When Different Is Light: Arrow Season 4, Episode 2 Review
Despite being called "The Candidate," this episode wasn't really about running for mayor, or running for your life, although both those things happened. It was about change. Being the same (person), but doing (things) differently. Secrets to truths. Darkness to light.
Or light to darkness. Who's heading where?
A lot has happened in the week since Oliver and Felicity came back to Star City. The newly extended Team Arrow mixes it up with the Ghosts. Felicity mixes it up with the Palmer Tech board over firing staff to save money. Oliver and Thea mix it up over Thea's interrogation techniques. (Nobody tell Amanda Waller at ARGUS, lest she try to recruit her.)
Watching Oliver watch Thea torture someone: he sees how John Diggle saw him in season 1 - a murderer pretending to be a soldier on a mission. It's not pretty.
How far Oliver Queen has come in the past 3 years ago is stunning. We met a lone wolf on a suicide mission, fueled by self-hatred and financed with his family's ill-gotten gains, crossing names off a list. Now we're thinking like Felicity: who is this guy, who buys his girlfriend a fern and packs her a lunch?
Please tell me Mr. Terrific's (Curtis Holt, played by the awesome actor and human being Echo Kellum) industry-changing technology that will save Palmer Tech from bankruptcy is a patent to clone Oliver Queen the Perfect Boyfriend.
Laurel, on the hand, is aiming directly for the Lazarus Pit.
Laurel dug up Sara's body, easily the most garish image in the history of the show, and is taking her to Nanda Parbat next week, with Thea tagging along on the field trip from hell.
Right when Oliver started to tell Thea more about what happened to her in Nanda Parbat in season 3, episode 20 "The Fallen," you could see the wheels turning in Laurel's mind. Calling it a spa getaway? Sickening.
This has nothing to do with Thea, or her post-Pit side effects. This is a way to get Sara back, regardless of the consequences.
Sara would never have wanted this. Oliver will have a hard time forgiving Laurel for being so selfish.
But being unselfish can get you killed.
Queen family friend Jessica Danforth had great intentions running for mayor. (Jeri Ryan was perfect, but had far too little screen time, most of it spoiled in promos.) She was willing to step forward into the light, knowing how the last 3 Star City mayors ended up.
The look on Oliver's face when she said it was the Green Arrow who had inspired her: he's so transparent these days, he almost gave himself away.
Jessica just didn't realize what - who - she was up against, and how far they would go to make sure her name never appeared on the ballot. Oliver did. This either makes him the best or the worst next candidate for mayor.
Like Anarky, whose job it was to infiltrate Ms. Danforth's security detail, I was surprised when proven psychopath Damian Dhark told him there were lines you did not cross. But then I realized: this is General Dhark talking.
Armies can do bad things successfully because they have well-trained and disciplined soldiers, clear mission objectives, and a chain of command. Poor manners and sloppy work are unacceptable because it's all about attention to detail. Next I expect Damian to inspect shined shoes and ironed collars.
He was furious with Anarky for kidnapping Jessica Danforth's daughter because it was conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. As strange as that sounds.
As soldiers go, I've always considered John Diggle the gold standard. Diggle is heading down a dark, lonely path, one Oliver knows all too well.
He and Oliver have gone into battle together twice more since the trip to Russia in season 2, episode 6 to rescue Lyla, yet all this time he's been investigating HIVE, the organization that killed his brother Andy. How duplicitous of John to accuse Oliver of keeping secrets, and and justifying it to Laurel as a "family matter," when he's been keeping this secret from his brother Oliver for 2 years!
Any way Oliver Queen's mayoral campaign theme is "Light Up The World"?
Coming up next, episode 3 "Restoration":