My name isn’t Oliver or Emiko Queen, it’s Mike, and here are my thoughts on Arrow‘s “Confessions.” Team Arrow is brought in after a mission goes sideways where people died, and Team Arrow knows who’s responsible. If only they’d confess it.
“Confessions” marked the return of Roy Harper, from a certain point of view. Colton Haynes has been pulling regular duty on Arrow in the Star City of 2040, but has been galivanting around the world with Nyssa and Thea since last season in the present. The inclusion of Roy Harper can mean only one thing: Unnecessary Parkour! Oh that throw back to the early free running days of Arrow. Roy never met a henchmen he couldn’t defeat with more unnecessary flips than a Will Ospreay match.
While Roy undoubtedly did some extra flips in his run-ins with the Ninth Circle, the pièce de résistance was Roy breaking into the vault to not steal the episodes macguffin. While it wasn’t the laser sequence from Entrapment or Vincent Cassel contorting to “Thé à la Menthe,” it was the shows abbreviate homage to them. We got a physics defying high bar jump out of it.
After the trailer for tonight’s episode was released, I immediately assumed we’d be getting some sort of Rashomon like episode. Akira Kurosawa and Kazuo Miyagawa international break out film is built around subjectivity, and how those perspectives can rarely line up and create for wildly different accounts for a single event. With its filters “Confessions” nicely sets up the subjective nature of Team Arrow’s recollections about what happened on the subway. platform.
As the questioning commenced and the events on the platform started going together, however, things were not as contradictory as the film. Sure there was minor differences, Rene not telling them about seeing Ollie, little tells like the blood on the sleeve. Everything was fitting together nicely with all the little hiccups that just made it sound more truthful. Which dosen’t sound very dramatic.
Since his character has gotten out of prison, Amell hasn’t had as many moments to really show off his chops. The close up of him as he fingers Emiko for murdering the two guards is excellent work. In the moment you buy the idea that he is warring with himself to give up his sister.
Overall “Confessions” is a really effective bottle episode that makes maximum usage out of the footage.
As far as filters go, that was a nice bit of color grading. It made the green in the bunker really pop against the sepia. The subway already had a bit of that brownish light to it, so it wasn’t as effective there, but it got the job done overall. Once we finally see the truth all the colors popped after being denied them for the entire episode.
4. Identity Crisis
Everything fit together so well because the truth was the lie, or at least it had enough truth to wrap up the lie that Emiko killed those men, that it passed muster. Even though blunt force trauma isn’t exactly Emiko’s style. It is more Roy’s style, who in a fit of bloodlust killed those hapless guards. Roy’s Lazarus induced bloodlust is foreshadowed earlier in the season when future Team Arrow runs down one of Dinah’s old cop friends for info, and Roy beats the snot out of him. Of course that just played like Mirakuru after effects at the time. This new information also explains why he was living on the island.
Roy’s actions force an “Identity Crisis” like choice from the team. Do they cover up what he did, both to protect Roy and themselves, or do they come clean. Team Arrow chose the former. It was a nice reminder for all the pretense of the show being a more theatrical police procedural, Team Arrow is still a bunch of compromised vigilantes. They do bad things, breaking the law, for ideas of the great “good” (read: self-rationalizing logic that justifies their continued destructive behavior.) Ollie had a chance to break a cycle tonight and instead he protected Roy, who has now murdered 4 cops in a fit of rage.Continued below
On some level it is a very cop like move, considering the unions culture of silence and protection. But they’re supposed to be better than them right? Team Arrow proved Sergeant Bingsley right tonight at least. It’s funny as Dinah was interrogating them you could feel the seams of their devils bargain, vigilante-cops, beginning to split.
5. Tempted, Not Setup
As Emiko gives her Big Bad speech, which we’ve heard before from the likes of Slade and Prometheus though Sea Shimooka had a nice intensity to hers, Oliver yells at his villainess sister that she “set them up.” Like the truth in the lie, Emiko’s scheme wasn’t a setup she just tempted them to protect themselves and act like vigilantes. It was only a setup in so much as Team Arrow was caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Now they’ll be digging themselves out of this emotional ruble, once they get themselves out from under the physical ones.
Arrow has a bad habit of using Ollie’s trauma and distrust to use lies of omission in order to create interpersonal drama amongst the team. People not telling people dramatically relevant information can be frustrating at times. Beth Schwartz and episode scribes Onalee Hunter Hughes & Emilio Ortega Aldrich, find a nice twist on this trope. The fiction isn’t an isolated incident, it’s one that everyone on the team knowingly propagates. With the lie set to be revealed shortly, Arrow has itself quite the setup for the seasons final two episodes. Even if Emiko devolves into some destroy the city scheme, she’s already won in tarnishing the reputation of Team Arrow.