Arrow: 5×15 – ‘Fighting Fire with Fire’
Directed by: Michael Schultz
Developed by: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum
“The Green Arrow is not a hero.”
Well, it’s safe to say that this week’s Arrow really stepped up its game after the past two weeks of ignoring the overarching storyline in favour of smaller ones that were obviously just buying time as this series begins to draw to a close. This week’s episode was a real shocker.
What initially promised to be a fairly boring political episode, where Oliver fights being impeached, actually became an incredibly interesting episode full of twists and turns guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. After weeks of missing Prometheus, the villains comes back in a big way in ‘Fighting Fire with Fire’, coming face to face with Vigilante in a no-holes-barred fight over who wants to destroy Oliver Queen more. Though admittedly, the slightly distracting part of this fight was the fact that both of the costumed fighters have fairly comical voices, thanks to the distortion technology their costumes provide. However, if you can ignore that, the fight is absolutely excellent.
This week also causes us to question what the Vigilante’s motives really are – he seemed to be helping the Green Arrow in earlier episodes, but now, with Oliver’s impeachment trial over Billy’s death, he has been very quick to turn, attempting several times to hurt Oliver during the course of the episode. We also see for the first time the kind of technology Vigilante has access to, in particular behind that trademark orange visor of his, leading us to wonder just who Vigilante really is and how he’s come to have so much high-tech equipment at his disposal. Also, we get a glimpse of his ‘man-cave’ – he’s well-stocked to say the least.
Elsewhere, Curtis and Rene are bonding over Curtis’ balls. Or, as we should probably be calling them – Curtis’ T-Spheres. Finally coming to grips with the fact that he is essentially useless to the team, Curtis manages to develop small metal balls to help him both on the offensive and defensive sides of fighting. And while this seems like an amazing invention, it’s difficult not to see these T-Spheres as a plot device, given they have turned up exactly when they are needed by the team.
And while Oliver is on trial in the present, we also find ourselves seeing when Oliver was on trial in the past, as Anatoly calls “Spross dopross” or “Demand an exam” to buy him and Oliver some time to defend themselves from Gregor. As much as these Bratva flashbacks have dragged on through this season, it’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to character as entertaining as Anatoly (David Nykl), as he seems to be the only one who speaks sense. Though, as it always goes with Arrow, these flashbacks will probably not be the last we see of Anatoly, as he’s already popped up in the present this season.
‘Fighting Fire with Fire’ seems to be an episode of character overhaul, as, in particular we see big changes in Thea, Felicity and Adrian Chase. In the first instance, this episode seems to start moving Thea back to being an actual character again, as we see her try to fight off Vigilante, and also come to the realisation that the person she has become during her time in the world of politics is not the person she wants to be, forcing her to take a step back. Felicity, on the other hand, seems to be taking a step further into the dark, as not even a pep-talk from team dad John is enough to stop her from going into the ‘hackivist’ world. Bringing us to DA Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra), who’s character takes an oddly unsettling turn this week, from nice, dependable attorney, to slightly creepy guy who turns up everywhere.
After the somewhat disheartening episodes of the past few weeks, ‘Fighting Fire with Fire’ begins to restore Arrow to the show it was when it first returned for its fifth season. It’s made all the better this week by the shock reveal of Prometheus as someone you may not have expected.
This episode gets 4 T-Spheres from me, because despite their plot-device nature, they were pretty badass.