Title: Arrow: “Thanksgiving” Review
Release Date: November 23rd, 2017
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
After two weeks of solid action and storytelling, Arrow reverts back to focusing on weak characters, interactions, and a storyline that isn’t at all interesting, especially considering both its overuse and execution. I was certainly not thankful for this weeks episode.
“Thanksgiving” begins with FBI Agent Samandra Watson arresting Oliver Queen, doing so not only during his charity drive on Thanksgiving, but right in the middle of his speech on live television, in front of everyone. No evidence is provided at the time of arrest, or even in court for that matter. The cherry on top is that the district attorney refused to present his evidence, stating he wasn’t going to show his hand so quickly. In reality, it’s only for the sake of drama, as US law dictates evidence must be presented to both parties. If it’s not, then the whole case is dismissed immediately.
All of this comes down to terrible writing on Arrow’s part. Agent Watson is horribly written, as even though she is completely right with all of her allegations, I still don’t want to root for her because of the odd way they have structured her character, which lacks any real motives. Sydelle Noel is certainly wasted in the role, but it doesn’t compare to how they are botching Michael Emerson’s talent with the hacking persona and storyline.
Since his introduction as a bad guy, I was excited to see Emerson’s portrayal of Cayden James, even if he was simply brought in as a foil to Felicity. “Thanksgiving” saw a fun, Person of Interest esque interaction between James and Black Siren, but when it came down to revealing his motives, I was sorely disappointed. Instead of creating an interesting reason for what he was doing, the leader of Helix wants to make Team Arrow pay because…of what happened to his son as a reslut of the Green Arrows actions.
This well is dry. I’ve said before the Sins of our Sons/Fathers stuff is the most overdone angle Arrow has ever done. Not to mention that, just like every other villain, of course it’s Oliver’s fault. This once again takes him down the cliche path of thinking he is a terrible person. It’s been done so many times that I will be shocked if he doesn’t state something similar to “I’m a terrible person, but I need to be better for my son” in the near future.
It’s amazing that they have widdled Oliver Queen’s character down to such a shell of his former self. Stephen Amell is perfect as the character, and yet I could not care less about the convoluted arc they have given him when it comes to being a father. Arrow has even managed to make dislike Diggle, as all of his plot points revolve around either secrets or his tremors. It’s all just manufactured drama.
The worst part about all of this, for each one of these characters, is that it’s not the actor’s fault. I have loved Emily Bett Rickards portrayal of Felicity in the past. Now she is shoved down our throats as a genius – something that has to be pointed out by everyone – who somehow gets even common coding knowledge wrong, while also being a huge hypocrite when it comes to the constant arguments she is in or the actions she exhibits. She began an argument with Curtis in “Thanksgiving” because he used HIS invention without telling her. Yet, not only did she name the company without consulting him, she used all of the grant money to bail Oliver out of jail.
I don’t care about this drama, but if it’s going to occur, at least have it makes some sense. Diggle and Oliver’s argument is the perfect example of drama occurring that, while I don’t necessarily think it is necessary, makes sense given the context and foundation of it all.
If there was any bright light to come out of “Thanksgiving,” it’s that Willa Holland will be making her return to the show as Thea Queen. Even her reintroduction was a bit underwhelming though, as they just have her wake up randomly.
Verdict: “Thanksgiving” was a mess of an episode, with bad writing, persistently bad storylines, and a waste of good actors. A fun performance by Michael Emerson and the return of Thea aren’t enough to save this episode. One can only hope that a shift in focus to Richard Dragon down the line provides more compelling storylines than the trial revolving around Oliver Queen being The Green Arrow, Diggle’s nerve damage, and Felicity’s everything likely will.
What did you think of the most recent episode of Arrow? What scene or scenes did you like the most? What are your predictions for the rest season six as things begin to unravel? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also be sure to check back next week for the next episode of the season, “Crisis on Earth-X, Part 2,” immediately after it airs on The CW next Thursday 9 PM ET.
- Michael Emerson
- More Willa Holland in the near future
- Reasoning and timing of arrest
- God awful writing
- A waste of talented actors/actresses
- Thea underwhelming return
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