‘Arrow’: “Vigilante” Spoiler Review

Another serial killer is on the loose in Star City this week but this time it’s a more righteous one as the series gives way to the rising of Adrian Chase in his new superhero persona, “Vigilante”. The introduction of the episode which features Vigilante taking out several low-level criminals who are part of a human trafficking ring was serviceable, to say the least. More and more the series is starting to feel a lot like Supernatural as we witness opening scenes that feature the death of no name characters to serve as a plot device.

Team Arrow 2.0 is starting to improve, most notably Wild Dog and Ragman although I still can’t understand a word Ragman says when his mask is on. Wild Dog still has to work on his attitude but he’s come a long way since his beginning as a reckless punk. Curtis needs to start taking things seriously. While I still find him to be somewhat funny, his comedy is slowly beginning to teeter into Felicity territory. Considering the end of the episode, I’ll save Artemis for later.

Vigilante
David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Joe Dinicol as Rory Regan, and Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez in Arrow. (The CW)

Dolph Lundgren makes his second appearance in the flashbacks as the big bad, Konstanin Kovar. The flashbacks were a bit better thanks to his inclusion along with the reveal that Taiana’s mother is actually working for Kovar. The twist that Kovar has made a truce with the Bratva seemed to fatten things up a bit as well. We don’t usually get this much to chew on in the consistently half-baked flashbacks but this episode went against that grain. The end duel was a treat to see Oliver Queen basically taking on Ivan Drago but Oliver is still an extremely sloppy fighter. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense considering it’s now less than a year before he makes his grand return to Star(ling) City and rises up as The Hood against the criminal element plaguing his hometown. He’s going to have to undergo some serious training if the writers are planning not to completely botch the flashbacks altogether.

Vigilante
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Dolph Lundgren as Konstatin Kovar in Arrow (The CW.)

Thea and Lance shared a few touching scenes this episode that showed how close the two have grown since working together at City Hall. Thea was able to give Lance the support and the push he needs to stop drinking and get clean. Last week the series tried to trick us into believing that Prometheus is actually Lance but this episode seemed to point away from that. I don’t buy for a second that Lance is getting black out drunk and taking down squads of police and crime lords in a theatrical fashion.

Oliver is beginning to move forward in his personal life. While this plot is the least interesting of the episode it wasn’t bad at all. It’s good to see Oliver putting Felicity behind him even though I don’t think the relationship is going anywhere nor are he and Felicity finished with each other. The show is making it a point to capitalize on the awkward tension between Oliver and Felicity since they began seeing other people and it’s most definitely intentional. Even though Felicity distracts herself with Billy, she can’t hide the way she still looks at him in the Arrow cave.

After a group of serial bank robbers hit several banks, almost being wiped out by Vigilante, the team comes up with a clever plan to stage another robbery in order to draw Vigilante out. What threw me off was that the moment Diggle takes down the security guard both he and Felicity pulled their masks off. I’m assuming Felicity shut down the surveillance system off screen but it was still distracting. Regardless, Mr. Terrific’s blood is most certainly on the bank’s floor after Vigilante beat him bloody and took him hostage before Vigilante took on the Green Arrow in a duel. The fight itself was pretty good but a bit overshadowed by Green Arrow when he bested him before by pulling a cable arrow to zip line kick combo in the alley. Josh Segarra’s performance as Vigilante wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t great either. The problem is the voice he put on to disguise his normal voice. It was like an awful impersonation of Christian Bale’s guttural voice as Batman.

Vigilante
Stephen Amell as Green Arrow, Josh Segarra as Vigilante, and Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific in Arrow. (The CW)

Overall the episode was a step up compared to some of the episodes this season but that isn’t saying much. The show is going a bit back and forth between Prometheus’ true identity as Lance. After the seemingly major reveal last week, this episode attempted to shut that down only for Lance to go off to rehab, leaving his location in question shortly before Prometheus appeared at the closing of the episode which then delivered a big twist as Evelyn Sharp was revealed to be ally of Prometheus, working Team Arrow from the inside. The twist itself comes completely out of nowhere. Based on Evelyn’s past, it seems for likely that her motivations would pit her against a Prometheus type. Regardless, I’m just glad the twist wasn’t revealed through the show’s marketing campaign which loves to use spoilers as a desperate ploy to generate more interest in the show in order to boost ratings.

7.5 – OKAY

arrow-season-5-poster-1

‘Arrow’: “Vigilante” Scene; Producers Preview

Last week on Arrow, Oliver finally came face to face Konstantine Kovar (Dolph Lundgren), his target in the flashbacks set in Russia. While in the present day the mysterious villain Prometheus went on a killing spree in order to send a message to Oliver and Team Arrow. Tonight, more bodies are turning up on the streets of Star City but this time the killings weren’t made by Prometheus, but instead at the hands of a new vigilante in town. The episode will see the rise of a new crime fighter as district attorney Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra), fed up with the crime and corruption in the city, takes to the streets battling against the criminal element in his newly created persona “Vigilante”.

Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

DOLPH LUNDGREN “ROCKY” GUEST STARS – When the bodies of two criminals are dropped at SCPD, Oliver (Stephen Amell) realizes there is a new Vigilante in Star City. The team is split about whether they should stop someone who is helping keep the city safe. Diggle (David Ramsey) is frustrated with his new situation and Thea (Willa Holland) fights for Lance (Paul Blackthorne) who confesses a shocking secret. Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, Oliver finally sits down with Konstantin Kovar (guest star Dolph Lundgren).

‘Arrow’ Season 5 Could Be Final Season

The superhero crime drama Arrow got off to a rocky start in its first season as the show struggled to find it’s legs until it’s fourteenth episode titled “The Odyssey” when (spoilers) Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) was finally brought into the fold after Oliver sought her help at Queen Consolidated after he was shot by his own Mother.

Felicity Smoak was only supposed to appear in one or two episodes originally, but the quirky tech genius struck a chord with the producers and fans alike. Considering the next few episodes were written, it wouldn’t be until the back half of the season when she would become part of what is now Team Arrow.

Originally Oliver embarked on his crusade against the criminal underworld of Star City on his own but quickly realized he wasn’t capable of cleansing the crime-ridden city on his own. After saving the life of his ex-military limo driver, John Diggle (David Ramsey), who was shot with a poison-laced bullet, Oliver had no choice but to reveal himself as the Star City vigilante. Together with Felicity and Diggle, Arrow found its core and elevated itself past what the producers had initially envisioned.

arrow-cave-felicity-diggle-oliver

Another major component of the show are the mysterious flashbacks chronicling a shipwrecked Oliver as he was marooned off the coast of China on the island of Lian Yu for five years prior to hitting the streets of Star(ling) City has a crime fighting hero. During his first year on Lian Yu, Oliver discovered an ARGUS backed military operation to shoot down a commercial airliner with the intention of assassinating a member of the Chinese Triad. Together with his new friend Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), a former member of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service who was betrayed by his partner Billy Wintergreen after joining ARGUS, the two managed to foil ARGUS’ plot and forged a friendship.

Arrow hit its peak in the second season when the newly formed Team Arrow had to take on a vengeful Slade Wilson in the present day as we saw the friendship between Oliver and Slade fall apart in the past after Oliver betrayed Slade to save the life of his friend Sara Lance, opting to sacrifice the life of Slade’s unrequited love Shado (Celina Jade). Since the end of the second season storyline, the show has struggled to launch a plot as compelling as that mostly due to the focus of the show shifting to serve as a breeding ground for other superhero shows such as The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.

ar223b_0125b

In an attempt to keep up with the superpowered heroics of the other shows, Arrow dove head first into mysticism in the fourth season and essentially abandoned the dark and mysterious criminal element from the show that made it good in the first place. Fans lashed back hard against what was easily the worst season yet. So far, the fifth season has attempted to get back to its roots, but once again struggles to find it’s footing with a mostly new cast along with the underwhelming big bad Prometheus, who’s identity we still aren’t sure of, preventing us from being able to invest in the storyline.

While promoting the upcoming 4-night mega-crossover event between ArrowThe FlashSupergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, Stephen Amell spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the future or possible conclusion of the series based on the turnout of the fifth season:

I do really believe that this season is sort of a throw-down-the-gauntlet year for us, where we’re either going to do what we do and do it well or it’s the last year. If we find that magic formula — which is not magic, it’s just hard work and playing to your strengths — then the show could go on for a really long time.

While I respect the hard work that producing a television series demands, it, unfortunately, doesn’t matter if the final product is as horrible as the last two seasons. The show’s ratings are too high to warrant cancellation, so if it does happen it will be the writers choice to wrap up the series rather continue down what has been an atrocious path. I yearn for the days of the heavily stylized early seasons featuring the badass Arrow as he traversed rooftops and ran down the sides of buildings searching for his former friend turned foe Slade Wilson.

So far I don’t have much hope for the series left after what has so far been a rollercoaster of a season turning in both good and bad episodes one week after the other.The show is still far from being back on track but the end wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of Green Arrow, though, as Arrow has spawned plenty of spin-offs for him to appear on.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

arrow-season-5-poster-1

‘Arrow’: “So it Begins” Clip; Producers Preview

Tonight on Arrow, Prometheus finally becomes a part of the main plot as he goes on a killing spree to send Team Arrow a message. So far the characters inclusion has been underwhelming as it seems the producers are expecting us to be interested for the sheer fact that he exists. The ‘Who is Prometheus?’ mystery isn’t very compelling either so hopefully the answer will be revealed sooner rather than later.

Tonight on Arrow, Prometheus finally becomes a part of the main plot as he goes on a killing spree to send Team Arrow a message. So far the characters inclusion has been underwhelming as it seems the producers are expecting us to be interested for the sheer fact that he exists. The ‘Who is Prometheus?’ mystery isn’t very compelling either so hopefully the answer will be revealed sooner rather than later but going off The CW’s obvious formula, I don’t expect the reveal to come until very late in the season like how Zoom’s identity was  revealed in The Flash.

Executive producer Wendy Mericle teases Prometheus as a villain unlike any we have seen before in that he comes at Oliver in a very psychological and personal way. To me it sounds exactly like Slade Wilson A.K.A. Deathstroke in season two. Check out the preview below and judge it for yourself.

Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

SINS OF THE FATHER — When Prometheus ups his killing spree, Oliver (Stephen Amell) searches for connections between the victims. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) discover the victims have a mysterious link to Oliver’s past and this new secret could upend his new team. Meanwhile, Thea (Willa Holland) has a heart-to-heart with Lance (Paul Blackthorne), and Felicity considers telling Malone (guest star Tyler Ritter) the truth about her work.

arrow-season-5-poster

‘Arrow’: Producer’s Preview; “Human Target” Clip

Arrow is set to introduce Christopher Chance A.K.A. Human Target this week played by Wil Traval (Jessica Jones). In the comics, Human Target was a bodyguard and a master of disguise who assumed the identity of his clients so that he could handle the danger which threatened their life.

Arrow is set to introduce Christopher Chance A.K.A. Human Target this week played by Wil Traval (Jessica Jones). In the comics, Human Target was a bodyguard and a master of disguise who assumed the identity of his clients so that he could handle the danger which threatened their life.

The episode will also see the return of this season’s big bad Prometheus. So far I am completely underwhelmed by the character of Prometheus as the writers have not yet given us a reason to care about his involvement in the series.

In a producer’s preview released ahead of tonight’s episode, executive producer Wendy Mericle teases the arrival of a mysterious new villain hired by Tobias Church to take out Star City’s Mayor, Oliver Queen. Tonight will also be the first time Diggle is introduced to Team Arrow 2.0 and he most likely won’t be too happy about the members Oliver has chosen.

Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

‘Arrow’: “Penance” Clip

Evelyn Sharp is officially Artemis. Referred to as her code name by the Green Arrow in a clip released by The CW ahead of tonight’s episode titled “Penance” which will see the newly formed Team Arrow 2.0 come together to break John Diggle out of prison.

Evelyn Sharp is officially Artemis. Referred to as her code name by the Green Arrow in a clip released by The CW ahead of tonight’s episode titled “Penance” which will see the newly formed Team Arrow 2.0 come together to break John Diggle out of prison.

Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

‘Arrow’: “A Matter of Trust” Spoiler Review

A matter of trust is a return to form for the series. After last week I was starting to lose faith again but this episode is a step back in the right direction.

A matter of trust is a return to form for the series. After last week I was starting to lose faith again but this episode is a step back in the right direction. Things get started with the Green Arrow back on the rooftops of Star City hunting down a drug dealer who sells “Stardust”— the latest designer drug in circulation on the streets which makes Vertigo look like child’s play. It was a good action scene that got the episode started in the right way to get us interested. I really appreciate when the score kicks in ramping up to the main title card.

The recruits are still in training and continue to prove they still have a long way to go. It’s good to see them getting some experience, even if they are making some pretty bad mistakes. Wild Dog is reckless and shortsighted but after his screw up when he killed (or so he thought he killed) the Stardust supplier, Derek Sampson (Cody Rhodes) — who the District Attorney was working on flipping — he was able to see the error in his ways and was better for it.

arrowwilddog.jpg
Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog in Arrow. (The CW)

Echo Kellum was hilarious this episode as Curtis Holt/Mr. Fantastic. We even got the backstory for the inspiration behind his super persona. Echo has really started to come into his own on the show. As far as I’m concerned he needs to put Felicity in the backseat and take over for the comic relief full time. He needs to toughen up quickly though otherwise, he’s going to get himself killed.

Ragman was a big surprise for me this week. I absolutely hated him in the previous episode. I think his costume looks like something he pulled out of the trash and I can’t understand a word he says with his mask on, but as Rory Regan, he was actually pretty good. Definitely one of the most reasonable personalities bouncing around the training facility. Felicity coming clean about her decision to redirect one of the missiles on Genesis day to Havenrock — sacrificing thousands in order to save millions — was a good surprise. It’s not often I find myself happy with Felicity these days but telling Rory the truth showed growth and maturity on her part. Let’s just hope she doesn’t scold Oliver in front of his subordinates again (so inappropriate).

It’s not all positive for the recruits, though. Evelyn Sharp wasn’t bad but she has a long, long way to go. While she had an awesome moment jumping off the wall onto the stairs and taking down a goon, most of her action was pretty sloppy. I just don’t buy her as a crime fighter yet. Her young age doesn’t help very much either.

Continuing with the negative, the flashbacks are still pretty half-baked. If the last we saw from them wasn’t what seemed to be the final test in Oliver’s initiation into the Bratva, they would have been totally worthless in this episode. But I guess anything is better than chopping up a scene and doling beat after beat in flashback after flashback throughout the episode like the past two seasons.

arrow-episode-3-8-204957.jpg
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow. (The CW)

Diggles’s storyline was a major improvement from last week. He’s now in jail and working through his demons. Literally. When it was revealed his cellmate Deadshot was a figment of his own imagination I was shocked. I was really excited thinking Floyd Lawton was back after the big wigs at D.C. wrongly forced the producers to exit the character from the show because of the Suicide Squad film. Will Smith was an alright Deadshot but he wasn’t able to bring the depth to the character that makes you care about him while still being a really bad guy like Michael Rowe is able to.

Now for Stardust. Everybody give Cody Rhodes a round of applause. The former WWE superstar obviously cut his acting teeth in the ring over the last ten years but never has he been involved in a Hollywood production. I thought his performance in this episode bested Chadwick Boseman’s performance as Tobias Church in this season so far. The action was great and exceeded my expectations for the rematch I had hoped to see between Amell and Rhodes in the ring. It’s a shame the producers didn’t cast him as something more than a throwaway villain. But death isn’t enough to stop some people in the Arrowverse from returning so I have hope a couple of sliced tendons won’t be enough to keep Derek Sampson down.

codyrhodearrow.jpg
Cody Rhodes as Derek Sampson in Arrow. (The CW)

Overall, I think Gregory Smith did a fantastic job directing this episode. Smith directed season three’s episode titled “Nanda Parbat”, one of my favorite episodes in the series to date (just before things went completely off the rails). Smith fell in love with the show in it’s early days and was definitely the right guy to help steer it back to how great the show used to be. Arrow still has a long way to go but this episode had the style and tone that made the show great but also felt fresh as it balanced Oliver as the Mayor while he also continued to train the new recruits.

Quick Thoughts:

-The new D.A. is totally sketchy and I don’t trust him, however. I do appreciate his sense of urgency.

-Quentin is definitely still drinking.

-Shut up Felicity. Just shut up.

-Hey, wait. We didn’t actually see anyone under the effects of Stardust…

8.0 – GOOD

arrow-season-5-poster