It is interesting that this week’s episode of ‘Arrow’ deals entirely with trust, as the show has a lot of work to do this season to earn back to the trust of its fans after the rough few seasons we recently went through. Fortunately, things are continuing to look good so far in Season 5, and this episode continued to demonstrate that the show runners learned a lot from their past mistakes, and are making sure to keep things fresh and interesting as they move forward.
The main story tonight dealt with Oliver learning to trust his new team, whom he at first was still not letting out in the field with him, even when Wild Dog had some intel on the location of a drug gang (pushing the latest form of Vertigo known as ‘Stardust’). Wild Dog, who seems to have the same attitude as Oliver when it comes to being told what to do, investigates anyway, bringing Rene along with him, and they take down the gang, and in the process accidentally create their own super villain when Wild Dog knocks the leader, Sampson, into a vat of the Star Dusk chemicals mixed with debris from the fight. Now Sampson has super strength and is invulnerable to pain, which makes him very tough for Oliver to take down, which really pisses him off, especially once he finds out Wild Dog was responsible for creating the villain, and that the new D.A. had a deal in place to flip Sampson to find the actual source of Stardust before he was mutated. So naturally Felicity gives Oliver a pep-talk about how as leader he is responsible for all the decisions of his team. Armed with his memories of his time getting into the Bratva where Antatoli hammered into him the importance of trust in his “brothers” (which Oliver had to prove by letting the Bratva slice at his back with knives), Oliver decides to finally trust his new team and together they take down Sampson and his gang, who were back at the warehouse trying to recreate the chemical that created Sampson’s new powers. Following that success, Oliver invites them to the real Arrow Cave at last and they are officially members of the Quiver Crew, knowing they have a lot to live up to as they stare at the old costumes on the wall.
On the political front Thea gets into trouble as the media reports on her appointment of Detective Lance to Deputy Mayor before she tells Oliver, and he lays into her for making his life more difficult. After trying to fix the situation by talking to the reporter in question and being burned by the woman who then reported that Oliver has no control over his staff, Thea attempts to resign to save face for Oliver, but this is right around the time Felicity gives Oliver the pep talk about being responsible for one’s team when he is the leader. Instead, Oliver holds a pep rally officially appointing Lance to the Deputy Mayor position and reminding the city that any decision made by his staff is one he stands behind as they have his full trust. Thea warns the reporter not to mess with her again, and all seems right on the political side of things for the moment.
Side stories, we had Diggle hallucinating conversations with Deadshot while in prison, leading him to realize that he feels he deserves to be in prison for killing for brother, causing him to tell Lyla to drop his defense and leave him there to rot, which is clearly not something she is willing to do. She ends the episode by marching into the Arrow cave and asking Oliver to break John out of prison. Felicity’s boyfriend used a fake emergency call to lure the Green Arrow out and give him a warning about Prometheus, who beat up Tobias Church at the end of the last episode and warned him that he alone wants to kill the Green Arrow, thus putting Prometheus on Oliver’s radar, even if he does not yet know his name. And after much conversation with Curtis about the Havenrock situation, Felicity finally decides to speak to Rory about what happened to his hometown, coming clean with the Ragman at the end of the episode, and explaining rather frankly (as if her way) that the missile was supposed to hit elsewhere but she redirected it to Havenrock as it was less populated. Rory leaves without a word, but we are still proud of Felicity for coming clean, though we hope Rory does not try to exact revenge on her for that fateful decision, and if he does, let’s hope Mr. Terrific (in his excellent new costume) will be there to protect Felicity, as he was the one pushing her to come clean.
- It bothers me that anyone on the show calls it the “Arrow Cave,” as it is clearly an allusion to the “Bat Cave,” and in the Arrowverse, there is no Batman, so it makes no sense for them to be comparing the hideout of the Green Arrow to the famous hide-out of Batman.
- Diggle does have a son, seems really irresponsible of him to abandon his kid and stay in jail for a crime he did not commit, even if he is guilty for killing his evil super villain brother.
- No Prometheus sightings this week, but now we have another new suspect, the new DA Adrian, especially since producers have said Oliver had a hand in creating Prometheus, and we now know that Oliver Queen once stole the man’s girlfriend, and there might be more to that story, and it might be more tragic that simply losing her to the one-time playboy.
- I suspect that reporter has a bigger role to play this season, as that actress looked mighty familiar, and I cannot imagine her signing on to play a small one-time role on a show like ‘Arrow.’ More evidence is the way Thea threatened her.
- I loved the moment where someone asked “What kind of vigilante wears a hockey mask?” and Oliver responded with “I dunno, I kinda like it.” For anyone who did not get it, this past summer Stephen Amell played Casey Jones, the hockey mask wearing vigilante in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’
I really enjoyed the scene where we finally got to see the full team come out in costume, though I wish someone would have called Curtis “Mr. Terrific” just to confirm the name, but I do like his costume. I am not sure Evelyn is full “Artemis” yet (in name or costume) but otherwise I like how they handled the full team, as the attention was still on Oliver which is what is needed, with the others just taking care of the background goons. The flashbacks continued to be brief and entertaining, which has been very welcome this season, character decisions still make sense and do not seem contrived or just plain dumb (which I know I always complain about, but hey, it happened all the time in seasons 3 and 4) and even the political stuff has been ok to watch as Thea has been carrying that storyline, and now that Quentin Lance will be involved it will get even better, as he is one my favorite characters.
Here’s hoping they keep up this momentum and do not fall back into any bad habits when they come back next week with episode 4!
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.