REVIEW: Arrow – Season 5 Episode 4, “Penance”

5 Min Read


On this week’s Arrow, “Penance,” we continue with the new team’s training, live and in the field. They’re still finding their dynamic though, and Wild Dog’s itchy trigger finger causes a less-than-ideal criminal takedown. Ragman’s off the team because Felicity, and it’s prison-break time for John.

Be prepared for some tv-storytelling nit-picking.

We get more of the Bratva story, where Oliver must find his way into a prison to get information about the man he’s after. He learns about trusting and following orders. Sometimes I feel like they try too hard to parallel the “lessons of the past” with the storyline. I’m still trying to figure out the relevance of John’s story so far. It was well written, choreographed, and acted, but what is the buildup of all of this leading to? Just to prove a point that you don’t leave family behind? Also: Breathe in the fine mist of molecular destabilizer fellas, breathe it in deep.

Gout. We’re really going to go with gout as the reason for Oliver to not show up on Mayor duty for a couple of days? Really? Good thing he has a new team to back him up while he’s gone, Star city will need them. What does Oliver plan on teaching them though, when he continuously ignores other’s concerns, and just does whatever he wants? He’s not setting a good example for Rene, who already has issues with authority. I also wonder if they’re setting up for Felicity leaving the show, since she and Oliver seem to be developing a prickly relationship. I mean, “Oliver forfeited his opinion when he left.” OUCH.

Unfortunately, his team’s first solo run doesn’t go quite as intended. First of all, you have Ragman, (thanks for coming back to the team, by the way) a guy who isn’t harmed by explosive or bullets. He impresses Adrian Chase, the new D.A. who typically doesn’t like vigilantes. Then the guy proceeds to run off ahead of his teammates while escaping the bad guys. You know what would have prevented a knife in Curtis’ back? The invincible one watching it. Also, who better to go back after Rene? But no, the plot must supercede common sense here.

Also: Introduction of thin plot device to get a bomb into the police evidence locker. Steal a common processor chip, that comes conveniently packaged in a box that’s way too big for said common electronic component, and allow it to get confiscated. Then let a police officer conveniently leave it next to an exterior facing wall. Use a strange camera-like device to explode the planted chip, thus creating a hole in the wall. Church should have just used a bazooka. Only Curtis seemed to catch on that this thing was a little suspicious.

I really do like this show, I do. But this one was just full of stuff that made me cringe, like a simple leg-harness for John is all that’s needed to allow him and Oliver to escape the prison yard, via speeding plane. There should have been some spine-snapping going on there.

Arrow is having a serious problem finding something to latch onto this season. Oliver’s bordering on abusive. Our big-bad, Tobias Church, is… bad, yeah, but Ragman/Prometheus could have put an end to him quickly, having in a previous episode tracked him to a club. Why is Church giving Felicity such a hard time? Rene should have known better than to think he could have taken on Church, after getting his ass handed to him by Oliver not that much earlier.

Here’s hoping they get these issues straightened out and season five improves from here on out. Because right now? It’s not working as intended, at least for me.

Leave a comment, and tell us what you thought about “Penance.”

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By Briar
Briar is the owner and creator of Nerds and Beyond. She started the site in 2015 with the goal of being a unique, professional news site dedicated to all the things she loved - and providing fans with the best content available. Briar oversees the day-to-day operations and runs all of the social media. She loves all things Disney, Star Wars, Supernatural and anything tech related. You can follow her @thebriarroseee.
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