After last week’s chicanery, I was truly worried that ‘Arrow’ was beginning to do its traditional seasonal tailspin. Imagine my surprise when ‘So It Begins’ turned out to be a fairly decent episode, brushing past a lot of the mistakes of the previous week and diving headfirst into the Prometheus arc.
The episode centered around Oliver’s quest to hunt down Prometheus, who had announced himself to the the emerald archer through the flaming words “So it begins” and began his vendetta against our hero by killing a seemingly random housewife and mother of two children in the middle of the day with a throwing star to the neck (thus earning him the nickname “The Throwing Star Killer” by the police – real clever there guys). At first, Oliver does not tell the newer members of the Quiver Crew as he feels Prometheus might be a bit above their pay grade, though Felicity urges him to get everyone involved, but Oliver has Diggle and Felicity on the case and feels that is enough. However, after another body drops, Susan Williams reports that the Throwing Star Killer is on the streets and the city goes into a panic and a riot starts with armed citizens, and Oliver is forced to alert the entire team so they can defuse the situation. After stopping the civilians before anyone gets hurt (with Oliver handily shooting an arrow into the barrel of a gun), they head back to the Arrow Cave and the young ones share their displeasure that Oliver kept them in the dark, especially as Diggle and Felicity knew what was going on. To make things worse, Felicity figures out the victims of Prometheus are being targeted because their names are anagrams for victims from Oliver’s kill list from Season 1, and Oliver has to explain his old serial killer tendencies to his new team, all of which terrifies them, as they’ve only known the kinder, gentler Oliver Queen. Evelyn is particularly pissed as Oliver stopped her from killing to get revenge last season, and she is still pissed when they head out to protect potential victims that Felicity gives them based on their names. Of course, Evelyn just happens to get the guy Prometheus actually attacks, a subway train worker, but she and the worker are saved by Oliver and a last-minute parachute arrow that takes them off the exploding train. Afterward, she and Oliver reconcile, but not before Oliver gets a pep talk from Diggle reminding him that he is a better man now than he was 5 years ago, and the fact that the recruits were so shocked by his savage ways is proof of that.
In the flashback, which I am still surprised that I was excited to see this week, Oliver is finally learning so many of the tricks he employs as the Green Arrow, and now we know he learned them as a Bratva member, who apparently use their free time to learn all kinds of useful things like bomb-making. While in training, he and Anatoli dodge bullets from a drive-by shooting, and Anatoli reveals that Kovar is at war with the Bratva, and they want Oliver to go in undercover as a rich playboy intent on buying Kovar’s casino, plant a bomb, and blow it up. Oliver does as planned and it goes well until Kovar shows up and knocks out Oliver and his guard. Oliver wakes up to (Dolph Lungren himself playing) Kovar telling a chilling story about pulling a turnip out of the ground (chilling only because it is Lungren and he is removing pieces of his tuxedo as he does so, clearly getting ready to mess some people up), finishing the story by snapping the neck of Oliver’s guard. He then walks over to Oliver and says he knows who Oliver Queen is, and has been looking forward to speaking with him.
In other stories, Felicity steals one of the throwing stars from boyfriend Billy so she can examine it herself and see what evidence she can come up with, and in her guilt, she finally decides to come clean to the man who takes it surprisingly well knowing that her helping the Green Arrow is her helping to save the city. Seems really easy to me, and makes me suspicious that Billy might just be Prometheus or in league with him. It might be unfair to lay suspicion on a character just because of weird writing. Thea, meanwhile, has decided to throw a concert and arts expo thing in Star City to bring in revenue, an event she puts together exceptionally fast as it is already happening by the end of the episode, the only roadblock being that there is a serial killer loose in the city (might I point out, she almost stops the event once she learns about Prometheus, but then proceeds with the event anyway, despite the fact that they STILL haven’t caught Prometheus). She also figures out that Quentin Lance is still drinking, and never stopped, though she assures him that she will not give up on him, and takes him to an AA meeting, though we are left with the impression that Lance himself does not seem to care that much about his sobriety. In the episode’s twist ending meant to throw us off guard, Felicity reveals to Oliver that the throwing star she examined seems to be made of metals recreated from pieces of arrows he has used over the years, meaning that Prometheus is someone who has access to SCPD evidence, meaning it is most likely a police officer. We then cut to Lance’s apartment, where he awakens in a drunken stupor, finds a clean throwing star on his coffee table, and a fresh bloody cut on his arm, exactly where Artemis cut Prometheus during her fight with the villain on the train. DA DA DUUUN!
- So Lance being Prometheus? The show trying to trick us right? Because I have a hard time believing the man learned archery and got himself to Oliver’s level of combat while binge drinking over the summer. I think it’s all to keep us distracted from the real secret identity of Prometheus, new DA Adrian. However, based on the “Prometheus is associated with the SCPD” theory, here’s the list of suspects: Quentin Lance, Adrian the DA, Billy the Boyfriend, Any member of the ACU. And of course, there’s always the Wild Card theory that it is Tommy Merlyn.
- Thea needs a better storyline. She does not have to be a part of Team Arrow, but she’s too talented and skilled to be stuck planning events, give her a story with stakes and some kind of villain for her to spar with.
- Where is Malcolm Merlyn? I am going to ask this every week until the man appears in at least ONE of the Arrowverse shows. What is the point of him signing a contract to appear across all of these shows if we are 6 episodes into the seasons of almost every show and we still have not seen him?
- I love that Prometheus is so mysterious. The man has barely spoken this season, and he is already a darker and scarier villain than Ras Al Ghul or Damien Darhk. Please keep him silent for the rest of the season.
- The only Thea storyline I do enjoy is her taking care of Quentin. She and Laurel got very close last season and I see it as Thea taking on Quentin as both a favor to Laurel, and because she perhaps in a way would like Quentin to be a father figure to her, especially since the only other one she has is Malcolm
- Are we ever going to learn what Felicity does for a living now? Also, for anyone else watching the show on the CW App, the tagline going into the Arrow episodes is “Not your average Billionaire.” Is Oliver Queen still a Billionaire? It’s been 2 years since he lost Queen Consolidated, he doesn’t have the mansion anymore, or the club, or the apartment, we don’t even know where he lives. He cannot be making that much money as the Mayor. They have never gone into whether or not he still has money, but somehow, someone is still paying for equipment and things in the Arrow cave, it is all very strange.
Much, much better episode than last week, the characters are making sense again. I think the show needs to stay away from the Mayor storylines as much as possible and focus on the vigilante storylines, which is much more in their wheelhouse. Here’s hoping they don’t muck up the Prometheus storyline by revealing who it is too early, or having him become talkative all of a sudden and having some stupid motive like world domination or trying to make everyone live like mole people underground. Other than that, let’s hope that ‘Arrow’ keeps up the good work, and I’ll see you back here next week!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.