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Arrow #206 - Keep Your Enemies Closer Review

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Diggle, Oliver and Felicity head to Russia and we finally see the return of Deadshot. Will Diggle finally be able to confront the assassin?

Diggle's desire to finally get his hands around Deadshot's neck lands his close friend, Lyla Michaels, in trouble. And when I say "in trouble," I mean trapped in a high security and super shady prison over in Russia. Diggle wants to head to the nation to save the day, but seeing as he always has Oliver's back, it's only fair Ollie gets his back this time around, right?

Good news: Summer Glau finally gets the opportunity to do more than offer a blank stare. It takes some vodka to let her character show some personality, but the scenes work well, revealing she and Ollie have more in common than they may think. And while Ollie has a big secret she apparently doesn't know, could the same be true for her? It's certainly a possibility based on the comic character she's inspired by.

Look, the tension between Felicity and Ollie has been obvious for ages now. Whether you like the idea or not, it was clearly inevitable the attraction between them would eventually come front and center. Without giving anything away, let's just say Isabel's actions cause the two to finally express their feelings on the subject -- even if it's oh-so-brief. The CW absolutely has its share of silly drama and love stories, but the final moment between them actually felt legitimate.

Speaking of relationships, Thea's been pretty cool this season, but her decision with Roy in this episode was a frustrating one. And, when it seems like she'll finally justify her actions in the end, she totally dodges the question and just says the obvious. Seeing as her and Roy have developed a strong bond, you'd imagine she would try to talk it out with him or attempt to tell him the truth instead of blatantly hitting him with the polar opposite. I get we're not perfect and we all make mistakes -- especially under these circumstances -- but damn, that was abrupt.

Diggle's story with Deadshot presumably reaches a conclusion, but when one door closes, another one opens, yes? Arrow has been doing a stellar job not only hitting us with references, but providing the basic building blocks for them as well. They aren't references just to appeal to the comic fans, either -- they're actually following-up on these and the potential's massive with each one. This holds especially true with what's going on with Oliver in the past and how it's certain to impact Slade in due time. At this rate, it definitely looks like we'll see the real Deathstroke soon enough. Could he maybe even end up on Waller's Suicide Squad? A man can dream, right?

Diggle's search for Deadshot has been a long and painful one. I understand the logic behind his actions when he finally meets Floyd and how he did what needed to be done, but considering all the history between them, it seemed like an underrreaction on his part which took an uncanny amount of willpower. I mean, the poor guy's wanted Floyd's blood for quite some time and ultimately he doesn't even lay a finger on him. I'm not saying hitting Floyd in the face would be proper closure, but the guy's earned it, no?

"Keep Your Enemies Closer" is all about the build-up. The writers are throwing plenty of new elements and references our way and it's looking like each of these will eventually spawn their own plot points. It's awesome to think of where this will all go and, I may be alone here, but I'm glad they're finally tackling the blatant attraction between Felicity/Oliver. But, considering all of the hype behind the Diggle/Deadshot feud since Season One, I can't help but feel somewhat letdown by its conclusion. This wasn't a bad episode, but it's not even close to touching the sheer quality behind last week's episode ("League of Assassins") which, in my opinion, was absolutely the best from the show yet.

Viners, what do you think about "Keep Your Enemies Closer?" Let us know below or go the extra mile and write your own review!

51 Comments
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Posted by Saint_Wildcard

Interesting episode but I agree with the score.

Posted by lifeboy

I would not have faulted you if you gave it 2stars. This episode scared me away from watching anymore.

Edited by Saint_Wildcard

@lifeboy said:

I would not have faulted you if you gave it 2stars. This episode scared me away from watching anymore.

Didnt wanna say it but....

Also enough with the relationship drama already. Let's keep it down to 1 relationship discussed per episode. There was like 3, one of which was a love triangle, jeez.

Posted by lifeboy

@saint_rog_el: what did you think of that shado/slade scene? I wanted to shout 'yes shado! Use your body to keep me alive!' Lol

Edited by AllStarSuperman

no Laurel which sucks, but it is okay cause there was no Sarah. I am really interested with Deathstroke more and more.

Posted by GNARshmallow

Still wondering how/if they will have Slade lose his eye.

Don't blame Ollie for bangin Isabel.(aka Serenity) haha

Bummed Diggle didn't kick the crap out of Deadshot.

And enough of the Roy and Thea relationship crap... just saying.

I will give it a 3ish out of 5 as well

Posted by viin

Not a bad episode. 3/5 is probably what I would give it as well.

I like David Ramsey as Diggle so Im glad he got more time but there was alot of relationship stuff though I feel the show has in a way drifted away from that stuff lately so I guess its gotta happen at some point.

This episode slowed things down but I figured since Sara left last episode there would be some filler episodes till she gets comes back since she was only shown in the flashbacks.

Edited by Killinginist

I agree this episode was slower and not as good as the rest of the season. I am still high on the series though. Really digging it. I like Ollie much more with Felicity than Laurel. Let's just get on with it. I want him to get with Felicity. Enough high school drama. Just make it happen.

Diggle is cool!

Posted by zodac

I enjoyed this episode, but I feel like my opinion of Arrow is becoming more and more clouded. I thought the first season was good overall, but with a fair amount of mediocre episodes. But with season 2, each week I've been really digging each episode. What I realized is that its because Agents of Shield is on the night before. Each week I walk away from AoS completely disappointed and bored, and then the next night Arrow comes on and it has superheroes, supervillians, and lots of action and fight scenes, basically everything everyone wants to see in AoS but has yet to. So after each episode of Arrow, I can't help but feel like Arrow is the best thing ever because its giving me more or less what I want out of a superhero show. Though I could do with out the teen drama....

Edited by AlKusanagi

I've realized I'm a pig, because the only reason I keep tuning in for for all them fine ladies.

Posted by fil123

i thought the episode was decent, with 22 or so episodes everyone cant be 5 stars like the last two (episode might seem worst because its right after one of the best). Even if this might be the worst episode of the season it is still a lot better than some from the first season.

Edited by flashrobin

Only reason Im still watching this show is because Im waiting for flash to make his appearence.

Edited by MrMazz

Now these are two different shows but there are still applicable comparisons to draw. Mainly the comparison on how Agents of SHIELD seems to try and go for phaux location shooting with the most recent episode while Arrow is deciedly set base and pulls off the feel of well Arrow Russia rather well. Everything's got that nice grime to it and plenty of fog. Cheap looking but keepin in the mise en scene of the series very nice.

Also I'm oddly glad they anserwed why Ollie can't be with Felicity since it's a sign that the writers realize that yea Felicity is kinda banana pants awesome.

Cheap Plug to User Review

Posted by webling

I enjoyed my way through the episode so I'd give a 4/5. I was not picking up before on the Felicity/Oliver thing, but I don't really have a problem with it. It's funny that Oliver consistently has a type in different media (computer girl): Chloe in Smallville and in Green Arrow #23 - Shados, Conclusion they're setting up that Naomi is into him. Back to the episode, I am finding it hard to understand how Sarah can be so cold in the past and have Oliver instantly trusting her in the present. Obviously we're going to see that resolved so I'm interested in what they cook up to connect points A and B. Finally, I know it's just for product placement, but there is no way a competent shadowy criminal organization like H.I.V.E. would be showing up in a Bing search.

Posted by bigtewell

it just seemed so bad because last weeks was soooo good. plus no mention of the league of assassins at all???

Edited by lifeboy

What was up with felicity dynamiting those three prison guards? So she's a murderer now?especially poor down and out russians who are just trying to scrape out a megar living for their famillies. And this after the new opening has ollie disclaiming that he will nolonger kill... LMFAO

Damn, I hated this episode to hell! Did they have some sort of retarded fill in writer for this episode? Who wrote this crap? This is the first episode of the 2nd season I've watched too.

I wish the writer could read this so he could see me tell him F### YOU!

Edited by ULTRAstarkiller

I fell a sleep watchin this episode....

Edited by maxpower123

That was one of my favorite episode so far, I don't understand the hate :/

Anyone thinks that slade will have the super soldier treatment from Ivo?

Edited by noj

@lifeboy: The jacket was supposed to explode in the room holding all the prisoners personal effects, how the hell was she supposed to know that a guard would be trying it on and showing it off to his two buddies at that exact moment. It was just straight up bad luck.

Posted by PapiNacho

Huh, I found this episode the best yet. No cheesy lines and amazing plot and action.

Edited by lifeboy

@noj: the 3 innocent russians are dead and she killed them. That changed her dynamic forever.

That's just one example of how the entire series is now jaded. How many relatsionship threads are now open just from the mess of this episode? In cronological order-

1shado-slade

2speedy-red arrow

3diggle-carley

4diggle-blond argus

5ollie-queen vp

6ollie-felicity

7ollie-girl on boat

Posted by sockman19

Wow, what a horrible episode. I've really been enjoying this season so far, too, so this is a major disappointment. Tons of potential for interesting plotlines are just wasted. Dig and Deadshot teaming up could have been so much more interesting. There could have been a focus on the way that Dig has let Deadshot rule his life and maybe even a debate about the morality of killing (which would tie in with Ollie's current stance). But no, everything in this episode just felt completely rushed and, dare I say, utterly ridiculous.

The highlight of the episode was Isabel. It's nice to finally see her do something. But this Oliver and Felicity relationship is very out of the left field. Yes, we all saw it coming. But there has been no reference of either recognizing feelings for the other in-show. You can't just throw it out there like that.

Amanda Waller's actress, though her appearance was brief, was very underwhelming. I was hoping to see somebody with a much greater presence. But the whole ordeal just fell flat for me.

I like Roy and Thea, generally, but their relationship felt incredibly cliched in this episode. Yawn.

1.5/5 for me. I truly hope that this was a fluke because I have not disliked an episode of Arrow this much since back in season one.

Posted by Lurkero

It's still the CW so there may be a minimum number of relationship threads that Arrow's writers must keep weaving in order for the show to continue being funded. It's really annoying and often leads to unearned tension. It's like people can't associate with each other without gaining some kind sensual relationship. The sexual tension between Diggle and Oliver in season 1 was loaded. I am glad they decided to be friends.

One thing that worried me about season 2 is that the writers were hammering in the fact that Arrow doesn't intend to kill anymore. This lead to more "fake tension" (as I like to call it), and possibly many unresolved stories due to villains escaping. Just look at Diggle vs Deadshot. After all this time not even a good slap on the wrist. Diggle shot people in season 1 for less than what Deadshot did.

Posted by Gotham331

I thought this episode was pretty good. Even though it wasn't Ollie centered, I still thought it was pretty interesting. Really good set up for future events. I can't wait to see what comes next

Posted by doombot890

seriously don't let Felicity get with Ollie it will really ruin her as a unique character to this series. I'd like one show where everyone isn't in love with the main character. ffs! its been done to death!

also anyone else hoping shado would say you're gonna lose the eye!

Posted by Justthatkid

@lifeboy said:

logical order-

1shado-slade

2Mia-red arrow

3diggle-carley

4diggle-Lyla

5ollie-queen vp

6ollie-felicity

7ollie-Sarah

Online
Edited by Justthatkid

I hope they don't mess with Slade's face I wouldn't mind if his eye got any non-fixable tissue damage though.

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Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Here are my thoughts on the episode:

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Edited by Dernman

and standing in the place of Amanda Waller a toothpick. Each time I see her character she gets skinnier. From Smallville to the GL movie now Arrow.

On a serious note. I was disappointed in the choice because she didn't have the right presence.

Posted by Commander_Kane

I didn't see a problem with this episode. It showed a lot of character development. And we won't have see deadshot for a while..so we can stop having that same episode. A little more boring than the others to me? Really just fighting wise. Now with another Count Vertigo episode coming up..that's where I'm drawing the line. Prolly the lamest villian of the series.

Posted by Guardiandevil83

Lot of Haters today.

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Posted by Mister_Sensational

I gotta admit I loved how Felicity just really put it all on the table as far as her feelings for Ollie are concerned. I was getting really tired of Laurel and all her self-pittying crap and blaming Ollie, blaming her dad, and Ollie saying without saying "Laurel I love you" but every time she tries to let him back into her life in a romantic sense he's all like "No, I can't. I can't risk her getting hurt on account of my identity as Green Arrow." with Felicity it was the classic case of the "nice girl" knowing all about the "bad boy" and saying "Despite your faults I still care about you, so why do you keep wasting your time with these other chicks and recognize the woman you need is right here in front of you?" It was a major change for her character who was coming off as a more odd version of Oracle prior to last nights episode.

Now a part of me sort of wants to see Ollie and Felicity hook up, but I'm afraid if they do, the writers are going to have something terrible happen to her just so they can put him back on the path to ultimately being with Laurel.

Also if you think last night's episode was bad I hate to see what you guys say about next weeks episode because they're bringing back Count Vertigo, and for me personally the Count Vertigo episodes were the worst ones from last season.

Posted by redhood21

Lot of Haters today.

indeed. they must be waiting for ugly betty reviews :3

Edited by k4tzm4n

Lot of Haters today.

Or, people who enjoy the show tuned in and didn't exactly love tonight's episode. To think the show is flawless and never has an "okay" episode is just silly.

Staff
Posted by War Killer

I really thought the whole thing with Oliver and Felicity was made out to be more than it really was. Sure, throughout the first season they always played around with Felicity gawking over Ollie when he's working out, but never has Ollie really shown anything towards her in return, at least not in a romantic or sexual way. So the fact that Felicity was getting so upset about it just came out of nowhere and felt very forced in my opinion.

Posted by SupBatz

I really thought the whole thing with Oliver and Felicity was made out to be more than it really was. Sure, throughout the first season they always played around with Felicity gawking over Ollie when he's working out, but never has Ollie really shown anything towards her in return, at least not in a romantic or sexual way. So the fact that Felicity was getting so upset about it just came out of nowhere and felt very forced in my opinion.

This.

Edited by young_beamer

definitely an average episode but with a little too much relationship drama. oddly enough i miss starling city, russia was cool and all but they didnt have those classic environment shots and action scenes in smokey alley ways and dark areas. but as far as the relationships go

diggle and his wife = i get it (but he didnt seem so interested before)

ollie and isabel = i dug it but bad timing, couldve been its own episode

ollie and felicity = bout time but wrong episode, they made it all school girl crushy, twilighty, blah, blah,

roy and thea = why? they are usually ok but they broke up then went back like nothing happened

just a regular episode with too much relationship stuff, they always do this but they usually mix in an even amount of badassness. note to cw try to balance out your themes and genres

Posted by SpeedyMR

Dear, Bat-Arrow

As a Green Arrow fan ...... well I'll let the gif show you just how I feel about you.

angry (1579) Animated Gif on Giphy

Posted by RybackStun

@k4tzm4n: I think there is a significant difference between people who didn't enjoy this specific episode and people who are completely dumping on this episode with very little reason.

I personally enjoyed this episode very much. Lots of nuggets which help move the story along. I can see why some people would have some problems, but it definitely isn't the worst episode nor is it reason to drop the show.

Edited by MrMazz

@rybackstun: welcome to the internet where a variable ratings system is reduced to binary and utter competence means it's shit. I really enjoyed the rom crap because it keeps Arrow in the camp soap opera dark grit and they need to deal with Felicity-Oliver eventually.

Posted by TDK_1997

This episode was better than the last one.The last one was supposed to show us so much more and it ended up disappointing while this one I was really sceptical and didn't expect a single interesting thing.But in the end this episode ended up as being one of my favorites for this season and in the show as a whole.Deadshot finally started looking as the cool character he is,the tension between Felicity and Oliver was interesting,the flashbacks were intriguing me a lot and the end was just fantastic.

Posted by NightFang

First the League of Assassins and now H.I.V.E., who's next Intergang, the Black Glove or the Kobra Cult?

Posted by Black_Arrow

Felt that Felicity and Oliver is too rushed and also I like Felicity but not in a relationship with oliver

Edited by The Stegman

I wanted more Diggle, I could care less about Felicity being jealous of Ollie banging whatsherface. And they could have cut the whole Roy/Thea drama out completely, it served no purpose.

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