The CW‘s Arrow Keep Your Enemies Closer TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 2, Episode 6: “Keep Your Enemies Closer” started as a sting, set up by Roy (Colton Haynes) and executed by Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggs (David Ramsey). Oliver made a quick exit, with the arrival of the authorities, but Diggs was abducted by a Spec Ops team. That team was sent by A.R.G.U.S. director Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson), an A.R.G.U.S. operative, had been sent to a Russian gulag while in pursuit of Deadshot (Michael Rowe). Waller wanted her back, and holding Diggs responsible, expected him to put his extracurricular Queen assets into her retrieval.
The plan, then, was for team Queen to go to Russia, arrange to have Diggs placed in the same gulag, then escape with Lyla, all through Oliver’s connection to Anatoli Knyazev (David Nykl). One wrinkle to the scheme: Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) discovered the supposed business trip, and insisted on going along. Getting Diggs into the gulag was easy enough, but led to an unexpected run-in between Diggs and Deadshot.
Despite her deduction that Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) was Oliver’s mistress, Isabel allowed him to see her softer side while claiming to see through his irresponsible playboy image. Their bonding session went fairly far, fairly fast, with Isabel making sure Felicity noticed.
Even Arrow fans unfamiliar with the source character of Isabel Rochev should know better than to buy into her warming over moment. Her sudden turn with Oliver left me feeling uneasy. There is a distinct possibility of the show taking her character in an entirely different direction than the one I expect; so only time will tell what the fallout from that interaction will be.
For what it was worth, I did appreciate the acknowledgement of Diggle’s ethnicity, given the setting.
Roy went off script, for his part in the opening sting, and got himself arrested. His revealing of their mutual connection to The Hood prompted Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) to cut him loose. While this solved one immediate problem for Thea (Willa Holland), it did add to a looming one. Moira Queen’s (Susanna Thompson) attorney (Teryl Rothery), concerned that Thea’s relationship with Roy would be held against her client, advised a break up. This Thea did, but in a rather clumsy and blunt fashion. So much so that even with Moira’s direct blessings to Thea, Roy might not be all that eager to resume the relationship.
Not so much clumsy as awkward, Felicity’s reaction to Oliver’s relations with Isabel portents a melodramatic mess for the show. Don’t get me wrong, Felicity has grown on me and I recognize the value of having some romantic element. Arrow just seems to skirt soap opera territory a bit much, for my liking. The Lance sisters dance will be complicated enough without mixing things up between Felicity and Isabel. Lyla, on the other hand, could help Diggs get past Deadshot. That would be progress, but Deadshot contributed to his own free pass.
Stephen Amell Caity Lotz Arow Keep Your Enemies Closer
After obsessing over Deadshot for so long, I thought Diggs’ face to face with his nemesis was a bit anti-climactic. He seemed to recognize the eye-patch, rather than the face, and honor cuts both ways. Did his promise to spare Deadshot, for a successful escape, take precedence over a sworn vendetta? There looked like there was a moment where the matter was settled though. Deadshot only managed to walk away after providing Diggs with new insights on his brother’s death, complete with a lead on those behind it.
I had hoped that the gulag infiltration plot would be a sort of nod to a previous Green Arrow project called SuperMAX. I really should curb my expectations with this production. There was, however, a bust of Lenin at Anatoli’s that might suggest something canon about his Arrow character. Add Deadshot’s reference to H.I.V.E., and I say curbing is for dogs.
Speaking of canon expectations, there may have been enough raw material from this episode to begin piecing together the flashback future of Oliver, Shado (Celina Jade) and Slade (Manu Bennett). On board the Amazo, Oliver’s hostile reception from Sara (Caity Lotz) was a ruse, intended to cover their true identities. Sara acted as go-between (and audience translator) for Dr. Ivo (Dylan Neal). Ivo explained the importance of the island site, discovered by Oliver and friends, and wanted to know if Oliver was the only one left. Sara would later spring Oliver from his cell, but not before he promised to return for Anatoli.
Had I more faith in the show, I would have figured that Sara was setting Oliver up (ironically enough). Ivo and the ship Captain (Jimmy Jean-Louis) received confirmation that Shado and Slade were still alive, but Sara kept Oliver from being executed. Between the Captain America nature of Ivo’s objective, and Slade’s injuries, my expectations were left pretty high.
Super agents, super agencies and super soldiers. Low key or not, Arrow has been setting up some pretty big shoes to fill for itself. For better or worse, I would love to see how it turns out.