TV: Arrow: Season 5, Episode 2 - Review

– by Mark Cook

After Arrow's season opener to its 5th season last Wednesday, what will viewers have in store for this week?  There has definitely been a tone change.  Will it continue?  Will we see the formation of the new "Team Arrow"?  We know Flashpoint has had some type of effect on Arrow; will we find out any of the effects tonight?  Read on to find out!

After Arrow's season opener to its 5th season last Wednesday, what will viewers have in store for this week?  There has definitely been a tone change.  Will it continue?  Will we see the formation of the new "Team Arrow"?  We know Flashpoint has had some type of effect on Arrow; will we find out any of the effects tonight?  Read on to find out!

 

****SPOILERS for Arrow: Season 5, Episode 2****

 

The show begins with Wild Dog chasing down a criminal.  His lack of experience leads to Green Arrow rescuing him and offering an invitation to meet with him the following day.  Wild Dog arrives the following day with Curtis and Artemis, ready for training.  This lead to the training that viewers have seen in the preview where the team has to get past Green Arrow in order to ring a bell.  He lets them know that the goal of the exercise is to figure out the goal of the exercise.  I do enjoy the direct connection between this training and the flashbacks.  I know many do not like the flashbacks at this point, but with this being the last season using them, I am at least happy that they make sense so far, unlike last season.  Curtis stands up to Oliver as the "new team" doesn't show up for the next training session.  Oliver tries to tell him that the purpose was to work together.  Curtis tells Oliver that the new team left for the same reason the old team did; they don't trust Oliver because all he does is tear people down.  I liked the new, blunt side of Curtis compared to the quirky, comic-relief version. The team ends up meeting with Green Arrow one last time and he reveals his identity to them in honor to gain their trust.  I get this part, but it seriously seems as if most of the city knows Oliver is the Green Arrow.  Next week looks to put the team in action.  I hope they aren't an intricate part of the battles yet.  One episode of "training" and acquiring a trust for Oliver does not mean they are actually capable of fighting crime.  Mr. Terrific, in the comics, can naturally pick-up on advanced concepts (fighting, technology, etc.) which is what will more than likely happen with Curtis, and can act as a valid explanation, but I don’t feel that the others have enough training yet.  They do seem farther along than Laurel was based on Artemis’ appearance last season and what we have seen of Wild Dog so far, but rushing a new team into the fold will only bring up many of the same issues fans had from the original Team Arrow.

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Diggle is seen in a debriefing in Latvia.  He leads a team on a mission, yet they are ambushed.  After the ambush, Diggle finds out that the other half of his team were behind the attack and turned on Diggle.  This section didn't seem relevant.  I am assuming it will connect at some point, but Diggle's storyline in this episode seemed forced and out of place.  I thought it may have tied to the episode of Flash from last night, but it didn't which seems like a wasted opportunity to take some of the hype built from last night.  Arrow needs to work on a better job of character balance.  If they aren’t careful, they will run into the same issue as last season of trying to give all supporting characters equal screen time.  I want to see Green Arrow.

Oliver uses his political connections with a group called AmerTech to help fund a free medical clinic for those in need.  The Vice-President of Amertech later is seen giving money to a "beggar" who actually looks like the new archer, but is actually Ragman.  The individual has some sort of powers, which I wasn't thrilled about because it is contrasting the tone established in episode 1.   Oliver manages to have the opening of the free medical clinic even though the President of Amertech is skeptical due to the attack on the Vice-President.  Green Arrow is there to act as security in the background as Ragman comes and attacks.  Green Arrow was about to apprehend Ragman when Wild Dog, disobeying orders, tries to be the hero which allows Ragman to escape.  At this point Wild Dog is the rogue of the "new team".  Felicity cannot track Ragman on surveillance cameras due to his powers.  Wild Dog did get a piece of Ragman's suit, but Green Arrow still returns and degrades the new team.  Felicity is trying to be the voice of reason, but Oliver says he must treat them this way because he didn't with the last team and that's what lead to Laurel death.  Felicity and Green Arrow look to play the "good cop, bad cop" roles this season. The President of Amertech is seen by Thea meeting with Tobias Church and an exchange of money occurs for a weapons deal.   Viewers then find out that Ragman is actually portrayed as more heroic going after the now villainous Amertech company. Viewers find out that Ragman's outfit is centuries old and radioactive, which is true to the comics.  During the climax, the Amertech President is making the weapons exchange with Church, when Ragman enters.  He reveals that Amertech was behind the missile launch that destroyed an entire city in Season 3, and Ragman is the only surviving member.  The President blames the missile strike on Damien Darhk. Ragman also saves Green Arrow from Church and reveals the story that his father saved him from Genesis by wrapping him in the rags.  Green Arrow shares the story of his father's death and how he and Ragman are not that different.  He then asks Ragman to help him and together they can avenge their fathers, and they shake hands.  I was skeptical of the use of Ragman with his powers, but they portrayed them in subtle ways.  It wasn't season 3 overbearing.  I like that Ragman and Oliver have a good deal in common.  If they are going to use some magic with Ragman, I hope they keep it as minimal as they did in this episode.  I can’t help but wonder if Ragman and Green Arrow’s relationship may eventually be strained since technically Felicity diverted the missiles to hit the city.  Yes, it was Darhk’s idea, but team Arrow made the decision to sacrifice the city for millions of others.  This could be a great sub-plot if Ragman finds out Team Arrow made the call to destroy his family / city.

Flashbacks - Viewers see Oliver in his Bratva initiation.  He and another group have to complete the exact same training he was running his new recruits through.  The flashbacks show that individuals have to work together in order to ring the bell rather than working as an individual.  More of Oliver's mindset is uncovered as no one in the Bratva uses their real names, and no one knows anything about any other member’s lives.  This helps connect why Oliver wanted to keep his identity from the new team, but also why he never talks about his past to even those closest to him.  Oliver rings the bell by working with the other recruits, but the others are immediately killed by the Bratva, much to Oliver's surprise.  The Bratva tell Oliver that he can trust no one but himself. This flashback also did a good job of showing why Oliver is skeptical of having a team.  Yes, they must work together, but he is conflicted with knowing that he is at fault if any of his team get injured, or die.

At the end of the episode, Church is coming out of an establishment when the new archer takes him down rather easily, which is interesting seeing as Oliver has struggled with Church.  The archer lets Church know that the only reason he is alive is because Church didn't kill Green Arrow the night before.  He then said that Green Arrow is his, and that his name is Prometheus.  Please let this be Tommy Merlin.

According to DC Wiki, "Prometheus was a super-villain who swore to destroy justice in any form. His vendetta is a twisted parody of Batman's origin. He was the son of criminal parents and witnessed their deaths at the hands of the police. Years of traveling the world and training made him one of the most dangerous men alive. Throughout his career, he was a threat not only to the law enforcement agencies that killed his parents, but also to superheroes, especially the Justice League. "This sounds similar to the route they are going with Arrow. This isn’t the first time that the producers have adapted a story-line from Batman and brought it into the Arrow-verse.  My thoughts are that Flashpoint brought Tommy Merlin back to life, and that he blames Green Arrow for everything that happened at the end of Season 1, and the "death" of Malcolm at the end of Season 1.  I still feel this would make for a great twist, and bring Seasons 1 through 5 together, full circle.

Overall, the episode was decent.  It had some strong points, but some weaknesses that are all too familiar from the last two seasons.  What were your thoughts of Arrow: Season 5, Episode 2?  Did you like the incorporation of Ragman and the new team?  Who do you think Prometheus really is?  Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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