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ARROW “Doppelganger” Review

By on March 9, 2018

Arrow — “Doppelganger” — Pictured (L-R): Colton Haynes as Roy Harper and Willa Holland as Thea Queen/Speedy — Photo: Daniel Power/The CW






Thea Queen has always been one of the unexpected bright spots of Arrow. Even in the first season when she was just a typical rich girl, Willa Holland had charm and wit that elevated the material given to her, making it all the better when she finally became Speedy. But since she decided to back away from the hero life…well. She’s still good, but it certainly feels like she hasn’t been the same.

“Doppelganger” wastes no time getting Thea back into the red hood, but once it does, it doesn’t really focus on her as much as I would like. In some ways, the story of her return to heroism and the return of Roy Harper feel like late add-ons to the rest of the episode, despite that the latter is a big plot point. Diaz, now not making any effort to hide that he’s making eyes at taking over Star City, has hired some crooked cops to kidnap Roy and beat him until he outs Oliver at court. The return of Roy, someone who literally faked his death for Oliver’s secret, should feel like a big deal, but it just doesn’t.

The problem lies in the reason Roy’s brought back in the first place. The threat of Oliver going to jail for moonlighting as the Green Arrow only becomes a hindrance when the plot demands it, so of course neither he or Speedy can just whisk Roy out of the hotel room he’s being held hostage in, leaving Thea with not much to do in the costume until the final fight at the end. As we learn at the end, this is just the first part of what is likely Thea’s last hurrah on Arrow period, but this doesn’t exactly get the motor running for what comes next.

Sadly, the other storyline doesn’t really do much better. Laurel kicks things off by deciding to just straight up be Laurel Prime, acting like she was kidnapped and tortured by Damian Darhk for two years and announcing it to the news. It’s a solid plan on her part, minus the part where Darhk’s been confirmed dead for two years and didn’t come back into play until only recently, but that’s less a flaw in her plan and more just weird show logic at play. Since SCPD is filled with dirty cops, they waste no time in carting her over to Diaz and begin yet another part of Laurel’s “will she or won’t she” be a good person.

The problem here is that for as much potential as there is in her being forced to try and be the person the world last saw her as, we don’t really get that. Instead, it’s just a case of if she can be trusted when the main cast is now aware of Diaz’s shenanigans. So of course the show will present her as trying to help the team while also turning out that she’s just helping Diaz lead to their downfall. Katie Cassidy remains as fun as ever, but it feels like even she’s getting tired of certain things, such as the animosity Dinah has for her–she dryly tells the current Black Canary not to start any shit to save Quentin a future apartment renovation.

“Doppelganger” as an episode of Arrow is just sort of there. There are some nuggets of good ideas in here, but they sadly aren’t formed or executed well enough. With the show taking a break for the next three weeks and bringing in the League of Assassins, maybe it’ll find its footing then.

Additional Notes

  • Anatoly wasn’t in this one much, but I laughed when his response to Laurel’s “I thought you were Bratva” was a succinct “I’m Russian.”
  • Diggle’s Spartan helmet gives him infrared vision, I think, which makes me wonder why the show has never bothered to use this before until now.
  • Diaz really needs to start making some big moves, because right now he just comes off as a mob boss with a multi-episode arc instead of our ultimate big bad for the season. His tank top fighting in the neon room of a casino does not make me think otherwise.
  • The most disappointing part of Roy’s return was not a single parkour was had, which is about 70% of why he’s so great in the first place.
  • Credit to Thea for both kissing Roy when she sees him tied up before apologizing in case he’s seeing someone. (He isn’t.) Also got a chuckle when she pointed out that both Diggle and her brother are too jacked to fit in an air duct.
  • See you on the 29th!

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