Arrow Season 3 Episode 18 Review: Public Enemy

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Hey, Starling City! Oliver Queen is the Arrow!!

April fools!!! {{Gulp}} Excuse me, pardon me, I need to wipe the egg off of my face. I seem to have been mistaken. Pardon me. Allow me to pass through please. Nothing to see here. It's not Oliver Queen after all. Oh me, oh my. 

Is that what Capt. Lance is going to have to say after that surprise ending in Arrow Season 3 Episode 18, because the whole thing felt a smidge off, don't you think? 

I'm really not sure what to feel about many facets of "Public Enemy." On the surface, it looks good, until you start poking around in the dirt and then, well, you get dirty.

Finally. That has to be what everyone was thinking when Ra's al Ghul told Capt. Lance Oliver Queen was the Arrow. Hell, even Lance himself felt a little silly for not putting all of the pieces together.

Laurel: So what, now Oliver's to blame?
Capt. Lance: Oliver, the Arrow. Either way, same guy. On some level, I think I always knew. When I thought he was doing good, it didn't matter to me. You know, when that boat went down and we thought Sara was dead? We blamed Queen. It's funny how things come full circle, right?

Lance then took things a little too far by sending out the entirety of the SCPD to get the big bad Arrow. He knows in his heart of hearts that his girls would not align themselves all of their lives with a bad man. That they continually got hurt by him is probably what makes Lance so damned angry. But he can't allow that to color his vision when he's wearing his badge. Yet, he still does.

Lance outed Oliver on television, putting his reputation on the line, as well as Oliver's. It appeared that Ra's plan to use the city as a weapon (nice catch, Oliver) to get his successor on board worked and Oliver turned himself in. 

Was I the only one who thought it was probably Ra's al Ghul who was shaking the transport van at the end? I don't necessarily read all of the sneaky spoilers and see the photos that are taken to know who might be going where (although looking back, this one I should have seen coming), and it made more sense to me that Ra's might want the next Ra's footloose and fancy free.

Why in the hell did Roy, who in Arrow Season 3 Episode 17 was left twitching in an alley by his good buddy the Arrow, decide to give himself up as the Arrow? And how will that work since all evidence points to Oliver, Oliver confessed and his confession was accepted? We all watch other police dramas and this dog won't hunt.

Sure, they'll make up something so it fits together, but if Lance falls for it, the man has to be thrown off of the force. Done. Finito. If he's not in on the joke, then he has no business carrying a badge. 

For once, I kind of understood the flashbacks, even if they didn't fully integrate. I patted myself on the back for calling the gal in the market as Shado's twin, but I thought maybe since the shooters were Waller related that she might show up in some capacity as Arrow was taking his tumble in Starling. Nope.

They were about truth being very powerful, at least until your little Arsenal dude wants to take the fall for you as your masked self, then truth be damned, flashbacks out the window. So, yeah, what was the point of the flashbacks again?  

Moving on.

Ray saved Felicity's life and got an arrow in the chest because Maseo most certainly did attempt to take her out of the equation. Nice job, buddy. None of the saves he did in the past make up for his current alliance with Ra's al Ghul. And, way to go, Ray! He was very dashing and heroic. It was all for nothing.

Felicity: Oh I think your nanotech deserves some of the credit. All I did was stick something in you. Do you think there will ever come a time when everything I say isn't some weird double entendre?
Ray: I hope not. It's one of your more charming traits. That and the fact that you had the courage to throw caution to the wind and save my life are just two of the many reasons that I love you.
Felicity: Wow. That is a really nice thing to hear.

I know, I know. Everyone wants Olicity. You see some sparks I don't. I see two people who have never spent a day together. I see two people who have deep feelings for each other due to extreme circumstances, but who, if they ever had to step into the real would, wouldn't know how behave.

Ray knows all 34 seasons of Doctor Who and loves Felicity for all of her quirks. He's not afraid to say it or show it and Felicity doesn't love him probably because he does both of those things. The love that is depicted as great love most often on television, especially that aimed toward youth, is unattainable and unrealistic. It's unsustainable in everyday life when the extreme circumstances are lifted.

Long lasting, healthy and happy love doesn't make your heart race and your cheeks go red when he or she walks in to a room. Instead you're happy that you can curl up and watch a movie or just gab away about your common interests. What are those common interests for Olicity? When has Felicity talked of Oliver in the way she does of Ray? Sigh.

On the other hand, the teeny tiny robots were introduced, in the form of nanotech (nice touch) and Donna Smoak was there to walk Felicity through her love trials, even if her advice may not be the best. I'll always stand by Felicity no matter her choices, but it's difficult seeing a truly wonderful relationship blossoming knowing it has no future. Right now, I love watching Raylicity and I don't want it to end miserably. 

There was a great fight scene!! Arrow, Arsenal and Canary fighting against Maseo and the other Ra's goons was well choreographed and there are no longer any complaints against Laurel's fighting. She's not a hindrance, even against some of the world's best fighters. Nyssa took a great shot when she knocked Lance's gun out of his hand and every score for the girls makes me proud.

Diggle did some mean driving and Lyla took Sara out of town to free him up to help his friends. Team Arrow was totally on point. If only that was the problem. As soon as the team got its act together, everything else started to fall apart.

With rumors of a time reset going around the interweb on The Flash that may or may not affect Arrow, it's hard to decide if that's a pleasant thought or not. Where do you stand? Are you ready to put an arrow through me? Hit the comments! 

If you've missed any of the fun, you can watch Arrow online any time via TV Fanatic!

Public Enemy Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (78 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Ray Palmer, even in a hospital bed, you're the most handsome man I've ever seen!


Ray: So, you're saying, basically that if I have the surgery now that I could die and if we wait, and the clot moves, that I could die. What if I told you that I invented a bunch of teeny tiny robots, that are capable of entering my bloodstream, traveling to the clot and shrinking it, all without damaging my brain or any other organ in my body?
Doctor: I'd say you need a psych eval.