Emily S. Whitten: More Arrow, and Hooray Halloween!
Never let it be said that I won’t change my mind if circumstances change. In that vein, I’m starting today’s column with a little addition to last week’s thoughts on Arrow.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
After writing about how things in the first two episodes seemed too crowded and rushed, and how I wish they’d slow down a bit and also give Arrow a few challenges to the thus-far routine of “Ollie targets bad guy, Ollie triumphs over bad guy,” Arrow turned around and gave me exactly what I was asking for. Sure, I still wish they’d taken more time to mine the experience of the first few days/weeks of his return from nowhere (sort of like how Elementary managed not to pile on every revelation about Holmes’s and Watson’s pasts and presents right up front, as I mention in my Elementary review here). And I still think the voiceovers are overly melodramatic, and in fact may be the thing that’s jarred me out of enjoying the show the most so far; but it feels like with episode three, the show is now hitting its stride.
For one thing, they actually gave Arrow an adversary worth a few minutes time, i.e. Deadshot, who throws Ollie off his game and wings his bodyguard, Dig. True, Ollie gets the easy upper hand by using his standing as, apparently, a captain in the Russian mob (eh??) to find Deadshot, and then takes him down reasonably quickly – but at least it wasn’t all smooth sailing this week. For another, they introduced a new step in Ollie’s playboy disguise – opening a nightclub to cover his secret base – without resolving it magically in one episode (I was half expecting the final scene to be opening night at the club or something). And finally, they’ve slowed their roll on the character drama to what feels like a more manageable and real life pace, focusing mostly this episode on Arrow beginning to build a bond of trust with Detective Lance (woo!) and Thea being a willful teen headache to everyone around her. Plus there was a bar fight that involved Laurel beating the crap out of a dude, which was killer and by far my favorite scene of the episode.
Happily, it looks like they may also be giving themselves an in to address the voiceover issue, by giving Arrow a confidante in the wounded Dig (and just in time too, as my friends and I were beginning to suggest other possible solutions, such as Arrow getting a new sidekick, Quiver. He would look like this). I hope so, as that could introduce more humor or banter into the show. I’d like to see the grimness tempered with an occasional sense of adventure and fun, as well as more of an open emotional connection to someone from Ollie, and maybe with Dig knowing his secret, that will come to pass.
Until then, I’ll keep watching, and amusing myself by trying to spot the new extreme form of exercise Ollie does each episode (this time, it was lifting a ridiculous amount of weight via a pulley system-thing). I’m hoping they’ll keep including those, so I can turn them into a game like spot-the-pineapple in Psych. I’m also hoping the next Easter egg for comics fans is a character named O’Neil (or possibly Denny?) after ComicMix’s very own Dennis O’Neil. C’mon, writers! I’m sure an absent-minded Perfesser character would come in handy for exposition and the like. Do it!
(End of spoilers!)
In other news, Halloween is just around the corner, which brings me great joy and the usual expectation of going to parties where no one recognizes my costume. Just kidding! I guess I’m still slightly bitter about the time I went out in Georgetown as Black Canary and exactly zero people got it (although there were three votes for Lady Gaga since I wasn’t wearing pants. Sigh.) I can’t complain too much about that, though, because I had fun with it, and it did inspire this awesome sketch by amazing comics artist John K. Snyder III. Yay!
Despite the Philistine-like character of some mundanes in DC, as an adult and convention costumer I love that Halloween provides an opportunity for all the local geeks to strut their stuff without (much) comment from everyone else. Sure, when I go out tomorrow night, I expect the usual round of gangsters, zombies, “sexy” whatevers, and that guy who always shows up dressed as himself with a nametag. But Friday night on the Metro I ran into a matched pair of Trekkies, and they were swiftly followed by a full-grown Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. And nobody in this usually stuffy town blinked an eye – or at least, if they did, you could tell by the look in said eye that they were admiring the costumes, not sneering at them.
Given that when I’m on my home turf my life is caught up in my full-time professional job, my professional commitments, and more, I don’t get to do as many local geek things as I’d like – and a lot of my genre friends are folks I’ve met at cons, and live far away. So it’s nice to have the reminder that actually, there are a lot of locals who love the same things I do (and to maybe meet some of them as we’re making the rounds, nerd flags flying high). It makes my geeky little soul happy to be out and about in the neighborhood, shining that geek light with costumes I made for conventions, even if most of the people out there don’t know who I’m supposed to be because it’s a comic book character don’t any of you people at this dance club read comics geeeeez.
Therefore, I plan to keep on representin’ for us comics fans at Halloween this year with the Arkham City Harley Quinn costume I described the construction process for in an earlier column and made for Dragon*Con, which turned out like this, in case anyone was wondering (with bonus Lego Poison Ivy!). And happily, my friend actually discovered that the club we’re planning to go to has the perfect theme – Haunted Mental Ward – so for tomorrow night, I went the extra mile (okay, inch) and also made this. I’m hoping that this year, at least a few people get my costume; but the funny thing is that, if they don’t, I kind of don’t care. Because Halloween is a fun time to go out wearing whatever the hell you want and have some fun with it, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.
What about the rest of you? Any exciting Halloween plans? Great costumes? Feel free to share in the comments (with pictures! Pictures are great!) and I hope that everyone has a fun, and safe, and slightly spoooooky Halloween!
And until next time, Servooooooo Lectiooooooo!
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis Pontificates
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Hands Out Marching Orders