This season’s faux-Legion of Doom loses a member this week, we get a hint of depth from a previously one-dimensional character, and more on this week’s Arrow.
1. Oh, flashbacks…I haven’t missed you at all
Y’all happy the flashbacks were back this week? Because I sure as shit wasn’t! Everything about them bug me, because they go above every reasonable expectation. Every conversation is an exposition dump, exposing unnecessary details and going far too deep for the casual conversations that are happening. There was almost nothing at all in this flashback that informed the episode at all, aside from giving you slightly more reason to feel sorry when Vince died.
But the worst part of the flashbacks is the asinine technique of the camera focusing on an item, and then switching to the flashback on a similar item. Someone walks past a desk, the camera stays on a calculator, and then BAM, we’re in the past, looking at a slightly different calculator.
2. Captain Singh!
The one interesting part of the flashback was to show Captain Singh, Barry Allen’s old CCPD boss, as Dinah/Vince’s boss. I forgot that they were Central City folks (hence the meta powers), so this was a cool little bit of synergy between the two shows. It was also, perhaps, the most understated thing Arrow has ever done.
3. We need better villains, both real and undercover
So, the show has never really given a good reason for this motley crew of baddies to be teaming up. Anatoly, previously a pragmatist and a gangster, is suddenly all about blowing up a city? Sure, Cayden James promises lots, but what has he done thus far to convince these folks to team up? It is incredibly lazy storytelling, and just doesn’t work.
What also doesn’t work is the depiction of the gang that Dinah was undercover in. This isn’t the 70s, I don’t think these hoods still sit around playing poker, asking Spider to get them a cutty and water. I know this is a small detail, but Arrow has never really presented a criminal enterprise in any way that makes any sense. Everyone is either a digital cyber crook out of Hackers or an extra from Eastern Promises.
I’m glad that Laurel isn’t just being used as a background player, because Katie Cassidy is an important part of why the show succeeded. And giving her some depth/sympathy is much needed, even if that is somewhat undercut by her screaming Vigilante to death. I don’t know how or why Quentin knows how to make an immersive multimedia exhibit to show her that he has memories and feelings but, again, I’m just happy that Quentin is doing something.
I don’t think flipping her is in the cards, and I don’t see her being a big bad all by herself, so I think this season will bring an end to Laurel’s story. I just hope it doesn’t do the same for Quentin.
5. RIP Vincelante
I’ve been pretty vocal about the lackluster Vigilante reveal, but I’ll give Arrow this: it spent the last month or so really trying to make this moment land. I also get why Dinah is so torn up over the man she loves being killed, but her anger at Ollie is, as usual, misplaced. He was trying to save the entire city, and you can’t fault him for that. I get the hypocrisy, I do, but she has to realize what is at stake here.
I just hope that this moves the plot forward a bit, and stops this never ending mid-point between all out assault and status quo whining.