Spoilers will find their mark.
Arrow 4×02: The Candidate introduces us to a larger world. Felicity Smoak meets the stakeholders and well as a new ally, Curtis Hold (Echo Kellum). Damien Darhk (dammit I’m going to have write that name for the entire season, eh) continues his “assault” on the city (at what point does the National Guard jump in?) using a new bad guy, Lonnie Machin (Alexander Calvert), apparently destined to become Anarky (because in this episode he’s more psycho than anything else). Ollie and Thea receive the visit of Jessica Danforth (Jeri Ryan) and her daughter. Jessica shares with them her intention to run for mayor. It’s an almost by-the-numbers episode in the sense that each premise has an expected resolution.
First of all, Felicity has indeed inherited Palmer Technologies. She’s meeting the very cranky shareholders who apparently expect her to lay people off left and right. We meet Curtis Hold, who has an algorithm to improve the situation of the company (just go with it) but has been misread or misinterpreted or just plainly turned into an idea to fire people (just go with that too). Of course Felicity sympathizes but in the beginning it seems she has no recourse but to start firing people… Which, I’m sorry, makes no sense since Curtis already told her that’s not how it was supposed to be used. So when she finally stops and reads the darn report/formula/thingamajig and then she realizes that she can hire people again and they’re going to make money because she and Curtis will figure something out. I swear I’m not making this up. Whoever actually made it up did a lousy job.
Bad guy Lonnie Machin doesn’t fit the mold of criminal-with-a-cause Anarky. When Jessica Danforth announces her candidacy, Lonnie sets up a trick machine gun to distract everyone and leads Jessica away. Except he gets made by another security guard and is chased by Oliver. So he gets scolded by Damien. While Quentin Lance increments the security around Jessica, Lonnie goes after her daughter Madison. This is for some reason seen by Damien as… rude. Damien Darhk suddenly adopts some sort of morals and an ethical code, lecturing Lonnie about boundaries and of course name-dropping the word “anarchy” in the convo. This aspect of Damien comes totally out of nowhere. There has been nothing that suggest Damien follows any code at all. Are we rewriting this character as we go along?
The scene in which Lonnie psychologically tortures Madison is disturbing as hell. I found it a little too much. It’s cut short by Team Arrow’s entrance, tipped by Quentin who gets the tip himself from Damien. I also found it really inconsistent that Damien tells Quentin to mind his tone and his manners like some sort of elegant-gentleman-supervillain and then reminds the detective that he could still kill Laurel (btw, that was my guess on Quentin’s reasons to obey Darhk last week). Unless Damien has become bipolar, that just did not make sense at all.
Thea uses Lonnie’s shock-stick against him which for some reason makes him go up in flames. Arrow shoots a water pipe to put out the fire. Thea is out of control, and when Oliver decides to force-teach her a move… Wait, what is Ollie doing in this scene? Because it really looks like he’s picking a fight with her while lecturing her on how to fight. Thea goes into rage mode, which also looked awkward as hell. Time for Oliver to come clean about the Lazarus Pit. Quentin is not happy with Oliver and blames him for the burning man. Jessica Danforth gets her daughter back and withdraws from the mayoral run. Lonnie escapes, leaving the paramedics dead and a symbol for anarchy written in blood.
Turns out Laurel has been paying extra attention to the talk of the Lazarus Pit. After telling Ollie that she’s taking Thea out of town for a spa retreat (something that Thea strangely agrees to) she tells Thea they’re actually going to Nanda Parbat and they’re taking the corpse of Sara Lance with them.
Mixed feelings about the whole episode. Overall, seems the positive and the negative cancelled each other out. Let’s go to the highs/lows:
- Did the show brought onboard Jeri Ryan with an original character just to end up as inspiration for Oliver to run himself? Oliver looks a little young to run for mayor though.
- The way that Damien Darhk was written changed in the middle of the episode.
- Lame resolution for Felicity’s problem. Good introduction for Curtis Hold. Also, that’s Mr. Terrific.
- Disturbing scene where Lonnie Machin taunts/tortures Madison Danforth. Hoping Anarky is a better villain than this. Very awkward start though.
- Oliver was ridiculously patronizing to Thea, specially when she’s pissed at him and he forces her to spar.
- The flashback story of Oliver back at the island peeked my interest. Then the bad guy in charge recognizes him as Oliver Queen and asks him to join them? Why would he do that? Why not extort money from the Queens in return for Oliver’s life?
- We were all expecting Sara Lance to come back for the Legends of Tomorrow spinoff. You could see Laurel’s mind working as she learns what the pit does.
That will do for now.