Arrow 1.08, “Vendetta”, was another action-packed episode, but it didn’t introduce any new villains and actually felt like part two to last week’s part one. I quite enjoyed this actually as it felt like we actually got a little bit of a breather and a chance to catch up with the characters and storylines. The episode was written by Beth Schwarz and Andrew Kreisberg and was directed by Ken Fink. There were a number of really gorgeous shots in this episode. I'm thinking in particular of the shot in the Bertinelli mansion and the shots in the final confrontation that are mirrored in the water (I've included both further down in the review).
This week sees Moira trying to re-build her relationship with Walter now that he’s returned. She tells him that she’s the same woman he fell in love with and married. The irony, perhaps, and also perhaps Walter’s fear, is that she is the same woman but that woman isn’t who he thought she was if she could have her husband murdered. I have to admit that I knew the “blank” book Walter found hidden in her room would turn out to be filled with names – in the same handwriting as in the book Robert gave to Oliver. Of course, Moira’s book doesn’t have any of the pages ripped out, so it should have more names than the book that Oliver has. It will be interesting to see if any of those names are significant... I’m betting they are. I’m also wondering if Richard was not the one to make the list, however. It will be interesting to see what Walter makes of the names, and if he links the dead ones to Arrow.
Tommy and Laurel have the most awkward double date – EVER - with Oliver and Helena, ending in both couples having a fight and ending their relationships. In the end, it helps to strengthen Tommy and Laurel’s relationship when he goes to her to apologize. He admits he didn’t want to face reality or admit to her that he was scared. He’s afraid that he has nothing to bring to their relationship now that he has no money. Laurel reassures him that it’s ok to lean on his friends, including both Oliver and her. She also tells him she was never interested in his money. Tommy is being forced to change, to construct himself from the ground up and really take stock of who he is and who he can be. It’s telling that when he finally goes to Oliver to ask for help, he turns down the easy offer of money, and he asks for a job instead. He tells Oliver that he wants to change, to become something better. And finally, here is someone that Oliver maybe can help to change.
Diggle really comes into his own here as a mentor for Oliver, and I certainly hope that Oliver is going to lean a bit more on Diggle to help alleviate some of his loneliness. Diggle proves himself to be a very wise mentor – I think we have a LOT more to learn about Diggle. He is very perceptive about Helena, and doesn’t like her from the start. He recognizes that she can’t change because she’s already changed into “something dark and dangerous.” Diggle sums up the theme of the episode: “Love isn’t about changing or saving a person; it’s about finding the person who’s the right fit.”
Finally, just another shout out to the writers. This is another finely crafted episode – our theme of changing/saving someone ran through all the relationships highlighted in the episode. I can’t say enough about the smart writing we are getting here. I’m starting to really care about a lot of these characters, which means that I’m also starting to worry about them and which ones are going to go bad and why!
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Tommy working for Oliver is a good idea? Do you think China White is dead? Or is she going to come back for Arrow? Let me know in the comments below.