Arrow Review: “The Odyssey”

Jethro sez:

Another strong episode. We get a huge amount of Island Exposition, and a new person is brought into the fold.

Title: “The Odyssey”

Cast and Crew

Director: John Behring

Writers: Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea “Speedy” Queen
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak

Full cast and crew can be found here.


Oliver’s confrontation with his mother does not go as planned, and he turns to an unexpected (well, semi-unexpected) person for help. Oliver’s extended state of unconsciousness leads to an episode that’s primarily Island Exposition. Which naturally raises more questions than it answers…

High Points

This episode was pretty high for me so it was hard to come up with specific high points, but:

  • All the Oliver On The Island Character Development.
  • “I swallowed it.”

Low Points

  • This episode starts off actually recycling the last few seconds of last week’s episode, which were one of last episode’s high points. Sadly that managed to turn into what the kids today call an EPIC FAIL.
  • Something about Felicity’s character just… bugs me. Maybe it’s because she’s a little like I am in real life so I just know real geeks don’t act that way. I think Emily Bett Rickards does a good job, but the writing for that character falls a bit short for me.

The Scores:

Originality: The framing device might not have been super original, but we got a lot of backstory this week and that was all fairly original. I’ve heard some people say the Island sections remind them of Lost, but never watched that so it’s all new to me. 5/6.

Effects: lots of action and explosions and planes (both flying and of the crashed variety), and as always everything looked really good. 6/6

Story: We got a whooole lot of Oliver’s backstory this week. Still didn’t explain everything, but it did actually answer some of our questions. Even the framing story had a good deal of character development for Felicity. 6/6.

Acting: Always good. It actually says something that Stereotype Mercenary Guy isn’t over-the-top cheesy. 5/6.

Emotional Response: I don’t think we were ever truly worried about Oliver, either in the framing story or in the flashback, but we did get to go along and see some of the conflicts that turned him into who he is today. 5/6

Production: This show has consistently good production values. 5/6

Overall: This was another strong episode. I was a bit disappointed at first – I wanted Oliver’s confrontation with his mother to go a completely different way. But they gave us Felicity’s reveal and a whole lot of Island, and ended up being a pretty good episode. 5/6.

In total, Arrow: The Odyssey receives 37/42 points.

16 replies on “Arrow Review: “The Odyssey””

    • The age-old problem of media representation, eh? Surely one example of x could act like anything, but when we have a group that’s poorly and under-represented, we can be mighty critical of how those few representations.

      It would be interesting to know in what way the character falls short. I’ve found much of the character writing a bit off generally, but writing characters who appear in a fantasy is always tricky business.

      • I’m a child at heart. I get past the silliness much of the time and just go along for the ride. :)

        But then, I AM a child of the 60’s and I know how to use my imagination to fill in the blanks…. I think we, as tv watchers, have grown to expect too much sometimes.

        Let me get lost in the story line, surprise me here and there, show some intelligence and I’m good to go.

        I loved LOST too, so I guess I’m the weird one.


        Ready for some Doctor Who!!! :)

    • There are a lot of things that are kinda off about that character – and it’s not a “female geek” thing, it’s just a geek thing. For one, I think she dresses all wrong. All her computer displays are fake. So is everyone else’s but she has so many of them and it makes it obvious. And “I updated your system” rather than “Yeah you should really install system updates and have some kind of anti-malware, even if you DO have a firewall.”

      It’s stuff like that that’s always slightly wrong on TV/movies. Kinda hard to avoid, it’s just a lot easier for me to notice because it’s what I do for a living. Kinda like I’m sure cop dramas annoy real police people, and hospital shows annoy real medical professionals, etc.

      • I’m a geek female and I adore her! :)

        And remember, girls can get away with “I updated your system and didn’t ask” rather than “you should … ”
        She was bored waiting for him to wake up, what else did she have to do? LOL

        *I’ve* done stuff like that….

        • I’m not complaining that she updated the system, it’s how she phrased it. Would you say “I updated your system” or “Oh FFS how long has it been since you ran Windows Update? And you see how Java and Flash are blinking down here saying they have critical updates? And do you even HAVE a firewall??? Oh and I installed Chrome for you because NOBODY should be using Explorer, what’s wrong with you?”

          Again, I know it’s a TV show, but in these cases it’s a bit difficult. And again I’m definitely not faulting the actress.

          • But I would!
            I would say “I updated your system”
            and have said it, but generally followed it with
            “because I was bored”

              • Really good news. I like her. And it’s obvious she’ll be sticking with them after they find Walter (unless they drag that out to multiple seasons… which I doubt.), despite her protests otherwise.

                I don’t find that many flaws with her portrayal aside from the typical Hollywood “geek” trappings. (e.g. Glasses don’t make someone a geek, hacking a random target is easy and fast, etc.) Certainly nothing I can’t overlook.

      • I think they generally screw up geeks, it’s just that with male geeks there’s a well established character stereotype that everyone adheres to so it seems more normal, for girl geeks the only other one I can think of offhand is Chloe from 24, she was pretty well done though in a very different style of show.

        Also note that most people aren’t interesting, as a result most characters on a TV show will have to be somewhat unrealistic so they don’t bore us to death. At the end of the day it seems to be a sympathetic portrayal so I’m happy.

  1. MY question is, why didn’t anyone talk about WHO Oliver’s mom was talking to?
    Did that bug anyone else?

      • I did find it a bit annoying that John Barrowman’s voice ended up distorted on the recording while Moira’s did not. I mean they could’ve had his voice be faint and say “Too bad the other person was too far away” or at least try and investigate who’s office it was!

    • Oliver’s blindness regarding his mum is driving me mad. I guess he has set the standard of Visitation, chance to repent, judgement and he may not be willing to follow that through with his mum but this “she is off limits” thing to Diggle just screams at me.

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