Arrow Season 5 Episode 16 – TV Review
I don’t care what happens to these people.
Have I said that enough yet?
TL;DR The team finds out about Adrian’s double identity this episode, but can’t do anything about it because reasons; and he gets the upper hand on Oliver; Helix forces Felicity into their debt; Curtis remains unbearable; Thea isn’t in this episode; the flashbacks are, again, literally meaningless.
The present day stuff isn’t far behind.
So in a truly bizarre, and cheap, opening scene, Oliver somehow tracks down Talia, finds out she’s an al Ghul, and also finds out that she trained Adrian Chase to be Prometheus because she wants to see Oliver get fucked as retribution for her father’s death. Oliver fills the team in, but they can’t do anything to Adrian because he has Bitch Reporter hostage. Cue a relentless procession of scenes where Adrian twirls his moustache in public for all to see, while our heroes mill around impotently. Meanwhile, Felicity goes to Helix HQ, which is every bit the TV tech 1337 haxorz monstrosity you’d expect. She uses their capabilities to help find Bitch Reporter, but must do illegal hacking things in exchange. The team rescues Bitch Reporter eventually (Curtis also gets to show off more of his T-Spheres, which he either has a supply of, or they don’t actually get damaged when they explode?), but then Adrian, with an assist from Talia, abducts Oliver, promising to show Oliver who Oliver truly is inside or whatever. Who cares? Oh, Adrian also murders his wife when the team tries to use her to nag some sense into him. And nothing happens in the flashbacks. Again.
Why even bother with them, really?
Why even bother watch Arrow, really? That’s the number one question I’ve been asking of myself lately.
We spent over half a season building up to the Prometheus reveal, and Arrow just belches it out via Talia, who had already fallen on her face with the pathetically obvious “I’m an al Ghul” reveal, in the world’s least believable mountaintop monastery set. What the fuck, Arrow?
Why I hate this episode:
All this al Ghul talk, and poor Nyssa still doesn’t get a look-in. Rude
Talia didn’t even like her dad. And Oliver points out how Ra’s, despite being a supervillain, was honourable and would not abduct and torture people like Talia is (well, like Talia is allowing). And she just handwaves it away with a “whatever, whatever, I do what I want.” Fuck off.
Also fuck off to Adrian, who says he isn’t going to kill Oliver. He merely wants to destroy Oliver and show him his true self blah blah blah. My eyes couldn’t roll hard enough.
Adrian also gives Oliver some supposedly rough-as-guts speech about how if Oliver suffers one more lost loved one that he’ll evaporate or something. Shut the fuck up and punch each other. Jesus.
During this listing of Oliver’s dead loved ones, he includes Shado. How does Adrian know about Shado?
I’m only watching for Thea, Quentin, and Adrian’s hot face these days. We get Quentin huffing and puffing and saying “sonuvabitch” a few times, and Adrian’s face is still hot. But I need my Thea, and Arrow apparently disagrees. Snooze.
I laughed out loud when Adrian stabbed his wife. So fucking obvious.
The Helix base is just embarrassing to look at.
Curtis is still out in the field and using his nebulous T-Spheres to do whatever tech-related thing the episode needs them to do. Who cares?
He also helps Felicity with her Helix hacking homework. No, thank you.
Oh, and obligatory flashbacks complaint.
But it’s not all bad:
There is a single relevant moment in the flashbacks. Oliver is gushing to Anatoly about Talia’s instruction to put on the hood and channel your inner darkness into a different persona. But Anatoly is like “nah, cunt. If that shit is inside you, it’s inside you. You can’t compartmentalise it.” I agree.
With Prometheus floundering, Kacey Rohl and Helix could be forming as villains. Kacey’s got that little gleam that she does so well, and it’s obvious that she’s purposely pushing Felicity into Helix’s debt. Cool.
The fact that Adrian can’t be touched in public because he has Bitch Reporter (and later, Oliver) captive is an annoying plot weasel, but it does make for a few great scenes of our characters seething. Who doesn’t love a good seethe?
When Diggle first brought Adrian’s wife into the scene to talk to him, I mistook it as him having taken her hostage. Which also made me laugh.
Oh, and obligatory remark about Adrian’s hot face.