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‘Arrow’ Review/Recap: “Public Enemy”

By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

Paul Blackthorne and Stephen Amell in the Arrow episode "Public Enemy." Photo Credit: The CW
Paul Blackthorne and Stephen Amell in the Arrow episode “Public Enemy.” Photo Credit: The CW

Arrow picked up mere seconds after last weeks episodes ended. Last week, Oliver (Stephen Amell) finds out that Maseo (Karl Yune) is killing citizens of Starling disguised as The Arrow. In the last heart pounding minutes, Maseo kills the Mayor and aims a green arrow meant for Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). This weeks episode entitled “Public Enemy” changes the course of Arrow forever.

This week Oliver and The Arrow Team had a lot on their hands. With Ra’s al Ghul breathing down their necks, everything came to a head in this episode. The episode opens with Ray (Brandon Routh) taking an arrow to the chest for Felicity. With Felicity being preoccupied with her new boyfriend, the rest of The Arrow Team is left to fend for themselves. With the fake Arrow killing people left and right, Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) puts out a search warrant for The Arrow. Blackthorne delivers an amazing performance this week. With his world deteriorating around him, Captain Lance puts all of his anger into the manhunt for The Arrow. With the SCPD chasing down Oliver, Roy (Colton Haynes), Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Diggle (David Ramsey), Arrow produces one of their best action scenes in recent weeks. The car chases, Arsenal scaling and shooting SCPD officers and The Canary, The Arrow and Arsenal falling several stories off of a building are the best combination of stunts and green screen work in recent weeks. James Bamford and his stunt team at Arrow deserve to be recognized for their amazing and dedicated work.

Paul Blackthorne, Karl Yune and Matt Nable in the Arrow episode "Public Enemy." Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Paul Blackthorne, Karl Yune and Matt Nable in the Arrow episode “Public Enemy.” Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

With Captain Lance being in the background in recent weeks, this was Blackthorne’s time to shine. In an amazing and heart-pounding scene, Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) takes Lance hostage. Nable and Lance play off of each other effortlessly and their ability to create a tense sequence with just dialogue shows their true acting potential. Ra’s al Ghul tells Lance, “Well, because with this revelation everything will become clear and you will realize the man you have been looking for has been in front of you the entire time.” That’s right folks, Captain Lance finally knows Oliver Queen is The Arrow. Looks like the Captain Lance jokes can stop because the SCPD Captain finally knows. Off of this reveal, the entire episode snowballs into a mess of revelations and crazy manhunts for Oliver Queen.

Blackthorne had two incredible scenes this week: one with Laurel and the other with Oliver. The first moment comes right after he finds out about Oliver. He confronts Laurel about it and in an amazing performance Lance finally lets out all of his bottled up steam about Sara (Caity Lotz) and Laurel becoming The Black Canary. This small scene between Laurel and Lance continues to further the characters relationship, even though it’s strained. The next scene comes at the end of the episode when Oliver turns himself into SCPD and is being transported with Lance. The lighting and location of this scene paints Lance in the light of a “villain,” which is something the character has never done. In the final minutes of the confrontation, Lance delivers a crushing blow to Oliver saying, “You are not a hero, Mr. Queen. You are a villain.” Lance and Oliver have an emotional, strenuous relationship and Amell and Blackthorne do an amazing job.

Emily Bett Rickards, Charlotte Ross and Brandon Routh in the Arrow episode "Public Enemy." Photo Credit: Divah Pera/ The CW
Emily Bett Rickards, Charlotte Ross and Brandon Routh in the Arrow episode “Public Enemy.” Photo Credit: Divah Pera/ The CW

This episode of Arrow saw the return of everyone’s favorite guest star Charlotte Ross as Donna Smoak. Ross did an impeccable job earlier in this season so it’s no surprise she is back and funnier than ever. When Ray is sent to the hospital after saving Felicity, Mama Smoak is on the scene and ready to comfort her daughter. It turns out the injuries Ray sustained caused a deadly blood-clot in his brain and the only way to save him is injecting nano-technology he created. The only down side? The hospital can’t administer experiment technology, so Felicity has too. Routh and Rickards continue to have amazing chemistry.

Although, this is the Arrow universe so happiness never last long, when Ray recovers and he utters those three heart-stopping words, “I love you,” Felicity goes into full panic mode and doesn’t return the sentiment. Swoop in Mama Smoak to deal out some motherly advice.In an amazing moment, Donna Smoak tells Felicity “You don’t love Ray because you’re in love with Oliver… I knew it in 5 [seconds].” Looks like everyone knows how Felicity feels except her. Ross’ scenes with Rickards are nothing short of marvelous and they play off of each other flawlessly. Their mother-daughter relationship continues to be spectacular and allows viewers to see an added layer to both characters. The only issue with this storyline was that it took Felicity out of the action of helping Oliver avoid the police. One of the biggest strengths to the character of Felicity is her independence from the men of the show, recently she has been tied up between Ray and Oliver and here’s hoping she gets back to the tech nerd who was torchering billionaires last season.

Emily Bett Rickards and Charlotte Ross in the Arrow episode "Public Enemy." Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Emily Bett Rickards and Charlotte Ross in the Arrow episode “Public Enemy.” Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

This episode also dropped some hints on the illustrious identity of Felicity’s father. In a short exchange, Felicity and Donna are talking and Felicity finishes Donna’s sentence, “If your father were here…” with “… he’d be arrested,”Talk about a small moment that will cause mass theories all over the internet. By episode’s end, Oliver has been captured and in the last heart pounding moments Roy appears declaring he is the real Arrow. Talk about a jaw-dropping, series changing moment. This episode of Arrow was a major game changer and changes the course of the rest of season three. Who knows where Arrow will go from here.

Arrow returns in two weeks on Wednesday at 8/9c on the CW.

Overall Grade: A-

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