Arrow Season 5 Episode 9 – TV Review
The only thing missing from this episode was a concrete reveal of Prometheus’ identity.
But otherwise, it’s got it all (except Curtis’ subplot, but that’s par for the course).
I know I’ve been saying it all season, but this ain’t no Season 4, anymore. For so, so much the better.
TL;DR Prometheus’ identity is merely teased; but Artemis does come out as an antagonist, and Prometheus goads Oliver into unknowingly murdering Tyler Ritter; shockingly appropriate reactions ensue; Curtis chooses vigilantism over his bitch husband; Oliver gets closer to Bitch Reporter; Laurel has arrived; flashbacks remind us of Season 1 Oliver’s ruthlessness.
Prometheus has got you there, Oli.
So we’re done with alien hijinks, which means it’s back to fighting off the latest evil bowhunter to plague Star City. Prometheus attacks Curtis at the City Hall Christmas party, but, sadly, doesn’t kill him. The team quickly deduces that he knows all their real identities, and they also get a lead that he might be connected to some nasty pharmaceutical business guy Oliver went after in his Hood days. It’s here that Artemis reveals herself as Prometheus’ little lapdog, but she and her boss get away. Further clues imply Prometheus could be Pharma Guy’s illegitimate child out for revenge. And that theory is driven home with cruel effect when Oliver is lured through a recreation of his murderous Hood rampage against Pharma Guy, culminating in an apparent showdown with Prometheus. But oopsie, it’s actually a kidnapped Tyler Ritter (oh yeah, Tyler Ritter got kidnapped) in unwilling disguise, and Oliver only finds out after he’s put several arrows through his heart. Drenched in shame, he informs the team, but everyone, even Felicity, stands by their man. It’s powerful stuff. Meanwhile, Curtis’ hubby Paul figures out that he’s a vigilante working with the Green Arrow, and gives him an ultimatum. Curtis chooses Oliver (duh. Curtis isn’t blind, you know). Meanwhile, Oliver finds solace in Bitch Reporter, who is forming as both a legitimate love interest, and also a possible villain, as slight implications are made that could link her, Russia, Prometheus, and Oliver’s past. Meanwhile, Diggle bonds with Wild Dog about children, and then ends up arrested. And the episode ends in jaw-dropping fashion as Oliver walks into the base to find Laurel just chilling there, waiting for him.
Like it ain’t no thang.
It’s going to be torture waiting to find out what the actual fuck is going on with Laurel’s return. At least Legends of Tomorrow had the decency to be a bit more explicit with Captain Cold being a mere hallucination.
Is it really Laurel, somehow back from the dead? Is it related to Flashpoint? Is it Black Siren from Earth-2? Is it Human Target looking for a ride on Oliver’s arrow?
And, most pressing of all, how long until she dies again so Quentin is forced to again deal with the death of one of his daughters? How many more daughter deaths can that man’s heart endure?
Why I hate this episode:
But seriously don’t die again, Laurel. Don’t be temporary.
The worst problem with the episode is the thorn in Arrow Season 5’s side: Curtis. Just go, please. When his husband gave him the ultimatum, I was praying he would give up vigilantism and move away or something. But nuh, he chose crime fighting over the love of his life. It would have made sense if he wasn’t so demonstrably terrible at it. Know when to quit, Curtis.
The other big bummer of the episode is the non-reveal of Prometheus’ identity. The assumption that they are the child of Pharma Guy seems too easy. And it would be such a letdown. Pharma Guy wasn’t actually in Season 1, was he? I thought I remembered an episode from Season 1 where Oliver killed a guy and he fell into a rooftop pool, but some Googling around shows Justin Claybourne’s only appearance as this episode. After all this hype that Prometheus was born from Oliver’s Season 1 actions, it would be disappointing to have him be born of an action we didn’t see until it was brought up now. You can do better, Arrow Season 5.
Another disappointment is Thea’s decision to suit up as Speedy, backing up her tantalising appearances in the crossover, but then being sidelined by Oliver because stoicism. Yeah, I’ve enjoyed Thea living a meaningful life outside of the suit. But with Curtis’ confirmed incompetence, Artemis’ defection, and Wild Dog’s horrible inconsistency, Speedy could be a sweet replacement for the team. A team made up of the Green Arrow, Spartan, Speedy, and Ragman sounds okay to me. And maybe Black Canary? Delicious.
Did everyone, even Adrian, forget about Vigilante?
Oh, and Oliver makes a point of noticing a very flashy flip Prometheus does during an early fight. I figured this was a hint, possibly falsely, that Roy could be a Prometheus suspect. But then Oliver mentions that some Russian lady taught him that technique, so Prometheus maybe trained with her, too, or whatever. Huh?
But it’s not all bad:
It’s a sick flip, bro. The entire fight between Prometheus and Oliver is a fabulously choreographed whirlwind. Let it never end.
I’m also kind of perplexed by how much I like Prometheus’ odd music cue. I know it’s stupid, but it’s so distinct and odd that I respect it. When you hear it, you know it’s Prometheus time.
Do you know what time it isn’t, anymore? Having Tyler Ritter as a Prometheus suspect. I thought he was too obvious of a choice, but then again, the twist could have been that it was so obvious that we would discard him, but then it would turn out to be true. But alas, he’s dead, now. So I suppose that crosses him off the list, at least.
It would have been difficult for Arrow to hit the same kind of emotional highs it did last episode, but I will gladly concede that a tear came to my eye during Oliver’s confession scene to everyone about how he’d killed Tyler Ritter. Not only because it was heartbreaking, and then subsequently heartwarming when they all supported him, but because he didn’t try to hide what he did or keep it a secret. Again, Season 4 no more, hey?
Even Felicity keeps her brain cells in order and quickly, through tears, affirms that Oliver is not to blame for her boyfriend’s death. I suspect her grief will continue to manifest moving forward, and it’s not going to make her relationship with Oliver any easier, but good on her. See? The problem with Felicity wasn’t Felicity, or even Olicity. It was the garbage dump of Season 3 and 4’s childish characterisation.
And nothing confirms that more than the flashback we get to Season 1-era Oliver getting help on finding Pharma Guy from Season 1-era Felicity. There’s a reason why we all thought they had chemistry. Because they did. It’s a shame Olicity didn’t work out, but hey, Laurel’s back, now. ‘Sall good.
Speaking of Laurel being back, Laurel’s back. I had chills, baby.
If someone could make me stop thinking I’m crazy by finding out if Oliver did in fact attack someone on a rooftop with a pool in Season 1, that’d be great.
Bitch Reporter could turn out to be more than just a bitchy reporter. The mentions of Prometheus having a Russian teacher, and the very unsubtle focus on Bitch Reporter’s Russian vodka, are unambiguous in their implications. I mean, I’m worried this could turn out to be a retread of what happened with Isabel. But Isabel was pretty cool (awful mask notwithstanding), so whatever.
And her hair. Damn, girl. Give me the number of your blowout person.
Wild Dog alludes to having kid/s of his own when talking with Diggle. Hmm.
Diggle is ambushed by a SWAT team or something at the end of the episode. The fugitive life isn’t all shirtless workouts and Christmas dinners, you know.
During the Prometheus fight, Oliver shoots an arrow and Prometheus shatters it with a throwing star mid-flight. Epic.
Wild Dog and Ragman prove they’ve got some good odd couple chops as they boy-gossip about Wild Dog’s sexual interest in Thea.
Oh, and I forgot how, like, dirty-sexy Oliver was back when he used makeup for the mask.