Arrow: “The Candidate” – Looking Ahead

Arrow The Candidate

Arrow continued with it’s 4th season this week and the action sequences have not slowed down for even a moment. As the episode opened we got a stunning look at how Team Arrow is once again a well oiled machine. Although the last time we saw Team Arrow functioning this well, it was followed by the death of Sara Lance and a season worth of woes. So is this the calm before the storm or is this actually the set up to calm all previous storms?

To be fair, it’s probably a bit of both; but I’m getting ahead of myself. So let’s start at square one and take a closer look at Arrow “The Candidate”.

Episode Meaning: “The Candidate”:

Yes, this episode’s primary meaning was all about Oliver and Thea’s family friend deciding to pick up the Green Arrow’s – and their mother’s – lead and run for Mayor. Although things didn’t necessarily go according to plan and now we find Oliver thinking about running for mayor. Now for anyone who was completely taken off guard by this, thre were plenty of hints in the episode prior to the revelation – such as Lance’s insistence that a true hero had to be seen in the light of day and not just in dark alleys.

Although the biggest set up for this is that Mayor Queen is actually a part of the comics. Yes, that’s right! A superhero has once kept his secret identity secret while also being mayor. Though the most impressive thing about making this move now is that Oliver running for mayor won’t necessarily have any politics tied to it. Remember, NO ONE wants the position of mayor as Star City is fading fast. This means that Oliver will run basically unopposed. So rather than having to “debate” someone else on policies and political stances, he simply has to stand for making the city better and standing up to terrorism.

Arrow The Candidate Green Arrow

Though if you look really hard, you see that “the candidate” could refer to something else in this episode. A “candidate” can have much more than just political implications; but represent anyone who “is suitable for a particular fate, treatment or position”. In this case we come to the growing problem with Thea and the Lazarus Pit and what it means for another – fallen – character: Sarah Lance.

Doing Anything for One’s Sibling & The Consequences That Follow – Oliver, Laurel & Diggle

The biggest theme aspect of this episode had to be the notion of being willing to do anything for a sibling and the repercussions that follow. We’re of course already familiar with this topic as we saw Oliver last season enlist Ras to bring his sister back to life as well as Laurel take up the Black Canary mantle to follow her sister’s path in secret. We know how Oliver’s turned out with Thea going crazy and how Laurel’s ended with her father now not really trusting any of Team Arrow. So when it comes to giving advice to Diggle about his quest for his brother possibly having dire consequences, Laurel is one of the best ones to give it. Sadly, this is before she learns of the true manner of Thea’s condition.

This episode theme had a very pyramid like structure as Laurel and Oliver’s sibling experiences were used as a base line for Diggle’s recent quest; but afterwards all that follows again brings us to a new chapter of the Oliver and Laurel tales. Thea’s condition has worsened so much that Oliver is forced to reveal the truth, and when the notions of ‘rebirth’ is brought up Laurel again returns to wanting to help her sister.

Serious props to the make up team

Serious props to the make up team

When Laurel and Thea make it to Nanda Parbat hopefully they’ll gain some more answers on Thea’s condition. Although the idea of bringing Sarah back will not sit well with others who loved her. The focus on Sarah’s dead body at the end of the episode was meant to preface her transformation with one very important idea – Sarah’s been dead a LOT longer than Thea was. Her body is already decaying whereas Thea’s was fresh/near death. So if Thea is suffering this much from the pit, imagine how much more Sarah will after being dead for almost a year.

With Oliver and Laurel’s ‘sibling’ demons already coming back to haunt them this episode, one must wonder what lies in wait for Diggle at the end of his journey. Is Diggle the body we see Oliver mourning over in last week’s flash forward? This new evidence/set up certainly adds fuel to that fire.

Rapid Fire – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:

  • The ‘A’ symbol is the insignia for Anarky in the comics and his being burnt is most likely going to lead to his iconic mask and jacket look.

Arrow The Candidate Anarky

  • The new character we met this episode (Curtis Holt) will eventually become Mr Terrific, which will most likely coincide with his big “revolutionary” invention.
  • Several times in the episode we heard that Lonnie Machin was working for someone previously named Rick Pinzola – or Rickman Zola. It was hard to hear. At this moment I have no clue who this could be; but considering how Arrow and Flash are currently setting up for Legends of Tomorrow, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is an alias of some kind for Vandal Savage.
  • It’s rather an enjoyable juxtapositon to see present day Oliver get more light-hearted as Flashback Oliver gets more and more cruel.
  • This is the second time Damian Darhk is employing a double standard. Last week he’s talking about how death is a beautiful rebirth and the next saying the Arrow is dead, case closed. This week he was upset with Anarky for threatening someone’s daughter and then is threatening Lance’s daughter.
  • So is Felicity going to get a code name? And what is Diggle’s code name? WE NEED TO KNOW!!!!
  • Judging by this episode, it actually looks like “Feral Thea” is actually stronger than Oliver – considering she overpowered both him and Anarky

Next week Arrow returns with a new villain named “Double Down”, whose weapon of choice is a deck of cursed cards bound to his body. From the looks of things, Felicity and Curtis seem to be the intended targets. Can Team Arrow get there in time or will Felicity kick some butt? We’ll find out next week!

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