Well, that was fun while it lasted, eh?
Arrow came back this week for its third season premiere, and for a brief moment, it looked like Oliver Queen was finally getting his life back together. After five years marooned on a terrifying island (and secretly being forced to work for A.R.G.U.S. in Hong Kong, apparently) he returned to Starling City a broken man. As The Arrow, he became a vigilante, losing many people along the way – including his best friend Tommy and his own mother. He fought trusted friend Malcolm Merlyn, his nemesis Slade Wilson, plus countless other bad guys along the way. He lost a couple girlfriends, as well as his family’s company and his entire fortune. Basically, Oliver has had a really crappy half-dozen or so years.
But now, things in Starling City are shaping up! Crime is down and the SCPD is dropping their anti-vigilante task force. Detective Lance – who is now Captain Lance – not only supports Oliver, but works with him to fight the bad guys and put them away. Roy is off the Mirakuru and shaping up to be a solid member of Team Arrow. Diggle is back together with his ex-wife and about to become a father. Felicity is…awesome as always, because duh, of course she is. It seems like the perfect time for Oliver to start rebuilding his life. And he tries, sort of. But dammit, just when you think you’re out, another super villain starts manufacturing vertigo and pulls you right back in, you know?
When watching Arrow, I often find myself groaning, “Oh, Oliver,” because he’s just so darn stupid. Really, I love him, but he is. That’s why I am introducing the Oliver Queen Stupidity Index*, where we will calculate Oliver’s weekly level of stupidity and how his dumbass decisions impact those around him.
Oliver getting his flirt on in a major way with Felicity. I like to this this has been happening every day since the season finale. +100
Oliver actually taking the time to tell Roy that he did a good job. +20
But then -20 for getting a text from Thea and not realizing that she’s been lying to him this entire time. “I keep telling her to send pictures!” he says. Idiot.
Oliver not only takes Diggle’s advice and admits to himself that he’s in love with Felicity – but he acts on it. He allows himself to get excited over it, too, planning a fancy, romantic dinner for the two of them. Italian! Plus, more flirting. This is an Olicity dream come true, so it’s obviously doomed, but it’s SO NICE while it lasts. +500
Flashback!Oliver is running all over Hong Kong, escaping his A.R.G.U.S. captors over and over again. +35 for trying to find a cell phone or computer to send an email, but -15 for not taking ten minutes out to get a decent haircut. We all understood it on the island, Oliver, but now you have NO EXCUSE.
“I was chewing a pen,” says Felicity, embarrassed about the first time they met. “It was red,” Oliver remembers with a smile. +30 because awwwww.
Naturally, just when he’s making a declaration of his feelings, the whole restaurant explodes because a new Count Vertigo wants to kill Oliver. No points either way, because it’s not exactly Oliver’s fault. I’m just mentioning it because it sucked.
“Someone planted a tracer on me and I don’t notice? The only explanation is…I lost my focus.” Aaaaand, that’s the moment when Oliver starts to think that maybe being in a relationship with Felicity is too good to be true. -40 because no, Oliver. Dummy. The tracer would’ve been on you even if you’d been home eating Fritos on the couch.
Oliver’s biggest fear is himself? And it’s not even the version of himself with the horrible long hair? Uh, okay. -5
+40 for realizing that he had no right running Queen Consolidated in the first place because he was a really, really, really horrible CEO, but -15 for just giving it over to a dude who hacked into his system to win the company – without even a fight. Oliver, don’t you remember what happened last time you blindly trusted someone with your company? She was working with Slade Wilson and shot all of you. A lot. Ugh. Nevermind, I’m taking -10 more. The guy is also so obviously after your girl, man. Get it together, Oliver!
“Being The Arrow is not a choice I get to unmake,” he tells Felicity. See, but it is? And it’s also completely on your terms? Erghh. -20
Benching Diggle annoys me, so -100, but I think he does it for the right reasons and Diggle ends up agreeing with his decision, so +75 and we’ll call it a day. I’m keeping 25 points taken off, though, because Oliver is an ass about it.
When Oliver is arguing with Diggle, he says, “This is my crusade and this is my decision,” and Felicity’s poor little face crumples up in tears because she knows that it’s only a matter of time before their chance together is over for good. HER LITTLE FACE. That’s probably the moment that broke my heart the most and I want to punch Oliver in his stupid nose over it, I’m just saying. -300 for making Felicity cry and -100 more because “This is my crusade,” is such a dumb, arrogant thing to say in the first place. They’ve been fighting with you for a long time, dude! This is not just your crusade anymore.
“I thought I could be me and The Arrow, but I can’t…not now. Maybe never,” Oliver tells Felicity. When she begs him to just say never, to “stop dangling maybes” and making her think there could be a chance between them – a fair request, I might add – he kisses her and says he loves her. OH HEY, THAT’S NOT SELFISH. -100 more because I get it, Oliver, you love her but jeez.
Then Sara dies, which has no points taken from Oliver, but like -1,000,000 from the show. I mean, really? REALLY?!
Oliver skates by with 75 points, which puts him just barely on the side of Not Stupid this week. He made a whole lot of dumb decisions in the end, but they came from a good place. Let’s see how that works for him next week, when he finds out that Sara’s been killed.
* I owe this, of course, to Vulture’s Gossip Girl reality index, a truly inspired piece of pop culture history. Please consider this an homage, for I will never live up to the original. Go read the original!