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TV Review: Arrow - Season 5 Episode 3 "A Matter of Trust"

10.19.2016

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 3: "A Matter of Trust"

Synopsis: Now that Oliver has his new team, they are ready to hit the streets but Oliver doesn't feel they are ready. Headstrong Wild Dog defies the Green Arrow's orders and sets out on his own after a new drug dealer, Derek Sampson, who is terrorizing Star City. 

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Review: There are three kinds of episodes of Arrow these days: good ones, bad ones, and bad ones that are kind of good. The good episodes are the ones that harken back to the first two seasons of the series where the drama was high and the action intense. The bad episodes are the ones that feel like they were shoved into a bingo machine and spit out based on pieces of previous outings. The third kind, like tonight's standalone hour, offer a fun time of superhero antics but do not do much else to advance the plot. In fact, tonight's episode of Arrow features neither Prometheus or Tobias Church. In the past, that means that the episode will be devoted to giving us a glimpse into the lives of our roster of characters which is exactly what "A Matter of Trust" does, specifically with the focus on Wild Dog and Oliver's relationship.

Stephen Amell is a big fan of professional wrestling and even made some in ring appearances when he was promoting TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS. His feud with former WWE restler Cody Rhodes was the centerpiece and Rhodes appears here as the villain of the week, Derek Sampson. It becomes quickly apparent that Rhodes is in no way the next Dwayne Johnson and, in fact, barely registers as the next Hulk Hogan. He is not a good actor at all and his dialogue is some of the worst this show has ever produced. Still, I guess having your friend be the star of a superhero series can get anyone a guest role, but Sampson serves as a conduit for Oliver and Wild Dog to squabble over what it means to be a team. In the end, of course, they begin to reconcile. As much as I like actor Rick Gonzalez from his days on CW series Reaper, he is by far my least favorite of the new recruits to Team Arrow.

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My favorite is Joe Dinicol as Ragman who made his debut last week and instantly became the most interesting character on the show. Ragman, whose powers came as the result of the nuclear bomb that Felicity diverted to Havenrock, is an underappreciated DC Comics character and already makes a case for getting his own spin-off. While he is a full member of Team Arrow, I would love to see him get a lot more screen time. His powers are more interesting than any of the other new characters and his mere existence provides a dramatic foil for Felicity who has been her chipper self since breaking up with Oliver last season. Now, Felicity has to face the results of her decisions every time she sees Rory Regan and that will make for some intriguing developments as the season progresses. But, as has been the case with Arrow in recent years, the most interesting stories tend to be the secondary ones and I absolutely do not mean the awful flashbacks.

Last week's episode also gave us our first time with John Diggle since he re-enlisted at the end of last season. Finding himself implicated as the patsy for his squad's theft of military weapons and murder of criminals, Diggle is put in the spotlight as the criminal himself which offers actor David Ramsey the chance to stretch himself further in the best dramatic performance this show has had to date. Ramsey has been one of the best aspects of Arrow since it debuted and this episode almost made me wish that the events in Star City had been put on hold for a week and let the entire hour be dedicated to Diggle. Obviously, Diggle's storyline will intersect with what is going on with Team Arrow, but I don't think I am the only one who would love to see him get more screen time on his own. Despite not being driven by events tied to Oliver Queen, Diggle's tale is the highlight of this season already.

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But, ultimately, the focus of this episode still remains on the new Team Arrow. We get a little bit of time with Mayor Queen, but it is fleeting. You will also notice that I refuse to acknowledge the flashback sequences by providing any sort of detail on them. Usually, the events depicted from Oliver's ever expanding missing years are time wasters outside of the last couple of episodes of the season. I fully anticipate that whatever Bratva training Oliver endures will serve as a reflection on his training of a new team and repeat that same message week by week until a bombshell event occurs right along the same time as a big battle in Star City.

While this episode does feature a cameo of Deadshot, the overall hour feels like it exists in a vacuum from the narrative of the season. This early into a season, an episode should feel like it is organically progressing the story rather than taking a break. A lot of network shows have had their filler episodes early which hopefully means they will not have them down the season. I enjoyed this episode a lot because of what it offered us in the form of Ragman, Felicity, and John Diggle which means the less Oliver Queen the better. A show should not work better in the absence of the main character which has seemed to be the problem since the show switched from being Arrow to Team Arrow. Hopefully the days of it being just Oliver will return someday as we already have enough teams on The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Hell, even Supergirl works better with Superman, but they shouldn't even consider adding Krypto to the roster.

Next on ARROW: "Penance" airs October 26th - Oliver and Lyla team up on a secret mission for Diggle. Felicityfinds out and disapproves of the plan and opts to stay behind. When Tobias Church launches a deadly assault against the city, Felicity must decide if she wants to send the recruits out sans the Green Arrow.

Source: JoBlo.com

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