Welcome to the first Front Row Chat Arrow Tag Team Takeaway! Part recap, part review: each week Hannah and Cassie will discuss the exciting action and drama from season 5 of the CW’s Arrow.
This season on Arrow…Legacy.
Hannah: Oliver Queen is a horrible mayor. There is no way to sugarcoat that. From showing up late to galas and then accusing the police department they were supposed to be honoring of corruption (it wasn’t a bad accusation, but still…) to missing city council meetings completely. He’s just bad at it. The nickname works though. And honestly I want someone to call him that to his face. Please, Arrow Writers, make that happen! I want him to be a good mayor though, I want this season to help shape that. And I’m hoping we’ll get it.
Cassie: Never has a moniker been so fitting. I mean seriously, can Oliver Queen GET any better looking? It is easy to see why the people of Star City call him Mayor Handsome. From the sounds of it, he’s been doing little to give them a reason to call him anything else. Oliver himself even said that he wanted the team to get back together in order to focus more on his day job. I just hope the people of Star City give him some leeway for now and that he finds a way to balance the two jobs (not only because I want to see him in a suit and tie more often… but that certainly doesn’t hurt), but because he’s come so far already and this is an important area for growth.
Cassie: I think the collective fandom can officially breathe a sigh of relief about the flashbacks. Not only is the horrible wig (hopefully) gone for good, but we’re finally in Bratva territory. Last season on Lian Yu the flashbacks seemed to be the writers simply ticking off boxes of things that needed to happen before Oliver returned to Star City. (I’m sorry but that shark bite scene was the saddest excuse for a JAWS reenactment I’ve ever seen.) But the Bratva scenes so far have been harsh and dangerous, and I hope the writers are able to live up to the expectation we’ve all been putting on them. From the looks of things so far, I think they just might be up to the task.
Hannah: BRATVA. B.R.A.T.V.A. Never, ever have I been more excited about flashbacks. Oliver in Russia, speaking Russian, and just being a complete badass (while shirtless)? I am so here for that. (Also Anatoly!) If we were inserting gifs into this article the Sirius Black “I’ve done my waiting” gif would be right here. They already have a much darker, grittier feel to them and it feels right. We’re finally getting to see just how Oliver became as dark as he was in the first season and frankly, if that beating he took just to start the initiation shows anything is that it’s going to be a tough road. I know anything would have been better after last year’s debacle of Island flashbacks, but this year I’m downright excited for them and they’re going to be fantastic.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Hannah: There is no doubt that Arrow packs a punch with the fight scenes and an episode directed by James Bamford holds an extra bit of power behind them. I have to say, the parachute arrow is probably my new favorite trick arrow. This episode had some of the best stunts we’ve seen in awhile. The fight with Anarky in the beginning? Fantastic. And without a doubt the throwback to the show’s premiere with the chair thing and snapping the neck was perfection. Practically an exact copy and I’m so glad. I like the darker, angier Oliver and we’re going to be seeing so much of that this season. I like murdery Oliver, is that bad?
Cassie: The season premieres of Arrow have always been full of drama, action and excitement. But James Bamford has a way of making things a little more special. Action scenes are seen through different eyes when Bamford directs because we get to see his vision from start to finish. Everything from the trick arrows to the nitty, gritty fight sequences. If this is what season 5 has in store for us, then I am all in.
Hannah: I knew it was going to be like this. I read spoilers. But actually seeing it on screen was more painful than I’d like to admit. Their banter together (and complete lack of personal space boundaries) had given me some hope throughout the episode that they were closer to a reconciliation than originally teased. And then we meet her boyfriend. (Who doesn’t have a name yet, right? Or was he the cop earlier in the episode…I’m not even sure.) And Oliver admits to Diggle that he isn’t sure about him and Felicity. It breaks my heart. Regardless, I have no doubts that while the road may be long Olicity will rise again.
Cassie: I wish there was more to say about Olicity after 5×01. Instead I will pose a question- Was it just me or did the ‘previously on’ showing their engagement and break up seem more like a reminder to us to not be concerned when (spoiler alert) Felicity’s boyfriend showed up in the end? And it shouldn’t surprise us that after everything that happened, Felicity is finding her own version of a life outside the Arrow cave. I guess for now, when it comes to Olicity, we’ll have to hold out hope that they’ll find themselves and make their way back to each other.
Tonight’s Look in the Mirror
Cassie: Marc Guggenheim has stated in interviews that season 1 and season 5 will mirror each other, which could be both incredibly exciting and completely terrifying. For one thing, Oliver in the first few episodes of the series was a cold and calculating dude. It will be cool to see some things come full circle, and for others to finally have their payoff (*cough* Bratva *cough*). And if the hand to hand combat and action keeps up the way it started in 5×01, I think this look in the mirror could lead to the best season of Arrow yet!
Hannah: Getting Oliver to where he was in the beginning of the shows in the flashbacks is going to be something fun to watch. And seeing the parallels they’re already working into the season is pure gold. I love the when shows connect things together. I think it’s an important part of the storytelling process. In this episode it was a very small glimpse into the throwbacks and I can’t wait to see what else they pull off. (Especially if it has to do with the reveal of Prometheus.)
Hannah: Tobias Church is going to be a villain like we haven’t seen in awhile. I like the realness of him, especially after all the “magic mumbo jumbo” we had last season with Darhk. Church is just a man. An evil man, for sure, but just a man. He’s already a force to be reckoned with and it’s going to be something to watch him go head to head with The Green Arrow for the season. And Prometheus. This dude isn’t messing around. I want to know he is. I hope the reveal lives up to the teasing.
Cassie: Arrow’s villains have always been a little larger than life. From Slade Wilson to Damien Darhk, they seem to get a bigger and badder every season. And 5×01 is starting out strong. There’s a dark grittiness that can already be felt in the villains of the season. Don’t get me wrong, Damien Darhk was frightening, but something falls short when your baddie can use magic to get out of any situation. However, Tobias Church and the very little we’ve already seen of Prometheus are a different game altogether. They remind me of Joker in the Dark Knight movie– they’re there to raise hell just for the sake of raising it. And you know what? There’s no villain more terrifying than that.
Hannah: It’s going to look very different in the bunker very soon. And you know what? I’m okay with it. I love the OTA, and I don’t think Thea is as completely done with Speedy as she thinks, but it’s never bad to get some new meat in the mix. Oliver needs more backup, he needs help. There isn’t any doubt about that. Felicity was the voice of reason when it came to that throughout the episode. Her speech to Oliver about being stuck in the past was a hard one to hear, but she was right. No matter if the original team comes back together like they used to be, the extra help is going to be important. I can’t wait to see how the team grows and adapts and gets to work.
Cassie: Last season saw the disbanding of our beloved Team Arrow. Not only did Laurel give her life fighting Damien Darhk, but both Diggle and Thea gave up their mantels in search of something beyond the Arrow Cave. I can’t blame them, after the year they’d all had, but it definitely has left a void in the cave and out on the streets five months later. I think that’s why I’m so excited to see what sort of dynamic the new team will have. We may have barely gotten a taste of what training these new vigilantes is going to look like, but if it means some gruff, tough love by one Oliver Queen, I’m in!
Flashpoint (or what in the hell did Barry screw up in Star City)
Cassie: If you watch both Flash and Arrow (or read interviews with the shows higher ups) then you probably already know that at some point, there will be ramifications of Barry going back in time in present day Star City. Going into Arrow 5×01, I was curious what differences would come about. But it seems like, so far, the writers are keeping things close to the vest. The timeline seems to be pretty concurrent with how things ended at the end of season 4, so I guess time will tell.
Hannah: I wasn’t sure what kind of repercussions I was expecting from Flashpoint but not seeing any sort of threw me for a loop too. I’m sure some will start to appear (I know there are some rumors floating around out there…but I’m not believing any of them until they happen on my screen) in the next few episodes. I mean sure, there are some things that I would love for Flashpoint to correct (BRING BACK TOMMY MERYLN) but I’m not naive enough to think they will. It will definitely make for some interesting events if they do change anything later…maybe they’re just waiting until we see it on The Flash first.
Cassie: Trick arrows! Bratva! Quentin’s heart to heart with Thea. These are a few of my favorite things (that’s how the song goes, right…. right?!) Stephen Amell has said in a few interviews this past summer that this season they’ll be getting back to what Arrow does best. If that’s the case, strap in kiddies because this season is going to be one HELL of a ride. And I, for one, couldn’t be more excited.
Hannah: This was easily one of my favorite episodes in a long time. There was so much going on and it was all what Arrow does at the core of its best, the grit and anger and just pure fight the episode had, along with a good portion of emotion. The Quentin stuff? Shot right through my heart. His journey is going to be pretty epic this season. I just hope it means a reconciliation with Donna. This season is going to be my favorite, I can already tell!
Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW