Normally, the formulaic CW series Arrow withholds the season’s big bad of the year until the ninth episode but in an attempt to shake things up, season five of Arrow introduced this year’s big bad, Prometheus, in the closing of the premiere, however. The writers chose to sideline his character, using Tobias Church to stall things for a few episodes before the main arc began. “So it Begins” serves to begin that arc but ultimately fails to introduce a narrative that compels interest. It’s as if the writers expect the audience to care without actually giving a reason to do so.
The episode opens with Green Arrow and Diggle investigating a location recycled from a previous season. Remember the episode last year that began with Team Arrow beating down some of Damien Darhk’s goons? You know, when Green Arrow fired the cable Arrow and Black Canary used her Nightstick to zip line down to the ground? Yeah, same place. Anyways Green Arrow and Diggle find a ringing phone inside the building and triggering an explosion which ignites the words “So it Begins” on the ground.
Prometheus proceeds to commit a series of murders in Star City. We only get to see one of them and I’m glad because the murder itself felt as if it was ripped straight out of an episode of Supernatural and placed into Arrow. It was dull and generic, but ultimately lead to one of this episodes only good moments when Felicity and Curtis used a “victimology algorithm” to discover the message buried in the names of the Prometheus’ recent victims. The names manage to spell out the names of victims from the list Oliver used in season one as he began his crusade against the criminal element in Star(ling) City. Rory has a great moment when he points out the true serial killer is actually Oliver himself.
Oliver abandoned the list long ago after he put his murderous ways behind him in an attempt to be something better at the beginning of season two. Oliver and Diggle have a great heart to heart that captures the brotherhood that made the show so excellent, to begin with. Diggle points out to Oliver just how far he’s come since he used the list but it seems Oliver is going to have to face the consequences of his actions before he can move forward.
While Olicity is over, it seems to be resurrecting itself in the form of Oliver and Felicity going back and forth at each other over each of their new romantic interests. Clearly, the two aren’t done with each other and it is likely a matter of time before they end up back together. But whether they do or not, it’s obvious they both still have feelings for each other. While Oliver is using Susan Williams as a tool to move forward, Billy is just a distraction for Felicity, keeping her from facing the truth.
The flashbacks were better this episode and finally amounted to something as we were introduced to Dolph Lundgren as Konstantin Kovar, the big bad of this year’s flashback storyline. The show has lacked with its villains in both past and present-day storylines for the last two years so it’s great to see such a big actor in the mix. Stephen Amell has proven he can deliver an exceptional performance but only when an equally as talented actor is there to play opposite him so hopefully Lundgren, together with the element will help to elevate the flashback storyline to something worthwhile.
Last week we got to see some fantastic scenes between Diggle and Wild Dog. It seemed as if Diggle finally got through to Wild Dog but it doesn’t seem to have stuck. Wild Dog was just as immature and whiny as the rest of the new recruits this week. It’s tough to buy the group as formidable superheroes when they act like bratty children. Sure, it sucks to not be clued in on everything going on. But they need to know their role and understand they aren’t ready for everything Star City is going to throw at them.
The end of the episode seemed to give us a big reveal after Felicity managed to trace the allow in one of Prometheus’ ninja stars back to the used arrows Oliver has left at crime scenes for the past four years. The town drunk, Quentin Lance wakes up from his wasted slumber to discover a cut in his arm in the shape of Prometheus’ ninja stars, yet the star doesn’t have a single drop of blood on it. Are we supposed to now think Quentin is Prometheus? If so, just what exactly is in that whiskey? It just doesn’t seem plausible and feels like a major misdirect to me but let’s run through the list of possible evidence. Considering the ninja stars are made from Oliver’s arrows left at crime scenes, the killer would need access to the evidence lockup at SCPD, check. Does Quentin have the proper motivation to want Oliver dead? Absolutely. Along with the plenty of hints dropped in this episode pointing to Quentin’s absence from work that sync up with Prometheus’ crimes, plus showing up to work late after looking like he had a long night – after the same night we know Prometheus was on the streets it would suggest that he is indeed Prometheus. But it all seems too obvious which has me thinking this is one giant red herring. Also, for Quentin to be Prometheus, he would have had to underwent some serious training with the League of Assassins. Even with Laurels two years she spent training and fighting crime, she was never as skilled as Prometheus. Green Arrow also shot Prometheus in the back on the train and Quentin seemed to be fine after he woke up from laying on his back.
Overall, I thought this was a horrible episode that failed to spark interest while trying to set up the main arc of the season. Finally, Prometheus, as well as Konstantin Kovar have come into the picture but it all feels half-baked in order to keep dragging things out until we get to episode nine when the series is comfortable delving full into the main arc. This episode also featured an action scene that was total nonsense when panic erupted at a market in Star City. If I wasn’t committed to writing reviews for this season I would probably be done with the show at this point.
5.0 – FAIL