Hey there, Arrow fans! How are we feeling? A bit hungover? Although we weren’t personally dosed with Vertigo, Oliver’s mental journey in last night’s episode leaves us in need of some serious emotional recovery.
In “Fundamentals,” Oliver discovers that he’s been drugged. This discovery isn’t made until nearly halfway through the episode, so the line between what’s real and what isn’t is terrifyingly blurred.
Even after Oliver’s discovery, we still can’t trust anything he sees. This genius premise, and the fallout of this situation, sets “Fundamentals” up to be, quite possibly, the best episode this season. It’s no secret that Arrow‘s been a little disappointing as of late, but it seems that problem may be on the mend. Here’s why season six’s 18th episode gives us hope for the future of Arrow.
Back to basics
The main reason that we loved this episode is that it sets the remainder of the season up for a return, finally, to the basics. We weren’t dying to see Oliver lose his job as mayor, but we aren’t exactly upset about it either. For better or worse, the show has grown so far from its first couple of seasons that its nearly unrecognizable, but 6×18 promises to change that. Oliver insists that he must go it alone from here on out; no more team. That’s a step in the right direction, although we hope that Oliver realizes that this never really worked when he was truly alone.
If a dramatic over-step toward complete aloneness is what it takes to fully cut out the new team, then we will take it. We all know how this story goes; eventually, Oliver will need tech help, and field help, and Felicity and Diggle will be back in the game. And with Colton Haynes’s Roy returning next season, we may just get our iconic season two team back!
If you’re new here, be warned: we love the Olicity angst here at purefandom.com. Don’t get me wrong, happiness is great — but there’s just something so fantastic about a classic case of Olicity angst. And boy, did this episode deliver. Oliver, (sad, self-hating puppy that he is) hallucinates Felicity leaving him while on Vertigo. Of course, our girl would never do such a thing. And she tells him as much. In one of the most iconic scenes we’ve gotten in a long while, Felicity reassures Oliver with a simple but powerful, “I’m glue, baby.”
Remembering Arrow’s roots
There’s a lot to be said about progress. A show has to grow and change to stay relevant and avoid getting boring, we acknowledge that. But when your favorite show has changed so much that you barely recognize it, it’s nice to be reminded of the good old days. Of the show you fell in love with, the episodes that hooked you.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but none of Arrow‘s original sets are still around. Not one. No Queen Mansion, no Foundry, no Verdant, no Queen Consolidated. And as great as the new sets are, it breaks our hearts that the show just doesn’t look like itself anymore.
“Fundamentals” is as much a celebration of the show of days past as anything else. Oliver dons the old hood (complete with grease paint) and even hallucinates the Queen Mansion (and Laurel, real Laurel, is there!) It’s enough to make any fan nostalgic. And toward the end of the episode, Oliver and Felicity grapple hook to safety, and it’s likely no coincidence that it mirrors one of our favorite Olicity scenes.
Is this a sign that Arrow is returning to its roots in more ways that one? We hope so. The only way classic Arrow could ever be improved is with married Olicity, and we’ve got that. So if the show wants to pack up our golden couple and their son, time travel back a few years, and return to fundamentals, that’s A-okay with us. (Just don’t bring back the flashbacks, please.)
Featured image via Shane Harvey/The CW.