Arrow is back with 100% more brooding and at least 50% less Oliver “finding a new way!”
So it turns out that Oliver is just as bad at being a mayor as he was at being a CEO, and largely for the same reason. Evidently, people like it when you show up for your public job instead of just focusing on your secret one. Thea’s been covering for him in City Hall, but Oliver’s still alone out on the streets. Felicity has been trying to convince him to build a new team, but he’s still holding on to the hope that Thea and Diggle will come back into the fold.
Also new for season five, the SCPD’s little corruption problem has turned into a police department more on the take than Gotham’s entire force. Lance could do something about it, except that he’s drinking again after Donna broke up with him. (And yes, writers, I totally bought the idea that somehow Felicity wouldn’t have already heard about something happening to her mother just for the sake of your “Heaven” joke. Totes.) Oliver tries to talk Quentin into sobering up for the sake of a ceremony dedicating a statue to the Black Canary.
Speaking of, the new Big Bad of the season, Tobias Church (aka Charon) decides to use the ceremony as a chance to snag hostages in order to draw out the Green Arrow. His theory is that he needs to take out “the biggest dog in the yard,” which is problematic when you accidentally make him one of your hostages. Fortunately, Lance is in attendance so that he can report back the fact that Charon’s team was made up of corrupt cops.
While Lance, Felicity, and a super-reluctant Thea work on how to rescue their leader, Oliver intentionally ticks off his captors so that they’ll take him into another room for a beatdown. That way, Oliver can get loose, kill one of his captors, and use a good callback to Arrow’s pilot (“No one can know my secret.”) without revealing his vigilante identity to the rest of the city council.
Speedy helps Oliver escape, but they have to leave the other hostages behind, as they’re surrounded by a kill cordon. Thea is NOT happy that Oliver has put killing back on the table, saying that that’s exactly the reason that she won’t go out in the streets again. Lance gives Oliver a dossier of clean cops who are willing to help. They all go in together to rescue the council, and Mayor Queen makes those cops the new Anti-Crime Unit, reporting directly to him. (Yeah, this is going to turn out real well for those guys.) Oliver also finally gives in to the idea that he needs a new team to help with his night job.
Charon is putting together a force of his own. He calls together the leaders of every gang in Star City and brings them under his banner, killing Bertinelli as a show of force (RIP, Cousin Pino.) Their first task: to take down the Green Arrow for good. I mean, it worked out so well when Brick tried the same thing, right?
Flashbacks: Ollie is in Russia and looking for Kovar in order to fulfill his promise to Taiana. His solid lack of plan lands him tied to a chair staring down the business end of a Bratva gun. He’s saved in the nick of time by our favorite Russian, Anatoly. He thinks that Ollie’s plan to kill Kovar is suicide, but promises to help by bringing him into the Bratva, if Ollie can survive the initiation…
Okay, so what I’m seeing here is that we’ve decided that Arrow got a little too CW and not enough DC in recent seasons, so we’re trying to swing the pendulum back towards growly, angry, murdery Oliver. Personally, I liked the show better when it was less about the continuous action sequences and more about the relationships on Team Arrow (and no, not just Olicity, though I will cling to that now-sinking ship like a violinist on the Titanic). As always, though, I want to see where this new-old direction goes, so I’m going to be sticking around for some time to come.
I’ll tell you one long-standing opinion of mine that I see changing drastically this season: the flashbacks. Longtime readers know that I intensely despise them in general, but I get the distinct impression that David Nykl as Anatoly is going to fix that for me this season. I know he’s not a great guy in the grand scheme of things, what with being a mob boss and all, but I think Anatoly is going to end up being one of my favorite characters in season five.
Anatoly: “I just dislocated thumbs. Useful if getting tied to chairs is going to become habit.”
Felicity: “Wild Dog isn’t a superhero, he’s a vigilante.”
Curtis: “You are really going to have to explain that distinction to me.” (You and me both, Curtis)
Things to Ponder:
- I adore Curtis’s serious face when he decides to go full vigilante. I can’t wait to see the show’s take on Mr. Terrific (and whether or not Oliver agrees to call him that).
- I’m entertaining thoughts that Detective Malone is going to end up being a bad guy. Good guys on the CW don’t have haircuts that bad.
- Why does everyone still use that old artist’s rendering of the Arrow? The man’s been on TV more than once. Do a Google image search, guys.