Arrow: Uprising
February 5, 2015 10:05 AM - Season 3, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Oliver returns to town, while Team Arrow does something about that Brick guy once and for all. Malcolm Merlyn's on the killing warpath again and wants to join Team Arrow. But will they let him?

Oliver heads back to Starling City, Tatsu accompanies him for a bit and advises him that the best way to kill Ra's is to be able to think like him, because "only the student can defeat the master."

Arsenal and The Black Canary go after Brick and company, who have taken over the Glades and literally kicked out the police department. But they need more help, so they recruit...I guess the entire population of The Glades to go after him. Which goes well! This leads to Sin showing up again and saying hi to "Abercrombie" (Roy) and oh, telling Quentin Lance that that chick running around in the black leather is NOT Sara. Ruh-roh. Which is funny considering that Lance sees Roy earlier and totally recognizes him in the red hoodies he favors. Oh, Quentin, your eyesight...so good and yet so bad. You can recognize Roy but not anyone else?!? Oh, SHOW.

Malcolm Merlyn has somehow installed a spy camera on Felicity's system in the Arrow Cave (seriously, (a) how did Felicity not catch that COME ON STOP WITH THE IDIOT BALL, and (b) THEY NEED TO MOVE THE CAVE) and finds out when they do that Brick is really the one who killed Malcolm's wife, not whoever it was he murdered yonks ago. So Malcolm sharpens his blade and asks if he can join Team Arrow. Roy is in support of this after Thea tells him Malcolm saved her life, but in Oliver's absence, Diggle and Felicity vote no. But....

Oliver comes back and says he wants to align with Malcolm so he can learn to kill Ra's. And this totally devastates Felicity, who thought he'd come back from death with a new attitude. Seeing how he treats the women he loves, she says she doesn't want to be one he loves. To which I am all GO FELICITY. Because I love her, but Oliver is...well, let's just say I'm not watching the show because I think Oliver is an awesome good guy. I'm here for the girl. And Oliver....most of the time ain't that great.
posted by jenfullmoon (29 comments total)
 
I still don't believe for a minute that any city's government would just declare, "Welp, guess we're giving this district to the criminals now." The National Guard would get called in well before that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:32 AM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I still don't believe for a minute that any city's government would just declare, "Welp, guess we're giving this district to the criminals now." The National Guard would get called in well before that.

YES! This is exactly the conversation Mr. Pterodactyl and I had yesterday. Also, what does it even mean? Why do the criminals want the Glades? It's such a bizarre aspect of the show, this random part of the city that's basically...what? Full of criminals and poor people? The bad side of town? The relationship of the Glades to the rest of the city is super peculiar, with people wanting to destroy it or take it over or whatever? What does taking over part of a city even really mean in this context? What are they going to DO with it? Set up a government? Kill everyone and live there and use it as a less-than-secret hideout? The whole Glades thing doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:27 AM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


To which I am all GO FELICITY.

I would've been more GO FELICITY if it didn't feel like it was quite such an out-of-nowhere fight manufactured just so that she would have a reason to go hang out with Brandon Routh next episode, which I assume she will. That's kind of been her pattern this season: have fight with Team Arrow, go hang out with Ray; have a fight with Ray, go hang out with Team Arrow; repeat. She deserves something better and more coherent than just ping-ponging back and forth between different people she's annoyed with.

Plus, I mean, Oliver did just almost die. I guess that's the thing about being this legendary badass figure - you show up, basically back from the dead, and everybody's more or less like, "hey, about time, where the hell have you been?" Aside from a couple quick hugs, it just didn't feel like quite the epic "hero's return" of this guy whose absence they've been lamenting and struggling with constantly for the last few episodes. Course to be fair, he showed up at the battle to give a speech but it seemed like they'd pretty much won already without his help, he mostly seemed to just be there to take the credit for their win.

I think I'd have rather let them have this win on their own, and have him show up another episode later at something closer to fighting strength and actually help them save the day and properly be welcomed back, whereas this felt like them squeezing his return into the last 10 minutes because they just felt he'd met his quota of episodes spent MIA.
posted by mstokes650 at 11:46 AM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


At this point, I'm not sure if it's the idiot ball so much as the idiot lobotomy chainsaw. I feel like this season has turned into a weird Dark Knight Rises ripoff, and that movie didn't make a lot of sense in the first place. It sure doesn't in this format.

I think Felicity no longer has the moral high ground after that stunt with faking Sara's voice. That was super gross, had no practical value, and strikes me as far more awful than an "enemy of my enemy" philosophy. The show seems to have forgotten all about it, though.

I'm not sure we've ever gotten an explanation for why Merlyn can't fight Ra's directly? I'd largely chalked it up to "why risk it" on his end, but if he's going to hang out in town and be a target, I don't really understand why he and Dig can't just buy some sniper rifles and take care of Ra's when he goes after Oliver instead of training to revisit a duel Oliver already lost.
posted by tautological at 1:04 PM on February 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think Felicity no longer has the moral high ground after that stunt with faking Sara's voice. That was super gross, had no practical value

Yeah, particularly when she has very recently played the "I can't stop you but don't have to help you" card. This is where you are okay?

I still don't believe for a minute that any city's government would just declare, "Welp, guess we're giving this district to the criminals now." The National Guard would get called in well before that.

What's sort of dopey about this in hindsight, given how the Brick occupation resolved, is that they would have been so much better off with the angle of the cops being unwilling to patrol rather than being ordered off. We've established a big raid on the government's data with the evidence heist. Why not have them also grabbing data on all the beat cops and brass and using that to threaten them? Brick says "You look the other way. Every time you don't we take it out on one of yours. Which one? You'll know when it happens."

How much better does that make the citizens standing up and fighting back, too? Rather than having the abandoning of the Glades be obvious and public (in a way the outside world would never tolerate) you just have the cops never actually intercede. How much more terrifying and plausible is that?

Which is funny considering that Lance sees Roy earlier and totally recognizes him in the red hoodies he favors. Oh, Quentin, your eyesight...so good and yet so bad. You can recognize Roy but not anyone else?!?

That didn't bother me too much.He states his reasoning that he's seen a person who he knows the identity of doing X, Y and Z and that's how he knows it's this person who otherwise would have his identity hidden. It's a blank seeking to be filled in. Black leather blonde he already believes is Sara; why apply that reasoning? I think not spotting the body type is a little questionable but then again she pisses off for months at a time - maybe he's prepared to believe she's fluxuating in weight.

Nah, it's BS.

The whole Glades thing doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

I am bothered by that less than the fact that people have redefined "no, Malcom was trying to save the Glades in his own warped way." Mmm, no, leveling it and killing lots of people is not really anyone's definition of saving. You want to say was trying to do good in a bigger picture, k, but the Glades was going to die.

On the other hand in Merlyn redefinitions, I liked the idea that his League name isn't a wordplay on his surname but just because he did some sleight of hand.

I was a little annoyed that nobody said "hey, we told Malcolm we wouldn't help him find Brick and kill him but he's kinda gonna be able to just know where Brick will be when we call him out, right?" But then again I guess I am more morally flexible than everyone except Ray; when someone leaves a trail of bodies like Brick's and there's no question who is responsible and what they will keep doing? I can live with an execution.
posted by phearlez at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


And I realize I am obsessing, but I am compelled to point out that this is the ninth episode in which Thea has been A-OK with not entering an entire floor of the club she owns. This despite the fact that her brother, her ex-boyfriend, her family's former security chief, a former employee of Queen Consolidated, and various others stream in and out on a continuous basis. This despite the fact that the hardware downstairs likely represents a substantial share of her utility bill every month.

This has been going on for weeks, months even.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:40 PM on February 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't believe Oliver wants to work with Merlyn. Did the fall give him brain damage? The WHOLE LAST SEASON was about making him a hero and not a morally suspect, revenge driven psycho. I mean vigilante.

She deserves something better and more coherent than just ping-ponging back and forth between different people she's annoyed with.

In fairness, they are all annoying as fuck.

Why do the criminals want the Glades? It's such a bizarre aspect of the show, this random part of the city that's basically...what? Full of criminals and poor people?

I think this is a nod to the comics and old shows. It's a trope and they're just running with it.
posted by fshgrl at 5:55 PM on February 5, 2015


I can't believe Oliver wants to work with Merlyn.

On the one hand, Merlyn is evil and nasty and nobody should have anything to do with him. On the other hand, I have to admit that I like the idea that even Oliver has to upgrade his badassedness training occasionally.
posted by immlass at 7:03 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sara and Laurel don't just differ in weight, they're different heights. It's unrealistic he wouldn't realize that wasn't Sara. However, this is a show where people fall off a cliff and don't die, travel the world with no money, and successfully convince people with guns to not shoot them and instead engage in hand-to-hand combat. (The gang in the big fight had machine guns but NOBODY used them. Come on!) In light of all that, Lance may as well get a pass on that ridiculousness.

I'm on-board with Malcolm and Oliver teaming up since Malcolm is evil and some of that will rub off on Oliver leading him to do some awful shit.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:36 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The gang in the big fight had machine guns but NOBODY used them. Come on!) In light of all that, Lance may as well get a pass on that ridiculousness.

This was my immediate exclamation as the scene began, "Everyone has guns, WHY ARE YOU PUNCHING EACH OTHER?!" I think Diggle might have shot some bad guys, but it was ridiculous. All it took was the prop master to pause and go, "You know, given the scene that's about to happen, let's not give you extras big guns to hold."

Also, I suppose because they wanted to reuse the cameras that Slade had planted in the Queen manor I was irritated by the dime size camera stuck on the monitor that Felicity stares at for hours every day, and obviously treats like a child. She wouldn't have picked up on that?

Again, it would have taken someone the thought to stick the camera to the side or something. Yes, you wouldn't have the nice framing of the heroes as they shout, "WE FOUND HIM, THE GUY WHO REALLY KILLED MERLYN'S WIFE...." But it would be more believable.

Hey, Tommy cameo! Okay, not THAT Tommy. I joked to my wife you could always tell if a child in pajamas was rich or not in media if they wore a robe over their pajamas. For the flashbacks, it was my opinion that Merlyn was sporting the same haircut as Jon Travolta, wherein my wife threw out the competing theory that it was the exact same hairpiece.

I was relieved that someone finally raised the point that the Canary wasn't Sarah. Despite his confirmation bias, I feel awful for Lance.

I was happy with Felicity's rejection of Oliver, personally, if for the fact that 1) I prefer my romantic feeligns between major characters who work together to burn beneath the surface and 2) Oliver SO isn't good for her. She deserves better. Barry the Flash better. Ahem.
posted by Atreides at 6:49 AM on February 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


She deserves better. Barry the Flash better. Ahem.

Unless you're comfortable with her and Barry having a polyamorous relationship that includes Caitlin you shut up right now.

I can't believe Oliver wants to work with Merlyn.

I have less problem with that than anything else going on. Apparently he needs training in swordsmanship or just a general picture of what League training would encompass. Having Merlyn teach him that stuff doesn't perpetrate any particular awful beyond Merlyn continuing to roam free.

I realize bad communication is what drives most Arrow plots but in Oliver's shoes I think I would have simply said to Felicity "I don't know what else there is to do." Thea being a potential target for Ra's is, for all its flaws, a cast die and I don't see how you avoid the League at this point. Even if you are willing to toss that aside, this duel is a convincing argument that Ra's will insist on Oliver's death. So with all that you... what? What you did before didn't work. I think a sniper is a good plan but Team Arrow doesn't like remote death so much.

Honestly it's all just time-killing till Thea is the one to take on Ra's anyway, right? We keep getting scenes of her besting Merlyn and now we've had that AND the you-must-be-willing-to-kill lesson. If they want to keep her hands clean (of knowing blood anyway) then maybe she fights and bests Talia Nyssa and they make a trade for a truce.
posted by phearlez at 8:33 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sara and Laurel don't just differ in weight, they're different heights.

I was positive this was true myself, but when I Googled it to get specific numbers so I could complain, I found that both Katie Cassidy and Caity Lotz are 5' 6".

They sure seem different heights though, probably because of Laurel's propensity for wearing enormous heels while Sarah wore ass-kicking combat wear that didn't lift her up as high.

The larger point you were making about them being tremendously physically different in a way their father should have spotted still holds though.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:35 AM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm glad The Flash is off to a good start, because watching Arrow is beginning to feel like a chore.
posted by Pendragon at 9:59 AM on February 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think the favorite complaint in our house about Team Arrow taking over during Oliver's death/absence was, "Wait, they're sending out Roy and Laurel??? Laurel who hasn't even finished her training with Ted Grant (AND RIP TED GRANT) and keeps getting her ass handed to her? While Diggle, a man who can kick proper ass, is on the sidelines??"

Man, Thea really doesn't have any curiosity about the fact that people keep going to a utility closet and not come out for hours on end, eh?
posted by Kitteh at 10:34 AM on February 6, 2015


Roy is just deathly boring too. I'd rather watch Felicity type.

Arrow seems to have fallen into the story told! now what do we do with these characters? slump so many shows do but without actually finishing the original story. One of the things I liked about the first couple seasons was that they were reasonably well plotted and tight. Now there's 14 plots I don't care about and a criminal lack of Diggle and Felicity.
posted by fshgrl at 12:34 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh come on, that scene where Roy throws away the voice manipulator was funny!

Arsenal: Captain Lance!
Lance: Harper.
Arsenal: I'm not sure what you...
Lance: Look, I've seen you wearing a red hoodie, I've seen you shootin' arrows at people. You think I don't recognize you with a little extra leather and lace?
Roy: Well, I guess I won't be needing this anymore. [clicks off voice changer]

RIP Ted, and Sin, where have you been hiding all this time, girlfriend? I missed your wonderful androgynous self.

I am very much enjoying Thea's haircut and traditional training outfits this season; apparently Starling City's only Forever 21 was in the Glade and burned to ashes during the Uprising.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:44 PM on February 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


RIP Ted

Did he actually catch a bullet? I thought Roy saved him.

Also seconding the Sin love. There's someone who needs to be in the Arrow Cave.
posted by immlass at 5:20 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I honestly couldn't tell if Ted was dead, either. I just assume anyone who gets near Laurel (that I like and know the name of, anyway) is basically fucked.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:39 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, the thing with Merlyn in this episode is that he's clearly being set up for a heel face turn with the whole, "all my beautiful evil plans were for nothing!" and not actually killing Brick. I'll bet you he's part of Team Arrow by the end of the season.

And y'all know that killing Ra's al Ghul isn't much of a solution, right? Unless you're prepared to do it every day, like shaving.

And yeah, this season is just flailing all over the place.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:12 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


My late-breaking theory is that Ollie is setting up Merlyn for a fall that's been telegraphed for several episodes.

"Only the student will have hope of defeating the master." -- What if the relevant Master turns out to be Malcolm instead of Ra's? It could be Ollie (who just asked to train with Malcolm) defeating Malcolm, but it would be much cooler if it was Thea. It gives her a full arc across the season and it also ties back to an episode or two ago where there was the bit with Thea and Malcom that went something like "I could've killed you!"/"It's cute that you still think you could."

Almost certainly way off, but it's how I'd like the Thea/Malcolm arc to end, so it's my theory...
posted by Mad_Carew at 12:13 AM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I was Oliver, the only unforgivable thing for me would have been making Thea murder Sara. That still makes no sense to me at all.

Beyond that, both Oliver and Malcolm are people who have killed while thinking they were doing the right thing. I was hoping that he'd mention that some time. "But I was a misguided killer, Felicity."

And yeah, I'm tired of Felicity playing allegiance ping pong, too.

Good to see Sin again...double good to have her be the one to point out that the Canary isn't Sara anymore. I really am over the whole "Don't tell Detective Lance that Sara is dead" storyline.
posted by inturnaround at 6:40 AM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sin, where have you been hiding all this time, girlfriend? I missed your wonderful androgynous self.

The actress was in one of the better episodes of The Librarians, the one about a science fair. Show runner John Rogers gushes over her and says they'd like to have her back if they get a second season.
posted by phearlez at 7:58 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huh. I guess I called it.
posted by brundlefly at 2:09 AM on February 9, 2015


Oh, and I miss Felicity being nerdy and enthusiastic about things. It feels like it's been a while since I've seen her do anything but waveringly disapprove of what other people are doing.
posted by brundlefly at 2:12 AM on February 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Good to see Sin again...double good to have her be the one to point out that the Canary isn't Sara anymore.

I thought the irony was laid on a bit thick in her wording though. I don't remember the exact line, but it was something along the lines of "I don't know who she is, but she's not your daughter." By which Sin means it's not Sara, but of course we the viewers know that it is Capt. Lance's daughter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:57 AM on February 9, 2015


While Diggle, a man who can kick proper ass, is on the sidelines??

YESYESYESYESYESYESYES!!!

I mean, I'm glad Roy got a chance to move from "bland sidekick" to "actual adult", and I get that it's been established that Dig's not too into the rough stuff now that he's got a kid, but but but . . . . . extenuating circumstances, yeah? Oliver's gone, Roy's still not super-experienced, Laurel's . . . . well . . . . . Laurel . . . . . . . and if Brick's coming down hard on the city you'd think that someone who's spent like his entire adult life kicking ass would do more than stand behind Felicity and tell her stuff that she undoubtedly already sees on one of her fourteen screens.


making Thea murder Sara. That still makes no sense to me at all.

Plausible deniability. Supposedly if Ra's is dead then the League will stop hunting Merlyn. By manipulating Oliver into fighting & killing Ra's Merlyn gets this result without being openly involved in Ra's death.

And y'all know that killing Ra's al Ghul isn't much of a solution, right? Unless you're prepared to do it every day, like shaving.

Heck, even if they never bring up the Lazarus Pit, there's an entire army of assassins obsessed with honor and duty and blood vengeance and so on and so forth led by the daughter of the guy you killed. They ain't gonna let that one go.

So Merlyn's "plausible deniability" idea is kinda crap anyway.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:52 PM on February 10, 2015


There more I think about it, the less Merlyn's 'plan' with Thea makes sense. And since that's the lynchpin for this entire season...
posted by ursus_comiter at 3:33 PM on February 11, 2015


Finally got around to watching this one. I'm not particularly bothered by Oliver working with Merlyn, which seems borne more of necessity than anything else. I'm a little bothered by the attempts by the writers to soften Merlyn. I just can't get too emotionally invested in whether Merlyn spared Brick's life or not because of Thea--he used Thea as a pawn for his own devices just a few months ago.

The stupidity other people have mentioned--sending out Laurel but sidelining Dig, the guns that were seen but not used--bugged me as well.

One positive note. Excellent casting for young Nyssa in the final Merlyn flashback. She looked like she could conceivably grow up to look like Katrina Law, and she did a great job of mimicking Law's accent and hauteur.
posted by creepygirl at 9:40 PM on February 15, 2015


Also seconding the Sin love. There's someone who needs to be in the Arrow Cave.

For a while last season I thought we were being set up for Sin, Thea and Roy to become a counterpart vigilante trio to Team Arrow, but alas it was not to be.
posted by kagredon at 8:53 PM on March 1, 2015


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