Going into “Keep Your Enemies Closer” on “Arrow” last night, we had a copious amount of trepidation that this was going to be just another episode of the show … and that’s never a good feeling to have. It was not geared around the story in Starling City, there was no Canary, and as it turns out, we didn’t even have a glimpse of Laurel Lance the entire hour (which we actually didn’t mind, since we find her the most problematic of the show’s main characters).
But now that we are on the other side, there was actually a lot in this episode to like, but there were also a few moments that do drag it behind some other recent installments. We had the return of Deadshot, and this character was as intriguing as always as Diggle basically saved him in order to keep Lyla alive. Then in turn, John learned that it was some sort of mysterious entity named H.I.V.E. that was responsible for hiring the assassin in the first place to kill his brother.
The issue with the Diggle story this week was two-fold. For one, why are we learning now all of a sudden that he and Lyla have a romantic past? While David Ramsey is great and it’s a thrill to see him get some good burn on the show, it felt like they rewrote history at times to ensure that it could happen. Also, what’s with Diggle looking up H.I.V.E. on Bing? We know that product placement = cash, but is a search engine really going to give him the answer that he’s hoping for? Any real organization hiring an assassin like Deadshot knows how to create a good alias.
This same sort of complicated storytelling carries over to what was the biggest Oliver stories of the week past and present. We don’t really get what he had to gain from sleeping with Rochev, save for maybe a little more leeway here and there. Plus, he upset Felicity! There was at least a genuine “Olicity” moment in here as she basically admitted to being jealous without saying a word, and he responded by saying that he doesn’t want to be with someone he actually cares about, in fear of what would happen to them as a result. We also feel the same way about the Sara story back near the island as we do with Lyla: Why didn’t we know this beforehand? It feels almost like “Arrow” pulling a “Homeland” sort of magic trick, where we now have to doubt the trustworthiness of the stories being told to us. There are ways to surprise us without changing the impressions that the show has already given us.
So this was, despite Diggle’s awesomeness and the Olicity moment, one of the weakest episodes in a while, if for no other reason than that we really started to feel the story falter for the first time in a while. We don’t like asking ourselves logic-related questions after the episode airs, and that’s what we did here. Grade: C.
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Photo: The CW