Arrow: Season 1 Episode 14 – ‘The Odyssey’ Review

arrow episode 14 odyssey

In “The Odyssey”, Oliver turns to Felicity for help after he is shot by his mother. On the island, Oliver attempts a dangerous mission to escape with his new mentor, Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke).

Continue reading for Arrow Season 1 Episode 14 “The Odyssey” review.

Two pieces of great news for Arrow fans this week. Firstly, Arrow was renewed for a full 22 episode second season by CW. Secondly, this week’s fantastic episode focused almost entirely on the island, something I’ve been yearning for especially after “Betrayal” introduced us to the dangerously cool Slade Wilson and his quest to escape Purgatory with Oliver’s help.

The show’s producers could have easily interspersed flashback scenes of Oliver training with Slade and their mission to hijack a plane across several episodes. The problem with that is it would have been much harder to suspend our disbelief that Oliver might get off the island so early in his origin story even while knowing he didn’t spend all of the last five years there. Also, it’s unlikely Slade would escape the island either because it’s fairly apparent he’s one of Oliver’s mentors and Oliver needs a lot more training in becoming the deadly vigilante we know in present day Starling City.

Because of the episode’s quick pace and intensity, I was completely absorbed in watching the story play out rather than distracted by the improbability of Oliver escaping the island. Before the first commercial break Moira shoots Oliver, Felicity discovers Oliver’s secret identity and Oliver steps on a landmine as soldiers quickly approach from behind. Pretty impressive opening, wouldn’t you say? Thinking of changing the channel or going to the bathroom? Think again.

The Odyssey

Slade Wilson’s Wolverine-esque berserker barrage on the soldiers as Oliver crouched over the landmine is shockingly awesome. The show down between the other Deathstroke (aka Billy Wintergreen) was not up to the level as the first fight with Yao Fei but it did end with an alarming dagger to the eye. I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of Billy Wintergreen; besides, Oliver still needs revenge for getting tortured.

As much the fights and action scenes are thoroughly engaging, it’s the chemistry between Oliver and Slade that made the episode gratifying. Actor Manu Bennett finds the right balance at disparaging Oliver while remaining likable and even funny. Their personalities and strengths compliment each other so that they are stronger together than alone. Oliver recognizing the quote from the Odyssey was a great intense scene which showed he wasn’t as thick-headed as Slade presumed. It also was a nod to a literary allusion about Odysseus’ journey home and “stringing a bow” to prove his worth.

In one of the scenes that stopped to take a break from the action, Slade explained his history with Billy Wintergreen, the partner that betrayed him. This bit of exposition informs Slade’s belief that everyone lives for themselves which is why he was so quick to leave Yao Fei to die. However, when Oliver couldn’t leave behind a friend, it made Slade realize he’d be just like Billy Wintergreen if he abandoned Oliver to die on island. It’s a neat character arc for Slade to change his belief due to Oliver’s positive influence – this made the episode more than about just guns and explosions.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 14 Review

Other Quick Observations:

» At the end of last episode the Hooded Archer (can we just call him Green Arrow?) ended his connection with Laurel – at least for now. Of course, Oliver’s star-crossed relationship with Laurel will potentially be the emotional cornerstone of the show. With that in mind, it’s good this episode demonstrated Oliver’s deep affection for her, including the phone call, which is something we haven’t seen enough of in the present day, especially with Laurel dating Tommy.

» Manu Bennett was fantastic again. Looks like he’s doing all of his own stunt work and is completely believable as a sword wielding assassin. I’m looking forward to his new found partnership with Oliver and in what direction his character will evolve.

» What happens when you get two of the most likable characters – Diggle and Felicity together in scenes? They play off of each other very well and she’s seems like a natural fit as Oliver’s brainy sidekick. I love how Felicity brings up the energy drink in a syringe – “I’m not that blonde”.

» Shado, daughter of Yao Fei, will be closely intertwined with Oliver judging by their shared tattoo.

What did you like or didn’t like about this episode? What did you think about the introduction of Shado? Does Oliver believe Moira is innocent or is he afraid to discover the truth?

You May Like by Sidekick Reviews:

Arrow Season 1, Episode 12 “Vertigo” Review (vs Count Vertigo)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 13 “Betrayal” Review (vs Cyrus Vanch)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 15 “Dodger” (vs Dodger)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 16 “Dead To Rights” Review (vs Deadshot & China White)

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Posted on February 14, 2013, in Arrow, Comics, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Liked it because it was mainly set on the island 😀

  2. Let me start off by saying I’m happy that Felicity is being promoted to a series regular for Season 2! Happiness abounds! 🙂

    On to the episode:

    “What did you like about this episode”
    Slade. Slade. And…Slade. Every scene he was in was great be it his conversations with Oliver or his epic fight scenes. Also loved how he killed “Deathstroke” by stabbing him in the eye. A nice nod to fans familiar with the character of Deathstroke and a possible precussor to Slade losing his eye as well. Felicity and Diggle were awesome together, loved that Oliver proved at least useful with the Odyssey quote, and can’t wait to see how Slade and Oliver’s relationship grows. Also, who was Fyre talking to? Wasn’t Merlyn that’s for sure.

    “What didn’t you like about this episode?”

    “What did you think about the introduction of Shado?”
    A nice tease indeed. Nice seeing that iconic tattoo that she is known for and I’m interested what route they’ll go. In the comics, her and Oliver end up having a child together!

    “Does Oliver believe Moira is innocent or is he afraid to discover the truth?”
    Afraid to discover the truth for sure!

    Next week: More Felicity! 🙂 Hopefully more Slade! 🙂 And a lesser known DC comics character makes his live-action debut (The Dodger)! 🙂

    • I like how Felicity was gradually incorporated into the fold. I assume the plan all along was to to have her join Oliver and Diggle. Also, since many fans adore her, I’m not surprised she’s promoted to a regular. 🙂

      I can’t wait to see more of Slade too. I like how the eye stab is a callback to the arrow thru the eye hole of Deathstroke’s mask in the premiere episode – perhaps a glimpse of things to come as you’ve mentioned.

      As for Fyer’s boss, it’s another mystery to the show that loyal viewers can anticipate to be revealed sort of like the well-dressed man that Moira was talking to (which turned out to be Malcolm Merlyn)

      I hope the show continues with Oliver finding out the truth about Moira, since the last couple of episodes have been building that up. I never heard of Dodger, but I know the actor cast for the role. It’s interesting that many of the guest cast have previously worked on shows shot in the same area as Arrow … like Fringe (Seth Gabel), Stargate (Ben Browder), and Battlestar Galactica.

      • As per a wiki: “In his own words, Dodger is not really a “proper villain” but more of a thief who deals in high-end merchandise. Operating from London, England, Dodger will steal and/or sell anything from information to advanced technology.”

        He also becomes a love interest for Mia Dearden (Speedy). He only debuted in June 2008 so he’s relatively new. Couldn’t have asked for a better quality of actor to play him though.

        • It would be interesting if Dodger was involved somehow with Malcolm Merlyn’s masterplan for Starling City. So instead of a villain of the week episode it could be part of the overarching story. Do you think Thea will be the “Mia Dearden” type character in Arrow? The actor was excellent in Battlestar, looking forward to the episode!

  3. I really like Felicity and I think she is much more interesting with Oliver than Laurel. Am I in the minority on that one?!

    • Felicity has an awkward charm and instant chemistry with whomever she has scenes with, whether its Walter, Oliver or Diggle. She has a big crush on Oliver and it’s fun watching her try to contain it.

      Oliver has a long history with Laurel. Though we haven’t seen that much of them together, at least not romantically, I think the show will develop their relationship down the road where as Felicity makes for a great friend & ally for Oliver.

      Thanks so much for checking out the blog and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  4. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks!

  5. Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting. I’ll keep a warm campfire going for your return :).

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