Arrow – “The Return” Review

Arrow - "The Return"It’s great that we are seeing Quentin really react to the knowledge that Sara is dead. Laurel finding him in a bar is a nice reminder of their common struggles with addiction. Laurel didn’t spiral into the bottle this time. Quentin has and I think the difference is that one of them has an outlet to fight through. Laurel gets to channel her frustration into something more useful. Quentin’s health is somewhat fragile as we’ve had the fact battered over our heads for a while now. Learning that he was literally the last person to learn about his daughter’s death really broke him up. He’s upset that Sara is dead, but he seems even more upset that Laurel kept it from him.

Being on the island meant that they were with Deathstroke. It made sense that he would check up on his prisoner. however, rather than finding Slade in his cell, he was missing, the guard dead in his bed. Merlyn had let him out as a sort of training activity. Slade was sadly underused. Instead the focus was on Thea and Oliver, bonding and problem solving. They had to find a way out of the cell and back to the plane before Slade could get off the island. Slade was little more than a plot device there solely to pose an obstacle for Oliver and Thea. His presence didn’t develop anyone’s character. Slade obviously wanted revenge, but it was strange that he didn’t just go straight for an escape route. He did provide just the right amount of taunting to spur Ollie to think about those that have been lost to him in various ways.

Arrow - "The Return"The flashbacks felt surprisingly satisfying this week. This is mainly because we got glimpses into the lives of our other cast members in the time that Oliver was supposedly dead. We really got to see some of the wreckage that Oliver left behind. Laurel had practically ran off to San Francisco. Tommy was having parties and looking out for Thea who was delving into drugs in a deep way. It was a nice parallel to see Quentin being a drunk yet again over the same daughters death. We don’t often get to see this time in the character’s lives for any one but Oliver. Having these flash backs be so encompassing of the characters, it felt like a great touch to the episode. They could have focused on the episode being far more brief.

We’ve been dealing with the China White storyline for a while now. Honestly, I practically tune out for the majority of it. The moments shared between Oliver and Maseo and even Oliver and Amanda Waller are the highlights. The intricacies of China White and her plans don’t make much difference to me. I don’t need to see it and I honestly, stopped paying attention to that plot a while back. This is mainly because it isn’t tying together well with the main storylines.

What did you think of the episode?

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4 thoughts on “Arrow – “The Return” Review

  1. Completely agreed about China White. I pretty much just tune her scenes out at this point. Oliver and Waller and Oliver and his buddy are great, their villain and her plan not so much.

    • The entire China White Flashback story adds nothing. Unfortunately, the character isn’t even captivating enough to make me want to see more of her. After mostly great flashbacks last season, this is a major let down.

      • I have grown to actually really dig everything with Maseo and Waller, but the fact that all of it has centered around China White to this point has only been bearable for me because of how much I like Kelly Hu. But that has its limits just as my affection for John Barrowman can only take me so far with Malcolm Merlyn.

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