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ARROW “Collision Course” Review

By on March 2, 2018

Arrow — “Collision Course” Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW






The description for this week’s episode of Arrow ends with “a fight ensues,” but that’s certainly underselling what actually goes down.

The brawl between Classic and New Team Arrow is appropriately brutal on both sides when all is said and done, the kind of fight where even though the concrete winner is Team Classic — by simple virtue of having none of their members have to go to the hospital — they both lost in their own way.

In and of itself, the physical brawl is a fun enough showcase of what each superhero is capable of; we get to see Terrific use his T-Spheres to block Oliver’s arrows, Black Canary gets to use her Canary Cry on Arrow and Spartan, and so on. Because this is a TV show, the fight doesn’t reach the dizzying madness of the airport scrap in Captain America: Civil War, or honestly even the epic face off in Crisis on Earth-X, but it’s still an admirable effort.

“Collision Course” may not have Civil War’s scope, but its setup is familiar. With Cayden James now dead by Ricardo Diaz’s hand, Star City’s money that Oliver handed over to the tech genius is in the wind, and it looks like Black Siren is the only one who can get it back before the city has to make some cuts to its services, including hospitals and schools. (Yeah, all of this probably didn’t seem as eerily topical when the writers were fleshing this part out, given that West Virginia schoolteachers have been on strike for the last couple of days.) Both Teams Arrow are on the hunt for Siren; Classic for the money, and New to finish her off for good…and also the money, maybe, depending on Dinah’s mood. Neither are aware that for most of the episode Siren’s in the care of Lance, holed up in his cabin and recuperating after being shot.

As far as engineering a reason for two groups to come at one another, the show could certainly do worse than having a former series regular be snippy on a couch for nearly half an hour. Not much needs to be said about Katie Cassidy’s portrayal, as she continues to be a lot of fun and interesting in how she plays Black Siren; as Lance says so aptly while psychoanalyzing her, she’s never really had a father, and the way she continues to act like a child while being a fully grown adult is clear evidence of that. Her scenes with Paul Blackthorne really do bring forward just how ultimately odd Arrow is from the rest of its ilk in how relatively grounded it is. We’re watching a father try to connect with a version of his dead daughter who transferred over from another universe, and that ridiculousness weirdly makes their emotional moments work.

What fares not quite as well are the scenes in which Teams Arrow argue at each other about what to do with Siren. It isn’t so much that these arguments are bad or poorly written, and they’re really well acted, it’s just that they are more than a little perfunctory. Of course Rene is going to goad Oliver so a tracker can be planted, of course Diggle and Oliver are going to storm into Team New’s Bunker and act like a couple of jackbooted thugs without even trying to let their former teammates explain their side.

An aspect of this episode that sadly isn’t fleshed out as much as it should be is the juxtaposition between how Lance and Team Classic want Siren to be the Laurel they knew versus how Team New can only see Siren as the Laurel that they’ve come to know and loathe for the last 10 months. “Would we be doing this if the person [Rene, Dinah, and Curtis] were after didn’t look like Laurel?” Diggle asks before the fateful fight. It’s a good question to, and one that the show should’ve explored on a deeper level.

How much “Collision Course’s” ending works hung on a few things, least of which is if Dinah sparing Laurel can be considered “right” or not. There’s definitely something left to explore with her, especially since she’ll be trying to fool all of Star City into thinking she’s the Laurel who died two seasons ago. Similarly, there’s definitely something worth exploring in two Teams Arrow that are no longer tense friends now and seeing if that relationship can ever fully be repaired after Curtis made John’s arm chip go haywire and Oliver kicked Rene into a tree so hard his wounds reopened. That’s a lot to come back from, even without the previous betrayals coming into play.

Earlier seasons of Arrow have been about Oliver’s past and the Green Arrow coming to life. “Collision Course” makes it clear that this season is about our hero’s future and how it may spell death in some way or another for those he loves.

Check out all the latest photos from next week’s “Doppelganger” after the notes.

Additional Notes

  • I greatly appreciate how petty Rene is to step forward after Oliver specifically warns against that, lest someone wants an arrow in them.
  • Diaz’s plants in the SCPD are going to be coming for Oliver now that the city is running on fumes, and I can’t imagine that he’s mayor again after the end of this season, he’s so bad at it.
  • Thea is the only one in this episode talking much sense, and she should’ve smacked some sense into all of them.
  • That being said, she’s suiting up next week to save Roy. Oh yeah, Colton Haynes is back as Roy.


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Arrow -- "Doppelganger" -- Image Number: ARR615b_0259.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Katie Cassidy as Laurel/Black Siren and Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance -- Photo: Daniel Power/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

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