TV Review: ‘Arrow: Fighting Fire With Fire’ (Season 5 Episode 15)

Posted Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 02:00 pm GMT -4 by

 

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This episode had so much potential, especially since it at long last gave us the reveal of who exactly was behind the mask of Prometheus, but it’s almost like the ‘Arrow’ writers just cannot help but fall back into the same old tired patterns. And so we got ‘Fighting Fire With Fire,’ which I’ll admit did have some good moments, and some good momentum for awhile, but left a sour taste in my mouth in how they chose to ultimately deal with the impeachment business.

arrow oliver chase and thea in impeachment hearingsSo picking up where last week left off, Oliver is being impeached, not very thrilling television to watch. Thea is getting darker and darker with her politics, enlisting Felicity and her Pandora’s box to blackmail some of the city government members to save Oliver, but luckily Oliver finds out in time and prevents his sister from going full Frank Underwood. DA Chase wants to sacrifice himself to save Oliver’s administration, which Oliver will not do, and the impeachment trial will not let Oliver testify which is apparently Oliver’s only chance to convince them to not remove him from his office.

So what does he do instead? After an attack by the Vigilante which leaves him concussed and the Quiver Crew on the case hunting down the dark “crime fighter” who thinks Oliver is a criminal, and after putting Felicity on the case to fix things with Susan Williams (because Oliver is too busy being impeached to make things right apparently. Luckily he has his ex-girlfriend, the former love of his life, who he thinks it is just fine to ask to fix his current relationship), Oliver decides he is going to bring his case to the people of Star City. And while he does this, Team Arrow tracks down Vigilante using Curtis’s latest invention, his T-Spheres (or his balls as Rene calls them), learning the man is about to assassinate Oliver during the press conference. Fighting Fire with FireSo the big finale is the team fighting Vigilante as Oliver speaks to the crowd, and while Curtis, Rene and Diggle struggle to fend off Vigilante (they just barely manage to scare him off using the exploding T-Spheres), Oliver decides the only way to save his mayorship is to throw the Green Arrow under the bus. He says he lied about Billy’s murder because he did not want to cause a panic that the Green Arrow had gone rogue, and had become a cop killer, and that they should now focus their resources on bringing in the vigilante. SMH. How many times are we going to do this on ‘Arrow?!!’ I’m sorry, but its old, I’m tired of it, and there’s little new or interesting I feel that can be brought to the story by having the Green Arrow YET AGAIN be hunted by the SCPD. Give me a break.

arrow olivers press conferenceIn tonight’s flashback, Anatoli saves himself from Gregor by calling for some kind of Bratva trial and judgement, which is supposed to take place in one hour, the end of which has the Bratva judge whether Anatoli’s complaints against Gregor are justified or not, and if they do not side with him he and Oliver will surely die. (I guess, I don’t know, the Russia stuff took a turn this week and I did not find it nearly as good as in previous weeks). So of course Oliver breaks into Gregor’s house (during that tiny one-hour window mind you) and just happens to find evidence of Gregor taking money from the Kovar deal for himself, and gets back in time to present it to the Bratva, who side with Anatoli. Unfortunately, the few men left loyal to Gregor open fire, and the flashback ends on a cliffhanger as a firefight begins.

arrow curtis working on his t spheresOther moments from the show, memorable and otherwise. Curtis finally got around to inventing his T-Spheres, which he used to track Vigilante using a fragment of the man’s visor left over after he attacked Oliver’s limo, a fragment that Dinah found, was taken by Chase so he could put it back into evidence, and then stolen yet again by Dinah. Curtis spends the episode excited that Paul called him to a dinner, but in the end he shows up and finds Paul waiting with divorce papers, which is a really heartbreaking scene. Diggle has a talk with Felicity about the dangers of her hacking with the Pandora information, how “fighting fire with fire” could result in her getting burned, and how he’s seen how callous she’s become lately, first with the General Walker information and then with Susan Williams. Despite his advice, the episode ends with Felicity reaching out to the Hactivist group who gave her the Pandora Harddrive and officially joining their team, claiming she could use some back-up. But before she made that decision, she took the time to clear Susan William’s name.

By the end of the episode Susan makes up with Oliver and promises to keep his secret about being the Green Arrow (yay?), and we are left to wonder why Oliver still cares about this woman, why we should care about this woman, what her actual motives are, and when people are going to start doing things that make sense. Oh, and Thea decides to step down from her role in the Mayor’s office because she fears she has gone too dark, but I swear, if she disappears from the show again, I’m going to be very annoyed, we just got her back, and she seems like one of the only character who is making decisions that make sense, even if they seem a little dark (I still applaud her for dealing with Susan Williams, and I think Oliver is being incredibly dumb about that woman).

arrow felicity and thea discuss blackmailOh, and the biggest reveal of the night, which felt like was snuck in there, occurred after Prometheus (who FINALLY makes another appearance) tracks down Vigilante and tells him that he is not allowed to kill Oliver Queen, that Oliver Queen is his, information that Vigilante did not want to hear, which causes a skirmish on a rooftop that ends with Vigilante being thrown off the said roof. Immediately afterward, Prometheus removes his hood, revealing DA Chase (!) as he calls in a Vigilante sighting. Did not really see that one coming, so good on the ‘Arrow’ people for that, I really thought Chase was more of a Vigilante man.

And in the final moments of the episode, Chase approaches Susan on the street and claims to have an exclusive for her, and while the Prometheus theme music plays, and he gets closer, he tells her its a matter of “life and death,” and we get the sense that Susan is in for a world of trouble. Problem is, I don’t really care if she is. The Bigger problem is, for some reason Oliver does, and his continued commitment to this awful woman makes me dislike him and to some degree the show a good deal right now.

BOW-STRING THEORIES:

  • Did it bother anyone else that there were cameras inside the impeachment proceedings?
  • Doesn’t it seem like a conflict of interest to have DA Chase as Oliver’s lawyer when he was so heavily involved in why Oliver was being impeached?
  • And now Thea’s gone again? Please find something for her to do!
  • How much are we supposed to care that Chase/ Prometheus is gunning for Susan? As an audience, we still have no reason to trust/ like her, and her getting caught by Prometheus seems a nice way to deal with getting rid of her character.
  • So if Chase isn’t Vigilante, who’s left? Honestly, what male character has been around long enough and has enough training to be the anti-hero? Could it be Roy?
  • Where the hell did Evelyn go? Did Prometheus kill her? Or is she just in hiding? Or did the show not contract her for very many episodes, so we won’t see her return until the end of the season? Either way, these weird contracts where characters appear and disappear for extended periods of time  (like with Thea) make for a very jarring viewing experience, and I hope they make some changes next season so it does not happen as often.

It felt like the showrunners wrote themselves into a corner with the whole impeachment business, so they went to their same old tired bag of tricks and pulled out the old “the SCPD is now gonna go after the Green Arrow’” card, which we have seen and done already. And it still doesn’t make sense because no matter Oliver’s reasoning, he still covered up the murder of a cop! And now he’s admitted he was covering for someone that he claims is a criminal! Why would any of that get him off the impeachment charges!?! This is the biggest problem with ‘Arrow,’ they write these elaborate scenarios, they have no idea how to get out of it, and to fix things characters make insane decisions, people buy ridiculous stories, motivations make no sense, and we are forced to believe in wonky scenarios that frankly, after five seasons, start to wear incredibly thin. Here’s hoping that next week they get their act together, because it’s hard to watch them struggle to rebuild this year and then fall so hard and so fast now that we’re on the final stretch of episodes for the season. See you back here next week, and feel free to share your thoughts on this week’s episode in the comments below.

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horizontal lineNick 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 (@starfro67)