-Andrew Kreisburg hyped the appearance of The Dark Archer in a tweet last night. Deathstroke showed up, too. I'm honestly clueless about the Arrow mythos. The Dark Archer's anticipated appearance meant nothing to me. I expected Deathstroke to act as both villains, his first identity and then The Dark Archer. Duality's not a rare thing in comic books. I'm not an avid comic book reader, but I know of comics that pitted the Good hero versus the Bad hero. Superman can be pitted against himself whenever he's exposed to the bad kind of kryptonite. The Dark Archer is an intriguing villain because he's the opposite of the Green Arrow. Arrow's Dark Archer is a hulking beast of a figure with a mask that resembles the ninjas working for Snyder in the 3 Ninjas, and a voice that's deep and menacing. Oliver scares the citizens of Starling City with archery; The Dark Archer kills them with it.
Oliver's a beaming vigilante in the beginning of the episode. During a workout with Diggle, he remarks on how the city's most corrupt give up before he has to get nasty. Real change is happening throughout Starling City. The plan's running smoothly. Oliver's so goddamn confident; he turns his attention to bringing Christmas back to the Queen mansion. Meanwhile, The Dark Archer's building bombs, killing folk, and luring Oliver out to where he can figure out the identity of The Hood. The Dark Archer works for people who'd like to know who's in possession of The List and taking vigilante action to bring those in The List to justice. Oliver gets his ass kicked when he battles his new enemy and lands in the hospital (after saving hostages but they were just used to get Oliver into the same space). The Dark Archer is Mr. Merlyn himself, The Barrowman, and he's actively pushing forward a plan to make Starling City what it always should've been. The gleam in his eye suggests a sort of utopian place for rich folk. The showdown showed Oliver's weakness, which isn't strength but a lack of knowledge about what's really going on.
The flashbacks to the island involved Oliver's mentor being taken by Deathstroke. Oliver watched. The leader of the group explained the island as a prison. I can't remember the specifics of the first part of the flashback, because I watched it after 7AM and didn't finish the episode until a half-hour ago. It's inevitable the two worlds will collide; the flashbacks also depicted Oliver's maturation into the badass archer. At the hospital, Oliver ponders the idea that a web of evil exists in Starling City. His mistake is in separating The Dark Archer from the Evil. They're one in the same, a family friend, and Oliver's journey's going to be more engaging the more personal it becomes.
-The Christmas party is a way to bring together familial tensions in one swift act. Tommy and Laurel make an appearance for the expected 'Laurel tells Oliver she wants him, but Oliver can't act on it because his best friend will be even sadder without Laurel.' Tommy's already a sad dude WITH her. Thea's continually written in horrible storyline. "Year's End" introduced a son of a bitch teenage male who tries to get his jawn on with her, and Oliver nearly goes Dawson Leery when he finds Thea in a state of undress during the Christmas party. The writers need to think about Thea for more than two seconds. Don't throw Thea into horrible stories about sex and drugs and how it's all because she's mad Oliver came home with a beard and secrets. The writers used portions of nine episodes to show brother and sister are fundamentally different people now and that they must accept the new version of each other.
-Walter got kidnapped by a Merlyn man. The problem with the Company, or whatever the hell they're called, is in the vague writing. Besides frantic declarations from Robert Queen, Oliver's basically operating on a book filled with names written in invisible ink. I don't really know what their plan is, why Robert had to die, and why Robert wanted to expose them. The best is yet to come in Arrow. "Year's End" was sort of bland, with the fight between the two archers as the lone highlight of the episode. The writers have established/introduced conflicts, tensions, mythos, etc., but 2013 is when all of the good stuff will pay off.
-Willa Holland’s Christmas party dress was smashing. I’ve never been so jealous of a fictional character in my life, I.e. the so-and-so who tried to get his jawn on with her. That’s the most pathetic sentence I’ve written in my blog. Oh well.
-The show will return with new episodes on January 16. Friends and well-wishers, I wish you the happiest of holidays. Bookmark the blog for I will continue writing new posts even during the holiday hiatuses for shows I write about.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK