This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
Check out last week's review here.
Did you ever take time to wonder if maybe the dragon was in all of us all along? “Level Two” places Oliver in the sights of a quacked out therapist who is determined to get him to crack. He brings the picture of William and Felicity early on to try and earn Ollie’s trust, but the doc clues in on the torture pretty early by not giving him any food or water. Though tragic, we’ve seen Oliver get tortured a million different ways. Team Arrow, on the other hand, is experiencing a whole host of new situations.
Who would have thought that a supervillain named “Silencer” wouldn’t be very chatty? Both Felicity and Rene try to crack the Longbow Hunter, but neither get far. Knowing that she doesn’t have a penchant for torture, Felicity resorts to desperate measures. Her decision to go to the Black Siren gives us yet another moment of Arrow’s female stars having a conversation that doesn’t involve their love interest. I’m not usually one to bring out the Bechdel Test but, unfortunately, we’re seven years in and these are some of the few instances we’ve seen. Here’s to you, Beth Schwartz. We see what you’re doing, and we appreciate it!
After trying and failing to break through to Felicity, Rene puts his focus on Dinah and the new Green Arrow. They haven’t confirmed the identity of this new vigilante yet, but his frequent flips coupled with the focus on Roy in the flash forwards point at Mr. Harper under the hood. Rene’s allegiance to this currently unknown hero is solidified after he saves Zoe from a burning building. Unfortunately, that allegiance pushes Rene and Dinah’s relationship to the breaking point.
Fractured stories aren’t always the best form of storytelling, and there’s still plenty of time for the splinters of Team Arrow to go awry, but for now they all focus on one common theme: balance. Oliver is incapable of finding balance between his vigilantism and humanity, while still wrapped up in his father’s wishes. Felicity’s going too far one way, while Dinah strays too far to the other. In a weird role reversal, Rene and Laurel just want to do good. Rene wants to keep his baby girl and the Glades safe, Laurel wants to make Quentin proud. Somehow those desires have led to the two of them being the voice of reason in Star City. Maybe XS messed up the timeline over on The Flash more than we thought.
“Level Two” is heavily character focused. Arrow has struggled with those episodes in the past, historically making it painfully obvious that nothing’s happening to progress the story. This week was a little different. We don’t learn much more about where season seven is headed, but the focus on the characters that are taking us there is so well done that you hardly notice. The flash forwards give us a few answers while raising even more questions, and they introduce us to a grownup Zoe who is rocking one hell of a vigilante look. How was she not going to follow in her father’s (and aunts’ and uncles’) footsteps after the Black Canary gives her a frigging Black Canary pin?
Oliver’s torture will continue next week while Laurel and Felicity track the Silencer to Diaz, and Dinah and Rene learn to compromise. Ollie’s already looking pretty worse for wear, but something tells me this doctor’s not quite prepared for the level of resilience he’s going to meet when his ultimate goals are discovered. How much longer are you thinking Oliver’s gonna be chilling out in a cell? We want to hear your theories and your thoughts on this week’s episode below!