Arrow: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

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I wear a hood and I put arrows into criminals.

I’ve been watching the CW’s Arrow since the pilot on a regular basis with one of my housemates. We have a ritual: Go to practice, come back, sit down shoulder to shoulder with a laptop between us (accompanied by a bowl of chocolate cereal marketed toward second graders and consumed by college students) and watch our favorite green vigilante swinging about the fire escapes of Starling City.

But this week there was no episode, and my ritual hung in a sad hiatus. It’s made me realize just how much I look forward to and enjoy the show, for reasons that I’ll enumerate here:

1. It’s two shows for the price of one. The first is the story is about a spoiled, unseasoned young man learning to survive in a kill-or-be-killed environment. The second is about a hardened vigilante cleaning up the streets of his hometown while trying to balance a normal life and relationships. That the two characters and stories weave into one is the masterstroke that drives the series.

2. The cast is phenomenal and the acting fantastic.

3. Episodes are fast-paced and action-packed, with well-coordinated stunts and many a shirtless work-out scene.

4. There is an overarching plot that is nearly tangible, dancing just above our heads, a silent force lending momentum to the season as a whole.

This last point, I think, will become especially apparent in these next few episodes. Next week we will see Episode 20, Home Invasion, which, judging by the swanky-music themed preview, promises to be packed full of fire power. It looks like Diggle will get to spend that quality time he’s been wanting with Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, and Ollie wrecks more pieces of furniture.

First tables, now balconies. When will the assault on elements of household furniture come to an end?

A lot could happen in the episodes we have left. Episode 23, titled Sacrifice, marks the end of the line for season one. This week off has given me time to reflect (when I’m not pouring over spoiler pages like this one) and truly appreciate Arrow. While this is nice, I definitely wouldn’t ask for any more time off. I’m excited and a bit anxious to see what happens, and I have faith the writers will throw us for a loop, but pull us through it all the same.

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