Arrow, S3 Ep18 – Public Enemy

After last week’s episode, “Suicidal Tendencies”, the Arrow has been deemed a public enemy and is now wanted by the police. Ra’s al Ghul, with the help of Maseo Yamashiro, has continued to frame the Arrow, now moving on from killing criminals to killing innocents. “Public Enemy” further progresses this plot bringing Arrow into some dark territory, while simultaneously telling a lighthearted Ray Palmer/Felicity subplot. Also, some flashback scenes involving Ollie on the run in Hong Kong do nothing more than prove that the flashback scenes on Arrow are at often times the weakest parts of the show.

Arrow, S3 Ep18 - Public Enemy (3)

Captain Lance confronts Ra’s al Ghul

Team Arrow’s situation proceeds to become worse and worse as “Public Enemy” progresses. After they are led to an abandoned facility in the hopes of finding Maseo and the rest of the League of Assassins, they soon realize Ra’s has led them there as a trap. Immediately following their encounter with Ra’s, the Starling City Police are on the scene aiming to take down and arrest the team. This provided an immensely entertaining chase scene as Ollie, Roy, and Laurel run from the cops all while Diggle looks through a sniper scope from above feeding the team info on where to turn.

With the cops chasing them and Ra’s continuing his vendetta against Ollie, you’d think it couldn’t get worse, but it does. Captain Lance, already driven with grief over the loss of his daughter and anger towards the team who lied to him about her, eventually gets kidnapped by Ra’s al Ghul. Although he’s been kidnapped by this season’s big bad, we don’t ever feel a sense of danger when Lance is confronted by Ra’s. What would Ra’s have to gain from killing or hurting Captain Lance, the man who wants to take the Arrow down, assisting in aiding Ra’s al Ghul’s plan to turn the city against the Arrow? Instead Ra’s tells Lance the true identity of the Arrow: Oliver Queen.

With this knowledge Captain Lance proceeds to raid Thea’s nightclub hoping to find and arrest Ollie. Ollie escapes, but is eventually driven to turning himself in to the police. Ollie’s decision was the best one he could make. Ra’s had him pinned up against a wall with nowhere else to go. At this point in the episode Ollie could either turn himself in or give in to Ra’s and become his heir. There’s no way Ollie would want to let Ra’s win, and turning himself in would also aid in preventing the rest of his team from suffering his same fate. It’s not surprising that the team would disagree with Ollie’s choice, but what was surprising is how the episode concluded.

Still feeling grief over the police officer he killed last season, Roy’s feelings are heightened when he has to fire back at the police officers now chasing him. In a way of redeeming himself for his past wrongs and simultaneously helping Ollie, the man who saved him and made him his sidekick, Roy puts on the Arrow costume, turning himself in and taking the heat off his mentor. This turn in Roy’s story adds a lot to his character, as we see he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good and wants to pay for his crimes. If Roy does serve time in prison, it can also lead to some interesting developments as he will be placed with the criminals he and Team Arrow helped put away. It is a bit hard to believe that Roy’s actions would completely exonerate Ollie, but Captain Lance really doesn’t have much evidence against him other than the confession of Ollie himself and the word of Ra’s al Ghul.

Raylicity all the way!

Raylicity all the way!

The subplot of “Public Enemy” involved Ray Palmer and Felicity. Thankfully Felicity did not get shot by Maseo in the conclusion of “Suicidal Tendencies,” as we were made to believe. As “Public Enemy” begins we see that Ray Palmer actually pushed Felicity out of the way only to take Maseo’s arrow to his own chest. Ray Palmer is then sent to the hospital only to find out that a newely developed blood clot in his chest could cause brain damage if not treated soon, and that treatment may also kill him. While this story was surprisingly lighthearted and humorous at times, it did add some elements to the series I enjoyed. For one, we find out Ray has invented some nano technology that can help cure him. We may have not seen The Atom be able to shrink in size as he does in the comics, but this new development does hint at the possibility of that happening some day. What I also liked about the story was the addition of Charlotte Ross as Felicity’s mother Donna Smoak. While her character didn’t add much to the overall story at all, her charisma provided some much needed humor.

All that being said, the Ray Palmer subplot felt harshly contrasted to this episode’s main plot, which felt a bit odd at times. Also, I wish Felicity would stop longing for Ollie already. She doesn’t have to be with Ray, but he really does seem a lot better for her than Ollie would be.

The flashback scenes in “Public Enemy” were absolutely pointless and are barely worth talking about. The inclusion of Shado’s twin sister brought absolutely nothing to the series. Also, the Hong Kong story feels like its dragging on. We know something bad is going to happen that will lead Maseo to joining the League of Assassins and will lead Tatsu to becoming a hermit, but the show needs to get to it already. Besides, it’s most likely safe to assume that their son is going to tragically die somehow.

Despite the episode’s lackluster flashback scenes, “Public Enemy” was still a fun, intense, and entertaining episode filled with solid performances. Paul Blackthorne’s take on an angry, almost vengeful, Captain Lance has been a pleasure to see progress on the small screen. As usual the action was solid as “Public Enemy” provided a high stakes chase scene and a brief, but intense battle between Team Arrow and some assassins. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this week’s developments lead Ollie and the rest of the team. Judging from some recent promos of The Flash and a recently released extended promo for the rest of this season of Arrow (posted below), its safe to assume Ollie will be going through some drastic changes soon. Check out the promo below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Public Enemy” in the comments.

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