Wednesday, November 13, 2013

REVIEW: 'Arrow' Heads to Russia in 'Keep Your Enemies Closer' to Further Explore Diggle's Character

The CW's Arrow - Episode 2.06 Keep Your Enemies Closer

Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) kidnaps Diggle and informs him that Lyla has gone missing missing after following a lead on Deadshot in Moscow; Oliver, Felicity and Diggle head to Russia to rescue her but Isabel insists on joining Oliver's "work trip"; and Thea's dating Roy could be hurting Moira's case.

I'll be honest and say that at this point in the series I really don't care about Diggle's personal stories. They aren't annoyingly awkward like several plots centered on Laurel or Thea. However, they didn't leave a lasting impression that gave me a larger emotional connection to Diggle as a character. He works great as the backup to the Arrow or the often moral voice opposite Oliver. With Oliver making leaps and bounds in going from his vengeance plan to actually protecting Starling City, that did leave Diggle with a tad less to do.

And thusly, I understand why the show is making the choice to be more ambitious with this personal story with Diggle. And once it gets through the more perfunctory beats it established previously, it actually does get more interesting. Deadshot has never come across as anything other than a one-note villain and his appearance here really doesn't change that. But his inclusion here, does open up this story to be something larger than Diggle's own personal vendetta against the person who killed his brother. And Arrow name checks H.I.V.E. which should make comic book fans happy. I do worry that maybe the show is going for too much in its second year. However, as long as it can maintain this level of quality, I'm not too worried that it's bitting off more than it can chew.

And it was very interesting that the show presented an action sequence that wasn't set entirely around Oliver or the Arrow. 

Some more thoughts:
  • The Thea and Roy story literally was just there to fill in space gaps. It was just so empty. The reasoning behind it does make sense. It just didn't do anything with it.
  • I didn't care for Lyla in her previous appearances. But now knowing that she was once Diggle's wife does give her a stronger connection to the core plot. I wonder if the show knew that all along or came up with it to help better the story.
  • Who didn't see that Oliver and Isabel twist coming the second that Summer Glau was cast? But I really loved Felicity's reactions and the heartfelt moment she tries to get out of Oliver.
  • Island flashback update: Slade is alive. But did anyone really question that?