“Unfinished Business” – Arrow

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“Unfinished Business” felt more like a CW show than any episode that has preceded it. Here was the drama, and the moodiness, and the infighting. Our notes are peppered with ‘X is pissed at Y’ and ‘Y hates X because…’ It’s like 90210 with a hood and some arrows. We just can’t decide if that’s a bad thing. Sometimes a little human emotion does wonders for a show like this. A little reality. A reminder that it’s all supposedly rooted in real life, and a little acknowledgement that not everything can run smoothly all of the time. Not that we need that reminder for Arrow. Every week sees Oliver having some sort of trouble and facing some sort of contention with the people he loves. We’re never allowed to forget it. So was the heightened drama (and we mean that in the ‘bitches love drama’ sense, not the Shakespearean one) really necessary? The short answer is no.

That doesn’t mean it was a bad episode though. Just a bit different than expected. There were a lot of things about the episode that really worked and that advanced the story to a place where arcs could conceivably be wrapped up sooner rather than later. The overarching story focused on the reappearance of Vertigo in the Starling City market, and the fallout from that. This led to Tommy quitting the club and asking his father for a job – perhaps the most notable development in the episode. This puts Tommy in the uniquely uncomfortable position of, more than likely, finding out the truth about The Undertaking and then being forced to choose between his loyalty to his father and his loyalty to Oliver. For the first time all season, that loyalty is really in question.

On the island, things weren’t exactly moving forward at a thrilling pace. This week was boot camp for Ollie. Three or four scenes of water slapping later and we were fit to cry. Yeah, we know the end results will be worth it, but really… how entertaining can his training ever be? We like new character Shado, but we’re unenthused about her future on the show.

Back in Starling City, the rest of the episode was a bit of a non-entity. The Diggle story was a nice touch – Dig with his own vendetta, not just Oliver’s – but didn’t excite. Tommy was underused when you consider how integral he was to the episode’s development. The absence of Thea and Roy was disappointing, and not just because we like staring at Colton Haynes. Roy’s potential arc is the most interesting thing to come the show’s way since its pilot episode. To drag that out ad nauseum is a miscalculation. Think of all the Oliver-training-a-sidekick fun we’re missing while we watch him slap water on the island.

Arrow has done better, and we hope it will again. And soon. – K

Quoteworthy: “The club is important to me. But for you it’s just a front. You want me to keep your secret, help you to be this thing you’ve become, but you refuse to see me for what I’ve become. I’ve got just a bit too much self-respect for that. I quit.” – Tommy

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