TV Review: Arrow - Season 5 Episode 6 "So It Begins"
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 6: "So It Begins"
Synopsis: When Prometheus ups his killing spree, Oliver searches for connections between the victims. Felicity and Curtis discover the victims have a mysterious link to Oliver's past and this new secret could upend his new team. Meanwhile, Thea has a heart-to-heart with Lance, and Felicity considers telling Malone the truth about her work.
Review: Well, after a couple of weeks that include the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series and Donald Trump being elected President, why would it be surprising that Arrow would deliver a damn good episode and one of the best it has had since it's first season? Yeah, it was that good. Scaling back the multiple subplots and focusing on a story with an actually compelling villain, "So It Begins" grabbed a hold of the elements that made Arrow so good and have been absent for a couple of years now. With Church out of the mix as antagonist, the latest archer Prometheus has taken the forefront again and we now have a hint as to what his end game will be and why he is targeting Oliver Queen. I began to have my suspicions about who may be under the mask but I was still pleasantly surprised to see the writers actually go for it and make one of our favorite characters into a potential bad guy.
With Church dead, Oliver and Diggle begin the episode tracking down Prometheus who leads them to an abandoned warehouse where he scrawls the message "So It Begins', prompting the original Team Arrow to address a growing number of murders in Star City. All of the deaths were at Prometheus' hand and committed using unique throwing stars. Calling in the recruits to help, Curtis and Felicity begin searching for a correlations between Church, a murdered SCPD officer, and two civilians. As it turns out, all of the victims have names that serve as anagrams for other names which happen to fall in the infamous List that Oliver Queen used to avenge his father in the first season of the show. This is a very nice call back to the early days of The Hood when Oliver killed without question and acted much like a serial killer. The recruits are shaken to learn about Oliver's murderous days with Evelyn especially shaken to hear her mentor was who he used to be.
While the team question Oliver's motives, Oliver and Diggle have a heart to heart about how far he has come since his early days as a vigilante. Oliver vows transparency with the team. At the same time, Thea is dealing with a seemingly relapsed Quentin Lance who is late for work and seems to be drinking again. Thea also tries to organize a massive concert to raise revenue in Star City and raise the city's flailing public image. Thea is determined to help Quentin back on the wagon but the man doesn't truly want to be helped. I began to have my suspicions about Lance's relapse in conjunction with the overall arc this season several episodes ago but pushed those theories down. It was too bold a move for the show to make so boy was I pleasantly surprised to learn they took the big leap here.
As the various Team Arrow members track down potential Prometheus victims, Evelyn is confronted by Prometheus on a subway train. They fight and Evelyn manages to cut the forearm of the dark archer before he plants a bomb and escapes. Oliver rescues Evelyn and the train conductor in enough time before the train explodes. Oliver, as Mayor, manages to get the victims into witness protection and reconciles with Evelyn. All seems to be back to normal. Hell, even Felicity reveals to her boyfriend that she works for the Green Arrow and he was accepting of the news. Felicity then drops the bombshell on Oliver that the custom throwing stars appear to be made from the arrowheads Oliver Queen has been using for the last four years, which means Prometheus is a member of the SCPD or has an inside connection to the police department. We then see Quentin Lance awaken in his apartment with a star and a cut on his forearm exactly where Evelyn hurt Prometheus.
The flashbacks this week were sparse and primarily served as a way for The Bratva to come into contact with Konstantin Kovar, Oliver's target of revenge. Posing as himself, Oliver pretends to purchase a nightclub before he is taken by Kovar. Played by the great Dolph Lundgren, Kovar is a charistmatic gangster who kills with abandon and has the worst Russian accent since Lundgren starred in ROCKY IV. There really isn't much to this flashback aside from bringing Kovar and Oliver into the same room, but clearly there will be some sort of connection to the contemporary storyline. I just like the idea of Dolph Lundgren on this show and I hope he continues to get to chew scenery for many more episodes this year.
Overall, this was a dark episode with a great Babylon 5 joke and some other good one-liners. Overall, this was a dark hour and very character driven and gave us the most compelling Oliver Queen storyline since season one. The decision to kill or not to kill has been integral to this series since the pilot and bringing the focus back to that is a great choice. Whether or not Quentin Lance truly is Prometheus remains to be seen. As a misdirect, it is a great and dramatic choice, but if it turns out to be legitimate, turning a beloved supporting character into villain is something no superhero show on network television has tried yet. Could this finally be Arrow's chance to turn things around? I hope this is the first in a chain reaction of great episodes to come. Arrow may have finally broken out of it's slump!
Next on ARROW: "Vigilante" airs November 16th - When the bodies of two criminals are dropped at SCPD, Oliver 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 is frustrated with his new situation and Thea fights for Lance who confesses a shocking secret. Meanwhile, in the flashbacks, Oliver finally sits down with Konstantin Kovar.