Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Series: Superhero of the Week -- Week 1 [Contributor: Jen]

Welcome to the first Superhero of the Week installment! Each week, I'll be choosing one stand-out character from four competing shows: Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl (and Black Lightning will be eligible too, once it premieres). Perhaps the character had an emotionally heartbreaking scene, was incredibly funny, did something shocking, or exemplified all the characteristics of a selfless hero. Whatever the case may be, this character shone brighter than all the rest.

(And no, they do not have to wear a mask to be eligible.)

So let's kick off our new series with my vote for Superhero of the Week this week!

SUPERHERO OF THE WEEK: Oliver Queen (Arrow)

As far as superheroes go, Oliver Queen has been kind of a hot mess for the last five years. He has a good heart and loves deeply, but Oliver always learns by error. He does things the wrong way first before he figures out the right way. He stumbles, falls, and then gets back up back up — often with the help of those closest to him.

It's why his progression, particularly this season on Arrow, has been such a joy to witness. Oliver has found a way to make peace with his past and this has given him a newfound sense of stability. Instead of being the person who needs advice, Oliver is dispensing it. He's hung up the hood to be a father to his son William, but Oliver is still determined to help his team. Particularly when it comes to the great love of his life — Felicity Smoak.

Oliver and Felicity have reunited and are carefully embarking on a "new" relationship. However, they explored a reversal of roles this week in the appropriately named episode "Reversal." It was Oliver who encouraged Felicity to find a life outside Team Arrow,  insisted she ask her teammates for help with taking down Cayden James, and pulled Felicity out of a morose spiral after she initially failed to defeat the bad guy. Oliver's advice was quite similar to the advice Felicity has given over the years. It reveals the light Felicity worked so hard to harness in Oliver has taken hold in a permanent way. Oliver's belief gave Felicity the confidence to succeed, just like her belief has done for him so many times.

Of course, Oliver Queen is still Oliver Queen. He's a man of action. He follows Felicity when she goes to meet some less than upstanding individuals to obtain the tech she needs to bring Cayden James down. Oliver mistakenly believes Felicity is being kidnapped, so he busts down doors and breaks legs to save her. Oliver's Protective Boyfriend Mode is a little Cro-Magnon, but I still love it. Felicity doesn't need to be saved, however, and Oliver blows the meet. It ignites a humorous fight between the couple as they bicker about protecting each other.

The real evolution is Oliver finding another way to help Felicity other than kicking butt. He jumps onto the comms and becomes the voice in Felicity's ear while she's in the field — just like Felicity has done for Oliver all these years. His willingness to take off the mask and go behind the scenes proves he's a team player. Oliver Queen steps into the shadows and lets Felicity Smoak shine. The titular hero of Arrow taking on the role of the "IT girl" also shows how vitally important Felicity Smoak is to the show.

Oliver's evolution is as much a victory for Felicity as it is for him. He wouldn't have gotten here without her. However, this week was one of those rare times when the balance in their relationship shifted. This time it was Oliver doing the emotional and communicative heavy lifting instead of Felicity. It's a much needed shift in dynamic for their relationship and for Arrow. So much time and effort has gone into making Oliver into a fully realized superhero. It was nice to see him just being one.

Come back next week to see who makes my pick for Superhero of the Week! In the mean time, feel free to sound off in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your choice 100%. Oliver showed in this episode how far he has come and shined like the superhero he was meant to be.