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ARROW’s “Code of Silence” Is a Big Party of Lies

By on February 18, 2016
Arrow

-- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Katie Yu/ The CW

By Justin Carter

One thing that’s been made increasingly clear over the past four years of Arrow is that lying is bad. That may sound like an obvious statement, but nearly everyone in this show is so committed to lying for the sake of protecting another character (or to lie to themselves enough to believe that). It’s to the point where one could legitimately question if anyone on this show has ever told a fully true statement, or at least come up with a lie that didn’t boil down to “I just wanted to protect you.” It’s logic that at this point, has become admittedly worn out, but the show and the cast manage to make each of these lies work in spite of how cliche they are.

This week is more or less a big party of lies. Oliver’s still lying to Felicity about his son William, Lance is lying to Donna to keep her safe from HIVE, and now Oliver has to lie to his mayoral opponent Ruvé Adams about being aware her connection to Damian Darhk. The last one doesn’t really get much time to grow; aside from a few not-so-subtle hints that Oliver knows of their connection, there isn’t much there, but it’s more than likely that his hints will be what helps them realize he’s Green Arrow.

Lance and Oliver’s first lie get the fair share of development here. Between the two, Lance’s dilemma with Donna works better. Paul Blackthorne and Charlotte Ross have fun chemistry that alternates between being sickeningly cute and just a tad weird (Donna thinks that Lance called her into Oliver’s office for a quickie and gets very excited at the prospect of that), and the show has made the wise choice of giving them both lives outside of their relationship. When Lance tries to break things off with her, it genuinely hurts that she thinks he’s as bad as her ex-husband. The double life isn’t for everyone, and Lance is one of those people who bleeds emotion at all times.

It also helps that his romantic woes are tied into the main plot in a way that feels organic enough that it doesn’t matter how Lance still suffers no real punishment by the end of the episode. The villains of the week are a trio of ex-soldiers called the Demolition Team, who Darhk has hired to kill the good Captain once and for all as punishment for being a double agent. (They want to make it look like an accident, but destroying a building to kill a police captain is the least looking accident ever.) They’re so one note that I’m not even entirely sure they have names; there’s a guy with a hammer, a girl with a staple gun (yes, seriously), and another guy who just seems to be there to be there. Apart from providing some cool action scenes, there isn’t anything to them, to the point where they felt like typical grunts just randomly boosted to important status because no one was sure if they’d have an actual villain on hand.

In between all this action, we have Oliver debating whether or not he should tell Felicity about his kid before it gets used against him in the mayoral race. Not that this is surprising in any capacity; this is par for the course in any TV show involving an election. Thea, surprisingly, is the one who finds out about William and actually urges him to keep this a secret. It’s a nice scene that shows how far Thea’s come, and what helps is that she knows what William could potentially go through if he was revealed to the larger world. This isn’t the ideal situation for Oliver, as is the case with his life, but he has to make do with what he’s got.

But even ignoring that, William still continues to be a non-entity; the show doesn’t seem to commit to the idea of Oliver actually seeing him on a consistent enough basis for there to be any true emotional investment in him. When he first showed up behind Dahrk to live with his daughter, my first thought should’ve been one of worry instead of just going “huh, that happened”. There’s a chance that this will make him more important in the grand scheme of things, but in the meantime, it probably would’ve been best if “Code of Silence” just never brought up this child again.

Additional Notes

  • One of the bad guys is played by Daniel Cudmore of X-Men fame, but I honestly couldn’t tell you which one, since they rarely talked. I think it was the guy with the hammer?
  • Damien up and kills a guy for insulting his wife just by looking at him through a TV. That’s a cool trick, but it does sort of make me wonder how anyone at HIVE that isn’t Damien gets anything done.
  • Curtis comes up with a chip that can give Felicity the ability to walk again. This could just be me, and I know there isn’t a law the writers can’t use this idea, but my immediate thought was they got that idea from New 52 Batgirl.
  • Something’s got to be wrong when I’m skipping the flashbacks.
  • Well, we already know that Felicity will learn about William in next week’s episode, the question is how will she take it? Honestly, I’m going to guess she either already knew or will understand why Oliver kept this a secret from her.
  • Also next week: Vixen!