‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 8 Review – Falling Out

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

Stephen Amell in Arrow Vendetta Arrow Season 1, Episode 8 Review – Falling Out

After last week’s revealing ‘Muse of Fire‘ episode,  Arrow makes the case that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) can learn to become a different – and possibly better – hero by trying to keep another vigilante from crossing a potentially devastating moral line.

By showing his new flame Helena (Jessica De Gouw) that her quest for revenge would be better served if she weren’t consumed by it, or didn’t let it dictate her increasingly reckless actions, Oliver has taken the next step in what it means to be a hero, not just another vigilante.

In ‘Vendetta,’ Oliver takes the Huntress under his wing to show her a different way of doing things. At first, she doesn’t get it; the distinction isn’t enough for her – Arrow kills, so why can’t the Huntress? Slowly, Ollie begins to illustrate that Arrow isn’t just out to put bad guys in the ground or to start mob wars between the Bertinelli crew and the Triads. He’s more interested in forcing those people to own up to their crimes and pay for what they’ve done, not just die for it. For a moment, Helena’s classes with professor Queen seem to pay off; the two make a hit on a drug dealer and walk away without killing anyone. Helena seems to dig it; the crossbow goes great with his bow and arrow, purple and green look good together…so why can’t things last?

It turns out, as damaged as Oliver is, Helena may be worse off. Oliver’s actions may have cost him the love of his life, but at least Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is still alive. Yes, she’s with Tommy (Colin Donnell) now, but even a justifiably bitter ex-girlfriend and a recently penniless best buddy are something of a support system, a reason to continue the fight for justice and not let revenge turn him completely into a hateful killer. But those people are kept at arm’s length, and as good an associate as John Diggle (David Ramsey) has become, Oliver’s not quite ready to be as upstanding and righteous as Diggle thinks he can be. So Arrow takes on the challenge of saving the Huntress, and winds up saving himself in the process.

Stephen Amell and Jessica De Gouw in Arrow Vendetta The CW Arrow Season 1, Episode 8 Review – Falling Out

What works best in ‘Vendetta’ is the way it depicts how far Ollie has come from the angry man who snapped necks with zero compunction. By episode’s end, Arrow is the hero who would save a mob boss’ life, so that Helena wouldn’t make the biggest mistake of hers. It was the kind of hard victory that heroes are so often asked to take as a win. Sure, Bertinelli is likely going to go to prison for a very long time, but Ollie failed to convince someone he cared about that it was justice. Helena was the most profound, persuasive way for Oliver to see precisely what it was he had the potential to become: A grief-stricken, angry young person with bone to pick and the means to do something about it. Helena wasn’t just a new shot at personal happiness, she was his inspiration to turn the corner on finally becoming the hero that the hood was intended to represent.

While Oliver continues to grow, the show seems to as well. For the second week, Arrow hasn’t flashed back to the island and it didn’t seem like a big deal; in fact, the episode felt more cohesive in many ways. Additionally, the dinner scene with Tommy and Laurel, which earlier in the season would have been just another uncomfortable scenario for Oliver to deal with, worked as a nice way to illustrate Helena’s state of mind. It also proved that the show was capable of putting together a story that meant a great deal for the development of the series, not just the progression of the plot.

Stephen Amell and Jessica De Gouw in Arrow Vendetta Arrow Season 1, Episode 8 Review – Falling Out

Various other items:

  • “You’re probably the right guy for the job.” Oliver has a lot to learn about being in management. Anyway, it looks like Tommy is going to be working for his best friend in the near future. Let’s hope that’s not what might turn him into a villain.
  • Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) continues to take somewhat hokey dialogue and make it sound as close to funny as possible. At any rate, here’s hoping her investigation with Walter (Colin Salmon) winds up providing them both more screen time.
  • Again, Diggle has proven valuable in being able to direct Oliver toward the moral high ground, but that can’t be all the character is destined to do, right?

Arrow will head into hiatus following next Wednesday’s midseason finale, ‘Year’s End’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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28 Comments

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  1. Man I can for speedy(Roy Harper) or even a nightwing team up

  2. This was by far the best episode of the season. I’m really curios about the whole Huntress issue. The only thing that let me down was the fact that next weeks episode is the mid-season finale.

    First Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and now this? I seriously can’t take anymore mid-season finales!!

    • Yeah it’s that time of the year

    • I’m sorry but I stopped halfway through this badly written and acted episode. The forced love story was more than I could handle especially with that whole graveyard-reminiscing scene.

      I tried to force myself to like this show but honestly I couldn’t. People keep heaping praise on it like it’s some ground breaking show when it’s far from it.

      Whoever the huntress is, she can’t act or her lines are just bad. They’re trying to force complex relationships on card board characters. I wonder who still has faith in the writers of CW to produce something good.

      • Sly, I agree, the show isn’t very good. I watch it half-heartedly because it’s supposedly [Green] Arrow.

        • So don’t watch it and quit whining. What shows DO you guys like?

      • I watch for the action. The dialogue has never been that good. Sad thing is that it is still better than half the shows out there. The Walking Dead is still the best :)

  3. I got A good chuckle wene Olie desinged her an outfit and she askes”Is it purple,I like purple”. But I was A little dispointed to hear next week is the midseason finale darn.

  4. Its the most wonderful time of the year?

    WRONG

    The Walking Dead AND Arrow are both on hiatus until next year.

    To me thats the most depressing time of the year.

  5. loved seeing helena and oly kicking ass together that was awesome and i frikin hate mid season finales!!! the wait just kills mee

  6. no!!!!! i dont want a midseason finale!!! hopefully it returns a lot sooner than revolution. I dont want to have to wait until march.

  7. Kevin, I think that, out of possible attachment to the character of Green Arrow, you’re giving this show too much praise.

    “Arrow makes the case that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) can learn to become a different – and possibly better – hero by trying to keep another vigilante from crossing a potentially devastating moral line.”

    —That case, despite Arrow’s attempt at it, was never made. Arrow tries to force us to believe that Oliver was saving another vigilante. Not true. Helena is an angry girl intent on hurting & killing her dad, because he hurt her by killing her fiancé (while she attempted to secretly take her dad down). She had only one target, and one purpose that benefited only her; and in its course she created the same loss in others (Helena says about Nick Salvati “….he was like a brother to me”). That’s not a vigilante. That’s just a cold-hearted murderer, like many other criminals.

    —Through this episode Oliver comes across as a child, who did not receive enough discipline and rebuking on that Island. Diggle comes across as the hero. What this episode illustrates is that circumstance does not create a true hero; it may spur someone to heroic action. But it is ones character that lends to being a hero, regardless of the size of one’s actions. Character is something that Oliver is weak in, as he only visited his recently hospitalized mother once in two episodes.

    —The case can be made that Oliver equipped Helena with tools and disguise, taking her from the level of a criminal to that of a low level comic-bookish villain.

    “By showing his new flame Helena (Jessica De Gouw) that her quest for revenge would be better served if she weren’t consumed by it, or didn’t let it dictate her increasingly reckless actions, Oliver has taken the next step in what it means to be a hero, not just another vigilante.”

    —How does being intentionally blind, help develop you into a hero? Doesn’t Oliver admit to this at the end? Trying to help Helena was more of an issue of Oliver being lonely.

    “In ‘Vendetta,’ Oliver takes the Huntress under his wing to show her a different way of doing things.”

    —Kevin, for the point your trying to make about this episode, Oliver should also take China White under his wings, as she also wanted to murder Papa Bertinelli for killing her people.

    “…Arrow kills, so why can’t the Huntress?”

    —And that’s what makes Batman, Superman, Ironman, etc (in similarly recent on screen iterations) more intriguing and their actions more justifiable. When does Arrow deem it necessary to kill? When the enemy has seen his face? Really?

    “Slowly, Ollie begins to illustrate that Arrow isn’t just out to put bad guys in the ground or to start mob wars between the Bertinelli crew and the Triads.”

    —So what does Helena do after she has apprehended her father? Throughout the episode, I kept wondering what’s the point of Oliver doing all of this?

    —Yes, Helena, was an informant against her father. But there are also other CI’s in the world. Is that a strong enough reason for her to continue being a “vigilante” after her father is apprehended? Or is her scope so limited that Oliver is wasting his time?

    “It turns out, as damaged as Oliver is, Helena may be worse off”

    —Why? If you weigh all that Oliver has gone through, the people he has lost, and the on-raft murder and suicide he witnessed, how is Helena worse off (to the point she just kills)? I know the show pushes this, but why? Is she just fragile? Then show us.

    “By episode’s end, Arrow is the hero who would save a mob boss’ life, so that Helena wouldn’t make the biggest mistake of hers.”

    —You realize that in the course of saving Frank Bertinelli inside his home, Oliver injured/killed another mob person with an arrow and then allowed Frank Bertinelli to shot a bunch of other people. Was that just so the mob boss, a primary character for the episode, could be sent to prison, while the unimportant rest are sent to their fictional graves?

    “Helena wasn’t just a new shot at personal happiness, she was his inspiration to turn the corner on finally becoming the hero that the hood was intended to represent.”

    —”The hood” hasn’t yet been set up as a symbol, just a concealment. I think you’re mixing this up with the Batman trilogy. Not everything means something. And, so far, it hasn’t been shown that anyone, aside from Laurel, considers Arrow a hero.

    “While Oliver continues to grow, the show seems to as well. For the second week, Arrow hasn’t flashed back to the island and it didn’t seem like a big deal; in fact, the episode felt more cohesive in many ways.”

    —Nah, this is actually a failing on the part of the episode and the show as a whole. Yes, it felt more cohesive, and that’s because flashback, for the most part, are disruptive. But, for a show that’s driven by a character whose persona and mission was created by the events on an island, it needs to do a better job showing that.

    —It’s funny, and stupid, that in the course of a few months, Oliver is “growing” out of the character he developed over the 5 year island ordeal.

    “Additionally, the dinner scene with Tommy and Laurel, which earlier in the season would have been just another uncomfortable scenario for Oliver to deal with, worked as a nice way to illustrate Helena’s state of mind.”

    —That Helena is jealous, insecure, and quick-to-judgement? Just like almost every TV-based girlfriend that meets an ex-girlfriend, and then turns on her boyfriend (obviously to varying degrees)? I knew that was the direction the show would take. I was hoping it wouldn’t.

    —The possible eventuality between Oliver and Laurel, as their history has been set up, is revolting. If they do get together in the future, it’ll be an indication of how shallow both characters are.

    • Tom, you realize this is a comments section, and not your own personal blog, right? Why does it always seem like commenters such as yourself can’t express their own opinion without trying to diminish the opinion of someone else? What is the purpose of that?

      • Here! Here! Harumphh! Harumphh!

        Here’s a guide to follow:

        If your comment is longer than the original post, then you said too much.

        • Negacrowbar, rhetorically speaking, should I count the number of words in a post, and then make my comment one word less, 5 words less? What’s my limit?

          Some people look to reviews, for insight into an episode or for something they may have missed. I appreciate Kevin’s reviews, especially those for Mad Men as I only started watching it in its fifth season. But if a review is not wholly accurate does that benefit its readers?

          • Just a joke, Tom, nothing more..lol…

      • Rod, haha, it is long. And, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t read it. Nevertheless, it wasn’t directed to you.

        Didn’t diminish Kevin’s opinions, but provided some assessments based on points he made and pointed out areas where they didn’t equate with things done or said in the episode.

        Many of my own comments were in the form of questions, inquiring as to the thought of Kevin’s comments.

        My comment was lengthy because it includes quotes from the blog post and it was me quickly free-writing for 15 minutes.

        • Yup, and nobody cares what you think.

      • Well, it is called Screen RANT for a reason I suppose.

    • Holy Crap Tom!!! Nice book!

      Anyways………..

      Another terrific episode. As I’ve said before the show continues every week to get better, a mark of a great series.

      Ollie is growing, as are the rest of the characters. This show just makes me think “I can’t wait to see what happens next!” it was great to have Walter back as well as Ms. Smoak. Laurel still loves Ollie. Tommy is on his way to the dark side, you can see it coming and there was very little of Thea which was nice.

      It will be interesting to see who this dark archer character is next week.

      The Huntress will be back, as will China White. That’s a good thing! I wouldn’t be surprised to see a return of Deadshot in the second half of the season, or next season either.

      Great episode, great series, great writing, and I can’t wait for more!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Tom. i had to stop in the middle of the episode because it was that horrible. I got into the show yesterday and i just now got to episode 8. It seems that the character the writers were developing based on the first few episodes, no longer stands. Honestly, i find the character Helena awful. I wish she died when her father shot the arrow. Yes, I gave the episode another shot after reading the review, but i am hesitant to watch the next episode because i do not know where the writers are trying to take the show. For what i can see, every episode they have a new plan and agenda on where they want the season to go and due to this, the characters are becoming weak and rather annoying. All in all, i hope the next few episodes are better. I appreciate your opinion on the episode and kevin’s outlook.

  8. It’s official, just about all the women on this show are unlikable (except for IT girl, but give her time).

    Jessica De Gouw (despite the comic book lines she was given) was really able to show pain and empathy, making her character more human than any on the show (except for Ollie). She has really good eyes and the cemetery scene (as well as the flirtatious shooting scene) is probably the best in the series so far. Her last line, rebuffing Ollie, killed her for me, but it makes sense viewers draw closer to Ollie the more pain he’s in.

    The show has a real women problem. While most of the female characters have good reason for being mad at Ollie, you can’t have a show where all your female characters are constantly PO’ed. Thea is awful (Willa Holland is actually good at playing this unlikable figure). Mom is a possible villain (although she’s going through a transformation as of late). Laurel (Black Canary in the comics) is unfortunately made for the comic book Green Arrow who is much more like Tommy Merlin, a care-free sort who needs a serious woman to make him grow up. That’s not THIS Ollie. Also, the actors have zero chemistry.

    Predictions:

    Dig is going to hook up with his ex-sister-in-law.
    Dig is going to get killed off at some point, as will Laurel’s Dad.
    More female characters will be thrown at Ollie to break his heart and make Laurel jealous.
    Mom will turn out to be a villain, but will give up her life to save Ollie’s.
    Step-dad will either become good friends with Ollie or a bitter enemy over his wife’s death.
    Thea will conveniently be sent away or re-written with a new actress (again, not her fault).
    Ollie and Tommy’s bromance will die with…

    (1) Ollie and Laurel hooking up and…
    (2) The Hood will kill Tommy’s Dad making them mortal enemies.

    Oh, Sara’s still alive!

    • Or… maybe YOU just don’t like women, period.

      • Nope he just doesn’t like whiny women. Are you one? You seem like one.

        • FYI……..they are ALL whiny……….

  9. It would be great if Laurel’s sister Sara is found alive. And is now A brainwarshed assin working for the Triads. Realy how more comic book can you get then that.

    • That would be very cool. Even if she just showed up.

  10. Love the shOW BUT Diggle does need something more to do.

    cant wait to see Tommy turn bad.

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