Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
I normally don't star with my overall feelings for the episode, but it is rare for one to be so disgusting. Identity, for me, was by far the most unenjoyable episode of Arrow yet.
I have never watched so many self-centered inward-thinking characters in a single episode before. Since when did the entire city become all assholes? It's like someone tries to help people and everyone just rushes over to drag them under the bus as quickly as possible. If this is what was left of Starling City after Malcolm's undertaking, then perhaps it's time to just burn the entire city down so it can be built again... Wow, know I know how Ras justifies his actions.
The worst was Laurel who became so evil and corrupt that she made Malcolm Merlyn look like a good guy. Sure, she hasn't killed countless of people, yet, but she wouldn't take much to push her across that line. The worst part is that she is almost completely to blame for Tommy's death. Both Oliver and Quentin both told her to stay out of the glades, yet she went in regardless, even after her father gave her a final warning. If she wasn't there, Tommy would never had to save her ass while her precious vigilante was dealing with his evil father. Perhaps Ollie needs to pay for some consoling for her; or insane grief is a genetic trait in her family.
Sebastian was also a dick, but he's supposed to be evil, though. Could this Brother Blood be created from Oliver Queen's choices? Sure the Undertaking has a large part in what happened, but this could easily have been avoided if Oliver just did what he promised. What was one more shipment lost anyway? I never understood the need to take action if it could cause other problems when there would be other opportunities in the future.
Almost everyone else wasn't much better. Oliver couldn't see what his friends were going through (even though he said he cared), Felicity couldn't see past her promotion to see why it needed to be done, Thea thought only about herself instead of the people her mother harmed, and Slade became a jealous prick who is trying to cause friction amongst his friends. Having all of these negative feelings spread out one at time across an entire season would have been perfectly fine, but having them all come out at once just drags the enjoyment through a leech infested bog where someone dumped the worst toxic wastes.
Then there are the cops who seem to be working for an evil corporation, or something. Why would they target the vigilantes first and criminals second? It made absolutely no sense and was the part of the Dark Knight Rises, so reusing that type of ridiculous notion soured even more of the episode. Sure, they may have arrested them if it was on their way, but I can't see them utilize the amount of man-power to bring down one man while the criminals are getting away.
I seriously can't believe how far this series has fallen suddenly. This had better be the bottom of the pit whence the shining stars rise from, or this series is going to die off really, really fast.
The only parts of this entire episode that I enjoyed were the initial fight between Oliver and the Bronze Tiger, and his way to bring Roy into the fold yet still keeping him out of trouble. It is a shame that Mr. Claws was taken down so easily, though.
We all know that Oliver somehow gets to walk free after the cliffhanger by the bitch's snap judgement, so that didn't even leave anything to look forward to, so I really hope that the sweet songs from the Canary next week lightens the mood and helps wash away the filth that was thrown around so completely this week.
Did you actually like this episode? If so, why?
*Update - 2013-10-22*
I decided to rewatch the episode since I was in disbelief that the episode filled me with such distaste. While the same parts still disgusted me (mainly due to the characters portraying one of the worst parts of humanity, in my opinion), the story does bring the the characters to a potential tipping point in their lives where they might realize their foolish behaviours and become better. I hope I am right. (I have adjusted the score slightly because of it, although it is still low due to my dislike of their actions).