TV Review: Arrow - Season 5 Episode 7 "Vigilante"
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 7: "Vigilante"
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Something that Arrow has done well over the years is introduce lesser known DC Comics characters to the small screen. This season alone, we have seen our first iterations of Wild Dog, Mister Terrific, and Ragman in live action and they have been faithful recreations of their illustrated predecessors. With tonight's episode, you can add Vigilante to that roster as the Adrian Chase alter ego finally makes his costumed debut. For the last several weeks, Chase has been doing business as the newest Star City district attorney with a strong temper and unconventional interrogation methods but until now we have only seen him as the buttoned up lawyer and not the dangerous antihero. Tonight's hour, although a bit uneven, did a nice job of adding another character to the world of Green Arrow without aligning him to either Oliver Queen's squad or the side of villain Prometheus.
In fact, tonight's episode can be divided into a handful of plots, all of which are given equal measure. The primary story involves the team hunting down Vigilante who is killing bank robbers without hesitation. Oliver Queen, who no longer kills, finds that Vigilante is a danger and decides to take him down so they can refocus on stopping Prometheus. This, of course, doesn't go as planned, so the team have to stage their own bank robbery to lure in Vigilante. The masked Chase is prepared for this move and holds Curtis at gunpoint while he chastises Green Arrow for not having what is needed to defend Star City. Oliver gets the upper hand but before he can unmask Chase, he escapes to fight another day. The team finds solace in the fact there is another vigilante on the streets and Oliver vows to stop him. Chase appears in a couple of scenes as he interrogates members of the actual bank robbery gang and his vaguely hidden methods should be raising alarms for his coworkers. Chase brings a Frank Castle/Punisher tone to the series and I like how his character deviates from Oliver Queen.
The next plotline involves Thea and Quentin Lance. Lance has been blacking out and thinks that Prometheus is framing him as the throwing star killer, so he tenders his resignation to Thea as deputy mayor. Thea refuses to accept the resignation and takes Lance to a rehab facility where he can finally get clean and face the deaths of both of his daughters. Lance questions whether or not he is worthy of this help but Thea insists he is like family and that they will do anything to help him. Lance has cleaned up a couple of times over the series only to fall off the wagon again, so we will see how this goes. I was actually hoping he would turn out to be Prometheus as the rivalry between Oliver and a person close to him would make for a compelling story. Now, this is entirely still possible as we have not seen Prometheus and Lance on screen at the same time, so stay tuned for more on that theory.
The third plotline involved Diggle and his protege, Wild Dog. Last week, the pair bonded over their shared history with violence and this week Diggle deals with the frustration at not seeing his child on his birthday. Renee finds a way to bring Lyla and John Jr. to the Arrow Cave so that they can celebrate together, further cementing the two teammates as friends. I hope this pans out to be a more significant relationship than just filler for the season as both Wild Dog and Diggle share a lot in common. We also see some time between Oliver and reporter Susan Williams. After the two began flirting in the last couple of episodes, this week they finally meet for a drink. Oliver and Susan continue to show a good deal of chemistry which culminates in them heading off for a night together. How this will develop, and whether Susan is actually the alter ego of someone more sinister, remain to be seen.
In this week's flashbacks, Oliver continues to meet with Konstantin Kovar. Beaten, Oliver listens as Kovar reveals that he knows about the death of Taiana and her brother on Lian Yu. Oliver is there to kill Kovar, but Kovar questions his allegiance in doing so. Planting doubt about The Bratva's motives, Kovar reveals that he has brokered a deal with Oliver's group which leads Queen to question what the heck he is doing in Russia. That also begs the question as to why the hell we continue to get these useless flashbacks that do nothing but fill ten minutes of time each episode. I truly don't know why the writers bother with these subplots each week when they could better use that time to develop storylines line any of the other arcs this week, all of which were much more intriguing than this Kovar story. Once again Arrow writers, stop with the flashbacks!
Of course the big reveal at the end of this episode was that Evelyn Sharp is working for Prometheus. Saved for the stinger scene, I wonder if Evelyn is playing double agent or if she is truly evil. It seems very coincidental that she would have been working for the villain all along and happened to get recruited to join him. But, if she arrived after joining Team Arrow, wouldn't Prometheus have needed to seriously vet her motivations to see that she was not a double agent. One way or the other, this twist kind of sucks. Maybe it would have been better served to be revealed in a more dramatic fashion rather than a throwaway scene at the end of a mediocre episode. But, stay tuned as the story now has added layers that will make things more interesting over the coming hours.
Next on ARROW: "Invasion!" airs November 23rd - The 100th episode of Arrow brings together all of the heroes of the DC Multiverse, including The Flash, Supergirl, and The Legends of Tomorrow.