Arrow Season 5 Episode 7 – TV Review
Is it wrong that the most compelling sections of the episode in a superhero action show don’t involve any superheroes or action?
God, CW. You got me.
TL;DR A new murderous vigilante shows up in town; Quentin is not Prometheus, but he is going to rehab; Wild Dog does a good deed for Diggle; flashback Oliver discovers Kovar is in bed with the Bratva; present day Oliver turns his romantic attentions towards Bitch Reporter; Artemis is secretly in league with Prometheus.
The gasp factor continues.
Look, we’ll get the flashbacks out of the way first, because who cares, right? Basically Konstantin (I’ve been spelling it incorrectly) Kovar is textbook scary mob boss, and Oliver learns his casino is actually in a partnership with the Bratva. Oh, and OSG is the daughter of Kovar’s maid or whatever. Meanwhile in the present, a new vigilante, named Vigilante, starts massacring the fuck out of criminals in Star City. Oliver, trying to prove his reformation from the Hood to the Green Arrow, commits to stopping him, while the recruits quibble a bit about whether a scumbag murdering other scumbags is really a big deal. Regardless, Oliver and co do manage to rescue the leader of a crew of bank robbers Vigilante is gunning for (literally), but Vigilante gets away with mask still in tact (it’s totally Adrian Chase, though). Meanwhile, Thea, rather than judging Quentin for his inability to get out of the booze quicksand, sends her surrogate father figure to rehab. It’s touching. Meanwhile, Oliver makes goo-goo eyes at a suspiciously receptive Bitch Reporter (who we know has ulterior motives); Wild Dog helps Diggle deal with the frustration of not being able to see his family by helping him see his family; and Artemis, the cold-hearted snake, is Prometheus’ inside man on Team Arrow.
Artemis a villain? I’ve never heard of such a thing.
I’m worried I’m becoming a bit stale when I, again, express my delight at the turnaround Arrow is seeing this season. Maybe simmering over the catastrophe of Season 4 for the intervening months hyperbolised just how bad it was in my mind, but damn, Season 5 is a colossal improvement.
But with the same showrunners at the helm, I still worry about how long it will take for it to all come crashing down.
Just make sure you hold off on shitting the bed until after the crossover event, you guys. Don’t bring my Supergirl down with you.
Why I hate this episode:
My only major gripe is that Oliver didn’t get to unmask Vigilante. He tries to, but when he goes to touch the mask, a bomb goes off on Vigilante’s body that throws Oliver away, but leaves Vigilante miraculously unharmed. What the fuck? Vigilante set some kind of explosive on his own body to prevent unmasking? Jesus. And how did he not get hurt, too? Is that the only way Arrow could think of to prevent the unmasking? Wow.
Also, it’s super obvious it’s Adrian Chase. Not only from a quick Wikipedia search, but also because Adrian’s interrogation scene of one of the bank robbers makes it crystal clear. The characters have been pretty on the ball so far this season, so I really hope they figure it out soon enough.
The flashbacks are pointless this episode. Yes, Kovar is a bad dude. Thanks. We knew that, already (and he is Dolph Lundgren, you know). The reveal of the Bratva being in business with him is hardly surprising, and the fact that OSG’s mum is working as his servant doesn’t illuminate anything, either. Kovar is a bad dude, you say? I had no idea.
Vigilante’s morals don’t make sense. He’s all about correcting injustice (with murder). But when he kills a handful of innocent bystanders in an attempt to take out the robbery crew leader, and Oliver calls him on it, he’s like “Yeah yeah, don’t care.” Stupid.
Curtis is still fucking useless.
Oh, and the recruits are cool with Vigilante killing crooks, but a mere episode ago, they were jumping down Oliver’s throat for doing the same thing back in his Season 1 days. Come on, guys. Be consistent.
But it’s not all bad:
Oliver immediately bitches them out on their hypocrisy, though. #Queen #werq
Vigilante looks goofy and has a stupid name, but he certainly gets shit done. If Oliver can manage to recruit him to the team, what hope does poor Prometheus really have left? All he’s got is Artemis.
Oh yeah, Artemis is an evil turncoat, it appears. She closes the episode by having a moustache twirling session with Prometheus on a rooftop. I expect there will be a twist, and she’s either secretly backstabbing Prometheus, or he’s blackmailing her or something. But Artemis has been in desperate need of a reason to exist in this show after having been ignored for episodes on end, so this is definitely gonna help her out.
The slinky red dress she wears to capture a crook this episode doesn’t hurt, either. She’s giving some serious thigh.
The shining moments of the episode come not from conveyor belt cliffhangers or tight clothes, but from the most sincere subplot on Arrow at the moment: Thea and Quentin. Paul Blackthorne again proves his worth to the show with his portrayal of a man who has been reduced to nothing. But Thea isn’t willing to let her friend drown in the bottom of a bottle, and persists with him and listens to him and gets him to the help he needs. It’s moving. The promos for the crossover show Thea getting back in the Speedy suit, but I must commend her for the time she’s spent out of it. Maybe you don’t have to be a masked crime fighter to matter in Arrow?
Quentin, despite the blood and the throwing star, quickly concludes that his blacked out self couldn’t possibly be Prometheus. But he does try to resign from his deputy mayor position because he’s worried that, as Prometheus is clearly targeting him, his presence could endanger Thea and Oliver. What a sweetheart.
When Thea tells Oliver this, they conclude that Prometheus is going after Quentin because he must know Oliver is the Green Arrow. Ooh.
Oliver and Vigilante’s one-on-one fight is another example of enjoyable fight choreography. It’s not the best the show’s ever seen, but it works.
Wild Dog’s bro subplot with Diggle is clearly to fill time and requisite lines for the actors, but it’s cute. And Diggle is a fucking big hunk of man meat who can’t help but go shirtless when he works out. Which is all the time, thankfully.
Bitch Reporter’s hair is divine, darling. What nefarious plan does she have hidden under that blowout?
Oh, and might I say, I’m so relieved to see our heroes and villains finally using guns without any qualms. Bows are cute, but let’s be real: a gun’s better.