For the first time this season I wasn’t looking forward to an episode of Arrow. Underneath looked to be an unnecessary detour to Olicity-ville. If Oliver had to be buried in the Arrowcave with anyone it would have been better served with someone he’s still building a bond with like Dinah, Curtis or Rene.
Turns out all that apprehension was warranted as Underneath was a throwaway episode teasing something better left buried.
Oliver and Felicity were trapped thanks to Prometheus’ death trap. It seemed weird he had all this time to set up the various levels of this trap undetected. With 72 members of Team Arrow shouldn’t someone be on guard duty 24/7?
Instead of focusing their time on escaping, Felicity saw this as a perfect opportunity to troll Oliver about not trusting or supporting her.
Trust has been an overarching theme in the CW shows this season. It’s been the main culprit of relationship strife. If you’ve been watching Supergirl and The Flash this season, Arrow’s take on you don’t trust me enough likely felt far too familiar.
Tackling trust issues has been the weak spot for the various writing teams. Couples actually fight over other things like money, family, chores and dull/stale dates and sex. You wouldn’t know that as the writers have a full supply of trust and mistrust arrows in their quiver.
That was largely why the Diggle/Lyla subplot didn’t take. They have so many more potentially grown folk arguments on the table like Johnny’s day care, bills, etc. that sticking with the you don’t trust me gimmick was tiring.
But the biggest problem with Felicity’s beef is she’s dead wrong. Despite her incessant browbeating, Oliver tends to sheepishly support her in everything. Even when there’s a minor disagreement, Oliver still ends up apologizing later on. I lost count how many times he told her she was right in Underneath.
At least Felicity apologized this time, yet somehow still managed to kick Oliver when he’s down in doing so. And Felicity’s revisionist history on why Oliver didn’t tell her about his son had nothing to do with trusting her but honoring his awful baby mamma’s wishes. Felicity came off amazingly delusional and self-absorbed here. The flashback seemed to exist solely for the purpose of sending Olicity fangirls squealing at the sight of Oliver and Felicity hooking up.
Back in the present, Team Arrow tried to rescue Oliver and Felicity before they suffocated. It’s the reality of putting the show’s two stars in a perilous situation, but there was negative suspense here. It wasn’t like anything was going to happen to them. Dinah got to play a Tumblr user trying to ship Rene and Curtis. Because a gay guy and a straight guy can’t just be friends in 2017.
Lyla gets another awesome moment as she hands Curtis a new and improved T-sphere so he can finally have three, which annoyed me to no end for some reason.
The final scene with Prometheus meeting Oliver’s son made for a nice cliffhanger, but Underneath really suffered from his absence throughout. Hopefully, things get back on track next week as this was a huge disappointment in an otherwise amazing season. At least this episode was largely so uneventful it can easily be skipped when revisiting Season 5.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW