Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 19 - Broken Arrow

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


Roy Harper's sacrifice has bought Oliver Queen his freedom... for now. But Quentin Lance is still determined to see Oliver Queen behind bars. Looks like a good time for The Arrow to lay low. But that's impossible with a new metahuman villain threatening Starling City. Reluctantly, Oliver will have to turn to Ray Palmer and his ATOM Suit for help. But can the inexperienced hero save the city in The Arrow's place?

Five years ago, Oliver Queen discovers that it is The US Army - Not ARGUS - that has been hunting him and The Yamashiro family. And that unless he moves quickly, the Alpha/Omega bioweapon may be unleashed on Hong Kong!


The Fall of Green Arrow and The Rise of Arsenal by J.T. Krul.


How did Oliver wind up at the police station before Roy and Quentin?


Colton Haynes gets a wonderful send-off episode, if this really is good bye for Roy Harper. Frankly, I'm Scooby-Dubious, even if the news says Haynes is out for good. But if this is his final bow, it's a hell of an episode to go out on.  Between a great fight scene, a great death scene, some wonderful scenes playing off Ollie, Thea and Quentin and riding off into the night... there's a lot of great Roy moments in this episode and Haynes plays them all perfectly.


The shot of Ray high-fiving Oliver, with his twitching ATOM gauntlet in the foreground.

The fight scene between a handcuffed Roy Harper and several inmates is very well executed.


In the comics, Deathbolt was a wanted murderer named Jake Simmons, who acquired electricity-control powers after the biplane he was flying was struck by lightning.

This origin is similar to how both of the Mardon brothers acquired weather-control powers in the DCTVU.

The DCTVU version of Deathbolt has similar powers, though he seems to generate plasma rather than electricity. Also, this Jake Simmons is a serial bank robber rather than a convicted killer.  He most frequently manifests his powers through his eyes with a red blast of focused energy reminiscent of Superman's heat vision.  He proves capable of absorbing the electrical power of Ray Palmer's compressed light beams and thanks Ray for "topping him off".

Quentin Lance is described as "going Ahab" after Oliver Queen. This is a reference to the vengeful captain from the novel Moby Dick.

Felicity quotes The Wizard of Oz when saying farewell to Roy - "I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow."

Cisco mentions that Deathbolt was in prison in Opal City on the night of the particle accelerator explosion.  Opal City is the home of the superhero Starman in the DC Comics universe.  Perhaps not coincdentally, one of Deathbolt's last appearances in the comics was attempting to kill the first Starman, Ted Knight, during the DC One Million event.


Ray says that the injection Felicity gave him injected 6.2 billion nanobots into his epithalamus.

Ray develops a neural network for The ATOM suit, allowing him to move the suit just by thinking. This is later used by Oliver to turn Ray into a puppet he can fight through.

Ray used enhanced resonance scans to take "photos" of Deathbolt's crime scene.  These, interlaced with the news footage of the robbery, allows them to get a clear picture of Deathbolt and determine his identity.

During the first fight with Deathbolt, The ATOM suit recorded over 10 terabytes of data, which were transmitted in real-time to a geosynchronous satellite.

Ray creates a transponder that can be uploaded to a power source and used to track Deathbolt.

Roy fakes his death with the help of an ARGUS agent trained in cutting a person in just the right way to make them bleed a lot without cutting anything lethal. The knife was laced with a beta blocker that slows the heartbeat to a crawl, creating the illusion of death.

Dialogue Triumphs

Roy: Oliver, ever since I found out that I killed that cop, I've been trying to make it right as Arsenal. Maybe what I need to do is make it right as The Arrow.
Ollie: No, Roy...
Roy: I killed a police officer. Mirakuru or not I should be punished for that. I should be in prison.
Ollie: That won't bring the officer back. This city still needs you!
Roy: It needs you more. For the first time since I remembered what I did... I'm okay.

Roy: When we got back together... hell, even before that... I... I made a promise to myself that I'd never lie to you again.
Thea: Okay.
Roy: That's why I didn't want to see you. I didn't want to break that promise.
Thea: Why would you?  Roy?
Roy: Thea, please... just... know that I'm gonna be fine.
Thea: Is that a lie?
(Roy just snorts and hangs up the phone)

Ray: How many abandoned warehouses do you think there are in this city? No, no - I'm genuinely curious!
Ollie: Stay focused, Ray.
Felicity: (nervously) Maybe Simmons isn't in there?
Ollie: Do you get this anxious when I'm out in the field?
Felicity: I honestly can't think of an answer to that question that doesn't get me in trouble.
(Ollie glances to Diggle, who shakes his head)
Ray: Still nothing. Not a visual sighting or any other reading at all from The ATOM. And when I say ATOM, I mean the suit. Not myself in the third person.
Ollie: (To Felicity) There's a decent chance that you and Palmer are related.
(Felicity glares daggers at Ollie)

(After fighting off several prisoners with his hands cuffed together and being challenged to show how good he is without his arrows)

Roy: Just remember - that was without arrows.

Diggle: You have to throttle this back, Oliver! You have to! Before you lose everything.
Ollie: I've already lost everything. I'm not going to lose Roy.

Quentin: Look, I know you've got to be doing this because you think you owe Queen something, but you don't.  You don't deserve to be here!
Roy: Patrol Officer Gabe Vincent. Left behind a wife and a nine year old boy.
Quentin: I know.
Roy: I killed him!  I stabbed him in the chest with an arrow. So don't think for a second that I don't deserve to be here.
Quentin: No.  You don't think for a second what you're doing here makes up for any of what you did out there.

Oliver: You did all this without asking?
Roy: How many times have you saved one of us without asking?  This time we had to save you.

Felicity: (To Oliver) I just think sometimes you're so focused on the people you love, you forget to see that there are people who love you.


Roy refers to the events of 212 and how he found out Ollie's secret identity.

Roy Harper has previous convictions on charges of breaking-and-entering, petty theft and grand larceny.

Felicity makes reference to the events of F118 to explain why they can't call The Flash for help.

Ollie refers to what Maseo told him in 301 about a man not being able to live by two names.

Quentin refers to the events of 120 and how he once showed Roy Harper the body of a man killed by The Arrow to scare him away from trying to find him.

By the episode's end, the public thinks Roy Harper was The Arrow and that The Arrow died in Iron Heights prison.  Roy Harper hits the road to start a new life, with an untraceable satellite phone Felicity gave him and a red sport car.

When Ray drops Deathbolt off at STAR Labs, Cisco makes an amazing discovery.  Namely, that Deathbolt - despite having a last known address in Central City - was in prison in Opal City on December 11th, 2013.  This means that some people outside of Central City have metahuman powers.

Ra's Al Ghul kills Thea Queen in her apartment,.

The Fridge Factor

Laurel shows up just long enough to spring Ollie from jail and then disappears for the rest of the episode.

Felicity briefly handles The Idiot Ball, not thinking something is odd about the masked man (Deathbolt) at the power plant.  At least she's redeemed by tricking him to get away later.

Thea is killed, purely to push the plot forward and give Ollie more to angst about.

The Bottom Line

Like All-Star Team-Up, the actual team-up aspect of this episode falls flat. Not through any fault of the actors, mind you.  Doug Jones is menacing enough as Deathbolt but he has too little to work with. And the interplay with Felicity and Ray works even better with Oliver rolling his eyes and biting his lip in the background.

What really sells this episode is everything involving Roy Harper and it's seemingly a shame that the writers just now seem to have turned Roy into an amazing character only to push him off-stage.  Of course, TNT is working on that Titans series...

The last 10 minutes of the episode are some of the most powerful we've seen yet. And it ends with a cliffhanger that left me screaming.  Next week can't come soon enough!

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