Arrow – 5×07: ‘Vigilante’
Directed by: Gordon Verhuel
Story by: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland
“You don’t seem to know that this is a war… Maybe that’s why you’re losing.”
After last week’s shock reveal, we’re thrown straight into the unfamiliar territory of an Arrow-free save. It turns out that our old friend, the ski goggle-wearing ‘Vigilante’ is back (no spoilers on who it is, though it’s probably exactly who you think and IMDB have already spoiled it), and the amateur escape-artist has a thirst for vengeance. On a mission to clean up the city by murdering one band of thugs at a time, he doesn’t go unnoticed by the Arrow, who is clear that no one is allowed to save people in the city but him – something which the junior gang disagree with him on, which is a bit rich considering they were all punishing him for having killed people last week.
And, in a plot that is worryingly close to being the opening of The Dark Knight, Vigilante and Arrow must face off when a gang of skull-masked thieves break into several different banks. But in a bizarre twist, it turns out that, though the two vigilantes are on the same side, they’re also not on the same side, as Vigilante points out in his rather clunky dialogue (that will hopefully improve, or at least the delivery will).
In between these vigilante-offs, the writers have managed to push in a little more Susan Williams, and no matter how much Oliver protests it, she will be a love interest – they’ve made that quite clear.
Although, this was a welcome break from the previous weeks’ soap opera that has been ‘Olicity’. Not a good week for the Arrow women really, as they’re either playing a love interest (Susan), an anxious teammate whose boyfriend gets her insider information (Felicity), an easily intimidated criminal (skull-gang’s Laura), a nursemaid-therapist (Thea) or a mannequin for a tight dress (Evelyn). No, on the whole, this episode has done nothing to show that the Arrow writers are any good at sustaining interest female characters – as though most of these characters have started strong, they’ve begun slipping into more generic roles, overshadowed by their male counterparts.
However, Thea’s role does move the story along, as she confronts Quentin about his drinking, and tries to make him go to rehab. And he’s going to go, go, go. Which thankfully, means we probably won’t have to hear about the drinking for a little while at least. The slightly hilarious part of the Quentin drinking saga, is that though he’s told Thea about the blood on his hands, and showing her the throwing star, and then she’s told Oliver, both of them seem to have jumped immediately to the conclusion that he must have been framed. Now, I understand that Quentin is like family and they want to give him the benefit of the doubt – but if someone tells you they’ve been blacking out, and woken up with blood on them and a murder weapon, not to mention the fact they’ve been lying to you about being sober – maybe just suspect them for a minute, after all, if they’ve lied to you once, they could do it again.
This week also sees the return of DA good cop/inconsistent character cop, Adrian Chase (John Segarra), as he continues to be the least threatening interrogator you’ve ever seen, that actually gets results. The only thing worse than his interrogation technique, is his delivery, and the sudden change to his character that has probably happened for the exact reason you think.
Meanwhile, Oliver, in light of the vigilante crime wave, has begun to question whether the government is actually helping bring criminals to justice – though given he also mentions the corrupt officers on his police force, he probably already has his answers.
We return, this week, to the company of Konstantin Kovar, as he shows Oliver how it goes when someone crosses him in a section which should have been called ‘We Beat, Then We Eat’ (absolutely no innuendo intended). This goes some way to show us the kind of man Kovar is – a businessman who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and the kind of man who can take a knife through the hand and come back fighting – literally, as this week continues the incredible fight choreography that we’ve been treated to this season – and what more can you ask for than a fist fight with Dolph Lundgren?
To top it all off, this week’s episode ends with a twist more shocking than the last and questioning the loyalties of someone Oliver trusts.