Thursday, February 27, 2014

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 14 - Time Of Death

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


With Sara Lance now a part of Team Arrow and officially Ollie's girlfriend, Felicity has come down with a bad case of envy.  A new villain - dubbed The Clock King by the press - isn't helping her inferiority complex, proving to be a technical genius capable of matching Felicity note for note.  Will Felicity save the day?  Or has her time come and gone?

At the same time, Laurel continues to stew as Quentin attempts to rekindle his relationship with ex-wife Dinah and restore the broken bonds between all the members of his family. 

In the flashbacks, our heroes' plans to assault Ivo's boat are interrupted when a plane is shot down over the island.  With the pilot dying and their sudden hope of rescue lost, Sara will face a difficult request.


Green Arrow: Year One
(The Island sequences), Birds of Prey: Perfect Pitch (possible inspiration for fight between Felicity and Clock King as well as Sara's relationship with Sin) and the film Batman and Robin (reference to MacGregor's Syndrome).


Dinah Lance says she never expected her daughter to come home.  This despite having been convinced (rightly, it turned out) that her daughter was alive and well somewhere back in Season One.


Once again, the entire ensemble rises to the occasion.  Even the characters who barely have cameos get their good moments.  Of particular note is Stephen Amell, who shatters any and all accusations that he is incapable of emoting strongly as he gives Laurel the dressing down she's needed all season.  Caity Lotz is also noteworthy for the sheer amount of variety and levels she displays throughout the episode in dealing with all of her relationships.  Finally, Emily Bett Rickards manages to play off what could have been an incredibly annoying plot turn (i.e. Felicity as jealous girl) with surprising subtlety.  


As usual, all the fight sequences are amazing.  But the sequence in which Ollie must flag down a bus to prevent it from running into a train is probably the best.


The first business The Clock King robs (and his former place of employment) is Kord Industries - a business familiar to long-time DC Comics fans as the company run by techie-superhero Blue Beetle (a..k.a. Ted Kord)

There are a number of villains who have used the name Clock King, but William Tockman was the first.  I recently wrote an article on the history of all the characters who have used the name Clock King that can be read here

The Arrow version of Clock King seems to be a combination of the original Clock King from the comics (same name and the motivation of needing money to take care of a sick sister before his own untimely death) as well as Temple Fugate - the Clock King created for the Batman: The Animated Series, with whom he shares an amazing gift for precision and efficiency.  He also borrows a number of Temple Fugate's time-related catch-phrases.

Unlike the comics, William Tockman's sickly sister is given a specific disease - Cystic Fibrosis. 

Clock King's adversarial relationship with Felicity resembles that between Oracle and The Calculator in Birds of Prey, particularly in the Perfect Pitch arc.

The bus Ollie flags down has a poster for a Blue Devil movie.  In the comics, The Blue Devil was a superhero.  Stunt-man/special effects expert named Daniel Patrick Cassidy built an full-body costume and super-strong exoskeleton to play the title role in a movie about a creature called "The Blue Devil".  One of his co-workers summoned a real demon (like you do) and the resulting magical backlash caused Daniel to become trapped in his suit.  His new look transforming him into something of a weirdness magnet, Daniel became a superhero.

Another reference to Gail Simone's Birds of Prey and the Perfect Pitch trade-paperback can be found in the relationship between Sin and Sara Lance.  In the comics, Dinah Lance adopted a young girl named Sin, who was being trained by the League of Assassins as their next great killer.  As in the show, Black Canary and Sin referred to each other as Little Sister/Big Sister.

The disease William Tockman is said to suffer from - MacGregor's Disease - is very close in name to MacGregor's Syndrome.  In the movie Batman and Robin, MacGregor's Syndrome is the fictional disease which Nora Fries suffered from, which inspired her husband Dr. Victor Fries to use experimental cryogenic technology to freeze her until he could find a cure.

More 52 references - William Tockman's address is 52 Nelson Way and he hides the tech that lets him destroy Team Arrow's computers in a Channel 52 news truck.

Sara says she used to tend bar at a placed called Oblivion.  This may be a reference to The Oblivion Bar from the comic Shadowpact.  However, it is unlikely to be the same bar as THAT Oblivion Bar existed in a pocket dimension and catered exclusively to magic users.

In the now infamous All-Star Batman and Robin comic, Black Canary was a bartender. 


The Clock King's medication is a fictional drug called Asmobarbitol.  This seems to be a common fake-drug name, as the same drug was apparently prescribed to Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica.  This is also close to Amobarbital - a real medication used for treating insomnia and anxiety disorders.

William Tockman suffers from MacGregor's Disease - a non-existent but real sounding fatal disease that causes a build-up of fluid in the lungs, oxygen deprivation and eventual multi-system organ failure.

Dialogue Triumphs

Not really dialogue, but you can catch a quick glimpse of Felicity clutching a bo-staff as if she's about to swing for Sara's head when Sara and Ollie kiss after working out together.

Clock King: The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience.
Clock King:
It's from War and Peace.  1440 pages.  It takes a while but it's worth the read.  Tolstoy knew that patience was the epitome of strength.  It takes fortitude to stand still.  Just as it is a sign of weakness or cowardice to move when you SHOULD NOT!

(At Sara's 'welcome back' party, Sin runs forward to hug Sara)
Thea: Uh... Sara, this is Sin.
Roy: (confused) Wait... do you two know each other?
Sara: Ahhhh... No.. we don't.
Sin: (catching on) Right.  Uh...I just love it when people come back from the dead, you know?  It juices my zombie fetish.
(There is a long pause)
Roy: (offers his hand to Sara) Roy.
Sara: (taking it) Sara.

Again, not really dialogue, but the awkward physical business between Ollie and Quentin after Quentin apologizes to Oliver for having treated him badly in the past is hilarious.

Ollie: I didn't think you'd be here.
Moira:  This is my house.  And if you don't want to pretend to be mother and son then don't throw parties in my home.

(As his minions break into a bank vault)
Clock King: Extract as much money as you can in 90 seconds.
(the two henchmen start filling their bags)
Clock King: Stop!  Get out.
Thug: But we still have 20 seconds!
Clock King: (tensely) No you don't.
(We see the monitor The Clock King is staring at intently - which shows The Arrow storming down the hallway toward the vault.)

Thea: (to Ollie) You're lucky your life does not revolve around lying.

Ollie: Hey!
Laurel: You are unbelievable!  You lectured me - on how I need to repair my relationship with Sara - when you're the one who messed it up in the first place.   By screwing her!  And now you're doing it again!
Ollie:  You're right.  This is all my fault.
Laurel: Yeah!  Yeah!  Yes, it is!
Ollie: And is you losing your job... doing drugs... being a drunk.  Is that my fault?  Is that your family's fault?  Or are you going to blame Tommy for dying?
Laurel: Screw you, Oliver!
Ollie:  I stood by you through everything!  The DUI?  Losing your job?  I was concerned about your well-being when you were trying to get my mother the death penatlty! 
Laurel: (sarcastic) Yeah, and you've been a real stand-up kind of guy...
Ollie:  Look, do you think you're the only one who is having a hard time?!  You think you're the only one with family issues?!  You have no idea what is going on with my family right now! (pause)  But I am still standing here!  And you are are still blaming everybody but yourself!
Laurel: (pause) Are you done?
Ollie: Yeah.  Yeah, I'm done.  I'm done taking the blame.  And I'm done caring.  You want a drink?  Get wasted.  Go.  Go to Verdant.  I'll pay for it.  (pause) I have loved you for half my life. But I am done running after you.


Despite having a number of other colorful injuries, Oliver has never taken damage from a grenade. 

William Tockman is an encryption engineer by trade and an ex-employee of Kord Industries.

Sara knows how to do blood analysis.

Sara now has her own bike to ride around town with as Canary.  We see her and Ollie using separate bikes throughout the episode. 

Quentin Lance's specialty in the kitchen is Chicken Cacciatore.  He is, however, somewhat out of practice at cooking and admits to not having had a proper kitchen in six years.

Dinah Lance is a professor of Greek and Medieval History at Central City University.  She has apparently entered into a relationship with someone else and has no interest in rekindling her relationship with Quentin.

By episode's end, Sara is now employed at Verdant as a bartender.

Sara used to tend bar back in college at a sleazy place called Oblivion. 

Laurel attends her first group therapy meeting with Quentin.

Sin is revealed to be the pilot's daughter, whom he asked Sara to seek out and look after. 

The Fridge Factor

Too much of this episode is dependent on Felicity becoming uncharacteristically territorial and catty regarding another woman being in The Arrow Cave.  It's a cliche that shouldn't work as well as it does and it is a credit to both Emily Bett Rickards and Caity Lotz that they manage to make it work at all, much less as well as they do.

The Winick Factor

Ollie goes from being smart enough to realize he and Sara should hide their relationship in public at the start of the episode to attending a family-only dinner with her for no apparent reason.  Even a drunken, strung-out Laurel is able to put two and two together.  A bigger problem is just how long Ollie can expect to keep his identity hidden from Quentin Lance, if Arrow and Canary keep showing up at the same time Ollie and Sara disappear together.

The Bottom Line

An excellent episode in most regards.  The cast does a great job with what material they have to work with and there's a lot of good character moments in the script.  That being said, a lot of the drama is built around the cliches of women not being as territorial as cats, which really doesn't ring true when one of the women involved is Felicity Smoak  Still, it looks like Laurel is finally getting her act together and The Clock King is a worthy addition to the show's gallery of rogues.  Hopefully we'll see more of him in the future, assuming the character isn't really living on borrowed time.  . 

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