Last week on Arrow, we got to see Oliver putting his new team together, although they weren’t proving to be that impressive. Despite Ollie’s best training techniques (such as punching them repeatedly), they ended up going off-script and creating a baddie who felt no pain. Oliver, naturally, had to come in and clean things up. And all while juggling the complications of being the city’s mayor. The final straw – Diggle has been framed and is in a military prison and his wife, Lyla, wants Arrow’s help in breaking him out. This week, ‘Penance’ presents a fun ride with plenty of Arrow action.
First we see the team out and doing their thing. They’re tracking down a thief and showing how bad their skills are in the process. Oliver is once again forced to take the lead and demonstrate how things are properly done. What’s more, Ragman is MIA due to the little talk he had with Felicity last week concerning her part in the nuking of his hometown.
After the initial showdown, it’s a double-pronged assault of “what to do next?” Oliver has to head out and rescue Diggle, but Felicity isn’t onboard with that plan. She even sends out Team Arrow to try and stop him, though they get their asses handed to them in short order. So while Ollie does his mission, everyone else has to deal with a growing Tobias Church problem.
When Lance heads out to take care of some business for Oliver, he finds himself in trouble with Church and his crew. The new gangster in town is looking to steal some weapons and murder some cops and with Oliver far away, Team Arrow has to assemble and take care of business without him.
Lucky for them, Ragman makes an appearance. Though that doesn’t stop things from unfolding in a less-than-perfect way. In the end, the team gets bruised and one of their members finds themselves in a most unpleasant situation. Meanwhile, Oliver’s mission to rescue Diggle goes a bit better and we may see Spartan back on the team pretty soon.
And in the past, Oliver is taking yet another test to prove his loyalty to the Bratva. What starts as a not-so-friendly chat turns into something much worse and Oliver finally shows that he can do what needs to be done, even if it clashes with his general sense of morality.
This week was another great addition to season 5 and an action-packed one to boot. Team Arrow is slowly but surely coming together into a group of at least passable heroes. We still have much to learn about the individual team members, but their chemistry is undeniable. In time, they could prove to be the best Arrow team yet. Okay, so that might be going a bit far… but they might be able to fight without tripping over their own feet eventually.
I like Ragman in particular. The added supernatural element makes the show feel more super-hero-y and lets the FX team play with some things that they might otherwise not get the chance to mess about with. I’m hoping that we’ll eventually get a story about the magic rags and where they came from too. Or perhaps a magic enemy to challenge Rory and force him to develop his control over the rags. Either way, there’s a lot of potential here to expand the story without always concentrating on Oliver.
The season’s look into Oliver’s past is also more interesting than it’s been in a while. We’re getting a chance to see how Ollie became such a hard-ass via the difficult decisions he was forced to make during his time away. Running away from bad guys and saving the innocent weren’t always the order of the day when it came to past Arrow. Turns out he straight up murdered people as well.
All-in-all, the season is still holding strong and has the potential to be much better than the last couple of years. As long as the writers can avoid the mid-season fatigue that killed seasons 3 and 4, it should be a good run.