Arrow Season 5 Episode 5 – TV Review
Apologies for the late post.
I’d make a crack about how Arrow is a shitpile and nobody cares and all that, but this episode is actually pretty fucking fantastic.
I’m just slack. That’s all.
TL;DR Olicity is dead for good (for now); Oliver uses body double trickery to defeat BB-2; Prometheus then murders BB-2; Wild Dog survives his torture; Oliver does some mayoral stuff; that Bitch Reporter is back and could prove to be dangerous; flashback Oliver deals with mistrust from the Bratva elite, but Anatoly has his back.
Because the only thing stronger than brotherhood is… a different kind of brotherhood? I don’t know.
So the present day plot this week is a refreshing, rollicking ride. The gang start out by diligently rescuing Wild Dog from BB-2’s clutches, and then Diggle (officially rejoining the team) debriefs our little hothead, while also getting some decent intel out of him about BB-2’s plans. Meanwhile, Oliver and Thea deal with some rezoning ordinance at the mayor’s office, which involves a corrupt councilman. Bitch Reporter is sniffing around, too. Oliver is uncharacteristically harsh when dealing with both (successfully shutting down the councilman, and successfully flirting his way to a peace treaty with Bitch Reporter), but is then horrifically gunned down by BB-2’s newest bodyguard. But psych, it was a fake out (poor Laurel…), and Wil Traval, seeking refuge from the indignity of Once Upon a Time, is the Human Target, master decoy. He accidentally tips off Oliver about Felicity’s new man, and in the greatest victory of the season so far, Oliver and Felicity have a mature conversation about their relationship, and decide to move on. Jesus Christ. The whole team eventually suits up and takes out BB-2 and co, and the episode ends as Prometheus makes good on his antagonism of his fellow villain by murdering him while he’s on the way to prison. It begins. Meanwhile in the Bratva flashbacks, Oliver catches the ire of a Bratva leader or something, but Anatoly keeps him safe by hiring the Human Target to intervene. Bitch Reporter in the present traces Human Target’s movements and gets her hot little hands on a photo of Oliver during his Bratva days.
The mulleted cat’s out of the bag, baby.
You know, at the end of my notes, I wrote that this was kind of a perfect episode.
If not for a few crucial things. Which I will now tell you about.
You know how this works by now.
Why I hate this episode:
Curtins remains a poisonous ball and chain around the leg of this revitalised Arrow. He embodies everything that made Season 4 such a failure. Jettison him, Arrow. Jettison him now. He’s not funny; he’s not twee; and he’s not necessary. Get rid of him.
Another sticking point for me was Diggle’s insistence that Wild Dog, still fresh from near-fatal torture, mind you, join the team in the takedown of BB-2 at the end. After four consecutive episodes of fuck-ups, Wild Dog himself finally admits that he’s a fuck-up and shouldn’t be coming on this one. But Diggle makes him come to pep him up or something. Come on, man. What the hell? He gave you an out. Take it.
Curtis also comes along for the big mission, despite taking a knife to the back last episode. Bench him!
I’m not sure exactly what happened with the fake shooting of Oliver/Human Target. So Human Target was posing as Oliver at the time. I understand that part. But did BB-2’s Power Ranger-lookin’ Deathstroke knock-off shoot him with real bullets? Because they weren’t in on the plan, were they? And if the bullets were real, how did Human Target not die? Was this explained in the episode with squibs and a bulletproof vest or something and I missed it? Is Human Target Wolverine?
The reveal that Human Target was posing as Oliver with a mask was also way too close to that Pretty Little Liars mask shit. No, thank you.
Oh, and Wild Dog mentions that he was dishonourably discharged from the military for torturing a prisoner. But nobody, nor the show, takes notice of the inherent irony, considering what BB-2 just did to him. It was weird.
But it’s not all bad:
Wild Dog does suffer a lot. But he looks good shirtless while enduring it. Woof.
He also reveals that he totally did crack and tell BB-2 that the Green Arrow is Oliver Queen. I lol’d. Wild Dog just couldn’t resist fucking up, could he?
But getting kidnapped wasn’t a complete bummer. Wild Dog does manage to make BB-2 tell him about his plans for Star City: he plans to use the port as a drug-running hub. And Wild Dog also overhears the details of the mob boss meet-up that the team takes down later in the episode. You’re getting better, WD.
The highlight of the episode, astonishingly, is the connection between Oliver and Felicity. After Human Target accidentally informs Oliver about Felicity’s relationship with Tyler Ritter, Oliver goes and talks to her like a normal, rational human being. And she, again, astonishingly, reacts like a normal, rational human being. While it’s clear that they haven’t simply forgotten their romantic past together, they do resolve to move on. As a team. It really does give me hope.
And they feel much more natural as lost loves than they ever did as quarrelling lovers. No more of that, please.
The action scenes continue their impressive showing for the season. Oliver’s brutal one-on-one fight against BB-2 near the end of the episode is rough. Even the superfluous spins look good now. Take that, Season 4.
Prometheus confirms my suspicions that BB-2 was just treading villain water, as he makes himself known by massacring the fuck out of BB-2’s police escort. BB-2 tries to trade his life for the Green Arrow’s identity, and he does tell Prometheus, but that doesn’t stop Prometheus from flinging a ninja star into his neck. Tatsu!?
The flashbacks don’t illuminate much, but I appreciate that the Bratva are showing themselves to be as untrustworthy as they obviously are. And Anatoly is a pretty chill dude to have Oliver’s back like that.
I’m excited to see what Bitch Reporter’s going to do with her Bratva Oliver photo. If it leads to more sharp words between her and Thea, then it’ll all be worth it.
Oh, and BB-2’s odd, masked bodyguard is mowed down by Human Target in the big fight at the end. With Diggle back in the field, we’ve got enough masked dudes running around.