Something very interesting happened on the Feb. 22 episode of “Arrow.” In a society where the current president of the United States of America is openly attacking the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence, “Arrow” chose to have Thea (Willa Holland) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) destroy the career or a journalist who got a fairly big scoop that could expose Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his entire team.
Except it’s not as cut-and-dry as that: The journalist with the scoop also happens to be sleeping with Mayor Oliver: Perhaps one of the most unethical things Susan Williams (Carly Pope) could be doing. It is a gigantic mistake on her part — but does it mean her entire career should be destroyed?
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It’s a tricky line “Arrow” is walking, with regard to the struggle between the powerful and the press. While revealing to the world that Oliver is the Green Arrow would certainly put him and his team in danger, does that give them the right to keep her quiet, or discredit her at any cost? In the eyes of Oliver himself, certainly not: He was clearly disappointed in his sister’s actions, likening them to that of their mom.
That said, Oliver not only didn’t try to deter Susan from digging deeper — but wouldn’t even confirm her suspicions. Instead, he left her with no response at all, even after she’d lost her job.
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The question is whether Team Arrow doing this is really about keeping Star City safe… Or an act of fascism. As Oliver himself explains in the episode, Team Arrow are “auxiliary” law enforcement in his eyes. Making that statement — essentially asking that the police work hand-in-hand with a vigilante who has a penchant for killing people — is something he can’t take back.
In the end, who is the real victim? Is it the team? Is it Susan? It’s hard to tell. Clearly nobody involved is innocent — this could turn out to be a story of corruption and absolute power, for all we know.
One thing’s for sure, though: When the team and the Mayor’s administration — which includes Thea — are acting in their own interests, to the detriment of others, Star City starts feeling a little too real for comfort.
“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.