The Arrow Mid-Season Premiere “Who Are You?” Says Bye Bye, to the Awful Canary Statue

Review: Arrow Mid-Season Premiere “Who Are You?”

I know what you’re thinking: What’s she doing here? When last we met, I swore I was done with Arrow. This was going to be my last hurrah, my final recap to let you all know that I was switching my loyalties to Riverdale until this show it got its act together. But then something shocking happened—I kind of loved this episode.

Against all odds, this was a really good hour of television. Yes, it helped that the journalist didn’t appear, but it also helped that Laurel (Katie Cassidy) isn’t really back from the dead. Instead, Earth-2 Laurel was posing as our Laurel. Though Oliver (Stephen Amell) may have been fooled, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) immediately knew something was wrong.

At the end of the midseason finale, Felicity was mourning the death of her current boyfriend at the hands of her ex-fiancé. She was still in mourning here, but rather than give into sadness, she got angry. It was kind of great. Listen, I love that Felicity is Arrow‘s resident ray of sunshine, but homegirl would make a great villain too. She tends to get personal when she’s in a foul mood and seeing her dress down Oliver is always such delicious fun. How badass (and telling) was that moment when she told Team Arrow to disobey Oliver’s orders and they barely even argued? Yeah, Oliver was a little snippy about it later, but Felicity was right in the long run. Why Oliver argues with her is beyond understanding. She’s the smartest person in every room, except for Curtis (Echo Kellum), maybe.

Speaking of Curtis, he was pretty gloomy too. Still reeling from his break-up with his adorable, perfect husband, Mr. Terrific was questioning why he’s in the vigilante business at all. While he has every right to brood, the whole thing was a little too Oliver-esque for my taste. Despite the many improvements the show somehow made between this episode and last, it’s titular hero is still its weakest link. We don’t need another Oliver. Still, it is hard to believe that an alleged Olympic gold medal decathlete would get his ass kicked so much. My dislike for Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) is well-documented, but he wasn’t unbearable in his scenes with Curtis and maybe sharing screentime will be good for both characters.

Also good together? The new DA, Adrian Chase, (Josh Segarra) and Diggle (David Ramsey). Though the latter didn’t really have much to do this episode except for put on his best broody Oliver act, Chase finally got some time to shine. Segarra was sex appeal given human form as Emilio Estefan in Broadway’s On Your Feet, but he hasn’t done much on this show except be mysterious. Granted, Adrian is still really mysterious, but watching him manipulate his way into becoming Diggle’s lawyer was really intriguing.

I guess this is the point where I should probably talk about Oliver, but really, who cares? Felicity pointed out that he’s much more optimistic now than in Season 1 and while that seems true on the surface, it doesn’t really hold up. Oliver has always been overly optimistic where beautiful women are concerned. Remember Helena Bertinelli (Jessica De Gouw)? Oliver hasn’t changed nearly enough in the last four and a half years and his behavior this episode–including his inability to take advice–only emphasized the fact. That said, you do have to appreciate how much Oliver admires powerful women. Sure it’s probably a lot of misplaced mommy issues, but hey, if that means friggin’ Talia al Ghul is about to become the next Canary, then he’s not totally worth less. Maybe the show isn’t either.

Rating: 8/10

By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to.