stay tuned for the next episode.

Again my apologies on the delay for this article. Since I’m sure everyone has seen it by now and had a chance to think, I’d like to ask you all. What do you think of the recurring Olicity drama? What do you think Oliver should do next? Sound off in the comments below 😀

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