Arrow Season 5 Episode 3 – TV Review
Actually, the above representation isn’t really accurate.
There’s no way an arrow could be used to symbolise Season 4.
Replace it with a whingeing Felicity head, then it’d be close.
TL;DR Arrow continues to make itself palatable with a formidable villain of the week, minimal personal drama, and impressive action sequences; the recruits, even out in the field, aren’t groan-worthy (except Curtis); Felicity doesn’t let her Havenrock secret fester and already tells Ragman what she did; the Bratva flashbacks don’t illuminate much, but also don’t pull too much focus; Diggle remains sidelined.
But at least he’s got an old friend with him.
So it’s still training time at Oliver’s School for Girls, but Wild Dog isn’t the patient type, you know? So he, dragging Slack Canary along with him, disobeys Oliver’s orders and goes after a new drug thug on the street. They tussle over a vat of chemicals (this is DC, remember), and the hulking brute falls in. Wild Dog is happy with the win, but it turns out new DA in town Adrian Chase, who had a much bigger case in the works that involved our swan-diving drug peddler, isn’t happy about it, and lets Mayor Oliver Queen know. Oliver disciplines Wild Dog, but hey, it’s all good: the vat of chemicals didn’t kill him after all. They just made him into a Bond villain. The one who doesn’t feel any pain. And when he plans to use the chemical plant to similarly upgrade the rest of his gang, Oliver mobilises the recruits to put a stop to it. Which they do. Meanwhile, Thea gets Oliver in hot water when an upstart reporter finds out that Quentin “How Much Further Into The Bottle Can I Get?” Lance has been hired as Deputy Mayor. Thea tries and fails to squash the story, and offers to fall on her sword, but Big Bro Oli comes to her rescue and stands behind both her and Quentin. Aww. Meanwhile, Felicity comes clean to Ragman about nuking his family and town. Not sure how that’ll turn out yet. Meanwhile, Diggle finds out his cellmate in prison is none other than Deadshot, apparently a beneficiary of Flashpoint-induced continuity changes. But psych, it’s only a manifestation of Diggle’s guilt over killing Andy. Lyla closes the episode by petitioning Oliver to jailbreak him. And in the Bratva flashbacks, Oliver experiences the Russian gangster version of a trust exercise.
It involves a briefcase full of knives. So slightly preferable to a weekend corporate retreat.
I reckon if it wasn’t for Curtis then this would be a near-perfect episode of Arrow. Or, at the very least, the best we can hope for in a post-Season 4 world.
Goddammit, Curtis. The gays don’t need you to make them look bad.
We can do that all by ourselves, thank you.
Why I hate this episode:
Curtis is still acting like it’s Season 4 up in here. Doesn’t he know how taboo that is?
His Mister Terrific outfit is pretty underwhelming now that I’ve seen it in the flesh. Is it black face if a black person paints their face even blacker?
Slack Canary/Artemis also suffers from a pretty bland-o costume, too. Wild Dog may be a fucking idiot, but at least he knows how to turn out a look, henny.
Speaking of Wild Dog being a fucking idiot, Wild Dog is, again, a fucking idiot this episode. He goes out into the field against orders, and is only saved from ruining things by a vat of super chemicals bringing the guy he dropped into them back to life. Dickhead.
When Ragman was just chilling with the recruits in his civilian clothes, I actually had to pause the episode and spend a minute trying to remember who he was. Star City: land of interchangeable, handsome white guys.
Oliver and Thea will live to regret hiring Quentin. Sad to say.
I can’t believe how naive Thea was when dealing with that reporter. Thea’s a mean girl from way back, so she should have been onto her shit from the get-go.
Why did it take so long for Lyla to tell Oliver about Diggle’s imprisonment?
Oh, and I’m still uninterested in the Bratva bullshit. The flashback subplot reveals that the fellow recruits who Oliver indirectly got executed were actually bad dudes, so Oliver shouldn’t be upset about what happened to them. Just move on, please. We don’t need all this underground, repressed homosexuality “brotherhood” garbage. We already have Curtis, after all.
But it’s not all bad:
Curtis is easily the least useful of the recruits. Artemis doesn’t do anything flashy, but she’s reliable support; Wild Dog is reckless, but gets results; and Ragman is literally magic. Curtis seems more concerned about putting his face on, and it’s even commented that, for an Olympian, he doesn’t seem very up to the task. That’s because he isn’t. Cut him, coach. Or let him fail on and on. I’m good for either.
The action scenes are what make this episode work. They’re good, and they’re elevated above the more Power Rangers-esque stuff the last two seasons gave us (not that I mind a bit of Power Rangers fight choreo, baby). And Oliver continues to actually use his arrows, sometimes with the bow. It’s a miracle.
The final fight against Zombie Cody Rhodes is surprisingly brutal. Unable to feel pain, he can just keep pressing on and beating on Oliver unfettered. So Oliver slashes the tendons in his arms and legs. Which means although Zombie Cody Rhodes can’t feel anything, he also physically can’t move. Yikes. Oliver isn’t fucking around, anymore.
Oliver walks away unflinchingly from an explosion, too. So that’s awesome.
Adrian Chase is incredibly handsome. And his relationship with Oliver is already kind of intriguing. He starts off not happy with his job as mayor, and also mentions that Oliver once stole a girlfriend of his back in the day. But once things get sorted with Zombie Cody Rhodes’ gang, Adrian seems respectful enough to acknowledge the situation is sorted. A reasonable authority figure on Arrow? Good God.
Deadshot doesn’t get a lot to do (outside of being amused that Diggle is the one who ended up killing Andy), but any reach back to Arrow’s better days is appreciated. Amanda next, please.
Felicity manages to win herself the episode, too, by telling Ragman the truth about Havenrock. She of course explains that the reason she diverted the nuke was to save the greater number of lives in Monument Point, but she doesn’t wriggle away from the fact that her actions are what killed his family. He speechlessly stumbles away from her, so Arrow can mine the drama next week. But good on Felicity for being quick out of the gate.
Oh, and shout out to Emily Bett Rickards. Towering emotions are still not her strong suit, but I’ll take this kind of emotion over a berating of Oliver any day.