Sunday, August 5, 2018

Ruminations on “ARROW” (1.20) “Home Invasion”

I just recently re-watched the Season One episode of "ARROW" called (1.20) "Home Invasion"

RUMINATIONS ON "ARROW" (1.20) "Home Invasion"

Ever since his return after spending five years marooned on a South China island, Oliver Queen has been going after corrupt men whom his late father, Robert Queen, believed was destroying his hometown, Starling City via crime fighting activities as the vigilante, the Green Arrow (or "the Hood").  Following the destruction of the family's yacht, the Queen's Gambit, Robert handed Oliver a list of powerful and/or corrupt men whom he believed were dangers to the city.  Oliver was rescued five years later and commenced upon ridding Starling City of the men on Robert's list with the help of two people - former Army veteran and bodyguard John Diggle and Queen Consolidated IT analyst, Felicity Smoak.  

When Oliver and his father had first left Starling City five years earlier, they had been accompanied by Sara Lance, the younger sister of his girlfriend Laurel Lance.  Oliver and Sara had been engaged in an illicit affair behind Laurel's back.  Upon his return to Starling City, Oliver realized that he still loved Laurel, but his infidelity and Sara's death had ended their relationship.  While Oliver engaged in his vigilante activities, Laurel had moved on with a romantic relationship with an old friend of hers and Oliver, Tommy Merlyn.

In the twentieth episode of Season One, "Home Invasion", Oliver, John and Felicity decided to go after the next man on Robert Queen's list - Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot by setting up a trap with the help of the intelligence agency, A.R.G.U.S.  Oliver and his team already had two previous encounters with Deadshot in episodes (1.03) "Lone Gunmen" and (1.16) "Dead to Rights".  John specifically wanted Deadshot captured, due to his belief that the gunman had killed his younger brother on the orders of someone else.  Meanwhile, Laurel's latest clients, Eric and Nancy Moore, had agreed to testify against a financial adviser named Edward Rasmus, who swindled them. The night before their deposition however, they were assassinated by a hitman named Mr. Blank.  However, the Moores' orphaned son Taylor witnessed his parents' murder and became Mr. Blank's next target.  After taking charge of Taylor, Laurel and Tommy asked Oliver to help them find a place to hide the boy.  Oliver not only did this, but also abandoned the plan to help John and A.R.G.U.S. trap Deadshot in order to save the lives of Taylor, Laurel and Tommy.  Because of this, Deadshot escaped the trap and John dumped his frustration and ire upon Oliver by accusing the latter of allowing his feelings for Laurel to get in the way of his activities as "the Hood".

Now, I understand that John had wanted revenge against Deadshot for the death of his brother, Andy.  But . . . I found it difficult to sympathize with him in "Home Invasion".  I could not believe that John had went into a snit fit because Oliver had decided to help Laurel and Tommy protect young Taylor Moore from Mr. Blank, instead of help him set a trap for Deadshot.  And I will explain why.  If John had been angry at Oliver for failing to call and tell him that he wanted to deal with protecting Taylor before they deal with Deadshot, I would have understood.  In fact, Oliver should have done exactly that and John could have helped.  But the latter made it all about him, Oliver and Laurel.  And judging from Felicity's reaction, along with the series' showrunners and the episode's two writers, I got the feeling that the audience was supposed to sympathize with John and question Oliver’s decision to help Laurel and Tommy . . . especially Laurel.

Well, I say bullshit to that. John made the issue more than young Tommy.  He made this situation all about his desire for revenge against Deadshot, over Laurel’s need to help Taylor.  Pardon me for saying this, but I feel that John, Felicity, along with the showrunners and the screenwriters, were wrong.  Regardless of Oliver’s own reasons for helping Laurel, I believe that Taylor required his immediate help a lot more than John’s desire for revenge did.  Especially since a hitman was dead set in killing the boy.  It seems a pity that neither John or Felicity were able to understand.  Apparently, being comrades-in-arms, along with John’s desire for revenge) was more important than a child’s life. 

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