Year's End

Episode Report Card
Monty Ashley: B+ | 3 USERS: A+
Black Arrow
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

In the introduction, when Oliver claims that his only goal on the island was "survive," I feel like he's leaving out all the intensive martial arts and language training he did. I've survived the last five years, but I didn't magically turn into a superhero. And now I feel like a failure. Thanks a lot, television show!

Once the actual show starts, A bald guy on a phone tells someone that something is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope you like vagueness! Then he turns to the camera and asks if someone's come back for another pound of flesh. Then he falls, with three black arrows in his torso.

In the Arrowlair Oliver trains Diggle in knife fighting (because it's another thing that Oliver is an expert in and Diggle doesn't know anything about) and they talk about Oliver's been getting work done on The List between episodes. And it's Christmas, which Oliver forgot about because "there were no holidays on the island." This leads to him reminiscing about how his father used to put a tree in every room in the castle. Opulent! Diggle suggests taking the holiday off, because surely Oliver is in the nice column. Is he? I mean, set aside the vigilante behavior for a minute; he's kind of rude to everyone around him. And that's exactly the kind of behavior that Santa Claus objects to.

Back to the island! Yay! I like the island more, because it's crazier. And the Starling City plots are kind of repetitious, what with all the archery. Oliver wakes up in the cave as Yao Fe (the Chinese Archer) comes in with a dead rabbit and a canteen. Oliver whines about how he ran out of food and water days ago. Then Yao Fe brings in the general who was interrogating him in that tent a few episodes ago. Oliver's way home is apparently this guy's carotid artery, although it's not clear how that would work exactly.

Back in the present day, Oliver comes home and compliments Thea's clothing. She explains that she dressed up because Moira and Walter are having a dinner party. They should have a schedule posted so everyone in the family knows about that sort of thing. Oliver complains that there are no Christmas decorations up, although he didn't even remember Christmas in the last scene. Come to think of it, he watches the local news constantly, so he really should have noticed the endless Christmas fluff stories. Oliver is particularly distressed that there are no candy canes, because he and Thea used to have a thing they did with them.

Oliver barges into the dinner party, which is not polite. But there's a place set for him, so I guess the rude part is where he wasn't there from the beginning. As he sits down, everyone is talking about Robin Hood. And the party includes the police commissioner and John Barrowman! The Internet says that John Barrowman's name is Malcolm Merlyn, so I guess I should be calling him Malcolm. But he's clearly John Barrowman, so you can see my dilemma. The discussion drifts onto the topic of the hooded vigilante, and Oliver says, "I think the vigilante needs a better code name than 'The Hood' or 'The Hood Guy.'" Everyone agrees, especially people who recap the show. I'll just go ahead and speak for everyone on this. Malcolm suggests the name "Green Arrow" so Oliver can call it lame. I hate it when reimaginings dump on the originals. Do the creators of "Arrow" think they're too realistic and gritty to use that name? Come up with your own name, then, and let's see how good you are. Because you appear to be aware that "The Hood Guy" is an exceptionally lame eponym. And I use fancy words like "eponym," so I must know what I'm talking about.

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