Arrow: Top Four Takeaways From "Checkmate"

– by Mark Cook
Photo Courtesy of the CW.

Photo Courtesy of the CW.

Arrow is back after its break last week.  Coming off the revelation that Prometheus is Adrian Chase, what will be in store for viewers this week?  

1. Talia al Ghul trained Prometheus: The episode begins with Oliver easily walking into Talia's hidden residence, which seems odd that she trains people to be assassins, yet he can easily walk through the front door...Anyways, it was interesting to find out that Talia not only trained Chase two years earlier because he wanted to be trained due to Oliver killing his father years prior. She also reveals that she agreed to train him as an act of revenge for Oliver killing her father, Ra's al Ghul.  This was interesting to me because even though we all knew she was Talia al Ghul, I didn't think of Oliver lacking the connection between she and her father.  Yes, the two working together is interesting, but I once again felt let down.  I had speculated that Slade Wilson, or possibly a character from Season 1, would be orchestrating Prometheus' attacks, yet it seems as if it will be Talia.  While this is fine it also seems a bit odd to me for the following reasons: 1.  She stated that she had distanced herself from her father, but then wants to seek revenge for his death.  This is clearly plausible, but it felt more like they were trying to justify her absence in previous seasons. 2. She was just introduced halfway through the season.  I feel that it would have made a stronger impact had an actual character from Season 1 or 2 been behind Prometheus' rise. 3.  The writers had stated that this would bring Oliver's journey full circle, but it mainly brings us back to Season 3.  Now I am aware that the reveal of Chase's father could be the connection to Season 1, but I still feel this part of the story could have been handled better.  Although we do have an answer to the question regarding Prometheus' fighting movements.  In the Mid-Season Finale Oliver said he recognized a move from his time in Russia.  I assumed that meant Prometheus would somehow be connected to Oliver's time in Russia, but it was actually foreshadowing Talia being the individual behind Chase' training.

2. The flashbacks are still lacking: More shots of vodka and gun fights...in a hockey rink?  We get a glimpse of the first time Oliver used the voice modifier, but rather than that the flashbacks seemed useless and boring.

Photo Courtesy of the CW.

Photo Courtesy of the CW.

3. Prometheus still has the edge: Prometheus is still steps ahead of Oliver.  Just when he thinks he can take down Chase, Oliver finds out that he has Susan Williams and is using her as leverage.  The team has no idea how to track him.  They try, yet Prometheus is always ahead.  I do enjoy the interactions Chase has with Team Arrow without their masks on.  He knows they have to keep a front in public and presses them, making a definite uncomfortable feeling for the team.  Green Arrow tries to meet with Chase's wife in order to inform her of her husband's secret, yet the SCPD arrives (on Chase's orders) once again showing Oliver that he is behind.  Prometheus knows Oliver's deep past. When speaking about possibly losing Susan, he also references the deaths of Tommy and Shado being Oliver's fault as well.  I couldn't help but think this may have been a subtle nod to all of the speculation (mine included) assuming Tommy or Shado would eventually be Prometheus.  

4. Oliver has an ace up his sleeve...or does he?: Through Felicity's dealings in the digital underworld, she does find out that "Adrian Chase" is an alias and his real name is Simon Morrison.  Oliver tries to cause a diversion by proclaiming to the city that the Green Arrow has 24 hours to turn himself in before ordering the SCPD to shot on sight.  Oliver gives Captain Pike a lead about Chase's real identity, then Pike comes up comatose after being stabbed outside the police station.  Oliver comes to the realization that the more people he trusts, the more vulnerable it has made him.  He also realizes that in order to beat Prometheus, he has to play by his rules.  Oliver knows someone who will make Prometheus vulnerable; his wife!  Spartan reveals everything to Chase's wife, and his true nature shows when he stabs her in order to keep her quiet!  Just when it looked like the Green Arrow would have the upper hand, he is shot in the leg and captured by...Talia! At first I thought it was going to be Artemis, yet she is still nowhere to be found. Chase publicly blames the Green Arrow for killing his wife, and talks about how coincidental it looks that Oliver is missing.  

"Checkmate" was one of the better episodes this season, but I am still hoping that there will be other great reveals.  Who is Chase's father?  Is Susan Williams in on Prometheus and Talia's plans?

What'd you think of this week's episode of Arrow?  Are you excited to see the team-up of Prometheus and Talia?  Where the heck is Artemis?  How will Oliver get out of this?  Hopefully we will find out when Arrow returns next week at 8:00 pm on the CW! Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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