I review the tenth episode of the first season of Arrow, the first live-action television outing that I’m aware of for DC Comics character Green Arrow. This particular episode was written by Moira Kirland & Ben Sokolowski and entitled Burned.
“An interesting episode that shows us just what we were missing during the break.”
There are spoilers in this episode for previous episodes on Series 1, and this review presumes that the reader has prior knowledge of Episodes 1-9.
Green Arrow is a character that I certainly need to discover more of in the comic market. In fact, before my entry into comics and this TV show, I didn’t even know that he existed – and I think that is probably the same for most non-DC fans. He doesn’t have quite the A-List recognition of characters such as Superman, Batman, Iron Man and Spiderman, but what Green Arrow certainly does have is a TV series that originally started as a rip-off of Batman Begins is now starting to find its own feet, particularly after the interesting reveal that John Barrowman’s character is presumably the big bad. It’ll be certainly interesting to see how Barrowman’s character changes over the course of the upcoming episodes (I think US TV lasts more than the average 13 episodes that we get for programs like Doctor Who on the BBC), so hopefully his character’ll get more screen time. It’ll also be interesting to see Ollie’s reaction when he finds out that the “Dark Archer” is Captain Jack Harkness (Doctor Who, Torchwood reference).
Maybe this is why they had to erase two years of Jack’s life from him as a Time Agent? Because he was Green Arrow’s nemesis? Too farfetched maybe?
But this isn’t about the connections between the Dark Archer and Captain Jack Harkness, because we’re talking about Burned, the name given (with very good reason) to the strong-but-flawed return of the vigilante known only to the people of Sterling City as “The Hood.” The first thing that I liked about Burned is that Green Arrow has actually been taking a break from crime fighting in (roughly) the same amount of time that we have waited between episodes. This allows us to get a sense of understanding for the people of Sterling City – we’ve been missing their vigilante as much as they have (or not, in some cases). Burned is an episode however that shows us what why we all missed Arrow, and makes it a show that we are glad to come back to.
Ollie has had his morale shattered from the battle with the Dark Archer, and isn’t perusing active life as the Green Arrow. However, that’s going to have to change when a mysterious comic-book inspired villain known as “Firefly” enters the scene, intent on killing Firemen. But why is Firefly so intent on killing them? What is his mission, and what drives him? These are questions that Ollie, not-quite love interest-eventual Black Canary Laurel Lance, and she acknowledges that she can’t do this alone. She needs the help of the Hood.
What we get is the closest to a filler; monster of the week format in that Arrow has ever come. But Burned still manages to provide an interesting look into the main characters Laurel and Ollie, who get the most screen time here. Speedy (I cannot actually remember her real name at the moment, Ollie’s sister) also gets a role to play in this episode even if it is a minor one shared with her mother. It’s certainly an important one.
The action scenes aren’t as frequent as the previous episode, Year’s End, but they do manage to keep the audience entertained and enjoying the episode. The actors are strong in their roles and if we see a return to the plot-advancement next episode, Arrow should certainly be a programme that I will still watch, even if it was not my favourite episode so far and was certainly not as good as its predecessor, Year’s End.
(Note: At some point, most likely when the first season comes out on DVD, I will have to go and rewatch Arrow and provide you with reviews for the first half of the season.)
Arrow Season 1: Pilot, Honour Thy Father, Lone Gunmen, An Innocent Man, Damaged, Muse of Fire, Vendetta, Year’s End, Burned, (All from here are coming soon-) Trust But Verify, Vertigo, Betrayal, The Odyssey, Dodger.