“We have to be something else…something better.”
Compromise is the word of the day as Oliver and the gang becomes immersed into the rules and protocol world of the SCPD. It’s a tough transition for our Team Arrow vigilantes but one that they, after a few missteps, navigate well enough that their effectiveness is not fully handcuffed by the rule of law.
Despite how outlandish this Team Arrow/SCPD partnership is, the progression of Oliver and the others towards becoming a legitimate force on the city plays into Oliver’s own desires to not only make the city safer for he and Felicity’s developing sprog, but also their ability to build a life that’s no longer about living in the shadows. If that means following inefficient procedures, then so be it.
Of course, that last part doesn’t hold up for too long as they get wind of chemically-enhanced bullets that causes a chain reaction in the body that melts the skin. It’s a pretty horrible way to go and, like so many of these types of inventions, is being co-signed by a well-known businessman in James Midas. As he is a one-shot villain, Midas is everything a bad guy shouldn’t be: generic and boring, from the establishment of his motives (money) to his terrible dialogue and sub-par acting. He’s the exact opposite of the Dante character introduced last week and it’s a bit shameful that Adrian Paul’s character wasn’t used in place of Midas.
With such a ho-hum bad guy plotline, the one thing that makes “Training Day” passable is the back-and-forth conflict between Team Arrow trying to accommodate the rules of the SCPD and Dinah’s attempts to enforce said rules. In fact, she has the most interesting character arc of anyone. Though she seems to be the picture of perfect health after getting her throat slashed, the truth of the matter is the damage from the attack has really affected her Canary Cry. That and coupled with the pressures of being the SCPD captain and Dinah struggles finding her niche between her old life and her new responsibilities. Sure, it’s all wrapped up by the end of the episode but her predicament isn’t short-changed (at least by television standards) and as she finds her way, Team Arrow discovers their own way. Though still bound by the confines of the law, their effectiveness forces the Mayor to give the former vigilantes the leeway to get things done their way, albeit with a few modifications. Now, how effective this new tactic will be when facing off against Dante remains to be seen, especially when the truth about Emiko’s relationship with the mysterious villain comes to light.
- While the loss of Ricardo Diaz is nothing to cry about, Bronze Tiger’s information that Emiko was behind it forces Laurel to confront Oliver’s half-sister. Though the two don’t come to blows, Emiko drops her own truth bomb when Laurel threatens to out her: she (probably through Dante) knows that Laurel isn’t the original Earth-One version, calling her out as Black Siren. Yes, Team Arrow knows this but if the truth was whispered into the right ears, Laurel (and Team Arrow by proxie) could face some serious repercussions.
- Speaking of Bronze Tiger, it looks as if Diggle will eventually adopt his son. That tidbit of information (“my little hawk”) paired with Bronze Tiger’s path towards redemption screams that, sooner rather than later, he’ll probably be another victim to Dante. Will he die still trapped in his cell or soon after finally seeing the light of day? From a dramatic perspective, the latter is probably the way to go, though it will all depend on the timeline of the next few episodes.
- The William/Mia dynamic in future time is starting to grow on me. Yes, there’s a lot of blandness involved in these flash forwards but this pair is becoming the highlight of the future mystery. What all of this means as it relates to the present has yet to be answered but the message they discover from Felicity leads them into the walled-off Glades. The premise comes across a bit ridiculous but the William and Mia pairing has become interesting enough that I won’t completely dismiss this particular story line…at least not yet.