Arrow Season V – Ep. 7 “Vigilante”: A Review

Posted: 11/22/2016 in Uncategorized


The 80s have been very good to Arrow. This week’s run is no exception. “Vigilante” brought forth a long time DC character, along with the assurance that he would not be a “one off”.  Yet again, Arrow swings for the fences and reaches beyond.  So very much good was presented with this episode as Season V is on a superior course they have thus far been able to maintain. Here’s hoping the upcoming “Invasion” arc doesn’t provide too much of a disruption in what is otherwise a fantastically grounded season.

We open with an off the pages depiction of the Vigilante. Equal parts Rorschach and Frank Castle, the newest antihero in town makes himself heard and seen perfectly. The dangling “V” sequence was fantastic. The determination that this new presence is not in fact this season’s big bad, Prometheus, leads to a bit of division in the ranks as the group lauds the new guy’s efforts as he is strictly eliminating “bad guys”. Oliver (Stephen Amell) justly calls out his team for criticizing him for his previous work as the Hood while praising this new entity. Oliver justly deduces that the new guy ultimately will prove problematic if left unchecked. Evelyn/Artemis (Madison McLaughlin) rankles, questioning GA’s right to determine who is a good vigilante and who needs stopping.

The group dynamic continues to work seamlessly aided by the incorporation of Diggs/Spartan (David Ramsey) as part of the team. His own frustrations at being a fugitive and being unable to spend time with his family, particularly his now two year old son come to a head. The interactions between him and Wild Dog/Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez) continue to work, creating a mentor, student dynamic. In this case, the student helps out the teacher in a fairly earnest sequence. Rene is slowly ascending as the show’s next gen Oliver. This occurs organically and as such presents proper evolution of character.

The group sparring illustrates how far they have come and in Curtis Holt’s (Echo Kellum) case, how far they have to go. While Curtis’ role has become more physical, he is still a fine balance of comedic relief and conscientious reason. Rory Ragan/Ragman (Joe Dinicol) stands apart from the others while training, aptly demonstrating his essential difference from the team as his abilities provide him with a massive edge. The presentation of his uniform stopping bullets and protecting the group has yet to become tiresome.

The throwing star killer’s identity arc being pushed toward Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) is quickly eliminated, though it does push another clue or possibility of the new villain’s identity as he “messes” with the former detective directly, perhaps punishing him for his descent into alcoholism due to his daughter’s death. Thea’s (Willa Holland) return as Speedy is all but assured as the Quentin arc is temporarily pushed back as he deals with his addiction. I mildly complain about this as besides Blackthorne’s being one of the best actors on the show, Lance’s ability to push past his grief to do what is necessary is his defining trait.

The Vigilante’s attempt to get his target at all costs proves Oliver right, as usual, via collateral damage being incurred. GA’s master plan of creating a mock heist to draw “Vig” out leads to some top tier battle sequences along with the admission that he is “only doing this because Green Arrow isn’t getting the job done and not going far enough”. When Oliver responds by noting the casualties, Vig simply tells him ‘this is war…” The two men speak of having lost people with Vig closing by saying “you haven’t lost enough…” implying his personal loss is insurmountable. Thankfully, this arc sees no resolution or early reveal. Vigilante is a long time established character in DC lore and this show seems poised to give him due traction and respect.

The Susan Williams’ (Carly Pope) angle could go either way as after all she is a ruthless reporter who presently has evidence that Star City’s Mayor was with Russian crime lords when he was supposed to be marooned on Lian Yu. She plays devil’s advocate well, even providing Oliver with good counsel as to how to move forward with his “job”.  This one is hard to call as she is holding a pretty powerful hand against GA. Their interactions thus far however are engaging enough to pursue.

The Kovar/Bratva arc again delivers as the crime lord (Dolph Lundgren) explains to Oliver, presently being tortured (again) that all is not as it seems. Kovar references “perspective” as regards good and evil. He demonstrates a twisted sort of kindness to the late Taiana’s (Elish Rotayaru) family while debating the Bratva’s true purpose “aiding” a “billionaire playboy”. The end sequence of this arc reveals Kovar might not be the worst element in Oliver’s time in Russia.

Speaking of reveals, the episode’s ultimate end sequence could either be a brilliant back door plan by Green Arrow or priming to present this show’s version of the long established “Judas Contract” betrayal arc that still resonates to this day. Arrow Season 5 continues to stratospherically deliver the standard to which we were once accustomed. Arrow remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.


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