Arrow- Season V- Ep. 14 “The Sin Eater”: A Review

Posted: 02/26/2017 in Uncategorized

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I will desist in bitching about ratings as this show too is in the tank per such metrics. Nonetheless, Season V is easily as good a season as I & II. Thus far there are no missteps. The characters are well written with new team additions gaining value and fan support with extreme ease. Juliana Harkavy’s Dinah Drake/New Canary is superb. The team dynamic is solid and the villain in the shadows moves only his plans into the light. “Sin Eater” was another superior run. Now, on to my review.

If one lesson is to be learned with this run, it is “do not mess with Thea Queen”. Her actions in this ep are deemed contemptible by Oliver (Stephen Amell). Her protectiveness of him is taken to a new level as she takes personal action against a threat against him without his knowledge. Willa Holland’s Thea has certainly grown as a character. The question asked in this run is what or who has she grown into? Oliver’s comparing Thea to their mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) was apt.

The main arc of the trio of Green Arrow villains escaping  allowed for some pretty stellar fight scenes but seemed more of a sub arc when the notion of GA’s part in Billy Malone’s (Jason Ritter) death makes its way to the the hands of the authorities via a message sent to Captain Pike (Adrian Holmes). The episode could very much have been re-titled damage control as quite a bit of this goes on. Oliver pushes to learn Prometheus’ identity by locating his father’s mistress. His tact of approaching her as mayor was doomed to fail as easily as approaching her as Green Arrow would have as she perceives her son as hunted, persecuted and above all no worse that than the vigilante who killed her lover. Actions are often reciprocal on this show-  as upon pushing the villain’s mother, the above mentioned message finds its way to Pike; it’s source unquestionable.

What has been enjoyable about this season is the manner in which implosions are prevented with strategy. At one point we think there will be a revisiting of Arrow – Public Enemy#1 an arc a bit overused in the past. This is no lesser season though so again through his machinations as Mayor, Oliver Queen manages to adeptly prevent such an occurrence pleading reason and GA’s history of helping the city.

The notion of “sin eating” is illustrated par excellence through the flashback arc featuring Oliver and Anatoly (David Nykl) in which the older Bratva captain tells Oliver to choose his own path and not assume the burden or sin of others. Thea’s sinful act resolves(?) the Susan Williams (Carly Pope) potential threat both brilliantly and viciously. Oliver’s telling Thea “you blew up her life” is however a fair assessment. The question of what would Williams have done with the information she had collected which indicted Oliver both potentially as “the Arrow”, and a Bratva captain, remains dangling. Her meeting with him after ward, which blindsides him, seemed filled with genuine hurt but as this character has  penchant for manipulation, it is difficult to say for certain.

Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) equally becomes a sin eater, blaming himself for the recidivism of Liza Warner (Rutina Wesley). Thea’s counsel as his friend and ally pushes him to learning her real motivations and concentrating on seeking justice over self blame. It is arguable that Thea’s growth as a character suffered a step back in her effort to protect Oliver as until this point, she has become the voice of reason and wisdom for both her team and the deputy mayor. In any case, any hypocrisy aside, the show runners have allowed for powerful drama mingled with resonant performances.

The denouement in which the team comes together to engage the trio of Carrie Cutter (Amy Gumenick), China White (Kelly Hu) and Liza Warner recalled the earlier panoramic battle sequences in which multiple fight sequences in tandem are presented to choreographic perfection. Easily the best sequence takes place between the new Canary/Dinah Drake  and China White, including the use of the ‘canary cry’. Quentin’s later moment endorsing Dinah as the new Canary signed off events perfectly. What elevated this episode above other runs however is the notion that Oliver Queen is not safe in either of his personas. His approaching Captain Pike, and circumventing GA’s being hunted,  is readily undone with a brilliant end sequence setting the stage for some high tension next week. That the mayoral aspect of Oliver Queen is given nearly equal dramatic breadth and scope as his superhero persona helps the show become something else, something better. Arrow Season V continues its legacy as simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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