Welcome back to the depressing game of whack-a-mole where there’s a new evil rodent for Team Arrow to beat on. And wow, did they beat him up.
Straight off the bat, The Candidate throws its audience into a wicked fight scene. Canary dances across roof tops, Diggle beats down on the Ghosts, and Thea once again nearly loses her control. This fight scene gives us one of the coolest zip line shots Arrow has provided in all its seasons. With an array of bullets hot on her heels, Canary leaps off a roof and grabs onto a zip line quickly made by one of Green Arrow’s arrows. The motion is smooth and quick, and I’m having trouble figuring out if it was computer graphics. Green Arrow, who has taken the back seat throughout the fight, rushes to the explosive device on the city’s water supply and sprays it with shark repellent… I mean, bomb repellent.
And this is all in the first two and a half minutes.
This episode packed a punch, just as Ollie packed a lunch for Felicity on her first day back at Palmer Tech. Amongst her many problems with having to downsize her company, including firing the one and only Mr Curtis Holt, Felicity and the team are in the middle of another attempted murder. Jessica Danforth, the only mayor candidate, is being pushed out of the race. Soon her daughter is kidnapped and strung up by Lonnie Machin, aka Anarchy. Anarchy’s plans are thwarted by Team Arrow and, in turn, Thea’s darkness erupts.
The ferocity that Willa Holland shows throughout this episode is beyond anything she has delivered before on Arrow. Although only slight in the first fight, there is a clear escalation of aggression as she interrogates and breaks the arm of a thug a lot taller than her. And I believe it! Speedy may be short, but with Holland delivering the lines, and the punches, there is no question she could take even Ollie down. And she does. Although, she does yell into the air about an unmanned gun at one point which was a bit weird.
One concern I had about a lighter Oliver Queen was that Arrow wouldn’t be as dark. I still wanted there to be a distinguishing feel between the Flash and Arrow. My concerns were completed erased by the actions of both Anarchy and Speedy. After four seasons, Arrow has been able to produce some pretty awesome fight scenes. Remember Nyssa’s one on the helipad? Well, Speedy is awesome in all of her fight scenes this episode but the one that takes the cake is when she fights Anarchy. After he has taken the Green Arrow down, Speedy steps in and kicks Anarchy into flammable liquid. But she’s not finished. Speedy fries Anarchy using his electric baton/ staff and he is set on fire. Cue Anarchy mask.
Our latest villain Anarchy is quick becoming one of my favourites and he’s only had one episode. His actions are uncalculated, brutal, and terrifying. On top of which, Anarchy even has the fighting capability to take down a ghost and even Ollie. I’m actually more excited about what anarchy will bring next rather than what Darhk does.
The flashbacks are again very brief compared to the last season showing Oliver landing on Lian Yu and killing the guard who found him. He is then requited to become a guard and keeps watch over people from different nations as they farm. Nothing is happening, but the short snippets are a huge improvement to the large interruptions to last season’s main story (with the exception of Tatsu).
Another exciting point in this episode is the beginning of Sarah’s resurrection story arch. With the façade of a holiday for Thea to sort herself out, Laurel and Thea instead dig up Sarah Lance’s grave. Sarah’s corpse gave me a chill. It will be an interesting comparison between Thea, having been dead only for a short time, and Sarah, who has been dead for more than 6 months. The pair will be taking the corpse to Nanda Parbat but whether or not Merlyn, or Nyssa for that matter, will allow them to use the Lazarus Pit is another story. We know Laurel will, but at what cost?
With Laurel, Thea, Nyssa, and Sarah all in the same place, I only hope there will be a huge fight scene between them. How cool would that be?
Review by Brittany Howarth