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– by Mark Cook

All right, I will admit I overreacted last week.  Now that I have taken my chill-pill, I am ready to get after it again.  The one area I still won’t concede on is that Arrow can do better than this.  Yes, we are only four episodes in, but Season 5 showed the fans that they can bring back the intrigue of Seasons 1 and 2.  With them restoring faith back in the fans, and a strong, interesting season finale, I feel they have dropped the ball upon its return.  I know there is a long season ahead of us, but I would have thought they would have given at least a little more attention to the fallout from the island outside of the first episode.  I know they will as the season progresses, but usually the beginning of a season keeps fans interested, and makes the summer months worth the wait.  I don’t think they have captured that in the initial episodes.  Now, this doesn’t mean they won’t as the season progresses, but I still feel that the writers are better than what we have seen so far.  Will this episode be stronger than what viewers have seen so far?  Read on to find out:

(Photo Courtesy of The CW.)

Olicity and Helix — Some time was spent rekindling the old flame at the beginning of the episode.  At least the occupants of the restaurant they were at were happy to see them back together.  I do feel they were trying to push some of the characters in an attempt to overly support the reunion hoping to make some of the fans side with the choice.  It was as if they wanted to mention it as much as possible to make us believe it is a good thing. Maybe it will work. There was an interesting dynamic for Oliver to feel what it was like to be on the other end of the significant other having to abruptly leave.  Now it looks as if Felicity is the one over-committing as she is trying to work on her business with Curtis, and then gets a visit from Alena from Helix as it seems that Cayden James has come up with a diabolical plan which could destroy around 300 million people.  I wasn’t a fan of the Helix plot line from last season, but maybe it’ll be different in Season 6.  I just feel that fans have seen the “hacker’s diabolical plan” used numerous times.  I do understand it gives Felicity an antagonist, but I can’t get into the rivalries.  Trouble in paradise does arrive as Oliver thinks he is saving Felicity while she is trying to purchase illegal tech., but he ends up messing up those plans by his attempt at saving her. As Team Arrow go to stop Cayden James and Black Siren, Oliver and Felicity pretty much switch roles where she is in the field and he is back at the base walking her through any obstacles.  After the team saves the internet, Felicity and Alena decide to name the new company Helix with the goal of making, and producing, the same type of chip that Felicity has in her back.

(Photo Courtesy of The CW.)

Black Siren Is Back —  And she is quite the black widow.  Laurel is racking up a kill count and the team sets out to foil her plans. Curtis finds a way to track evil Laurel by her sonic-cry where they find yet another casualty.  A battle of Canary-Cries ensue before Laurel escapes. The team finds out that Laurel was trying to steal the fingerprints of her victims, and it seems that these victims have something suspicious in common.  It turns out the Black Siren is working with Cayden James who is after Alena for betraying him, which results in her being shot.  James’ plan is also revealed in that he needs Black Siren in order to steal fingerprints from individuals heavily involved in the internet domain world in order to take down the entire internet.  It seems that Flash and Arrow are both going for a more intellectual villain, at least in the early stages. Is this a good move because it’s different?  I personally don’y enjoy it as much because it takes out a large physical aspect of the show that is usually associated with superhero shows.  Numerous action/fight scenes are replaced with intense moments of technical jargon.  The interesting part from this odd partnership is that Cayden James was the one who rescued Black Siren from the island.  Was it actually him, or one of his followers?  Why did he seek her out specifically?  When did he go to the island?  These are some questions that could be interesting once they are uncovered.

(Photo Courtesy of The CW.)

Juiced-Up Diggle — The cliffhanger at the end of the last episode, and its corresponding follow-up, reminded me of the transition from Season 5 to Season 6 — anticlimactic.  I was interested when I saw what Diggle was doing to keep his composure, and it seemed as if fans would find out more about the surprising situation  yet…it wasn’t discussed, let alone mentioned.  It was as if it didn’t even occur.  Yes, it will more than likely be covered, but it depletes the anticipation.  Why not use the clip closer to when it can be a plot point of focus? Some may say it builds anticipation, and maybe that is true for some, but it makes the stories feel disjointed, and choppy.

This season still hasn’t felt like Arrow to me, but next week finally looks to pick up because…Deathstroke it back!  Finally he returns to find his son, and he will go to whatever length it takes to find him!  If Arrow does not last much longer, would you like to see a Deathstroke series spin-off with Manu Bennett?  How do you think it would do?

What’d you think of this week’s episode?  Is it getting any better?  What adjustments would you make, or do you think the season is fine as is?  Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

Arrow returns next Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on The CW.

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  • Smerdyakov

    “Juiced up Diggle” is just disgusting.

  • Kronx

    This week was very vanilla.

    The characters have an ease about them that’s fun to watch, but the plot is just forgettable at the moment. Without flashbacks we have all of this extra time for character beats, but all we get are people standing around the Arrow Cave or beating up people in warehouses. Or worse yet, apologizing for something. Or Felicity trying to explain something as fast as humanly possible.

    I know there’s been a temporary shakeup, but it doesn’t feel ambitious at the moment. With a dwindling audience and budget, now is the time to pull out all the stops.

    • MC

      I agree. I get they are trying something new, but the episodes have been boring. The main reason I keep coming back is to see Slade.

  • jonathing
    • secretAGENTman

      You’re not alone.

      Vigilante was awesome.

      Sorely missed.

    • MC

      Maybe he is still in the bush he fell into from being pushed off the building. Anyways, that’s still an issue, they introduce a storyline then leave huge gaps until it is covered again. It makes the story seem choppy.

  • Esteban

    “Juiced up Diggle” is just disgusting.

  • Le0nz0

    This week was very vanilla.The characters have an ease about them that’s fun to watch, but the plot is just forgettable at the moment. Without flashbacks we have all of this extra time for character beats, but all we get are people standing around the Arrow Cave or beating up people in warehouses. Or worse yet, apologizing for something. Or Felicity trying to explain something as fast as humanly possible.I know there’s been a temporary shakeup, but it doesn’t feel ambitious at the moment. With a dwindling audience and budget, now is the time to pull out all the stops.

  • ElephantLeg

    Maybe he is still in the bush he fell into from being pushed off the building. Anyways, that’s still an issue, they introduce a storyline then leave huge gaps until it is covered again. It makes the story seem choppy.