Arrow Watch: Episode 10 - Burned
"Maybe you go it backwards Oliver, you think the people you let in have taken your edge, I think it gives you one. Maybe a stronger one even. You can stare down death with something to live for or not... Something to live for is better."
If there's one person (sorry Dig) who could push Oliver our of his funk, it's Laurel and her call inspires him to at least put on the suit and pay her a visit. After he cuts the power and makes it all sexy-like. Laurel's plea for help doesn't get his gears fully rotating though, as he hands the case off to Dig (who is HUGE) who in turn should hand off any leads to the cops even though we already established they don't handle fireman crimes. I loved the confrontation between Ollie and Dig, especially the line about how he was ready with the slow down speech. It's around this point that Tommy yells at some non-existent contractors and then devises the genius plan of putting all the firefighters in one place while there is a lunatic out there burning them alive. Someone needs to swift kick his still stupid ass. It doesn't take long for Detective Dad to notice that the aPhone is missing and he confronts Laurel with the same old speech about not having to go outside the law and how terrible it is to lie to your family. Hm. This from the man who ends up using his daughter.
”I know. You’re afraid to live.”
While Thea continues to play clean up with mom, Dig pulls Oliver away to investigate the first real lead in the Firefly case but once again the hero tries to shy away from donning the hood. After a bit of convincing, not to mention a flashback to where a frightened Ollie is failing to make a fire while being hunted by a random merc, he decides to face the fiery villain as Arrow and, uh, things don't go so well for anyone involved. Not only did another fireman perish in the flames but Garfield makes pretty short work of Oliver before successfully escaping. To his credit, Arrow does manage to spot a few significant clues like the tattoo and burns but the encounter took it's toll. You can tell because he's sitting on the floor and hasn't changed out of his gear. Sadface. Another flashback to his first island fight is interrupted by Laurel's call and he decides to simply pass off the intel instead of pursuing the leads on his own. Dig overhears how he's putting all of it on Laurel's shoulders and basically calls him out as a whining punk. Simple question, does he want to be a vigilante or not?
"No. We go hunting."
"Burned" is one of the more linear episodes of Arrow to date in that we stay with Ollie on his crusade for the majority of the episode and even when the supporting players enter the fray the do so largely to interact with out now tentative hero. Yes, tentative. Fear and guilt are strong themes running through the tenth installment with more than just present Oliver having to cope with the emotional adversity and get back in the saddle. Same goes for Moira, although I'm sure mommy's mind is more weighed with guilt than fear (certainly the second exists, her loveably stern British husband is missing... Do I smell the first season finale?) but she's still battling similar demons as is island Oliver. It was pretty rad to see him all suited up at the end, keys and map in hand, the hunted perhaps becoming the hunter, right before Arrow announced it's hunting season at episode's end. In light of Oliver's renewed sense of purpose, not to mention how well the supporting cast seems to be developing, how could you not be excited for the second half of Season 1?
Arrow returns with Episode 11, "Trust But Verify," next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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