Progressive/Nerd/Parent Review (spoilers)
Arrow Season 4, Episode 18 “Eleven-Fifty-Nine”
[Mega spoilers in this review, FYI.]
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3 – Thea and Laurel had a conversation in the bunker regarding Laurel’s career and priorities. These two have powered the show’s decent Bechdel-Wallace scores for a while now so it is an open question how the series will be able to represent women without Laurel or Felicity on the team.
Shukla Score: 3/3 – John and Andy Diggle had a scene early on where Andy begins the process of playing John for a fool, and it scored three points (even if it was infuriating).
Kittehs: 😺🙀😿/5 – It is tempting to give the show a higher kitteh rating, but really it wasn’t that great of an episode. The plot moved along a little too quickly, the threads were tied together in a way that didn’t make a lot of sense (see low points), and seriously the writers need to learn some restraint when it comes to foreshadowing. It’s one thing to have some dialogue that frames a character’s imminent demise, but it’s something else to have four or five scenes with that kind of dialogue. By the third act, even though I didn’t want Laurel to die, I was nonetheless impatiently waiting for them to stop beating me over the head with it and just get it done.
Low points: So they kept the idol in a glass box on a table. Really? Really? Missing piece or not, that was a bad move. I also can’t believe, brother or not, that Diggle didn’t see through this whole thing with Andy. It was too obvious. The writers and actors played it well, but still hard to imagine John bringing Andy to the big battle just to thumb his nose at Oliver. Last but, well yeah, least – they killed Laurel! Poor Papa Lance has had to mourn the death of a daughter three times now and he only has two daughters! Also, while the showrunners will do the whole “we have to make creative choices even if you don’t like it” routine, they’re probably going to use that as an excuse to be blind to the fact that they just killed off one of only two women on the show who have a life and career separate from Oliver and/or Team Arrow. I guess it is the fog of privilege that Guggenheim et al. don’t understand how their “creative choice” is problematic when it reinforces sexist tendencies in show business. Especially when they’re not just killing off one of the few interesting women on the show, but one who is such a revered and significant part of the DC mythology. Boo!
Highlights: The brief interlude between Laurel’s injury and her death was well done and definitely makes her character’s (hopefully temporary) departure a little easier to take. The relationship between this season’s flashbacks and its present day events is becoming clearer now and even bordering on interesting. And as much as it sucks to find out that it has been Laurel in the grave this whole time (my hopes/money were on Papa Lance) it is still nice to be free of the stress of wondering who is in the grave. That is some kind of highlight, I guess.
Dad edits: I don’t watch Arrow with my kid due to the nature and intensity of much of the violence (e.g. this week’s prison riot scene). I’m not sure, were he older, what about this episode I would be eager to discuss with him. Maybe something like, “this is why vigilantism is cool to watch on TV but not something you should ever, ever do for real.”
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c