What Did the Mayor Know and When Did He Know It?
In “Fighting Fire With Fire” the Star City Council throws together the kind of quickie impeachment trial that would make Jeff Sessions break into a cold sweat. What did the mayor know about Detective Expendable’s death and when did he know it? Oliver scuttles impeachment talk by attacking the Green Arrow – a move that feels more expedient than wise which pretty much, sums up Oliver’s entire approach to fighting crime. Thea flirts with kompromat to save her brother, but in the end chooses the more righteous and far duller path. Only Felicity embraces her darkness [read: power] by joining Helix in a move that Arrow will surely punish her for.
Oliver continues his sanctimonious abuse of Felicity and Thea for tanking girlfriend Susan’s journalism career. I use the terms “girlfriend” and “journalism” loosely, because Susan gives both a bad name. She appears to have missed that day in Journalism 101 when the professor noted that having sex with sources, especially those who do not know they are sources, suggests a lapse in ethics. Oliver’s blindness to Susan’s duplicity makes little sense for a man whose dual lives depend on deception. He never did have much going on upstairs.
Thus bringing us to Felicity whose brain makes up for Oliver’s general idiocy. She allows the love of her life to guilt her into resurrecting the unredeemable Susan’s career, yet manages the strength to refuse Diggle’s well-meaning lecture. He tells her that she soars above them all in a cloud of empathy which when translated means everyone from Quentin Lance to Diggle himself gets to enjoy character development and she does not. In the right hands, Felicity could harness the power of Helix, become the most powerful woman in the land, and still retain her goodness. Alas, we are not watching Buffy (who will soon celebrate her twentieth anniversary). Instead, we are dealing with a set of writers who prefer to plunge swords into the stomachs of powerful women.
Like her mother, Thea protects the ones she loves by any means necessary. Oliver, meanwhile criticizes his sister from a lofty, and let’s be honest, rickety perch. Here we have a man who kills and seeks redemption on a wash and rinse cycle yet we are supposed to take him seriously when he relies on moral authority to condemn Thea? Please. My eyes are rolling like Curtis’s balls.
Thea’s attempt to find herself will continue as we wait for Oliver to come to his senses on both the Susan and Prometheus fronts. And there’s a chance Arrow will instill Felicity with all of the complexity and superpower she deserves. Right? If not, I might have to recuse myself from all further judgements of Season Five.