The patriarch of the CW “Flarrowverse” of superhero shows ‘Arrow’ began its fifth season last week with the episode “Legacy” and then followed it up this week with “The Recruits”.
The show has been getting a bit long in the tooth and there definitely seems to be an effort to breathe new life into the series. I will be getting into details on both episodes so consider this your SPOILER ALERT.
Still here? Well let’s do this. Here’s my review in four easy to chew slices:
#1 All about Ollie
After the loss of Laurel and killing Damien Darhk we find Oliver in a different place mentally. In “Legacy” he is back to his old killing ways. After snapping a guy’s neck he repeats a line from the pilot episode “no one can know my secret”. Thea gives him a tongue lashing saying that is not what Laurel would have wanted. It is unclear though in “Recruits” whether he is still killing or has gone back to just maiming. He has taken up his role as mayor and has found difficulty in balancing that with being the Green Arrow, similar to when he was CEO at Queen Industries a couple seasons back.
This season’s flashback is set in Russia (you can read about my view on the flashbacks here) and I must say that I am surprisingly enjoying it. It has a real dark and brutal tone and the action moves forward quickly. In “Legacy” we get the introduction and the reunion with Anatoli from the island. That was a nice last minute save.
In “Recruits” we had the parallel between Oliver’s Bratva training and his training of the new sidekicks which was cool (more of that in point number 3). It was brutal watching the other Bratva recruits gunned down. Apparently there is an I in team.
#2 Fellowship is broken
In the Season 4 finale we saw Team Arrow scattered to the wind and it seems that will stick, at least for awhile. Laurel is gone and there’s a nice statue in her memory. Diggle has rejoined the military and, after a glimpse in “Legacy”, in “Recruits” we see him get betrayed and framed by his commanding officer over a Genesis nuclear weapon. Let us hope that Oliver et al will come to his rescue. We miss you Dig!
In “Legacy” we see Thea has hung up her suit and is helping out Oliver as mayor. She puts it back on temporarily but then goes back to the office life. I am very happy with this decision because ‘Arrow’ got to a point where EVERYBODY was a skilled vigilante. We needed some regular folk to balance it out and Thea is a good choice. In “Sidekicks” she does use her agility to spy on that corrupt AmerTek executive. Poor Quentin is back on the sauce and Thea tries to help him out.
Felicity is still with the team though but she has moved on romantically with a detective guy who she poorly lies to to analyse Ragman’s cloth. Will she and Ollie get back together though? Stay tuned Arrowheads. Stay tuned.
#3 Ring my bell
To revitalise a show you need some new blood and with Oliver’s old sidekicks hanging up their masks you need a new team. Curtis is back and wants to be a vigilante; he will likely go full Mr Terrific this season. We also have hockey mask enthusiast Rene aka ‘Wild Dog’ who is the angry wild card and too cool for school Black Canary III Evelyn Sharp.
In “Legacy” Oliver greets Wild Dog the same way he greeted Roy – with an arrow to the leg. Never change Oliver. Never change. In “Recruits” he goes all brutal drill sergeant, beating the crap out of them as they try to ring a bell. Felicity informs him that he is being a backside and he simmers down a tad. I presume next week we will have more training but I am excited to see the sidekicks go into action, full costumes and all.
We also had a surprise sidekick with the character Ragman, whose rag powers reminded of the superhero ‘The Cape’ in the short lived eponymous TV series. Getting his abilities from ancient robes is cool and I liked the visual aspect of his powers. More Mr Ragman please.
#4 Not another archer
In terms of villains we had gang boss Tobias Church (you may remember the actor Chad Coleman as Tyrese from ‘The Walking Dead’). He had a good presence and physicality but feels like a placeholder for a better, badder villain.
We were also introduced to YET ANOTHER ARCHER in the mysterious Prometheus who gave Church a spanking for trying to kill Arrow. The whole “he’s mine” bit. I’m sorry but after Malcolm Merlyn and Komodo I am not really enthused about seeing another archer baddie. Except for Cupid though. She’s hot.
In the comics one version of Prometheus has a metal epidermis, durability and superhuman strength which sounds way more interesting than another dark archer. I will have to see more of him before I make a determination though.
In conclusion I enjoyed the first two episodes and the series does feel somewheat revitalised. Let us hope they can keep up the momentum.
Rating: “Legacy” gets 2.75/4 and “Recruits” gets 3/4 arrows to the leg.
So how do you feel about the first two episodes of ‘Arrow’ Season 5? Feel free to comment below.
For my review of the ‘Arrow’ Season 4 finale you can click here and my review of ‘The Flash’ Season 3 episode 2 you can click here. And for more TV reviews that hit their target you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012 for updates and other cool stuff.
Julien got your back like a chiropractor. l8rs