Arrow Season 5 Episode 12 – TV Review
This review is going to be low effort, because this episode is low effort.
Something something something Bratva. Something something Season 4 creep. Something nuke.
Is that enough?
TL;DR The gang stops Corrupt General, but Ragman is nuked along the way; but he’s alive; Felicity begins down the slippery slope of abusing that NSA USB; Wild Dog bonds with a returning Quentin; Thea still isn’t back; but Bitch Reporter is; Talia’s training of flashback Oliver is interrupted by Bratva bullshit.
So Corrupt General is out on the loose and being generally corrupt, so the gang, minus Wild Dog, flies out to Russia to stop him from selling his stolen nuke to Markovian terrorists. Oliver has to grovel to a present day Anatoly and promise to do some Bratva bidding in exchange for the intel they need, while Felicity similarly (though, infinitely more selfishly) abuses information from her forbidden USB to do the same thing. They eventually track down and confront Corrupt General, but he vengefully sets the nuke to detonate, and Ragman uses his rags (proven to be able to survive a nuke) to contain it. But in doing so, they lose their power, and he quietly exits Team Arrow. Oh, no. Not… that guy with the rags. He does chastise Felicity about her abuse of power, though, which is probably why he was so swiftly written out. We’re basically back to Season 4, so Queen Felicity is back on her throne, you know. Meanwhile, Wild Dog stays home as he’s tasked with babysitting a now-sober Quentin, and prepping him for an interview with Bitch Reporter. It takes some tough love, but they get there. Meanwhile, Oliver hops back into bed with Bitch Reporter, who ends her time in the episode by figuring out that Oliver is the Green Arrow. And flashback Oliver gets some more training from Talia, but when Anatoly needs his help with some Bratva nonsense, he delays his plans to ship out.
Will Anatoly and the Bratva survive!?
At one point while taking notes for this episode, I paused and wrote “I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, and I’m less sure of if I even care.” And I don’t mean that in a fanboy sense.
It’s just, like, what does any of this even matter? Laurel can spend four and a half seasons being teased and set up and set back and then killed and then kind of resurrected and then shunted off again, only to be replaced within an episode or two and the show doesn’t even blink.
Felicity can spend half a season curbed back to being bearable and human, only for the post-mid-season to catapault her back to the inane, screentime thief that sucked all the life out of the previous season.
What’s happening, and who cares?
I legitimately want to know.
Why I hate this episode:
The biggest headscratcher for me is that this episode, only the twelfth for the season, sees our present day heroes converge on Russia and the Bratva. Yet this mission has no plot or thematic relevance to the flashbacks. If the show was going to put both timelines in the same place for once, it should have meant something. But nuh. Anatoly apparently just needed some more scenes or something, so the writers gave us his present day version, too. It doesn’t make any sense.
Season 4 Felicity is back, bitches. And she knows everything. Because a magical hacker fangirl acolyte gave her the knowledge of everything on a single USB flash drive. The only way this development could be redeemed is if Felicity either ends up dead because of her recklessness, or ascends to become the villain we’ve all secretly known her to be.
Ragman failed to make an impression as a character, but when the other members of the team are Curtis, Felicity, and two guys whose powers are “has guns,” he was kind of necessary.
Why the fucking fuck did Arrow bring back nukes?
It turns out Bitch Reporter wasn’t in league with the Bratva or really in the know about anything, after all. She’s just good at finding the right source, as her investigation into that photo of Oliver in Russia synchs up with reports of an archer vigilante also there at the time, and that’s how she deduces Oliver is the Green Arrow. She went from being a possible super spy, to being so very average. Still has that great hair, though.
Bring back Thea, please.
Oh, and Oliver works hard to martyr himself on an ideology that entails him doing bad, yucky stuff so that Felicity and Diggle don’t have to. Yeah, that’s only noble if you don’t make a fuss about it, Oliver.
But it’s not all bad:
He’s motivated to come to this conclusion by an otherwise sound pep talk from Tina. Oliver is discussing with her Prometheus’ assertion that Oliver’s darkness poisons all those close to him. But Tina is like “Nah, babe. You will always have an affect on the people around you because that’s life, cunt. Don’t be such a pussy.” Which is true.
In fact, my Laurel commitment aside, Tina is a decent chick. She’s close to veering into being an “I’m not like other girls” Girl, but she’s hasn’t fallen over the edge yet.
Before Ragman’s solution to the nuke, Felicity’s plan is for her to suicide fly the nuke out of the area they’re in to somewhere less populated to minimise casualties. It’s her standard go-to, you know. Ragman, understandably, doesn’t allow it. But for a moment there, we were almost rid of her. I will cherish this.
Quentin proves again that he’s a valuable part of the Arrow equation with his emotional response to Wild Dog’s hardball mock interview questions. He hammers Quentin about Laurel’s death and his partnership with Damien Dhark, and Quentin’s reaction is violent. Now let’s get Thea back together with him, hey? They were the component of Arrow that was actually working.
Wild Dog continues to prove himself a good friend, as Quentin (eventually) appreciates the help he’s providing. And the interview goes well.
Diggle, with Corrupt General’s life in his hands, decides not to do what he did with Andy and allows the scumbag to live and face justice. It’s progress.
Oh, and Felicity’s abuse of the USB is treated only negatively. So my hopes of her falling into darkness seem to be well founded.