Arrow – Season V – Ep. 20- “Underneath”: A Review

Posted: 05/06/2017 in Uncategorized

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Arguably one of the best episodes this season, the aptly named “Underneath” was an intensely personal episode that brought a great deal of intensity without a single fight sequence. The episode could just as easily have been called “Healing Rifts” because plenty of that went down with this run. This was a great segment that sets the stage for what will unquestionably be a frantic, hard paced race to the season’s finish line. Now, on to my review.

We pick up where we left off with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett-Rickards) getting blasted to the ground via Adrian Chase/Prometheus’ (Josh Segarra) latest volley. A flash back sequence which was honestly perfect took the duo back eleven months before. At this point, Team Arrow is strictly GA, Felicity/Overwatch and Curtis not yet Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum). Despite GA being fairly busy, he seems happy and the connection between he and Felicity seems undiminished. Curtis does his part to play match maker and the moments which ensue ably illustrate that there is unquestionably still something there relationship-wise. Honestly, if Olly and Felicity had just stayed put and not returned to Star City, they might have had an ever after. Her actions are what led to their return and the chaos afterward. Not to assign blame as both characters have faults, with Ms Smoak bringing her “A” game via her dark turn with Helix while Mr. Queen has a history of crazy decisions and actions. The episode very much became about the two and setting things right …or right-ish.

A flip back to the present reveals that the Arrow HQ was in fact EMP’d which knocked out all electronics. To add to the drama and to remind us that the show runners forget nothing, Felicity is now paralyzed from the waist down as the implant that allows her to walk is electrically run. The duo now essentially buried plot their escape before running out of air .This in and of itself would be an interesting enough story line, but the addition of his over self reliance becomes an extra obstacle for both. He opts to climb up an elevator shaft to see if he can find a path of escape. She advises him that Prometheus most likely has a booby trap for such a plan. He disagrees. She is right. Now badly hurt, she helps stitch him up while forcing the discussion to clear the air between them. The flipping back and forth is effective, reinforcing that neither party is guiltless.

It is amazing to me that so many fans “shipped” the two of them since season one and when they finally got together in the third season, the derisive turn began. Both actors have undeniable chemistry. Both characters will unquestionably be part of one another’s lives for as long as both live. The notion of will they or won’t they becomes moot as she pushes a confession from him as to why he didn’t support her actions with Helix. An excellent plot device was having her efforts at their escape fail as badly as his, though a touching and funny moment delivered for its earnestness. She questions if she ‘got the math right’ regarding calculating trajectory and impact for her strategy. He gamely replies, “Are you Felicity Smoak? Then you got the math right.” That neither party is able to figure their way out of their current circumstance worked and elicited an assist from the cavalry, namely the remainder of his team.

Everything on Arrow ties in. Greg Berlanti has said this from day one and this notion is illustrated with due regularity. Felicity’s pushing Oliver to form a team jokingly stated in the flashback sequence “we need ten of you…” is presented with Oliver’s team working together to solve their problem now made worse with a methane leak and Oliver weakening due to blood loss. The coming together of the team is mirrored by a backing play by Argus, via Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) still warring with hubby John (David Ramsey). The group is stronger together. This is undeniable. Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) brokers reason with John citing her own background as an example of having allowances with your partner and ultimately trusting them.

The combo of Rene/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) and Curtis delivers comedic gold as the two work to cut their way through reinforced steel barriers to get to Oliver and Felicity. A geek moment occurs in which Curtis advises he named his ‘T-Spheres’, mockingly called his balls by Rene, after characters in Beastmaster. That Dinah banks off the comment citing a shared appreciation for Marc Singer in the main role was awesome. Singer having had a role seasons back must surely have appreciated the love sent forth.

Ultimately the episode was about working together and once more Felicity pushes Oliver to see the good within himself. Her allowing that she finally understands his perspective is an earnest emotional moment. All segments between the two resonate. The end segment ensures both that Oliver’s fears were valid and that next week’s run will be epic. Arrow Season V still on track for remaining simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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