I really wish the Arrow show runners didn’t spoil the Who Are You? twist before tonight’s episode. This payoff deserved to play out over the episode, not in a teaser trailer. Barring that misstep — and it was a significant one — Arrow’s return from its mid-season break suggested the time off hasn’t affected this season’s quality.
The big hook was definitely the return of Laurel. Or was it? With The Outsiders version of Team Arrow, Laurel’s return didn’t really have that big an impact on Curtis, Rene and Rory, which diminished the effectiveness of her resurrection. Too bad Thea wasn’t around and Diggle was imprisoned as they would have been overjoyed to see Laurel.
Instead, it fell on Oliver and Felicity to bring the emotional pathos to the episode. Not a problem as Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards were up to the challenge. In a smart departure from the norm, it was Felicity who was on guard and immediately suspicious while Oliver was willing to go along with Laurel’s story.
After countless resurrections, Constantine, Vandal Savage and Hawkman and Hawkgirl, it’s easy to see why Oliver wouldn’t question her. Oliver and Felicity’s scenes this week were actually a highlight as the two dealt with the fallout of this Laurel’s appearance.
But it didn’t take long for the facade to drop and this Laurel to be outed as Earth-2’s Black Siren. Katie Cassidy plays a pretty convincing villain and it was even more heartening watching Black Canary … er Siren actually using her powers. It would have been more interesting had Black Siren escaped on her own instead of being a Prometheus pawn.
Cool fight scene aside, Prometheus really wasn’t necessary this week and took away from Black Siren. This episode would have been so much more effective if Black Siren saw an opportunity and milked it. On that end, this reveal could have waited a few episodes as well to effectively build this trust before she shatters Team Arrow with another betrayal.
The most welcome development was Curtis finally getting serious. Jokey Curtis was a waste since Felicity was going nowhere, but this somewhat remorseful and conflicted Curtis has a lot of potential. And having Curtis refocus more on the tech side of things was also a smart move. If nothing else, it gives him time to become a capable fighter instead of slapping on a mask and becoming Green Arrow.
Diggle didn’t get a lot of screen time this week, but he did find a legal representative with Adrian Chase stepping up. Chase keeping the lid on Billy Malone’s death indicates he knows the collateral damage with being a vigilante. Or he’s enjoying putting a serious mind screw to Oliver.
The flashbacks lacked much significance with Oliver being tortured by the head of the Bratvas. That didn’t go anywhere, but the appearance of Talia al Ghul (Lexa Doig) indicates the flashbacks might stay interesting all season.
Oliver is still holding out some faint hope that Siren can be redeemed, which sounds more like a Sweeps Week standby. At this point, Black Siren seems like an obvious candidate to join the Legion of Doom on Legends of Tomorrow. There’s not that much more emotional mileage to be gained from her popping back up on Arrow.
I didn’t like Oliver’s abrupt decision to recast Black Canary at this point, especially when rehabilitating Black Siren is a possibility. Coincidentally, there’s a woman in Hub City, armed with a canary cry starting to make some (sonic) waves.
Who Are You? kept Arrow on its steady path to Season 5 redemption. It’ll be interesting to see where Prometheus’ tormenting of Team Arrow goes next and how they respond.
Rating: 9.1 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW