‘Arrow’ Review: ‘So It Begins,’ That Dolph Lundgren Must Break Us
Warning – FULL SPOILERS for Tonight’s “So It Begins”:
As a brief preamble, I understand if few people are in the mood to necessarily discuss Arrow tonight, though it’s worth occasionally having something occupy your mind from current events. And while I’m not about to turn this particular piece into political space, I may keep tonight’s “So It Begins” review limited.
Oh, and as a second interjection, I don’t buy for a second that Quentin could really be Prometheus. As I’ve stated time and time again, I’m not crazy about Arrow or Flash feeling every villain needs to have a secret identity teased throughout the year, and even as I started to wonder tonight if Quentin’s absences weren’t what they seemed, we’re still clearly in the red herring phase. We’ll talk on all things Prometheus, but it’s definitely not Quentin, intriguing though the possibility seems.
Now that Season 5 has shuffled Tobias Church loose the mortal coil, “So It Begins” actually proved pretty effective at drawing everyone in on the main threat, while still spinning other plates like Oliver’s mayoral attempts to save Star City, or even the flashbacks. I’m less enamored of the idea that Oliver, Dig and Felicity keeping Prometheus from the “B-Team” would serve as yet another matter of trust to surmount, but it at least led to some much richer discussion of Oliver’s serial-killing past.
And that’s a question long-worth asking; if even those that know Oliver’s identity as the Green Arrow necessarily saw through that awful ruse of Roy Harper taking the fall for “The Arrow,” or “The Hood”s murderous activities before that. Arrow isn’t quite asking Oliver to answer for those kills just yet (nor may it ever, Prometheus notwithstanding), but the idea at least brings out thoughtful contrasts like Evelyn, whose own Season 4 backstory of declining to seek vengeance hadn’t gotten much refresher this year. It also offered some great scenes between Oliver and Diggle, or even Felicity, as we get to see in practice the change from Oliver: Year 1 to Oliver: Year 5, as opposed to Seasons 3 and 4 simply telling us he was a changed man. I don’t necessarily know if Diggle’s assertion that “Hood” Oliver’s use of killing as a first resort over Green Arrow using it as a last one completely covers the spread, but it’s at least a more focused way to look at some of Season 5’s wonky ethics.
As for Prometheus himself, we can all appreciate that the character isn’t so much someone looking to blow up Star City as he (or she?) is obsessed with Oliver, almost attempting to impress him with the theatrics of the title “So It Begins” message. He’s clearly goading Oliver into discovering pieces of his identity, and while the audience itself didn’t get many new answers tonight, it’s at least worth exploring avenues we haven’t thought about. Is there more to Prometheus’ nigh-supernatural ability to pop out from nowhere, or why arrows bounce off his torso? Could what seems to be an attempt to frame Quentin prove slightly more complex than it looks?
There’s every possibility of a major character from Season 1 filling the role (at least three could be equally surprising, and relevant), but for the moment, our only real suspect seems to be the new man right under Felicity’s nose, who’s both interested in Oliver and has access to SCPD lockup (and doesn’t already have a DC alter-ego). If Arrow does insist on playing this game in Season 5, I hope the answer is as interesting as the chase.
AND ANOTHER THING …
- Nothing particularly relevant about the flashbacks tonight, though the return of douchey Oliver is always entertaining, and Dolph Lundgren’s Kovar is appropriately menacing, for what little we know about him.
- Anyone else totally distracted by Stephen Amell’s haircut this week?
- Sure, a Star City event got shot up tonight, but at least it wasn’t the one Oliver and Thea planned!
- Seriously, I can understand the public panicking over what could be the “Throwing Star Killer” in a public space, but how does anyone else know what he looks like?
- Unfortunate juxtaposition, that a scene of Thea encouraging Quentin to attend AA immediately precedes four young people bonding over underage schnapps.
- Okay, is it just me, or was 17-year old Evelyn making eyes at Oliver in the bunker? Her throwaway question about dating team members a few episodes back hasn’t been answered yet.
- I’ll presume the parachute escape from the train as a direct Batman Begins homage?
- I did not keep this short. Yay?
Arrow Season 5 will return November 16 with “Vigilante,” airing at 8:00 P.M. on The CW.
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