In Review: Arrow, Episode 54 “The Brave and the Bold”

This episode would make me return to watch another.

Arrow, Episode 54 “The Brave and the Bold” Broadcast December 3, 2014

Teleplay by Mark Guggenheim & Grainne Godfree

Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg

Directed by Jesse Warn

A recap of the lead’s origin and mantra leads into a “Previously” involving Barry Allen and last night’s episode of The Flash. Arsenal, John, and Arrow arrive at the house they believe that their prey is in. Arrow sees the home is booby-trapped, but he and Arsenal still go in. They’ve just missed Digger Harkness, but encounter several Argus armed men who are there because the villain killed one of their own. The squad leaves since their target is gone, with one agent saying to the archers, “Let this go.” Arsenal asks, “Are we going to let this go?” “What do you think?” replies the Arrow. Cue opening title sequence.

A flashback shows Oliver forced to torture a prisoner by Amanda Waller. He doesn’t want to do it, but the man has planted a bomb in the city and it will go off unless he finds where it’s located. Back in the present, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon arrive before Felicity Smoak to help out with their DNA search into Sara’s killer. Flash’s friends get into the Arrow’s headquarters and Cisco is beside himself looking at all of the “toys.” They ask where Diggle is and are told he’s running down a lead at Argus, where his not-wife Lyla works. He’s trying to get information on Boomerang from her, but to no avail. In another part of the building a man uses the dead Argus agent’s ID to enter a restricted area. The guard tries to detain him, though it’s of little use. The building goes into Red Alert mode and John and Lyla see Digger killing several men on a monitor. John calls Oliver, and he and Roy suit up. Back at Argus, more men die and John and Lyla can do little to help stop the onslaught from Boomerang’s flying blades. The archers are trying to get there as quickly as they can on their bikes, as is a bolt of lightning streaking through the streets. The archers arrive, Arsenal is quickly taken out, and just as the Arrow is about to be impaled on a pair of boomerangs, the Flash grabs them out of the air, smiling. Knowing things have changed, Boomerang drops a smoke bomb and escapes. The Flash runs off, leaving the Arrow and John wondering why the Scarlet Speedster has come to town. Cue first commercial break.

This is my first exposure to this series since its initial three episodes. I was quickly into Oliver’s world and wasn’t confused or lost at any point. Stephen Amell is an okay Arrow, but is a lot more grim than I’m used to seeing Ollie in the comic books. He’s pretty much a jerk and I wasn’t prepared to like him. Thankfully the writers have a change occur within him and I’d tune back in if this moral change has stuck. Emily Bett Rickards doesn’t get to do to much except work a computer and talk to the guest stars. She’s fine, but Felicity doesn’t add much to this episode. Colton Haynes as Roy Harper/Arsenal got to have some fun dialogue bounced of Cisco, but he didn’t do much, either. The stand out of the show was David Ramsey as John Diggle. He was impressive and Diggle got much to do since he was paired with Audrey Marie Anderson as his not-wife, Lyla Michaels. This is an easy way to create tension and an instant backstory with viewers, and it worked really well. There’s a really surprising moment for one of them that actually made me gasp. Cynthia Addai-Robinson was not working for me as Amanda Waller; I prefer a larger sized actress as this character and I didn’t really care about the flashbacks that involved her and Ollie. Grant Gustin as the Flash provided a nice sense of optimism to this show, which would make Gotham look like Candyland. I’m over grim super heroes. Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes as Caitlin and Cisco interacted primarily with Felicity and Roy, and they were a good foils. The villain was terrific. I love Captain Boomerang in the comics, and Nick Tarabay as Digger was outstanding. He looked much different than his comic book personae, but he was just as deadly. Loved him and would love to see him on The Flash. The effects were good–great boomerang throwing–and the ending reminded me of Rocky III.

The good: Any scene where Oliver and Barry share a scene together, especially when they’re discussing motivations or limits–great stuff! The turn in Oliver’s character in the final act, Cisco’s parting gift to Oliver, David Ramsey, and Cisco’s dialogue.

Fun lines: “We want to see the Arrow Cave,” “We don’t call it that,” “What goes around comes around,” “Yes, this is gonna be awesome!”, “We had a difference of opinion about the way the world works,” and “You just couldn’t resist, could you?”

The bad: Skinny Amanda Waller and the forced flashback.

The final line: This episode would make me return to watch another. I can only take grim heroics for so long, so I’m hoping the Flash has brought a little light into Arrow’s world. Overall grade: A-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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