Arrow Review by John Keegan

Arrow 5.03: A Matter of Trust

Arrow 5.03: A Matter of Trust

Written By:
Ben Sokolowski and Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Directed By:
Gregory Smith

One of the primary goals of the fifth season of Arrow is getting people to invest in the stakes for the characters again.  The fourth season has its moments, but the magical resolution to the season arc meant that individual choices felt a bit disconnected from the results.  The bulk of this episode is devoted to exploring the consequences of individual decisions, and that is a lot more involving. 



Diggle is not in the best of situations, having landed in jail on espionage charges (among others) for failing to prevent the theft of WMDs.  He seemingly ends up in the same cell as Deadshot, and when the truth about Andy comes out, Diggle feels like he deserves to be punished for killing his brother.  By the time it is revealed that Deadshot is a figment of Diggle’s imagination and personification of his guilt, we know Diggle is in seriously bad psychological territory.  Lyla, Diggle’s wife, has little choice but to turn to Oliver for help at the end of the episode.


Meanwhile, Oliver is struggling with Team Arrow 2.0, as they continue to challenge his leadership skills and his own inconsistencies with degrees of violence in the name of vigilante justice.  Does he continue to advocate killing again, or does he return to the non-killing mandate that he arrived at in recent years?  He needs to decide so his team understands the limits they are expected to respect.  The latest breakdown in communication leads Wild Dog and Evelyn Sharp to trach down and (apparently) kill Derek Sampson, the apparent supplier of a new street drug.



Right now Arrow is treading the fine line between having Oliver be a quick read on his teammates or falling into some of the repetitive territory of the final season of Buffy.  For now, the balance remains intact.  Oliver trusts his team to handle the henchmen while he takes care of Sampson.  The particulars of the melee, especially Oliver’s intelligent cutting of Sampson’s tendons to incapacitate him, kept the situation interesting.


The trick will be making sure that the various lessons (and the flashbacks that parallel them in many ways) don’t become redundant or tedious.  So far, the fifth season has managed to get back to basics in a number of important ways, so this is more a concern for where the story might evolve (or stagnate) in the future.  The next few episodes ought to prove out whether or not the writers were planning out the season arc with these potential pitfalls in mind.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Diggle’s psychological breakdown is fairly compelling
  • Oliver learns a few more lessons about leadership
The Bad:
  • The training sequences could quickly get repetitive and tedious

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Arrow by - 10/20/2016 12:04 PM144 views

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