Arrow Review: “Three Ghosts”

No, it’s not quite Green Arrow’s take on A Christmas Carol, though Ollie does get visited by three ghosts that force him to self-reflection as he takes on villains with actual superpowers. The episode ends with an origin and a key revelation, before the show disappears until 2014.

Some bigger question on everyone’s mind: Will Roy Harper get up to speed? Will DC try to make gold having its smallscreen heroes save the world from Solomon Grundy? And can this version of the DCU support Flash?

Title: “Three Ghosts”

Cast and Crew
Director: John Behring
Writers: Gary Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns, Ben Sokolowski

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Grant Gustin as Barry Allen
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicty Smoak
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea Queen
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Alex Kingston as Dinah Lance
Colton Haynes as Roy Harper
Bex Taylor-Klaus as Sin
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
Celina Jade as Shado
Graham Shiels as Brother Silas Gold
Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood
Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn

Premise

Barry Allen saves Ollie’s life, but he’s hallucinating people from his past while he faces a significant challenge in the future. Roy Harper continues to meddle, we learn a troubling truth, and Barry returns to Central City for his rendezvous with destiny.

High Point

The Arrow’s battles include one high-action and intriguingly ambiguous encounter in his own lair.

Low Point

Barry makes Ollie a special mask—which continues to conceal nothing.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 This episode really overplays Arrow’s similarities to Batman, and ends by reminding us that they’ve grafted Bruce Wayne’s parental angst onto Barry Allen’s character. A certain villain, meanwhile, sounds an awful lot like the Kingpin during a certain fabled run on Daredevil.

That said, I refer you to my comment under Acting. We might be getting the Flash, but the show’s creators have their own take on Barry.

Effects: 6/6

Story: 5/6 The story, though choppy in places, holds together. The story arc approach often leads to better overall storytelling while leaving individual episodes in soap-fragments.

Acting: 5/6 Grant Gustin’s take on Barry Allen has me hopeful for the spin-off series.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Marvel has been winning out over DC on the big screen, but Arrow’s recent episodes have pushed it ahead of Marvel’s small screen offering. I really hope they find some way—unlikely though this may be—of tying these characters into their planned Justice League movie.

In total, “Three Ghosts” receives 32/42

Lingering Questions

Are the references to Solomon Grundy purposeful? Will Silas Gold return as DC’s undead supervillain? Do we want to see this happen?

4 replies on “Arrow Review: “Three Ghosts””

  1. Fez says:

    I commented to my wife about the mask not concealing anything more than the makeup, but it would at least make for a faster transition into/out of costume so it’s still a win. Unless there is some high-tech bit to it that we haven’t quite seen yet.

    We also got a laugh out of Oliver being mad about the gang revealing his identity to Barry.

    I am hopeful for The Flash, but we’ll have to see how well he does on his own or with his own set of supporting characters.

    I doubt the TV and Movie universes will intertwine, but I’d love to be surprised by it if they did. In a way it’s good to have them lead separate lives though so they aren’t bound to each others’ failures. DC has not had a good track record in Movies of late, but I have enjoyed many of the DC TV shows (even the bad ones. Yes, I even managed to find some value in Birds of Prey despite how cheesy/weird it could be.).

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      It would be difficult, what with scheduling and all, to use these characters in the films if the series remain in production. However, intertwining them can only help– it would bring more people to the theatre and show– without really having a negative effect on the already-established shows if the film doesn’t live up to expectations. It’s also truer to DC’s history. Though they try for some kind of continuity now, historically DC gave each character his or her own city and let them go their merry way except in the crossover books. No reason something like that couldn’t work here, with just a few references to tie things together.

      Heck, they’ve even had competing versions of Atlantis they’ve had to amalgamate.

  2. Jethro says:

    I think the mask is more a joke than anything. Definitely wouldn’t put it in there as a low-point.

    Shado dying like that, maybe. Well, assuming she died. Never know in this kind of show.

    I’m not super happy about Slade. I just don’t like those kind of plot twists.

    Also, did I miss something? Were Shado and Oliver not doing the whole Couple thing, and then suddenly it was her and Slade?…

    I like Emily Bett Rickards more every episode.

    • Blackadder says:

      Slade loved Shado but never said anything till he was about to die in last weeks episode.

      I do like the way that Shado died. It seemed meaningless and random rather than part of a bigger plot/plan. Its something that oliver cannot in any way be expected to be able to manage.

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