Arrow Episode Commentary: A City of Darhk-ness: “The Candidate”

It’s no secret that Arrow is a show that has its dark moments. Oliver Queen’s five years away from home, then return as the Arrow, has been full of gloom and mystery. Last week’s premiere shined light into Ollie’s new life, just to take it away for the betterment of Starling City. A city broken needs its guiding arrow- it’s Green Arrow.

At the start of The Candidate (directed by John Behring), it appears that the team has smoothed out its initial bumps and is working more fluid together. This, of course, does not come without their own personal troubles: Diggle excels at close combat (in a fan loathed Magneto-esque mask) but is distracted by an idea about The Hive, Felicity is back as the brains with a lot on her mind as new CEO of Palmer Technologies, Laurel is (shockingly) the voice of reason and Thea is struggling to be a recently resurrected do-gooder.

While our vigilante team fights to hold it together (mentally and as a unit), Damien Darhk is making us quiver (bad pun) in our boots. In these two episodes alone, he’s asserted himself as a force to be reckoned with. He evokes an uneasiness that is reminiscent of D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk with lines to his minions, like “You know your hand is on me.” Darhk has a mission that will not be disrupted. You are either with him or in his way. A puppet or an easily movable obstacle. Sadly, one of our main characters has taken the bait (For the record, I’ve never been their biggest fan).

What I will always applaud DC’s small screen stints for is their continuity and commitment to their crossovers. We got another hint to how Legends of Tomorrow will begin to get its legs for the late fall release, and I am psyched. Let’s just say, there’s a girls trip in the works that is bound to go the ways of Pet Cemetary.

Back at the main plot line, Oliver seems hell bent on making his second coming to Starling City better than the first. He’s ready to take on a new responsibility, equipped with a new suit, as well as a new attitude. His scolding of Thea, makes one think suburban life has made our crime fighter soft. It couldn’t be all brunch, omelets and morning jogs forever. To be rational, he’s seen his fair share of suffering, murder and pain.

This season of Arrow looks promising, and will probably focus on Oliver grappling with the life he desires versus the life that needs him. Jack Barrowman’s presence is missed we haven’t seen the last of Malcolm Merlyn.

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