In “So It Begins,” Arrow introduced us to the terrifying new villain of the season, Prometheus. In this follow-up episode, “Vigilante,” Prometheus pretty much disappears. Instead ,a new antagonist is introduced for Oliver to fight. All that can be said of him is…well, thankfully we still know Prometheus is out there and in the mix. In a big 20+ episode season, Arrow is going to need multiple villains for our heroes to fight to fill time. Hopefully they will be more like Prometheus and less like the villain of “Vigilante” who gives the episode its name but adds nothing else.
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Quentin Lance in the Case of the Mysterious Throwing Star
Arrow wastes no time diving into the big cliffhanger of the last episode. To the surprise of exactly no one, Quentin is NOT Prometheus. At the very least, Quentin thinks there is no way that he could be the hyper-athletic sociopath during his black-out drunk periods which is very solid logic. In a move that is surprising though, considering how much Arrow characters love secrets, Quentin comes to Thea right away with his drinking problem and the Prometheus evidence he found in his apartment.
Thea and Quentin figure out that whoever Prometheus is, he (and I still maintain it might be a she) is trying to drive Quentin insane. Quentin tells Thea that he needs to stay far away from Oliver and Thea to protect them. Thea doesn’t agree, but does realize that Quentin needs serious help. Thea puts Quentin into rehab and for the first time ever, Quentin really cries about the death of Laurel. Quentin is still the most useless character on Arrow and should have been written off seasons ago, but this hits hard. Paul Blackthorne crying about his dead fictional daughters, something he’s done a lot on Arrow, just does it for me apparently.
Meanwhile, Team Arrow is dealing with another masked person who is killing lots and lots of people. This guy, unlike Prometheus, is killing criminals. The new vigilante’s name is … Vigilante. Yeah, characters don’t get any more boring than this guy. Arrow tries to spice things up with Vigilante by giving him some cool action scenes and introducing a new gang of bank robbers (who wear creepy skull masks) for him to shoot at. It doesn’t really work. Nothing fixes the fact that this is a grown man who couldn’t think of a better name for himself.
For whatever reason,Vigilante causes Oliver to go into a bit of a self-pity spiral. Admittedly, this is not the hardest of tasks, but Arrow season 5 has introduced a much more optimistic Oliver. He isn’t the same guy who broods at the drop of a hat (or hood) anymore. Yet, Oliver thinks that because Vigilante exists, it means that he is not doing either of his jobs as the Green Arrow or the mayor, successfully.
While Felicity, or even Diggle, would usually give Oliver a pep talk at this point, his cheer-up speech comes from a surprising source: Susan Williams. Oliver asks Susan out on a very casual date. She is the one who is able to convince Oliver to keep fighting when he shows up all mopey to the date.
Now, I really don’t understand Susan’s deal. A while back we learned that she had uncovered Oliver’s Bratva past and was going to destroy him politically. Now she is being all chummy and flirty with him. I have no idea where her character is going, but I’m liking it so far. Heck, she could turn out to be Prometheus at this point and I think that would be an awesome twist. Speaking off the Bratva though…
The flashback story picks back up with Dolph Lungren as Oliver’s main nemesis in Russia, Kovar. Kovar, after making Oliver’s face all bloody, tells him that the rivalry between the Bratva and Kovar’s group is not so black and white. No one is a hero in this story and no one is a villain. Even the poor woman who Oliver is trying to avenge, Tatiana, was not innocent. (This is a surprise because Tatiana was so boring in last season’s flashbacks that I naturally assumed she was nothing more than a damsel in distress.)
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Oliver doesn’t believe Kovar and that leads to the two of them having big fist fight, making Oliver the new Rocky Balboa. If casting Dolph Lungren was just an excuse for Stephen Amell to live out his Rocky fantasies this season and fight Ivan Drago, I’m more than OK with that fact. The “boxing match” is broken up a Bratva member who makes it clear that there is deal on the table between Kovar and the Bratva. Oliver is a gullible dumbo.
One Step Forward and Two Steps Back
Back in present day, the team comes up with a plan to trap Vigilante. They will impersonate the Skull Gang and attack Vigilante when he shows up to stop them. The plan works. Vigilante gives Oliver this whole big speech about how he can’t do his job correctly and he doesn’t know loss the same way Vigilante knows loss.
It is all standard, angsty, anti-hero nonsense and none of it makes Vigilante the slightest bit more interesting. Also, in stereotypical character fashion, Vigilante flees before Oliver can unmask him and learn his secret identity. (Though if you want to research the comics ever so slightly you probably can easily figure out who Vigilante is this season.)
Finally, we end up back to Prometheus, an actual serious villain who is seriously interesting. We now know that Quentin is not Prometheus but that doesn’t mean the villain isn’t connected closely to Oliver and Team Arrow. Prometheus meets with someone on the rooftops and it is none other than Evelyn. Yup, Artemis and Prometheus are working together and I’m so confused, excited and just a little bit angry. Guess we can throw away that previous episode that made us like Evelyn because she is apparently super evil. Fingers crossed she has a good reason for hooking up with a sociopath, if such a reason can exist.
But what do you think? Were you surprised by the Evelyn reveal? Did you enjoy the new villain (or anti-hero) Vigilante? Were you shocked by how quickly they wrapped up the Quentin cliffhanger? What do you think Susan Williams is really planning?
Arrow season 5 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page for the latest updates!
(Image courtesy of The CW)