The Arrow winter premiere aired this evening. “Burned” saw a down-for-the-count Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) rise from ashes of fledgling-hero failure as a raging green phoenix. Thanks for sparking the fires, Firefly (Andrew Dunbar)! You sure were good at burning things. Season 1 of Arrow is playing out just as I’d hoped. Now that Arrow has been knocked around a bit, he’s coming back swinging and slinging… arrows, of course. I like my super heroes with a side of torment.
Episode 10 opened with a terrible fire raging through a giant warehouse. Things were looking under control, until someone who looked like a fireman doused a real firefighter in turpentine before lighting him up. Ouch. Has there ever been a more uncomfortable moment to watch on Arrow than that guy being burned alive?
Next, what else, a vigorous training session! Only, this time Ollie seemed rather ticked off. Actually, he was kind of enraged! Six weeks had withered by as the vigilante wallowed in his defeat at the hands of “that other archer.” Diggle (David Ramsey) noticed that Ollie was still off his A-game. Meanwhile, Walter was still missing and completely untraceable.
Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and her gal-pal Jo (Annie Ilonzeh) gabbed it up, until Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) showed up to rain fire on Jo’s parade. Jo’s brother, Danny, was the man torched by the mysterious killer at the episode’s opening. *tear*
Also, *tear* from Moira (Susanna Thompson), who was missing Walter more than anyone, obviously. Plus, *tear* from me because Oliver hasn’t seen The Hangover, and Thea (Willa Holland) was so over it already. What? It’s only 2013, Thea. How many times could you have seen it? It was Walter who’d cheered Moira up the first time she hit rock bottom. Remember, when Oliver and his father disappeared in a tragic shipwreck she probably orchestrated? Suddenly, I’m okay with her being all depressed. The News popped up to twist the arrow lodged in Ollie’s gut. Apparently, critics are appreciating him a lot more now that he hasn’t been working as Arrow. Crime sucks, doesn’t it?
Jo arrived at Laurel’s apartment just in time to barge in on Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) plea for his own drawer. For shame, Tommy. As it turned out, Jo wasn’t so sure her brother simply burned to death. Judging by the coroner’s reports, his coat was covered in turpentine, and his body burned hotter than the rest of the fire. Laurel promised she’d look into it. She attempted to get her father on board, but Detective Lance was too obsessed with tracking “that guy in the hood,” even still, to bother paying attention to pretty compelling evidence. Thus, Laurel was forced to steal the phone Arrow gave to her father last episode; the same phone he was using to attempt to trace back to Oliver. After stealing a piece of evidence, Laurel called Arrow herself.
Arrow wasted no time showing up at Laurel’s place. From the cover of shadow, Oliver covered his voice using the same manipulator he uses over the phone. Things were made awkward when Arrow revealed that he’d heard Laurel refer to him as a “remorseless killer,” and refused to help out her innocent friend Jo in order to spite her. Just kidding, he hopped on board.
Later, Diggle and Oliver were chatting about his leave of absence as a vigilante, when a commotion upstairs caught their attention. Tommy decided to step things up as club manager before the place even got going. Great job, screaming at the lazy contractor, Merlyn! Also, he decided it would be a good idea to use the empty space for a charity event benefiting the Firemen of the city. Oliver loved that idea.
Diggle caught wind that another fire was working its terror, and pressured Oliver to get on that. Still, Oliver was reluctant to throw on his uniform. He was more into the idea of baiting the police into investigating specifics. Diggle realized that baiting the cops into doing their bidding for them would waste time, and fires burn things, Oliver! Hurry up! A kind-of-bitter Arrow emerged through the flames of the burning building just in time to watch the killer drop another innocent fireman into the flames. A brief altercation took place, but the mystery murderer used his pyrotechnics to flash away. All that Oliver caught a glimpse of was a firefly tattoo, in addition to some pretty gnarly burn damage. Still, it was something. He phoned the information into Laurel.
Both Oliver and Laurel arrived at Engine 15 around the same time the next afternoon. After doing their research, they’d uncovered that the men of that engine each bore a firefly tattoo, and they were being picked off one by one. All but one of them survived this super tragic twenty-something story fire a few years back while Oliver was on the island. The chief was reluctant to give too much information to two strangers prodding into the deaths of a bunch of his friends. After the two separated, Laurel immediately called Arrow to inform him that she’d reached a dead-end.
Back at Queen Manor, Moira found herself dealing with a pissed off C.O.O. of her company, desperate to fill Walter’s position after weeks of him being out of sight. In fact, he wanted her to take his job. Kind of harsh, but possibly necessary. Thea listened in, and later that evening, she made a last attempt to pry Moira out of her pit of despair. No movies or burgers or anything for Moira. Thea was through with Moira’s mope-fest and gave her a good talkin’ to. Basically, Thea was tired of playing mom to her mom and missed the days of Moira yelling at her.
Speaking of Ollie’s family, Diggle had been all up in his grill about his own funk. Arrow needed a true blue return, and that lackluster showing against Firefly wasn’t going to do it. It wasn’t Oliver’s physical side that was all screwy, it was his heart. The “other guy with the bow” messed with Oliver’s mind. At first, Oliver thought of his loved ones as the reason behind his weakness, until Diggle reminded him that having something to live for is a strength. I guess that was it! Oliver revealed his own discovery. Garfiel Lynns, the firefly-tattooed fireman, probably didn’t actually die in that fire, as reported.
Before we get to the obligatory final party scene, let’s discuss the Island situation of the week. Flashback! After watching Deathstroke scoop up his only ally, Ollie was left to fend for himself against the evil mercenaries. Within a series of scenes, we saw Ollie go from prey to predator, as he managed to overcome one of the baddies and steal his get-up. Oliver found himself with a map and a set of keys!
The firefighter benefit party started off just fine, until Laurel and Ollie arrived and proceeded to immediately corner the chief they’d spoken to earlier. Screw tact; did your good friend actually die or did you just lie and say he did? Who cares, there he is!
Firefly himself strutted into the party ready to light sh*t up. After scaring an older woman with his horribly scarred face, he set the parameter ablaze, sending the partying folks into a panic. The mob scurried to escape, while Ollie, Laurel, and the chief sat cornered by Firefly. Actually, Firefly seemed really nice for a super villain, right? He persuaded Oliver and Laurel to run away, giving Oliver leave to don his costume. Just before Firefly could burn his old friend out of revenge, Ollie shot the lighter from the air. Woo, he’s back, everybody!
The old chief got away in time. Truth is, they probably could have saved that massive building from burning and killing many inside. The chief got scared and refused to follow Garfield into the fire. In a sense, he abandoned him to burn. Oliver pleaded with Garfield to let him help. He wasn’t afraid to die, he was afraid to live. It looked as though Firefly, more sad than angry, would agree to Arrow’s offer. That is, until he walked into the fire. He was already “burned.” R.I.P. Firefly!
The next day, Jo announced her extended leave of absence from the office. Seriously? We barely got to know her as a character, but she always seemed interesting enough as a partner to Laurel. I didn’t expect her to be written off as a side-story to Firefly’s arc. Also, Detective Lance was angry that Laurel stole Arrow’s phone, but he decided to let her keep it after it ended up protecting her and getting the crime solved. How nice! Actually, he was using Laurel’s relationship with “that hood guy” to trace his identity. “Stone cold,” said the tech nerd.
Thea and Oliver watched the news switch over from calling Arrow a “vigilante” to calling him a “hero.” Moira up and decided to take Walter’s job after all. Apparently, Thea inspired her. Still, something seemed up, didn’t it? Oliver thanked Diggle for his talk of encouragement, before sending us off with a spark in his eye. Time to go hunting! Until next week’s episode, see ya, Arrow!
What did you all think of Season 1 Episode 10, “Burned”? Did you like Firefly as much as I did? Are you sad to see Jo go before we even got to know her? Are you happy to see Arrow get his groove back?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Arrow Season 1 Episode 10, “Burned”!