Arrow 5×10 – Who Are You?
Directed by: Gregory Smith
Created by: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Katie Cassidy, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum
“We get to choose who we are. So, tell me – who are you?”
When we left the Arrow team, we had just found out that Prometheus was a disgruntled son of a ‘Hood’ victim, and it seemed as though Laurel Lance was back from the dead. So, why did this mid-season premiere, ‘Who Are You?’ leave us asking the same question? Namely, ‘Who are you and what have you done with the reborn Arrow of yesteryear?’
We pick up where we left off, Oliver in the Arrow cave with zombie Laurel, who explains that her sister and the Legends team are responsible for her newly revived state. And, yet, the sheer amount of times that “it’s a miracle” is uttered throughout the first five minutes of this episode tells that this happy state is not going to last. Which of course, it doesn’t, as the Laurel Lance here, is not the Laurel Lance we know.
Unfortunately, with all the potential that this episode had, from the cliffhanger of ‘What We Leave Behind’ and all the promo trailers we have had for this episode, it played out as though we were watching a soap opera again. To start with, we have Felicity, who, after losing Billy in the last episode seems hell-bent on proving that this Laurel cannot be the real Laurel, and every opinion Oliver has is wrong. Once again, the writers have pushed her character back to being the consistent nagging team member that she was at the end of season four. And while this episode begins as something of a tribute to Oliver and Laurel’s relationship (both past and present) it turns quickly into another try at the love triangle between Oliver, Laurel and Felicity.
Because of this, the whole episode suffers, and where the season premiere was jam-packed with action and intrigue, this mid-season premiere has taken away almost all of that action and replaced it with more teen drama, pandering to the ‘Olicity’ fans that complained that the first half of the season didn’t have enough of the couple together. God forbid. And because of this focus on romance, we don’t see much of Prometheus, the faceless villain who is playing the long game at destroying Oliver and all those around him. In fact, thirty minutes of the episode goes by before Oliver faces Prometheus, and even it is for five minutes at most (in which the villain’s weird Darth Vader voice was still very disconcerting). And, during this five minutes, Prometheus uttered a phrase which damned the episode for good – “Felicity or me?” – in which Oliver is forced to decide whether to finally capture the villain who has killed a lot of people, or the woman he was engaged to. If you had three guesses at what he did, you wouldn’t need them.
Aside from this overarching part of the episode, we see John Diggle work with Adrian Chase to try and overturn his false military convictions, showing what makes Chase a real vigilante, as he – quite literally – takes a punch to save John’s life. In fact, this was an episode that showed the strength of the male characters’ writing versus the female characters. Felicity and Laurel spend the episode either moaning or nagging, whereas we see Oliver trying to right his wrongs, John and Adrian fighting for John’s life, and even Curtis and Rene forging out a real friendship as, while Curtis takes a real ass-kicking from life, Rene forces him to focus on the positives.
We end with Oliver questioning whether he’s done as Laurel asked and found another to take on the Black Canary mantel, giving us a glimpse at an unknown woman in a bar, who looks suspiciously like Laurel. Perhaps, she is in line for the job? Or maybe, just maybe, they might be throwing us a curveball for once. Whatever they do, we can but hope that the Arrow team can get back to where they were before the mid-season break and that this is a sign of what’s to come.
Overall, I’d give the episode 2.5 out of 5, and that’s at a push.