Arrow: Season 1 Episode 10 Review – ‘Burned’
In this week’s episode titled “Burned”, we learn that Oliver has not donned the green hood in the past six weeks ever since his near fatal showdown versus the Dark Archer. There was a time when Oliver was so driven to take out corrupt criminals he put the most important people of his life into the backseat. Now, the pendulum has swung back the other way. Oliver tells Diggle that he wants to focus on his family, especially since his stepfather Walter was abducted or presumed dead.
The severe beating at the hands of the other Archer, took off the edge that allowed Oliver to jump off buildings, dodge bullets, and never miss an arrow shot. To test his theory on why Oliver has lost his edge, Diggle surprise attacks Oliver but ends up getting the worse of the scuffle – a firm face plant onto a desk. So what did Diggle learn? “This is one sturdy desk”. Though Oliver has physically recovered, a psychological barrier is preventing him from being the hero the city needs him to be.
Later, Diggle tries a different approach that doesn’t involve a fist fight to find out why Oliver is unwilling to take up the green hood and arrows. He attempts to ease Oliver’s fears that “To stare death in the face and be the one that blinks …”, but Oliver interjects he’s not afraid of death, he’s been close to death more times than he can remember on the island. For the first time in so long, Oliver has something to lose. He’s afraid that his family will have to suffer his death all over again. Being the wise friend that he is, Diggle says to Oliver to look at it from the other perspective: his family and friends “makes you stronger, something to live for.”
Meanwhile, a housebound Moira Queen is facing her own fears. She had a hand in the mysterious disappearance of both her husbands. This time, there’s no Walter to lean on. Perhaps taking the position in the company forces her to face the fact that Walter is really gone? Whatever the case, Thea rips into Moira, telling her she needs her Mom to start acting like one. Ouch! However, by the end of the episode, Moira comes to terms with her insecurities and vows to become the person her family and company needs her to be.
At the same time, I thought this was a really strong episode for Laurel. When her best friend Joanne’s brother is suspected of being burned to death, she takes matters into her own hands. Well actually she calls up the hooded archer, but the fact that she betrayed her father’s trust by taking the phone says a lot about who she is. Having lost her own sister there’s a part her that understands why it’s important to bring closure for Joanne. But there’s also a willful side to her personality that wants to right the wrongs of the world. If Laurel did not admittedly deceive her father, would he had planted the bug in her phone without a second thought?
“Drawer gate” was a bit silly but it does serve to highlight Laurel’s own apprehensions in her relationship with Tommy. Laurel describes herself as an “All or nothing type of girl”. “I close my eyes and I jump”. How much of her fear is because in her heart she’s afraid to admit Tommy is not her true love? It’ll always be Oliver. She expresses to Ollie, “Our feelings, our fears they control us, not the other way around.” The added insight into her character really helps us to understand why she makes the decisions she does or at the very least more empathetic.
As with most episodes, I found the characterizations a lot more engaging than the actual plot. This episode’s nemesis was a badly burned fire fighter, named Garfield Lynns, seeking revenge because he was left to die in a burning tower a few year back. If I think of the narrative as just the framework to which the characters can explore their fears and personal dilemmas, then the story did its job. The line where Oliver tells Garfield (aka Firefly) he’s afraid to live didn’t work for me but I did really like the moment when Oliver shot the lighter out of the air just in time. It reminds me of the moment at the end of Amazing Spiderman where he swings from crane to crane. Some people will cringe, while some think its awesome on more than one level!
The brief flashbacks this episode were just a little bit heavy-handed in terms of symbolism but I still enjoyed them: from the little fire that Oliver put out in fear to the water baptism in the river, then reborn with a quiet inner strength. This paralleled with present day Oliver as Starling City no longer views him as a vigilante to be feared but as a hero. The green archer is back, has a list of names and crossing them off!
What did you like or didn’t like about this episode? What are your thoughts on Laurel in this episode? How do you think the show can use Diggle more effectively ?
P.S. I was able to zoom in on Tommy’s note for Laurel and thought you’d be interested to know what was written ;):
Reasons I Deserve A Drawer by Tommy Merlyn
#1. First the drawer, then the closet, muhaha!
#2. I hate wearing the same underwear as yesterday!
#3. I’m insecure and need a sign of commitment!
#4. Say goodbye to the walk of shame!
You May Like by Sidekick Reviews:
Arrow Season 1 Episode 2 “Honor Thy Father” Review (vs China White)
Arrow Season 1, Episode 3 “Lone Gunman” Review (vs Deadshot)
Arrow Season 1, Episode 5 “Damaged” Review (vs Deathstroke)
Arrow Season 1, Episode 8 “Vendetta” Review (vs Huntress)
Arrow Season 1, Episode 9 “Year’s End” Review (vs Dark Archer)
Arrow Season 1, Episode 11 “Trust But Verify” Review (vs Ted Gaynor/Blackhawks Squad)
Arrow Season 1, Episode 12 “Vertigo” Review (vs Count Vertigo)
Please check out an excellent character profile of this episode’s villain:
Posted on January 17, 2013, in Arrow, Comics, Television and tagged Arrow, Arrow 1.10 Review, Arrow 1x10 Review, Arrow Burned Review, Arrow Season 1 Episode 10 Review, Comics, David Ramsey, entertainment, Green Arrow, Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.