Arrow Season V – Ep. 15 “Fighting Fire With Fire”: A Review

Posted: 03/06/2017 in Uncategorized

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A better title would be “What The Hell”?  I have found this season thus far to be superior, damn near ascending the levels of season 1 and 2 which redefined the superhero television series genre. With this episode, we learned the identity of this season’s nemesis and it was…baffling. I have my own theories on the subject, and as such I will press on with my review.

Prometheus is big bad. Always one step ahead of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), the villain proved no less adept at keeping the mayor off balance with this run. This episode, like the recent segments gave equal attention to Oliver as both mayor and Green Arrow. By my reckoning the only misstep thus far has been the Dark Felicity (Emily Bett-Rickards) turn as she is seduced by Helix and their alluring “Hacktivism”. This arc is a bit puerile as it only leads in one direction, namely the one taken by her father, Noah Cutler/The Calculator (Tom Amandes). It is more of a distraction than a proper arc as with all the characters in play, the show runners seem to want to give her something to do,  citing the loss of her boyfriend Billy (Jason Ritter) as a catalyst to her dark path, rather than allow her to continue her invaluable tech savvy supportive role. She knows better. Both show runners and fans alike know better. This arc needs culling and quickly.

Now, I said the only misstep thus far was this arc. The holy eff Prometheus reveal however could go either way. Adrian Chase (Josh Seguerra) is the Vigilante. This has been so in DC lore for decades. I have no issue with the announcement by Greg Berlanti and crew that Vig’s identity might remain hidden for the remainder of this season. I am feeling a feint or plain red herring, regarding the reveal of Prometheus’ identity, however. I am not going to spoil it even though by now anybody who watches the show has seen it.

The change in behavior for Adrian Chase in this run was quite odd. He has always been intense but moral. In this run, he is well…creepy. The presentation of Chase and Vig appearing at the same time presents a quandary but not an irresolvable one. There are just so many variables guiding us to one conclusion regarding Prometheus’ identity. The involvement of Talia (Lexa Doig) in the flashback arc, which history has shown us inevitably ties in with the present. The mentions of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) in several instances throughout this latest series along with the personal nature of Prometheus’ attacks I don’t believe to be a McGuffin. Prometheus’ knowledge of Oliver’s personal history, his earlier attack on Quentin (Paul Blackthorne), and other actions, leads us to one conclusion which is why the reveal in this episode is so puzzling. I believe this is a con, and a very good one. As the show runners have indicated repeatedly, nothing is irrelevant with this show. If there is a dangling plot line, it is picked up at some point. If effort is spent on a character, there is usually due development and payoff. The entire season is built on the premise of the past informing the present. This doesn’t mean my theory is accurate, but the behavioral changes in District Attorney Chase are too obvious to be disregarded.

The effort the man took to save John Diggle (David Ramsay) and aid Oliver repeatedly has resonance. A moment in which he calls Oliver more than his boss, naming him as his friend had due chill factor. One just doesn’t know and with a show that involves a guy fighting crime with a bow and arrow, this is intensely refreshing. Like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this show is both underappreciated and terrifically stellar with its reinvention and delivery. Chase’s moments with Dinah/Canary (Juliana Harkavy) were odd. His later sequence with Susan Williams (Carly Pope) leans toward sinister. Again, one just doesn’t know.

Oliver’s pushing Thea (Willa Holland) to “fix” the damage she did to Susan is successful but costs him his sister’s support and presence. The question of is Susan worth it…or how much is she worth to him might very well be answered imminently. Much got done and much was good including imminent danger via an assassination attempt, a team engagement against Vig- showing exactly how good he really is- and a presentation of how important the Mayoral position is to Oliver.

The ep played like an urgent chess game with the terms of the game changing succinctly. The Bratva arc continued to play well as Oliver and Anatoli (David Nikl) work to defeat Gregor (David Meunier). The team aspect of GA’s group got proper representation including another superb exhibition of Canary in battle as she unleashed on Vigilante. The Curtis (Echo Kellum) arc with Paul (Chenier Hundal) was brutal, powerfully demonstrating the cost of maintaining a heroic lifestyle. Once again, Arrow Season V delivers as it pushes forward to the inevitable showdown between Green Arrow and Prometheus. Arrow remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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