Arrow Season 1 Episode 14: The Odyssey – TV Review

I review what is quite possibly the best episode of Arrow so far, entitled The Odyssey, written by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. 

“After the brilliance of Betrayal, Arrow delivers a satisfying resolution for its predecessor, utilizing the focus on the flashbacks in this episode to great effect. The best episode of Arrow to date.”

Full Episode Spoilers Follow!

So this episode is a very awesome episode. Starting off with the resolution to Betrayal, we see Ollie struggle to come to terms with the fact that his mother may be keeping secrets, made even more suspicious after the last episode, and as a result, Moria, not knowing Arrow’s true identity, shoots him. A wounded, limping Ollie escapes before help can get to Moria, and he knows that he can’t make it to a hospital or back to the warehouse in time. So, who does he go for to help? Felicity, the technician, who just so happens to be leaving work at the same time as Ollie stumbles into the back of her car. It’s a very nice touch to see Felicity become involved with Ollie and Diggle – expanding the gang even further. But later in the episode, Felicity says that whilst she’ll help Ollie – she will only do it in order to see Walter saved. Speaking of Walter, what happened to him? Nobody seems to be looking into his disappearance and it’s clear that he was dispatched by John Barrowman’s character, who still hasn’t established himself enough as a character to convince me that he’s anybody other than Captain Jack Harkness. Probably because Barrowman doesn’t even appear in this episode.

The most interesting elements of the show so far have been the flashbacks to Ollie’s time on the Island, and The Odyssey is made really enjoyable by the fact that it’s the first episode that really spends a large amount of its time there, providing the audience with plenty of twists and turns, and by the end we not only know Yao Fei’s motivations for working with the mercenaries (a daughter), and I’m starting to believe that Slade Wilson might not even turn out to be Deathstroke after all. Especially given with how the writers turned the Blackhawks from heroes to villains in an earlier episode, maybe the same could be said here? We saw another Deathstroke, who turned out to be Slade’s former friend – meet a vicious end in a fight in a failed rescue attempt to save Yao Fei, whom as it turns out, is the main reason why Slade and his Deathstroke friend – Billy Wintergreen, were on the Island in the first place. Australian special forces, sent into rescue him.

The episode really explores the growing in friendship  and trust between Slade and Ollie and I think that it would have increased the tension even more if we didn’t know that Ollie would survive his time on the Island – particularly where he steps on the land mine. Another strong thing about this episode is there’s a lack of supporting cast, proving that the show is at its strongest when its attention is held mainly on Ollie, Felicity and Diggle.

The episode was very action heavy and I so far prefer the survival element of the show to Ollie’s adventures as Arrow, or the Hood – as he’s known in Starling City. It’ll be interesting to see how the Island resolution pays off – after all, not only do we have five years to cover, but we also have to contend with the fact that it was only Ollie that escaped off the Island in the flashbacks that we’ve seen so far – which suggests that there is still something big to come between Ollie and Slade. Maybe the show’s writers do plan on turning Slade into Deathstroke as well, which will make an interesting twist but they’ll have to pull it off very well, after all, Slade risked his life to return for Ollie when he was captured after an rescue attempt to save Yao Fei went wrong.

So onto next week’s (or Wednesdays, if you live in the US – I’m still a bit annoyed that you get new Arrow episodes five days before the UK people do) episode. And entitled Dodger, it looks like a particularly interesting one.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

Arrow Episodes: Pilot, Honour Thy Father, Lone Gunman, An Innocent Man, Damaged, Legacies, Muse of Fire, Vendetta, Year’s End, BurnedTrust But VerifyVertigoBetrayal, The Odyssey,   Coming SoonDodger, Dead to Rights, The Huntress Returns, Salvation, Unfinished Business, 

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