I really liked last weeks episode. It had me with a good outlook for the rest of the season and I was excited to see what they would throw up to use this week. Overall, I liked this episode, not as much as last episode, but I still think it was a solid episode. There were a couple of things that bugged me but I’ll get to that later.
Firstly, Ragman. I really liked his introduction in this episode. I was a bit confused at the start, firstly I thought it was the big villain of the season. Either way though, his face is awfully similar to that of Prometheus. Back to Ragman himself though, I liked the contrast between his origins with his father to Oliver’s. This really played into how everything that happens this season is a result of what Oliver and Team Arrow have done in previous seasons.
Something they did really well this episode was the editing between the flash backs in Russia and Oliver’s training and the real time training with the new recruits. Again, it shows contrast between Oliver’s past and him connecting to this new generation of Team Arrow.
My favourite scenes where with Diggle. I’m going to talk about the writing as a whole a bit later but I thought the writing in these scenes were outstanding. The fact that they made us care about that new recruit in the army so quickly before he was taken away from us I thought was really great. I just thought everything about Diggle’s scenes were done really well and I would of been perfectly happy to have a whole episode on him and what he is doing in the army.
Now to some negatives. Felicity. I like Felicity as a character. I think as far as Team Arrow goes, she plays a good role and the character is well written for that part. However, her playing a role as Oliver’s love interest or in this episode, his voice of reason just doesn’t work. This is mainly because how they portrayed the two together in previous seasons. I think pre-Olicity, she would of worked well as the voice of reason that Diggle is normally there for, but in this situation it didn’t. I thought Thea would of been a much better character to be putting Oliver in line. I always felt that if Diggle wasn’t the one getting through to Oliver, Thea was and I really wanted her to be the one to step up to this role both as Mayor like she has and as the Green Arrow.
Apart from the Diggle scenes and a few others here and there, most of the writing was poor. I’m not talking about the story and the plot itself, but just some of the dialog came of cheese at times. I get that shows like the Flash can be an absolute cheesefest of dialog but for that show it is completely suited. Arrow is serious. While playing into the serious tone was part of the reason of Arrow’s decline, I don’t think they can jump straight back into Flash territory. They need to slowly bring back the lighter tone and humour which is kind of hard when the main character wears a dark hoodie and only really operates at night.
Overall, while it wasn’t the greatest individual episode ever, I still thought it was a solid second coming to season 5. It did enough for me to start getting invested into these new members I do look forward to where they are going to head to from here.