Arrow – Season 5 Episodes 6 & 7 Review: New Players Step Up
Last week, on “So It Begins,” Arrow filled in the Big-Bad void left behind by Tobias Church, by having Prometheus step up to the plate even though we’ve been teased since practically the beginning of the season. Who is Prometheus, and why does this character focus so strongly on the Green Arrow? Well, we don’t have a definite correlation within the comics to go on, so let’s see what we’ve been given.
We know they seem to be copying Oliver’s old “Hood” style from earlier seasons, and the original list that his father gave him seems to be Prometheus’ focus for now. Thy also know how to create a show and incite mass panic. Leaving a trail of bodies, including innocent victims, definitely puts Prometheus in the Villain category. Now, the question is, who’s behind the mask? I’ve seen some hopeful murmurings that it might be Tommy Merlyn. It wouldn’t be the first time a supposedly deceased character has risen from the dead. However, I’m banking on Prometheus being a “new” character whose family has been disrupted by Oliver’s early destructive vigilantism.
The cliffhanger that Prometheus could have been Quentin Lance was easily dashed in the next episode, and if they’d actually gone in that direction, I would have cried foul. There’s no way a blackout drunk could become the calculating, vengeful death machine that is Prometheus. Besides, where would Quentin be having those special throwing stars (made from Ollie’s old arrowheads) created? No, while signs point to someone tied to the police department, Lance was not quite a red herring, as the evidence later points toward Prometheus knowing who the Green Arrow really is. I was glad to see how quickly Thea dismissed the idea of Quentin as Prometheus in Episode 7.
Other things to note about Episode 6:
The team is still flailing in the unity area, especially when it comes to standing behind Oliver’s decisions. Evelyn is especially critical, although calling him a serial killer seems taking it a bit far. Knowing her “hero” name is Artemis, I have been expecting a tie-in to a certain villain at some point. But more on that in a bit. At least the other members of the team, while not happy, didn’t take their reactions as harshly as she did.
Felicity: Anyone else curious about just how trusting her detective boyfriend has been to all of her extra curricular activities up to this point? I would not be surprised if it turns out he’s tied into some sort of extra-curricular activity, considering how easily he swallowed her confession of working with the Green Arrow.
Bratva storyline: Oliver has been learning “skills” necessary to be one of the Russian Brotherhood, and was given a task directly involved with his own revenge quest on Kovar. After being instructed to blow up the new Casino, he was captured and came face-to-face with Kovar himself, played by Dolph Lundgren. This leads nicely into Episode 7, where Kovar tries to turn Oliver against the Bratva by trying to make him question their methods.
Now, onto the main story of “Vigilante.” We have a new vigilante in town, aptly named… Vigilante. Those who follow the comics have already guessed his identity, and anyone paying close attention to the show can make an educated guess (I’m not going to spoil it). Frustrated with the lack of effective crime control that comes with following the rules, Vigilante has done what all vigilantes do, taken things into his own hands outside the confines of the typical justice system. But, we see this one taking the extreme kill-them-all methods of an earlier Oliver Queen. While Oliver is frustrated with the new crimefighter’s methods, he questions his no-kill (or at least, kill only when necessary) stance yet again, since the justice system is not always the most effective.
The dynamic between Thea and Quentin has been a nice side-story this season, as they’ve been working with Quentin’s alcoholism. What I see is these two leaning on each other in a surrogate father-daughter relationship, as they try to reorient their lives in what is now the new “normal.” I hope, when Quentin comes back from rehab, that he’s able to take back up the mantle of deputy mayor. It was also a nice touch that Thea took him to the same place that helped her get clean.
I will be very glad when Susan Williams is no longer a prominent side-character. Yes, everyone wants Oliver to move on from Felicity, but not with this duplicitous reporter, who the viewers know is only biding her time in exposing Oliver’s past. I’m wondering if they’re going to try a redemption arc for her, where Oliver changes her heart… I don’t know if I want that. However, I can’t help but acknowledge that she’s giving Oliver legitimate good advice in the attempt to get into his pants.
Was it necessary to “rob” a bank in order to draw out Vigilante? I’m not sure, although it was entertaining. It also highlighted a glaring weakness in the team that is Curtis. Yes, Curtis is better at tech than Felicity, but he either needs to shape up in the field, or fall back into a support role. He’s a liability who gets injured way too frequently.
Diggle showed an increasing instability this episode, fueled by a mixture of his own guilt, cabin fever, and missing his family. He misses his son’s birthday party because to show up would mean getting caught as a fugitive. However, Rene has been trying to become a more stable and productive member of the team, and decided to help Diggle out by bringing the party (and Diggle’s son) to him. It is nice to see their roles reversed in this way, and I like the dynamic building between Diggle and Rene.
Evelyn. While shocked it’s happening so soon, I was not surprised to see her meet up with the enemy. It does make me curious as to Prometheus’ identity, since I do know a bit of her backstory. They’ve seemed very intent on creating a new character for this story arc, and I think it’s intended to keep the comic readers on their toes. I’m curious to see how it plays out, and hope they stay true to the nature of the character. I don’t want to see her turn into a villain.
We have a break for Thanksgiving, and Arrow returns Wednesday, November 30th at 8 p.m.