renee review

Arrow 5x12 “Bratva” Review: Crossing Lines

This was a good episode. It was a lot like 5x10 in that it was a decent episode with a very crappy ending. I had hopeful expectations during the summer hiatus that we’d return to Russia in the present time; a callback to 2x06. But then season 5 began, and whatever hopeful expectations I had started to wither and die. With that in mind, there was a lot more to this episode that was enjoyable than I thought possible. I mean, except for that one part. And yes, I’ll get into. I also do not hold back anymore on Suzie Q. I say very not nice things about her. I have no regrets.

Originally posted by realitytvgifs

OTA

I’m going to start with my babies. It’s been such a long time since we’ve had a decent OTA scene and we really got a couple in this episode.

We start with them in the Bunker. Together. Alone.

I know. Rejoice.

Felicity greets Diggle with, “Welcome back. Hugs, kisses, warm feelings.” Diggle returned the favor.

RIGHT IN MY DELICITY FEELS.

Originally posted by atlamilliahearts

I loved that Diggle and Felicity were both open with Oliver about how the mission to Russia was personal for both of them. Diggle needs to take down Walker once and for all; Felicity needs to do everything she can to stop another Havenrock from happening. Oliver misappropriates the City Hall private plane and they all travel to Russia with the rest of the team—save for Rene and Lance.

My favorite was in Russia when Oliver told them that he needed them to walk the line for him. They were the ones that brought him back when he’s crossed the line himself. Diggle is Oliver’s moral compass. Felicity is the one who harnessed the light inside of him; she’s the one who guides his way. As Oliver spends another/the season debating about whether he’s a good man deserving good things, he needs his core to retain their goodness.

And it’s a beautiful moment. Because in that scene Oliver is attempting to guide them. It’s what I was hoping for in 4B where Oliver would be the one to lead them into the light out of the darkness but the writers shortchanged us on it. It’s important to note that Oliver learned to fight with the light inside of him; and he did it because of his association with Felicity and Diggle. There is reciprocity to that; as they affect him, he affects them. He can guide them to the light because they taught him how to do that.

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Rachel’s Rambles - 5x12 Bratva

I really, really loved tonight’s episode. It made me truly excited for the rest of the season. There were so many great character moments. And it also left me with a bunch of feelings I need to ramble about so….venture behind the cut if you dare. ;)

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Excuse my language, but I fucking loved the everloving shit out of that episode, holy crap.

Thea and Quentin absolutely tore my heart up into a million pieces today and it was beautiful. I love what we’ve seen from them together this season. I love the surrogate father-daughter bond they’re forming. I’m SO excited for more!

The whole Vigilante plot, the fight scenes, the going-into-the-field-and-rob-a-bank-disguise, etc. It all felt so season 2. And y’all, I’m so here for that. I so completely, utterly ENJOYED myself during this episode. Every storyline had me intrigued, every twist got to me. I was so invested. And I have been for the entirety of the season, AND GUYS I LOVE LOVING ARROW SO MUCH. 

I’m excited to see how The Detective/Vigilante interaction with Oliver, and the rest of the team, will go. I like that he wasn’t your box-standard Villain Of The Week™, but that we’ll see more of him, spread throughout the season, and that this will morph into something that goes deeper. The detective is a really interesting antagonist. . He’s so convinced that his method works so much better than what Oliver & Team Arrow are doing, that what Oliver is doing isn’t enough. And really, that’s the whole thing about this season. It’s questioning everything about Oliver. It’s not only Oliver as a person, it’s not only Oliver as the vigilante, it’s also his mission and what he’s sacrificed for it. Everything gets put into such a big question mark, and I think they’re tackling it very well so far. 

THE. BRATVA. Holy shit. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I love how sinister everything is. How Kovar (who was awesome, in that “I’m really scared of you” kind of way) pointed out that, although the Bratva is so much about “brotherhood”, it’s clear that Oliver shouldn’t trust the Bratva, not even close. He’s in a position, really, where he can’t trust anyone fully. Maybe Anatoly, but I have a feeling Anatoly is also not completely what he seems either… I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT. Sidenote: this may be a confession that I should be slightly concerned about, but I loved how brutal the flashbacks were. Whoops.

This might be a very, very unpopular opinion. But I’m very intrigued to see the Oliver/Susan thing develop. And if that makes me the only person in this fandom to pay attention to their scenes, then so be it LOL. I’m very intrigued by the hesitance he’s shown to go through with this. I’m interested to see how deep they’ll go with this. I’m interested to see how he’ll open up. How much of his character he’ll actually show to her, who the real Oliver Queen is. How this is all going to parallel with how Felicity is dealing with Billy. I’m interested to see how Oliver, as the person (who has his heart set on someone else and he knows it) will develop from this relationship - however deep this might turn out. I’m intrigued to know how this is all going to work out - for the eventual reunion, because, duh.

Mom!Felicity having to yell at them to get the Baby Vigilantes™ into formation for a mission is everything I never knew I needed.

Random, but needs to be said: Rory is a precious snowflake and I need him to never leave the team.

I didn’t see that ending coming. Like, at all. Not even a little bit close. AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Arrow has been surprising me so much this season. Probably also due to the fact that I’ve pretty much stopped reading interviews, avoided the majority of the spoilers, haven’t read one theory about anything this season, and have just been watching the episode, period. BUT STILL: NOT FROM A MILE AWAY. Evelyn being a double agent?! Evelyn possibly not being on Oliver’s side after all…? I don’t know, but I’m already so into seeing this plotline develop.

I’m still an incredibly Bitter Bean™ about the Sara/JJ Flashpoint nonsense switch, and forever will be, BUT THE DIGGLE FAMILY IN THIS EPISODE WAS SO CUTE ZOMG. I love Diggle so much, you guys. I love it even more if I not only get Diggle Feels, but also get Shirtless!Digg. Double thumbs up.

SO PUMPED FOR NEXT WEEK. *SQUEES*

So I got 75% of the way through “The rose and the digger” by Renee Andieh it was so boring I got a headache like nothing was happening and when something would happen it was still fucking boring uggg I hated it like I’ll always love the first book but this one just wasn’t for me I’m also unhauling it but I’ll keep the first book

3

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

5/5 stars

Official Synopsis:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

My thoughts:

THIS BOOK. This book consumed me from the moment I started reading it. I was given a copy for review, but do not let that dilute my opinion. The Star-Touched Queen was enchantingly beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. Roshani has such a magical way of writing her characters that you are all at once in love with them and also afraid of them. There are so many good things to say about this novel that if I tried to list them one by one; this review would go on forever. That being said, I will try and give you a taste of the things that caused me to fall completely in love with this story.

First; The characters. I became instantly attached to Maya. She is intelligent and quick witted and wants nothing more than to live alone, surrounded by her books. When that opportunity is taken from her; she not only exceeds what was expected of her but she ends up saving herself and the ones she loves.

I also really loved that this book never focuses solely on Maya’s beauty. There is a line that implies that Maya has acne and that she has a too-big-for-her-face nose and straight hips and yet she still saves the day and people love and respect her no matter her appearance. “I know your soul. Everything else is an ornament.” I think these characteristics made Maya feel real and relatable.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but Amar is EVERYTHING and that’s all you really need to know about him. 

Another favorite part of TSTQ is the flesh eating demon horse. YES you read that correctly. Not only does this book have a demon horse but shes HILARIOUS and sassy and the BEST side kick. I hope she makes a cameo in the companion novel, A Crown Of Wishes.

**This book is a Hades and Persephone retelling with Hindu influences and it is everything you’ve ever wanted.

This whole review is a mess and I am sure I sound like I am gushing but THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. It is a new favorite and I want all of my friends to read it.

Quotes:

“I love you,“ he murmured into my hair. "You are my night and stars, the fate I would fix myself to in any life.” 

“I know your soul. Everything else is an ornament.”

“I wanted a love thick with time, as inscrutable as if a lathe had carved it from night and as familiar as the marrow in my bones.”

“Your will is where I lay my head”

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To hear about my trip to see Roshani and Renee Ahdieh; Read More

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Arrow 5x08/Flarrow Crossover “Invasion” Review:  A Half Life

The idea of aliens in the crossover and in Arrow’s 100th episode never did excite me. I’m watching Arrow not Avengers and was annoyed the creators were overlooking their viewing audience. But I did like the premise of the alternate reality and I was so here for Oliver seeing his parents one more time and saying goodbye. So I was prepared to give it a chance while side-eying the hell out E.T.

Originally posted by openmindeddating

Despite the aliens, I will say that 5x08 “Invasion,” ironically felt the most like old Arrow then we have in the entirety of season five—a season touted as back to basics but has really lost its heart in a wave of inexplicable characters and plot points. It had the emotional character moments—the focus on family—and the big battle at the end where everyone faced their greatest fears: that was poignant. I liked all that. I just could have done with fewer aliens and probably less Laurel.

I’m going to say something that I really can’t believe I’m going to say given the number of bothers I’ve left in regards to this character anymore: Poor Laurel. 

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

They did her dirty. I’d almost feel bad for her fans too but you’ll have to go back and recall the number of bothers I have anymore.

Everything about Laurel Lance’s existence in this episode was to point out that she was not the right woman. (Which we already knew from 2x23.) Now, they did her wrong when she died. She died with zero dignity when she was like, “You’re the love of my life” and he just stood there humming the theme song to Jeopardy in his head. But goddamn did they just defile her when she’s begging him to stay and love her and he’s all like, “No,” and runs.

That was just painful to watch.

So it really was like old times.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Olicity Masquerading Around As Lauriver

Oliver’s hallucination immediately takes him back to the place where he was happiest—something akin to Ivy Town. That entire opening scene—which I will not describe because you saw it and I saw it and that’s just enough of that nonsense—was an homage to 4x01 Olicity. It also straight-up stole Olicity dialogue from 4x13.

But why not Felicity?

Because Oliver wasn’t Oliver in this hallucination. He was just a version of Ollie from ten years ago who had just grown up and become responsible—for reasons that were never explained in this dream. I’m assuming it was just adulthood. In fact, he was Ollie without a lot of the mistakes that reality Ollie made: namely sleeping with his girlfriend’s sister. I have to wonder if they’d had more time to explore this hallucination for Oliver—and less time in the pseudo-science world like stupidly battling Cyber Woman—if it would be revealed if Ollie had cheated with Samantha and if William would have existed.

In this hallucination, Ollie got all the things that present-day Oliver has been looking for for the last year or so: A way to make a difference in the city and make his own legacy and he wants to settle down. He wants to marry the love of his life.

But he can’t do that in the hallucination because Felicity and Ollie do not belong together. Being with Felicity isn’t an easy journey—they don’t find each other simply. Oliver has to go through years of hell before they join in a partnership to save the city that threatens their lives regularly. They’ve been pulled apart often. A lot of that is due to Oliver’s own lunacy. Being with Felicity isn’t an “easy” option—but then again, Oliver knows that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. But for Oliver, there is also no other choice for him to make.  

The other reason that Felicity can’t be the person he’s set to marry in the dream is how would he walk away from that? Felicity is clearly working with the Green Arrow. Oliver could join the team—OTA but in another order. His parents are alive. He’s making a name for himself in the city. He gets the girl. It’d be real easy to see why he would want to stay.

(It’s for this reason, by the way, that I don’t believe that there was an Oliver version of Felicity in the hallucination. It doesn’t make sense. If he did have a version then how could the hallucination hold up with him marrying Laurel if for some reason Oliver could remember Felicity? No. The dream separated John and Oliver for a reason—because they were introduced post-Gambit and so was Oliver and Felicity—and thus the version in the bunker I believe belonged to Diggle not Oliver. Oliver figured out how to find the vigilante but he didn’t know who he was going to find until he got there and then remembered John and Felicity. I don’t the hallucination wanted Oliver to have a memory of Felicity because she was the way out.)

So, no, logically Felicity couldn’t be the “dream” girl in the hallucination. Because it’d be hard to reject it; but mostly because it’s not the version of Oliver that belongs with her. Felicity never loved Ollie. She didn’t need Ollie reformed. She loves Oliver; and all of his imperfections, his battle scars and strength of heart. 

Originally posted by thecwarrow

It’s very telling that that’s not the version of himself that Oliver hallucinated with Laurel. There are very clear delineations between who has what version of him. Oliver has long since let go of Laurel; but what I’m hoping this dream will remind him is that he has not let go of his dreams of being with Felicity and will finally fight for her. In the hallucination, Oliver made a rash promise to Laurel to fight to be the man that she deserved. But he came to the conclusion he never could. I’m hoping that we’ll see him apply that same principle in real time. Because he can be the man Felicity deserves. Maybe we’ll see them have a discussion about their relationship. Why they couldn’t try again. Maybe Oliver could finally ask for them to try again.

Therefore Felicity couldn’t be hallucination girl and this justifies bringing back Laurel. Also logical—and canonical—is that Felicity is who Oliver notices that points out the world isn’t right. He sees the Smoak Technologies building and he can’t stop looking at it. 

Felicity Smoak was the first person he ever saw as a person after returning from the island. Felicity has always made Oliver feel like a worthier person; she brings out his humanity. She makes him yearn for things that he never thought he’d ever have. In regards to this dream, Felicity Smoak was his beacon home.

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The quest for the PERFECT Pride and Prejudice cast continues!  I’ll be reviewing the characters from one of my favourite books, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and selecting the actor who played the character the best!

Jennifer Ehle 

The Elizabeth to the Firth Darcy, she is the star of the iconic BBC adaption of Austen’s novel. The cast is star studded and Ehle is no exception. The interaction between Firth and Ehle is stellar and always brings a smile from me. 

PROS

  • Snark
  • She always seems like she’s in on a joke and I think that is perfect for Lizzie
  • That rejection scene

CONS

  • Hair 
  • Sometimes she’s a little bit dead pan

Renée Zellweger

Bridget Jones is an example of fanfiction on the best seller list and on the big screen. It is a loose, modern adaption of Pride and Prejudice. But, it is an adaption and it has Colin Firth, so I will definitely count it in this list. 

PROS

  • Very, very funny
  • Tells Darcy who’s boss
  • Brings Lizzie’s relatability even further forward

CONS

  • Very forced accent
  • Way ditsier than Lizzie and Bridget in the book
  • Some of Lizzie’s key character elements lost

Keira Knightley 

There’s something about Knightley’s Elizabeth that really captures the spirit of Lizzie. I can’t believe she was only 19/20 years old filming this! It really puts my life into some perspective. Oh to be Keira Knightley

PROS

  • Everything
  • I love her
  • Those eyes

CONS

  • Spoke a bit fast
  • ???

Ashley Clements

As soon as I hear the words “Lizzie Bennet Diaries” I get the theme in my head. This series was amazing and it was completed by Ashley Clements’ amazing version of Elizabeth. I think it was a more accurate display of what a modern Lizzie would really be like.

PROS

  • Snark
  • The caricatures of her family are perfect
  • So funny

CONS

  • We only get 3 mins
  • I want more

Lily James

Back once again to the 19th Century Lizzie, only with a twist. Lily James’ Elizabeth is a battle worn zombie hunter, which of course means that if this came to a fist fight she would obviously win. 

PROS

  • Had Lizzie’s sass
  • The fight with de Bourgh 
  • Actual Disney princess

CONS

  • Brawn for brains 
  • Shadowed by the concept

The winner is Knightley. Come on, she’s Keira Knightley! Babe extraordinaire! Her Lizzie was amazing; funny, aloof, as ready to laugh as Lydia, snarky as her father, as loving as Jane. She will forever be my Lizzie. I’ll fight Darcy for her 

I’m super gleeful. You know why?

Because that Arrow episode was awesome.

And yes, I enjoyed every single second of all the Olicity we got. Let’s tackle that first, shall we?

Oh my frikkin GOD, guys, the chemistry. THE CHEMISTRY. I know we all know this, Stephen and Emily have always been crazy awesome at portraying their on-screen connection really well, but holy fuck. I thought my screen was about to melt. I don’t know HOW they’re able to do it, but it’s always so subtle, yet it gives so much. 

You know what I loved about all their scenes together? They talked. They had really important conversations. Yes, it was about trying to move on. And, sure, I don’t think Felicity was completely honest, because she’s not really being honest with herself (because it’s her internal struggle and fears and ohmygodiloveit), but Oliver and Felicity had the most honest and raw conversations about their feelings in what feels like eternity. Since their break-up conversation, really. I loved that Oliver told Felicity that he was hurt that she didn’t tell him. I love how open he is towards her. I love how it’s so visible that he still loves her so damn much. I love how it’s so visible that Felicity is trying everything in the book to close herself off from her feelings towards him. I love how she’s trying so hard to show him that what she really wants is to move on, and yet failing miserably to convey that obvious lie just through her body language.

The heart-eyes were un-freaking-real. From both of them. The way Felicity lingered in that office. LOL Billy Malone who? The way Oliver visibly softens around her, dear lord. UGH I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. 

And, look. With Felicity starting the season with a boyfriend, we all had the inkling that both her and Oliver would explore different options. And searching for a human connection with someone else, looking for that “click”, that “oh, I’ve been looking for you forever” thing, is the most human thing to do. I don’t and never expected either of them to just sit around and wait until the coins dropped. It’s the only way they’ll both realize that, no, you don’t go looking for the “oh’ I’ve been looking for you forever” person in their lives. That’s just the thing. That person just… happens upon you. And it happened quite a while ago for Oliver and Felicity…

Oliver told Felicity to find out if what she has with Billy is real. But you don’t go looking for that “real” connection, you feel it. And Felicity (and us) already know that it’s not real. Felicity is scared of getting hurt again, scared of falling so deeply in love again, and I think she knows deep down that Oliver will be the only one she’ll ever feel like that with, in that capacity. It’s just time and patience, and a whole lot of self-exploring and healing that will have her realize that.

Oliver’s kind of scared of himself, and scared of just being Oliver Queen, as he indicated to the Human Target. He feels like Oliver Queen has never been the best part of himself. Last year, he opened himself up. He really tried hard to be both Oliver Queen and The Green Arrow. But he got burnt, badly, as Oliver Queen. Sure, he was at fault, with the whole Baby Mama Drama. But it left big, emotional scars for him too. So, Oliver needs time to find himself back too. He needs to find parts of himself back, of what makes himself Oliver Queen. What makes him happy. And Stephen himself has indicated that Oliver is the happiest when he’s with Felicity.

Okay, other things about the episode.

I’m kinda sad Church is dead. He was so deliciously evil. Boo. But on that topic, did I ever mention that Prometheus scares the crap out of me? Because, yeah. If I wasn’t scared before, this episode definitely solidified it for me. I’m already terrified for the inevitable showdown between him and Oliver. Yikes.

I forgot for a second that the Human Target was supposed to come in this episode. So, when Oliver got shot, I was in a bit of a shock, haha!

I’m absolutely loving Oliver as the mayor! I love how he’s committed to the job and actually doing shit for the city. *is proud*

Speaking of mayoral business: Reporter woman is getting reeeaaallllyyyy sneaky. And with her snooping into Oliver’s Bratva past? Yeah, she’s off my trust-list.

Original. Team. Arrow. God, I love them so, so much. I’m so glad Diggle is back. That smile between him and Oliver melted me. My boys. That scene where Oliver, Felicity and Diggle were just discussing the plan. It’s so simple and something we’ve seen so many times, but it just made me so happy, because our team is back in full capacity, y’all. And the Baby Vigilantes fangirling over Digg is super precious.

The seeds of the Diggle & Rene friendship have been planted, and I’m really liking it. I enjoyed the connection between Diggle’s army experience and Rene’s time as a marine. I’m looking forward to seeing this develop.

I still love the Bratva so much. It’s awesome how they show that the “Brotherhood” isn’t all that brotherly. I’m just really intrigued by it all still. more, prettypleaseandthankyou. 

Next week, come at me!

Arrow 5x13 “Spectre of the Gun” Review: Bad Aim

I debated even writing up a review for this episode. I don’t really want to venture into the kind of politics this episode delved into; and mostly because this episode was just bad.

There are only two good things about the entire episode:

1)      Thea Queen’s return. I’ve missed her. Her snarky little jabs have been sorely missed. Everything that came out of her mouth was perfection. Stop leaving us.

2)      The end of the episode. Because it was finally over.

It was so sloppily mishandled that it is my fervent hope that if ever Marc Guggenheim and Arrow company ever think of venturing into a “special episode of the week” territory: THEY SIMPLY DON’T DO IT. Somebody should Taser them and lock them in a closet until they’ve properly thought about their insanity.

Going into this episode I was leery. First of all because it was centered around Wild Dog and I have yet to be invested in his character. He’s made a few tiny steps (and then lost them) forward in recent weeks but nothing that merits his own special episode. So here I was with a flashback episode about him when most of my core favorites have been sidelined all season long. I wasn’t amused. Second, I just really don’t think that Arrow is the kind of show where this discussion is best suited. Namely because Arrow throws violence around so commonly that nothing about last night’s episode stood out markedly from any other Arrow episode.

In fact, when the episode started with the gun attack, it felt so familiar that I thought we’d seen it before. And I was right. We did in 2x01. On the exact same set (then called QC), “The Hoods” opened fire on the boardroom. So I’m not entirely sure what made this episode “special” other than some characters were turned into political mouthpieces, while others were muzzled. There is nothing remotely shocking about what Edlund did—though how Quentin’s spidey sense didn’t tingle at the very suspicious dude in the elevator is beyond me.

Beyond the way Arrow uses violence regularly, this episode’s message was marred down even further by being in a season where Oliver Queen is dropping bodies again. In fact, he just killed an innocent man a few weeks ago and seems to have gotten over the guilt of that moment real quick. The return to killing this season has been a thorn in my side because it’s never once been narratively justified. They keep saying that it’s because Laurel died; but that doesn’t fly with Oliver believing her death wasn’t his fault.

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My favourite skincare youtuber at the moment - Gothamista, aka Renee. SKIN GOALS. LIFE GOALS. She curates products, lives in an exciting city, and gets to travel to Asia frequently for work. Girl, holla at me.

She’s responsible for most of my recent purchases (haha). It’s fantastic and awful at the same time because we have the same skin type and I trust her opinions. My wallet’s sad though.

Renee mainly reviews higher end asian skincare brands - aka my kryptonite - but her channel does cover recognizable Western brands that are more accessible for North American girls like us. She recently reviewed Drunk Elephant’s product line and The Ordinary by DECIEM (which coincidentally my friend introduced to me recently).

If you’re interested in educating yourself about skincare, the science behind certain ingredients, and need a little verbal help, Renee’s channel is a good place to start.

xx Emilie

Arrow 5x09”What We Leave Behind”: Should Be Better Than This

I don’t even know where to start for this episode. I truly don’t. (My thoughts may wonder; apologies. I tried to keep it all cohesive.) It was such a colossal disaster of epic proportions that they spiced up with not one but two fan service scenes. This was not the episode I needed while my passion for Arrow is teetering on the brink. I don’t believe it’s the show the fandom needed in general and that the writers think it’s their best MSF ever? No. It’s really not. Flip a coin between 4x09 or 3x09. This—this doesn’t even best 1x09. It is the last horse in the race—so far back you’d think it was part of another race.

Maybe it was.

Because this certainly doesn’t feel like the show I’ve been investing years of my life into anymore. These characters are not my characters anymore. What I do see on screen are things I often don’t care for or about; while the things I feel are necessary to keep the core of the show strong and push it forward I’m being told happen off-screen. On a TELEVISION show.

I don’t even know if the writers are aware of what their jobs are anymore.

Prometheus

I think it’s clear in my previous reviews this season I’ve been underwhelmed by Prommy. I also made it pretty clear I was keeping my theories for the season to myself based on the state of the fandom. Well, I’ll show my cards now because it’s clear I was wrong. I was putting far too much thought into Prometheus than the show writers were/are.

I didn’t buy into Tommy as Prometheus solely because I know of Colin Donnell’s contractual obligation to Chicago Med. That’s a full season show; he’s a cast regular and it’s also on a rival network—it’s not on the affiliated CBS—so all of those reasons never sold me on Tommy as Prometheus. Story wise? Oh, gosh that’d be fascinating to see how Tommy went dark and then redeem him. But my realist nature prevented me from investing.

So I went to two other theories: 1) That it was someone that we saw in season 1. I went back over season 1 episodes trying to figure out who it would likely be. I wondered if because this season has a real boner for S1, and the pilot in particular, if it’d be Adam Hunt related. Or maybe the brother to the guy who called himself a Savior. (I don’t recall them saying he and his wife had any children so I was thinking other relative). The Savior was someone who was inspired by Oliver’s first run as a vigilante who took the law into his own hands and dealt out his own justice. The Hood didn’t like that; and to save Roy, Oliver killed him. I kind of liked that idea too because it plays into legacy (family and the people Oliver has inspired, for good or ill. 2) My other idea was slightly similar to the idea of it being someone related to the Savior: I thought it would be Slade Wilson’s son, Joe. I can’t recall the age they said he was—and I didn’t feel passionate enough about Arrow or this storyline to go hunting—but I figured ten years might be enough to age the kid up. I really liked this idea better than the first theory simply because the show constantly sets Slade up as Oliver’s biggest nemesis. I certainly felt stronger about this idea after last week’s episode where he faced off against Slade in the hallucination. Oliver feels a certain guilt about creating Slade Wilson the villain; I just could see the parallels if Joe were to be Prometheus.

Anyway, clearly, I was wrong. So I’ll admit to my theories now and eat my crow pie or however the saying goes. Win some, lose some.

Originally posted by animatedtext

It clearly doesn’t matter who Prometheus is because the writers are making this stuff up as they go along. I was so frustrated to learn all about the possibility of Prommy being this Clayborne guy or his illegitimate son because we’ve never heard of him before. There is clearly no freaking way anyone could have come up with Prommy’s identity because they just made him up. Literally picked a name off a list. Do I really believe Prommy is Clayborne’s kid? Not so much. But what the show has done is make it not matter. There is zero investment in this guy because we know absolutely zilch about him. This comes from them playing with their cards too close to their vests. They really needed to loosen the grip a little because the audience is now just sitting here going, “Huh?”  

If it’s not someone from Oliver’s s1 past then pattern would dictate that it’s someone from Oliver’s current life. We have an abundance of new characters to pick from—though one less after 5x09. Though, let’s not rule out Billy having faked his death. Nothing would surprise me at this point with this show. But if it’s not Billy then that only leaves Adrian Chase as the new guy suspect. Or it could be a woman, but physically, the person appears to be a guy. But for equal opportunity, I’ll throw Suzie Q in the mix too.

However, Adrian Chase, I’m like 100% convinced is the Vigilante guy that just goes around shooting everyone up. Are we dealing with some kind of Jekyll and Hyde situation—or well, split personalities because there’s Adrian, there’s Vigilante and there’s Prommy and there isn’t a one of them I like? I don’t know. I’m super confused at this point.

I also don’t care because the writers don’t seem to care either. As Arrow focuses its seasons on the big bad they have once again failed. Season 3 was underwhelming to the say the very least. Ra’s Al Ghul/League of Assassins was an erratic villain—the rules changed every week on what the LOA could do. It was a hot mess that I went into further detail here in my meta detailing the failings of season three. Season 4 became a farce because Darhk’s magic never fit into the show’s landscape. It was solely Neal that pulled that off. Not to mention the rules of his magic were played pretty fast and loose. Arrow has not successfully set up a big bad since season 2. Merlyn worked in S1 because he was Tommy’s father. It was personal—same with S2 and Slade. I think they were trying to do this in S5 with Prometheus because he’s a consequence of Oliver’s actions but if the audience has no back story, there’s little investment. Prometheus has become another failed villain at this point.

Olicity/Oliver/Felicity/Billy/Adrian Chase/ And ton of misogyny  / Sorry this part’s a hodge podge

Well they’ve certainly made things more challenging for any reunion between them with this episode. I was very unhappy with the twist that Oliver kills Billy (you think that they decided that at SDCC?) because it’s an unnecessary obstacle for them when they haven’t cleared the last William Mountain problem.

Personally, I felt the Olicity S1 Flashback scene was ship baiting. I didn’t at first. I thought it might be a turning point for them. Here’s why: They lead into the FB from Feliciy’s POV off a line about being true to yourself. 

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Arrow 5x10 “Who Are You?” Review: More Like “Where Have You Been?!”

(^^opened with this gif because why the hell not?! It’s beautiful.)

Edited to add: The last random thought for some reason didn’t copy and paste and I was oblivious earlier. It’s at the very bottom of the post. Sorry. 

I’ve openly admitted to my frustrations with Arrow’s season 5. 5A was lackluster—and that’s being polite about it. I’ve been honest about how my issues with the writing and show focus have contributed to my waning passion for this show. (Note: This show. Not my ship. Not my faves. But the show.) I also said I was going to need something big to pull me back in to watch and continue these reviews in the second half of the season.

It’s like they actually listened.

Originally posted by ivanv

Well, honestly, it’s like they called a Hail Mary and rewrote and reshot 5x10 during hiatus. It feels like that’s the case because this episode feels so wildly disconnected from the previous nine episodes. And that’s a good thing. It was a bit jarring, really; because S5A felt disjointed against the entire series and this episode felt the same way within the season. This was a good episode but it still falls in the middle of a clusterfuck season.

I’m hoping this will put them on a good path but I refuse to go blindly. I’ve given them faith and chances and they’ve disappointed me. They’ve given me a mustard seed of hope that the back half of the season might not suck as bad as the first half. But I also gave them a chance at the start of the season despite all my misgivings based on PR and yet they still disappointed me. Caution is my name.

When the episode first opened, I was cringing. Another shot of the dead bird—Version Whocares. But really why I was cringing was the awful dialogue they gave KC to deliver in that scene. Just so we are clear, the writers really don’t give a shit about LL at all because KC got better dialogue as Black Siren later in the episode than that drivel at the start. I honestly wanted to slap my son Oliver upside his head when he bought into that whole Wave Rider time-travelling nonsense. Oliver be less dense.

Originally posted by kasugano

This episode comes right on the heels of 5x09—and that was one week after 5x08. So it’s one week after Oliver was just with Sara, who publically dragged Barry for his time altering and admitted that she wanted to save her sister but knew that she could not. One fucking week later.

And he’s all like, “It’s a miracle.”

No. You’re just being an idiot. They’ve dressed you up like this all season long—not even your pretty face makes it a good look.

Look I can’t stand when the show has Oliver be an idiot when he should know better. And yes, I get it; he wants to be hopeful and he wants redemption. And that’s fine later on in the episode when he talks about wanting to redeem Black Siren. But that first moment where he without any real questioning just says, “She’s back!” made me side-eye real hard.

But whatever; the writers didn’t linger on that stupidity long because Felicity Smoak showed up and she was me. She was questioning this dubious story from the start. She is my Queen. Also, thankfully, the writers blew through the fake LL stuff real fast.

Admittedly for Black Siren it was five minutes too long—and frankly, who can judge her for that?

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

I’ve never in my life identified with a LL-face-wearing character more than I have in this episode. I don’t know if that means something has broken in me or not. It also might mean that my post-op meds are working really well. Either way: Send chocolate.

The writers push through the ridiculous pretty quickly. Felicity holds a party—which, by the way, was more somber celebrating a resurrection than I do believe Billy Goat’s real funeral will be. 

I was curious how they were going to explain the champagne I noticed in the promos within the episode. I liked that it was just one more trap Felicity was setting for Black Siren. The side-eye as Felicity shipped champagne was the first return beat in my Arrow loving heart. There really was a resurrection in this episode and it was all because of Felicity.

So that’s just about enough about Fake LL/Black Siren stupid backstory.

Let’s get to the important stuff.

OLICITY

Yes. There really was OLICITY in this episode. I know, I know. Deep breaths. But who can act rationally in the face of all this beauty?!

Originally posted by stydiaeverafter

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Arrow 5x02 “The Recruits”: Trust But Verify

Arrow’s 5x02 “The Recruits” was a much better episode than its premiere. It’s rather a shame that The CW treats Arrow with such disdain because the season 5 premiere would have been much better served as a two-hour premiere. The best of the storytelling happened in this episode—though there were some choppy parts.

The biggest dissonance within the show is Oliver’s mindset and I’ll ascribe this to the fallout of the need to retcon LL and re-justify her death. Laurel’s death is bandied about rather a lot in regards to the dangers of vigilantism. Oliver says he has five years of training and Laurel didn’t. Well, Thea didn’t either but he was keen to have her back on the team. Really what they don’t want to say is that Laurel wasn’t the best fighter and it got her dead. Instead, Oliver says that the newbies need training.

The Recruits

They clearly still need training and yet Oliver sends them out into the field and it was implied that if they hadn’t have all quit then he would have used them in the field again. If Oliver is so worried about them getting killed, why would he send them into the field so early? Because we need to get this new team going. But it’s little inconsistencies that confuse the narrative slightly. Frankly they need to drop this LL sainthood thing because it really only works in application to Quentin. Oliver suddenly feeling guilty for her death when he specifically said he wasn’t last year is annoying.

Also, I get that Felicity wants Oliver to have a team to back him up. But can I ask how these three untrained vigilantes would be better equipped to back Oliver up than the police or his special Anti-Crime Unit that was the big deal last week. Last episode she was all supportive of the ACU and praised Oliver for accepting their help. Now this week they aren’t trained enough but Rene, Evelyn and Curtis are?

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Also puzzling is why the show doesn’t want us to believe that Oliver can singlehandedly stop an arms deal. He did that multiple times in season 1. In fact, in the pilot and 1x20 Oliver faced down an entire penthouse, an armed casino and a “safe house” full of guards. Entirely all on his own and Oliver took down every single guy. If this season is a callback to season 1 then let’s not forget that Oliver used to do this stuff all the time in his sleep.

But I truly don’t understand Felicity’s enthusiasm to throw the Recruits out into the field—against Tobias Church or Ragman, who they thought was either a meta-human or a magician. How were they even remotely prepared to face any of that?

Returning to Oliver using a bunch of untrained recruits juxtaposed with his guilt over Laurel’s death: Evelyn Sharpe is a kid. Literally. She’s 16, maybe 17. I’m a little disturbed that all of the other adults—Oliver, Felicity, and Curtis—don’t feel the need to suggest she do something else with her life. If suddenly Laurel’s death is not the consequence of choices she made as a grown-ass woman, how in the hell can this show justify sending a young girl into the fray, so grossly unqualified? I mean, LL was a sloppy Black Canary but she at least had years of self-defense classes at her father’s behest as well as training with guns prior to her three month conversion into BC. What the hell does Evelyn have? She was a gymnast, class president and an academic decathlete. That does not at all sound like someone prepared for vigilantism. She clearly is a very bright girl. Why aren’t the adults of New Team Arrow encouraging her to use her brain to change the world?

Remember Oliver’s second-to-last conversation with Laurel was him encouraging her to use her brain and her law degree instead of her fists to change Star City.

I know the argument can be had that if they didn’t recruit her that she’d still be out on the streets on her own. Oliver training her will hardly be a bad thing. But the fact that her age is so easily overlooked is troublesome. She is an adult; and she’s not somebody who grew up on the streets, seeing the hard facts of life like Roy or Wild Dog. I’m hoping that we will see eventually an encouragement by the others that Evelyn return to school, graduate, and then use her knowledge to help fight against the darkness corrupting Star City in the light of day. Especially considering that corruption within the city is going to be a theme for this season; the city needs all of its good guys ready to fight in the light and the shadows.

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Arrow 5x03 “A Matter of Trust” Review: It’s a Game of Chance

(A/N: This is going to be a short and sweet one this week. Sorry peeps. Or not sorry. But I’m battling some health problems at the moment and I’m going to do my best. I’m actually using the rare sick day I allow myself to write this. Please forgive any blatant errors or oversights. It’s not intentional to overlook something from the episode.)

This was a pretty good episode, with some strong character moments. This episode was really an extension of the theme of last week. Trust is going to be a big theme this year; it’s often a theme in Arrow seasons. But they are really hammering the message home this season because they are steaming rolling on this issue of fixing Oliver Queen. It’s time to make him a grown up, if you will.

Why? Because they need him to become a fully realized person—as Oliver Queen—so that he can fulfill his ascension into the Green Arrow. Not just as a vigilante, but a hero. It’s about making him better so that his legacy is one to be proud of. So that his legacy is more than just baby vigilantes. That Oliver has a legacy as much as Green Arrow (that’s where Felicity and their three babies come in).

There’s a reason that they had LL tell Oliver in 5x01 that she didn’t want to be the last canary. It was about her legacy (though technically it wasn’t hers to start with).

Oliver will not always be the Green Arrow. He needs to leave behind a team that honors what he believes in. That can do the things that he does. To do this he has to let people in. Of course there was Roy but we don’t get to keep Roy right now. Sadly. So we have to pretend we don’t have Roy out there and that these new recruits are the legacy he’ll leave behind. Because this shouldn’t—won’t—stop with them either. Artemis should be one in a line; Wild Dog too. I don’t honestly know what the protocol is for passing along mystical rags, but you get my point.

Oliver Queen

The theme of legacy is tied into Oliver’s realization that the buck stops with him. Forevermore what the vigilantes do in Star City will be tied to him because he started it. (We are ignoring the short-lived arc that Wild Cat—what is it with wild animal code names?—pre-dated The Hood). So if vigilantes start hurting the city like the Savior did in 1x18; that’s on him. Because he inspired people to go outside of the law. What Oliver has to do is set a code of morality that other vigilantes will follow. His memory needs to become something that people will want to honor and not tarnish. 

So he has to start thinking about the long-term right now. It’s more complicated now than just crossing off names in a book.

I’d like to interject that I absolutely loved Oliver’s press conference scene. I like that he stood up for his team. A leader cannot only claim the good but the bad his team does. (Not to dismiss personal accountability, however.) No one is perfect, of course. But intentions should count for something. The hard part is finding someone with honorable intentions. Which brings me back to my point in last week’s review: Trust but verify. Trust is a line to be walked; on the one side there needs to be proof that trust is warranted. On the other side, trust is a leap of faith that the proof will come. Trust is a game of chance; you spin the wheel and sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not. Sometimes I think on this show there are too many leaps of faith. I’m a far more cautious person. It’s just in my nature. So I do understand Oliver’s reticence.

But I also understood Felicity’s point in their conversation too. Going out on a limb to see if Rene’s idea was viable wouldn’t have taken much effort. Because Oliver refused to take even a little chance on Rene it pushed Rene into acting on his own. Rene’s actions were reckless and proved disastrous but he was right about Sampson’s location. Rene refused to trust in Oliver’s vigilante training methods.

In many ways this villain of the week is an example of how we are our own worst enemies. Derek Sampson was created because Rene didn’t trust Oliver and vice versa. When we refuse to trust anyone, ever, we are only hurting ourselves. This stalemate between Rene and Oliver wasn’t going to get them anywhere. Someone had to be the one to bend and that person was Oliver.

Enter character growth.

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Arrow 5x02 "The Recruits"

You are two for two Arrow, another super solid episode. If this continues, S5 could be right up there with the best. Let’s do it!

Originally posted by babydaddyseries

I enjoyed the crap out this episode, there was so much to dig, here we go:

Oliver and Felicity - “I was in awe.”

Same girl! Same! Even if the writers are saying they are writing away from Olicity, they can’t really. Even in the most platonic of circumstances, Oliver and Felicity’s love and respect shine through. I love that Felicity is still there to smooth out Oliver’s rough edges without coddling him. She tells it like it is and she isn’t afraid to call him on his bullshit. Felicity is also there to listen and acknowledge all the things that make Oliver great as Green Arrow which is funnily enough being Oliver Queen. There were a few flirty moments sprinkled in and some great humor. Olicity is back and I’m so excited to see where we go from here.

“The Recruits”

I was against having new team members when the spoilers first dropped but I have to say, I kind of really enjoyed the breaking in of the new team. Curtis started to get on my nerves last season with his over-the-top always trying to be funny shtick. I like that they have toned him down and give him some actual depth. I love that he called Oliver out on his bullshit training/team building exercise. Wild Dog’s attitude started to grate but I like that in the end him and Oliver came to a truce of sort. I’m sure it’s by no means the end of the struggle. We didn’t get a lot of Evelyn so I can’t really comment. The biggest surprise for me was Ragman. We only got a tiny taste of him but I really believed what he was selling and thought the actor did a great job, I’m super intrigued to see how he fits into the team.

Pretty Boy Queen/Mayor Handsome

Seeing Oliver in Mayor mode is all kinds of great. I love that him and Thea are still a team, even if she’s no longer part of Team Arrow. Also love Thea and Quentin’s new father/daughter-ish relationship. Thea hasn’t had a (good) father in a long time and Quentin is still getting over the death of his daughter. It’s kind of perfect. Loved the scene where Thea suggests Quentin become Deputy Mayor, I think he’ll be great and I always enjoy his scenes with Oliver. I think the push/pull could be great and really entertaining.

Diggle

My poor Diggle! Watching him be Yoda to that young soldier who was scared, he’s such an amazing leader. Which only made it more tragic when said the newb is killed in front of Diggle and he is betrayed by his unit. Leave the man alone, he’s been through enough! Can’t wait for Diggle to go Spartan on their snake asses. I miss having Diggle on Team Arrow, can’t wait for him to come back.

Felicity + new boyfriend + Havenrock = Total cluster f*ck

My poor bunny. Felicity is not okay and that was proven in tonight’s episode in a couple of scenes. Her scene with the new boyfriend/detective is telling. She’s lying. Horribly. She’s doing an Oliver giving lame excuses to get him to help her figure out what the rags Wild Dog got off Ragman were made of. He also mentions that she hasn’t introduced him to any of her friends. (Same boo boo. LOL!) So she’s keeping her night gig from the new bae and not telling Oliver about the new bf either. Oh honey. I don’t think she’s as moved on and fine as she wants to believe she is. Which is only emphasised when Ragman makes an appearance and her reaction to finding out he was from Havenrock. The look on her face was heart wrenching to say the least. Having him in the bunker all the time as a reminder is torturous. This is the beginning of Felicity’s breakdown and I am super excited to have my heart ripped out of my chest and stomped all over. Bring it!

Our baddies + Bratva

Still digging Tobias Church, Chad is so great! And Prometheus is protecting Oliver….so he can be the one to kill him. Sweet, almost. I’m really loving having these street level villains back on Arrow. So much more grounded and gritty and in line with what made Arrow great in the first place. Love it!

We didn’t get much Bratva this episode, just more brutality and I’m not mad at it. It did like how they paralleled the training exercises between Bratva and Oliver training the new recruits.


I’m sure I missed a few things but that pretty much what came to mind. I know a lot of people aren’t feeling Arrow anymore and that’s fine but I’m really excited about this season and what they are setting up. Hopefully we can continue on this upswing. 

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