Review: Arrow ‘Betrayal’

Review: Arrow ‘Betrayal’

Season 1, Episode 13 - The plot thickens, but the action lags.

This week’s episode of Arrow, ‘Betrayal’ picks up following a revelation that Oliver received concerning the possible connection of his mother to the list of baddies that he’s been hunting down.  Of course, Oliver refuses to admit that his mother might be on the wrong side of his struggle and so nurses his denial.  Luckily for him, he chats with side-kick Diggle about the affair.  Even though Oliver is blinded by the fact that it’s his mother under suspicion, Diggle isn’t falling into that trap so easily.  He sets out on his own investigation, determined to learn the truth.

By acting as driver to Moira, he manages to sneak a listen at one of her meetings with the super-evil bad guy Malcolm Merlyn.  The conversation they have is incriminating enough that he talks to Oliver about it and then the son is forced to make a crucial decision about whether The Hood needs to become involved.

In the meanwhile, the bad guy of the week, in an attempt to make a name for himself and fill the power vacuum that Arrow’s purgings have caused, decides that he needs to take down the archer himself.  In order to do this, he kidnaps Laurel to lure Arrow in.  Laurel’s father, unable to trust his cop buddies due to an obvious spy leaking information to the baddie, turns to Arrow for help.  Together they assault the mansion where the evil-doer is holing up and bring him to justice (after more than a few dead guards, of course).

And in the past, Oliver follows the map given to him by Yao Fei and finds a downed aircraft.  Inside said aircraft happens to be another soldier, supposedly an ally of Yao Fei.  After almost being killed a few times, Oliver convinces the soldier that he can help him steal an airplane and get off the island.  And so Oliver’s training in hand-to-hand combat begins.

There was definitely a marked increase in developing the plot this episode, although the entire confrontation with the bad guy (whose name escapes my mind, he was so forgettable) seems almost pointless.  Other than uniting (temporarily) Arrow and Detective Lance and forcing Arrow to make a decision about his involvement with Laurel for her own safety, the fighting was routine and the conclusion bland.

The biggest problem I’m seeing with the series thus far is that when they excel in one area, they tend to ignore the rest of the story elements.  It moves along smoothly and then begins a clunky progression whenever the writers shift their focus.  This may be a case of them getting into proper rhythm with the first season, however, so hopefully it clears up.  Other than that, the advancement of the storyline is capturing my interest more and I’m still eager to catch each episode every Wednesday night.