WARNING: Major spoilers ahead!
The episode title is appropriate: fighting fire with fire was the underlying theme this week. Actually, it has been the underlying theme for this entire season. Arrow lit a fire in earlier seasons when they decided to put their own twist on the comics. I didn’t mind they went in that direction, but their storylines have caused them to burn. They attempted to reboot a show that didn’t need a rebooting. By bringing in newbies to replace the originals, they continue to fuel the fire instead of trying to improve the mess they created.
This episode saw Oliver (Stephen Amell) facing his biggest challenge yet as mayor. We even saw him trying to mend his relationship with Dragon Lady (Carly Pope) by tarnishing his relationship with two other important women in his life. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) therefore makes a huge step to prove how far in the darkness she will go, and we might have just seen the end of Thea (Willa Holland). Both the Vigilante and Prometheus were also present, and we finally get a big reveal.The biggest redeeming aspect of this show has been the return of the Original Team Arrow. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity shared some screen time, and it was nice to see. Diggle is what Oliver isn’t: able to speak, see and feel like every other human. Picking up, Felicity is fighting with demons. Diggle has noticed the effect Pandora is having on her. Recognizing the darkness inside her, he reminds Felicity that her brains aren’t the only superpower she possesses. She has always looked for the best in people and been the light for those that didn’t believe they had it. Therefore, her other power is empathy. You can see his worry, for he doesn’t want to see her get hurt. Felicity’s innocence and the bond they share make Diggle see her as a sister. He couldn’t help his brother, so maybe he can help the closest thing to it. I want more of these scenes — back when it was just Oliver, Diggle and Felicity (with the help of others).
This season has played with the idea that Felicity has cast herself away to an island. While we have seen the goth side of Felicity, never did we think she would have decided to unleash darkness again. Don’t get me wrong, I love this Dark Felicity, but the reason behind her turn, I felt, was a bit forced and out-of-the-blue. She has been through hell and back, and yet some random guy, her supposed “love of her life” boyfriend, causes her to lose her way. After all that Felicity has been through, we have rarely seen her break down. She hasn’t let out all her anger, frustration and grief; instead, she’s merely acted like it’s nothing. She is no superhuman, but she acts like one.
We need to see her flashbacks — all the moments in her life that have lead her to this point, just like we did with Oliver. This would strengthen her transition and emphasis her dark journey. They need to show that everything that has happened to her has been bottled up, and her boyfriend being killed by her ex was the exploding incident. This is why she is done, this is why she is turning — this is more believable and a stronger story. Maybe now that she has joined Helix, Felicity will continually turn and we will get those flashback scenes, or they will just switch her to the dark side instantaneously. I guess we will have to wait and see.
From one’s transition to the next, the identity of Prometheus was revealed. The biggest mystery was the identity of the villain who knew almost everything about Oliver than any other. It had fans speculating on whether a resurrection of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) was imminent. But this far into Arrow, I wasn’t shocked to learn they didn’t live up to the hype. Instead, it was Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) — the guy who was a complete mystery up until this season. However, I do give credit to the writers for the mislead. They have been hinting and secretly making people believe Chase was going to be The Vigilante. Therefore, the fight between the Vigilante and Prometheus caused a head-scratching double take, begging the question, “Who is the Vigilante?”
Now to the betrayal… Oliver’s betrayal. The writers decided that when Felicity broke up with Oliver, it would be the end. For a couple that had major chemistry for four seasons, they seemed to have moved on quickly with all “line-driven” chemistry gone (some chemistry is still there, but that is only Emily and Stephen acting). Not only is Felicity good at hiding her pain and hurt, she is also good at hiding her feelings, something she did not seem to succeed at in earlier seasons.
Oliver, on the other hand, has been good at hiding his feelings, but now when it comes to Dragon Lady, he is a lovesick boy. We have seen Oliver care more for Susan this season than he ever did for Felicity. It just doesn’t make sense. Were Felicity and Oliver even together? He obviously doesn’t think so, since he decided to go to her for love advice. This scene made me laugh. How awkward! It could have been more awkward if the writers continued to have strong chemistry between the two characters, where they desperately want to be with one another but force themselves not to. Plus, that would have also added weight towards Felicity’s decision to join Helix. I’m sorry, Dragon Lady fans, but I just don’t understand her character’s worth and value to the show other than as a great excuse to keep Felicity and Oliver apart, and even then that isn’t even a well-written plot line.
On that note of a worthless character, we come to the departure of Thea. Did she even come back this year? Why not kill her off, the writers seem to like that — Rory’s (Colton Haynes) fake death, Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) real death. Oh wait. That’s right, they did. Only she was brought back to life. Am I sensing regret here? Arrow is quickly becoming a show that feels like one of those reboot films that has everyone saying, “Why, why, why?” I think they would actually be the first TV show to reboot during the original run. If that is the case, let us start predicting which OG character is next on the chopping block. My guess is Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), since his air time has decreased and Diggle could join soon after. Then there would be two: Felicity and Oliver.
Overall, the episode was average. While it still had the same occurring issues, the Prometheus reveal was an interesting choice and might just be the boost Arrow needs to keep fans invested in the show.
Who do you predict will go next to make why for Arrow 2.0?