Sunday, October 16, 2016

Arrow Season 5 Episode 2 "The Recruits" Review

Oliver the Grouch  

Written By: Greg Berlanti
Directed By: James Bamford
Staring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, etc.
First Aired: October 12, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray

Last week’s episode reintroduced us to a more brutal Green Arrow as he attempted to reassemble his old teammates back into the fold.  Despite Ollie best efforts nobody was feeling the “squad life” any longer leaving Arrow to think about bringing in new crew members.  Meanwhile we saw introductory glimpses of a couple new bad guys, one leaving me more excited than the other.  Let’s jump into the fray here and see what week two of season five has in store for the viewers. 


Events kick off on the Star City roof tops as Wild Dog (Dawg) chases down a high level dope pusher before a pesky building ledge trips him up falling to his demise.  Ollie saves the day, firing rope arrow, catching Wild Dog, before offering the street rebel a chance to properly train and learn the ropes from a veteran crime fighter, along with a few other new recruits.  The new team in training including, Curtis, new member Evelyn, and Wild Dog eventually become disenchanted by Arrow’s tough love. This forces our hero, after a chat with voice of reason Felicity, to reconsider his drastic teaching methods and instead relay on trusting his new pupils. Wax on, wax off, you know something along those lines. 

Our side characters are given plenty to do this episode too as we start with Diggle who is off commanding a mission before being double crossed by his military brothers. Apparently they want control of some new technology to prevent people like Damien Dark from unleashing holy hell on the world again. Not such a bad idea but Diggle does not agree with the methods they’ve taken to hijack this item leading to confrontation on the battlefield. 

Felicity plays good cop to Ollie’s bad cop while training exercises are being conducted. Later in the episode we delve deeper into her relationship with the “new boo” who is a member of the police force; there is no way she actually likes this dude right? 

Meanwhile Thea, snooping around a city ally, overhears how a company, supporting Ollie’s mayor-ship, is really in bed with the brass knuckle sporting bad guy, Tobias Church, obviously casting doubt on their true intentions.  

The events in this episode lead to several different confrontations with a gentleman named Ragman, one at a medical fundraiser the other in a parking garage, during a bad business meetings gone worse.  Arrow uses the later of the two encounters mentioned above to confront Ragman over his methods.  This leads to a pretty damn cool reveal about the new characters origin as Arrow attempts to recruit him to Team 2.0 by sharing with him things the two “heroes” have in common with each other ... mainly dead daddy’s. 

As our episode winds down we see Arrow/Oliver make a push for the new team member’s trust as he spills the beans on his identity. This seems to do the trick and get everyone on the same page for now. The final scene once again is a closing glimpse of the big bad, with a worse attitude, new archer Prometheus.  He threatens Tobias Church, aka the Brass Knuckle Bad Guy, making it very clear Arrow is his to take care of and his alone. 



I liked this episode more than the first one including the flashbacks, which are already doing a better job of reflecting the themes of each episode than they did last year. However I don’t think I’d find myself missing Oliver’s past any if it was removed from the show altogether at this point, it hasn’t had the same impact since he left the Island.  The new characters have added some much needed life to the show so far and I have to say I’m excited to see more Ragman, his powers and story have impressed me so far, while Wild Dog has also been a welcomed addition to the team filling the Roy Harper role in his absence. While the overall story arch for this season is still a little fuzzy, besides just a new Archer being present, 

Bits and Pieces:

I’m here until at least the midseason break to see how this all shakes out.  I hope the show runners continue with this tone they’ve reestablished so far giving the episodes in season five a closer feel to the earlier seasons of the show.  I have one minor nitpick about Prometheus and that is his outfit looks very similar to Ragman’s from the few shots we’ve had so far of both characters and it threw me off at points in this episode thinking he was Ragman and vice versa … other than that I want more of both of them.


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