Arrow Season 5 Episode 20 – TV Review
At least Felicity finally apologises for that time she broke up with Oliver because he didn’t confer with her about decisions to protect the life of his son who he didn’t know about until five seconds ago and don’t involve her in any way and she was so mad about it she overcame paralysis to literally walk away from him.
Isn’t that a fun memory?
TL;DR Arrow makes the dangerous choice to address all that, but seems to come out the other side stronger for it; it’s a shame enduring it is so nauseating; Diggle also gives up his hypocrisy regarding Lyla; Adrian peeks in at the very end to go after William.
All of Oliver’s family simply must be killed. It’s the Arrow way. Pray for Thea.
So it’s a weirdly regressive bottle episode this week, as Oliver and Felicity are trapped in the team base by the EMP blast from the final seconds of last episode. Evidently, it’s so secure that they can’t escape, and they are also on a limited supply of oxygen. They bicker about each other’s ideas to escape and frame it around the continued discussion from last week about “backing each other’s play,” and their ideas both fail and reduce the time they have to survive. Meanwhile, the team catches on to wassup and scramble to find a way in to save them. This gives Diggle some chances to sulk at Lyla some more about her Amanda Waller-ness, and Curtis keeps up his tradition of being an exhausting fucktard whenever he opens his mouth. In the end, Diggle gets over his animosity towards Lyla, Oliver and Felicity work together to make it to a point where the team can rescue them, and as a coda, Felicity finally apologises to Oliver over her reaction to the William thing last season. Meanwhile, we get flashbacks to a period in time after last season’s finale when Felicity and Oliver fucked one time but decided not to get back together. And to close the episode in the present, Adrian tracks down William.
I’d break out my well-worn “the CW wouldn’t kill a kid” soap box, but I don’t know. I wouldn’t put it past Adrian.
Look, this episode is three things. Firstly, it gives the Oliciters a steamy sex scene. Secondly, it closes the book (God, we hope) on Olicity for the anti-Oliciters, but softly enough so it isn’t a direct affront to Queen Fefe’s fans.
But thirdly, and mostly, it’s filler.
It’s unoffensive filler, but it’s still filler.
Let’s move on.
Why I hate this episode:
I lied about it being unoffensive. Because Curtis is still here, and still won’t fucking shut his fucking mouth. How can everyone involved in the making of this show, from the writers to the actors to the directors to the editors to the network executives, not notice how unbearable he is? Season 4 was a flaming dumpster fire, but that was because it committed to a shit story. Curtis is just a sore thumb that is never funny. He adds no value. Get him outta here.
Speaking of adding no value, the flashbacks this episode don’t reveal anything. Felicity and Oliver fuck once, and then reconfirm that they’re not getting back together. We don’t need flashbacks, Arrow. Look how much better the pacing worked last episode without them. Get them outta here.
Nobody suggests that perhaps Cayden’s USB is what caused the EMP, and not Adrian. Come on, guys.
There’s a bizarre action sequence involving our heroes dangling perilously over a giant fan that Curtis has been able to get back online to vent deadly methane gas from the base. He is forced to turn it off during said perilous moment, but I’m pretty sure the huge drop onto a fan, even motionless, is still going to be fatal. What was the point of that? Extra danger points?
When Oliver’s plan to climb up the elevator shaft fails, he falls and is impaled on a giant metal bolt. Felicity takes the opportunity to gloat and dump an “I told you so” on him. What the fuck?
When Felicity’s plan to generate power using an old motorbike fails and then bursts a methane pipe, Oliver uses some duct tape to mend it. This then creates pressure to cause another burst in the pipe, and Oliver and Felicity throw their hands up in defeat because they had already used the last of the duct tape. Is there literally nothing else in the base you could used to wrap around a pipe? The methane gas cuts their air supply from hours to merely minutes, and they do nothing to even attempt to slow it. What the actual fuck?
Oh, and during the fan dangle sequence, Felicity implores Oliver to let her go to save himself. Oh, so close.
But it’s not all bad:
I know it’s preposterous, but Oliver’s subsequent Hulk-out moment to pull her back up was pretty hot. Flex, baby.
The sex scene in the flashbacks is also pretty hot. I’m a card-carrying anti-Oliciter, but I still stand by the sexiness of their Season 3 sex scene, too. There’s a reason why the concept Oliver and Felicity as a couple gained so much traction.
Despite the slog through the trash we have to go through to get there, Felicity, like last week, is the episode’s shining star. For her to acknowledge that her reaction to William was wrong is a big deal, both for the character on an in-universe level, and for the show to admit it made a mistake. Thanks, girl. Let’s keep it up.
The possibility that Helix caused the EMP is still on the table, but the episode makes a compelling case for it having indeed been Adrian, as he slips in for the stinger to pounce on William. Gun to my head, I don’t think Arrow is willing to go dark enough to kill a child (even Daughter Darhrk didn’t die last season), but if anyone’s going to surprise us, it’s Adrian Chase. #ChaseTheDream #OfKillingAChildCharacterOnTheCW
I’m relieved that Diggle’s little spat at Lyla is over quickly and logically. She basically points out that Diggle has been willing to overlook five seasons’ worth of morally grey choices from Oliver and the team, so why would he drop the anvil on her? Diggle agrees, and it’s done. Good.
The EMP shorts out the chip in Felicity’s spine. I lol’d.
Quentin gets a brief look-in as all the defence lawyers in the city have begun appealing their cases’ verdicts now that it’s been revealed the District Attorney was a serial killer. That’s smart.
Oh, and let’s cross our fingers that Olicity is truly over, okay?