***The review below contains spoilers.***
By Tyler Olson
Most series like to return from a hiatus with a bang, but Arrow decided to roar in with a blazing inferno. This would have made a superb episode, if it wasn't for the constant brooding of so many of our favourite characters, which persisted throughout the entire hour.
It is completely understandable that everyone was taking Walter's disappearance badly, but it still wasn't any less depressing to watch. Moria, who took it he hardest, was the most difficult. She had her chance to do something about it during Christmas, and she still can if she tells people the truth, but yet she just mopes around the house for the entire episode. I am glad that Thea was able to talk some sense into her at the end, but I think it would have been better to move her forward earlier in the episode.
Oliver's depression wasn't any easier to watch, but at least he was still training. Thankfully, unlike Moria, Diggle and Laurel were able to push him to get back into the scene much earlier, although I am sure the news broadcasts helped too.
This led us to the pyromaniac known as Firefly. This is one firefighter who obviously didn't listen to his parents when they told him not to play with fire or he will get burned. This version of Firefly was a neat concept, but once again, he felt wasted since they removed any chance of his return.
Why do so many villains get killed off during their first appearance? What is going to happen 5 or 10 years down the line (I hope I'm not being too optimistic here) when they have exhausted most of DC's villain resources? Are we going to see second versions, new made-up villains, or will we be stuck with only a few survivors that will quickly become overused? It's great that we have a hero that is cleaning up the city, but perhaps he is doing too good of a job.
I really enjoyed Laurel helping Arrow with the case, even if she didn't know he was beside her, and that she has become Arrow's unofficial liaison. I hope this is just a taste of what we can expect in future episodes.
The only part of Laurel's involvement with Arrow that bothered me was how Quentin is willing to put a bug on his daughter to catch the vigilante. With the good publicity Oliver is getting, I am sure that the public will be thrilled if he does take him down, and what it will do to his father-daughter relationship.
The flashbacks were also disappointing this week since they felt like a complete waste of time. The first was a repeat, and the rest were so brief and didn't advance the story much, perhaps buy a full minute. If we aren't going to get anything substantial, it is best if they are just left out completely.
The action, suspense, and characters made "Burned" a great episode, but the depressing mood, the useless flashbacks and the misuse of the villain held this episode back from being the anything more.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5/5