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Arrow: “Time of Death” Review **SPOILERS**

27 Feb
Arrow: “Time of Death” Review **SPOILERS**

*Disclaimer: Every time I start my first review for a different Tv show, I will provide a brief evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses, its context, and/or the little things that grab my attention each week that keeps me watching.

{{Arrow has the distinction of airing the most watched television premiere in the CW network’s history. Continuing the superhero drama staple originally trend set by the long-running Smallville series, this show has been the rocket that has blasted off the Green Arrow’s stock in pop culture. More often than not, Arrow presents itself as the perfect live-action superhero show: awesome action set-pieces, a deep and engaging cast of characters, and a multi-layered story arc with various links to the main character’s past. There’s an addictive nature to it, and there’s no doubt that millions of comic book fans (myself included) aren’t glued to the TV every night it’s on.}}

The Review:
Laurel’s fan-base (if she ever had one on this show) continues to dwindle as this season of Arrow roars on. Drugs, drinking, and debauchery are deficiencies too common in her recent struggles, but Sara’s return to Starling City could help nullify the fallout. “Time of Death” does an excellent job in proving so, while at the same time settling many brewing quarrels within the Lance family. Even if you hate Quentin or Laurel or both, you can’t ignore the gift of the Clock King’s debut and a sudden house visit from an old face.

Like I said before, Laurel’s been going through quite the tough stretch. She refuses to take responsibility for it, and made it very clear in the last episode that she’s not over everything Sara’s put her through since the boat trip gone wrong. If it weren’t for Quentin’s insistence to forgive and forget, Laurel probably wouldn’t agree to have dinner with her family. Of course it all blew up in her face (as well as Quentin’s, as it was all a ruse to get back with Dinah,) but the dinner scene was appropriately dysfunctional. How else could it have gone? Especially with Sara bringing Oliver along to unintentionally bring insult to injury. Ironic how Sara invites him over to try and avoid Laurel finding out, but advertises their fling right in her face in doing so. It’s also ironic how Oliver originally didn’t want to tag along, but ends up having the last say at the end of the night. He totally shut down Laurel, poking at her drinking tendencies (I loved the Verdant reference to “Tremors”,) and opening her eyes a bit to what she’s put a lot of people through. For many fans, this was the moment we were waiting for, and thanks to Stephen Amell’s sound performance, it went swimmingly for us to see. Remember, he has plenty on his plate as well now with Moira, so he can definitely relate to Laurel’s rough patch. The result was her seeking forgiveness from both Quentin and Sara, which was nice, but ultimately the latter character should’ve asked for something more straightforward. Come on, Laurel. You weren’t even metaphorically on that ship…

The Clock King, on the other hand, was basically everywhere in this one. Played exceptionally well by the historically sinister Robert Knepper, the alter ego to William Tockman spends his nights with surveillance technology advanced enough to break open bank vaults across the city. With the assistance of his two henchmen (which turns quickly into one after an almost botched robbery,) he’s capable of pulling off each heist without any blood on his hands or traces of his influence. He constantly insists that time and patience is key to his success, and that those who work for him believe the same. It’s an interesting MO for someone who’s helping family, a part of the character pulled straight out of the comic books. It’s also fascinatingly refreshing. All the money stolen from these banks go out to Tockman’s sister, due to her mental illness, exposing a human side to the character lacking in most of Arrow’s rogue’s gallery. Knepper handles the mental complexity and disease associated with the Clock King with an A-level quality. The particular scene where he hacks into Felicity’s feed and shuts down the power in Oliver’s warehouse was a perfectly tense example of such quality, and of who Team Arrow was dealing with. This Mr. Tockman is certainly someone I hope to see return.

Said scene was also one of the few that had a direct effect on Felicity’s feelings. With Sara staying in Starling City and tagging along with Oliver out on the streets, Felicity’s physical ineptitude screams louder than ever. However, don’t make the same mistake I did in believing that it’s Sara’s relationship with Oliver that’s bothering her. She’s always been the tech-savvy one in the group, and despite Oli’s recent rejection to take their friendship the next level, she has become content with what her skill set brings to the table. But the preceding defeat at the hands of a computer hacker understandably challenges her self-esteem. I wanted so bad for this part of the episode to work, and to my surprise it actualy did. Felicity has never stuck out of the group so much before, so it was good to see her vent out her complaints and then redeem herself with an awesome “phone-y” defeat of the Clock King. Do I also wish that Oliver discovered a better way to cheer her up other than saying she’ll “always be his girl?” Absolutely, but at least we know now that everyone understands their role. And Sara and Felicity could eventually make a great blonde-haired brain-and-braun tag-team.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect introduced this week was the appearance of Slade in Oliver’s home. We don’t exactly know what he was talking about with Moira, who invited him in, but chances are he’s playing a key cog in her election for mayor. I’m curious to see which direction he goes into destroying Oli, whether it be helping his lying mother win or crush the nature of the entire Queen household by dragging her down.

I’m not going to talk about the flashbacks from this week too much simply because they were irrelevant. I’ll sum it up: Sara found Cyn because she was the father of a dead plane pilot found on the island who begged her to keep his promise of protecting his daughter. There you go.

The Verdict:
“Time of Death” would’ve been just a pretty good episode of Arrow with Felicity’s confidence struggles and the Lance family dinner, but it gets a serious elevation from a standout performance from Robert Knepper. Always a worthwhile guy to watch, he takes the comic-book-strung Clock King and makes him a viable opponent who adds a bit of flair and suspense to the series. It feels like forever since I started writing this, but thank goodness I can sign off now. I guess you can say that time flies (pun intended.)

Rating: 8.8

+Robert Knepper steals the show as the Clock King
+Oliver finally lets Laurel hear it about her recent drug/drinking habits
+Felicity just wants to feel important, ya’ll
-Terrible, terrible dialogue for Laurel’s apology to Sara
-Flashbacks were worthless

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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Arrow, Superhero, The CW, TV, TV reviews

 

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