Arrow: 5.07 Vigilante
I'm not sure if it was because the same exact storyline happened on Supergirl this week (with James trying to be a vigilante hero) or because there was something else missing, but Vigalante just felt flat. The rogue hero exacting his own brand of justice just seemed like a generic masked henchman and after the thrilling debut of Prometheus in Oliver's life last week, his absence here was keenly felt.
A vigilante who fights to their own agenda, not afraid to kill? It might have been an attempt to reflect on how far Oliver Queen has come as the Green Arrow but it felt too on the nose. Besides, we've already had similar stories from the current recruits, with Evelyn Sharp in season four's Canary Cry and Rene Ramirez's story arc as Wild Dog this season. The only real surprise is that this new vigilante wasn't unmasked at the episode's end; it has to be someone we know and my money is on new DA Adrian Chase - he certainly demonstrated his darker side during the interrogation of the suspect this week.
There was plenty of brutal action as the vigilante targeted the a band of criminals and Oliver was forced to save them. The explosion at the motel and the Vigilante holding Curtis hostage should have been thrilling moments but I just couldn't engage. Prometheus is far more interesting and we have the 'who is he?' mystery there without another masked thug to ponder over. I am also wondering just where Quentin Lance's story is going. I am glad that he confined in Thea, who has emerged as a much more mature character this season, rather than dragging out the mystery of why he is being potentially framed as Prometheus. But I think the writers are struggling with what to do with his character; he resigned as deputy mayor again and is now off in rehab where he really needs to be. Let's hope he comes back stronger.
I noticed that the episode is not making a big deal of Diggle's daughter becoming a son instead as a result of Barry's Flashpoint actions over in The Flash. It's probably a little confusing for viewers who don't follow the spin-off show but I like how there are both wider ramifications with this change without massively altering the dynamic of Arrow. With Diggle a fugitive, his frustration and being kept away from his family has left him isolated and I loved that Ramirez was able to find a way to help with his pain and get Lyla and his son to his secret lair in order to share his son's second birthday. It certainly improved Ramirez as a character, showing he's not the arrogant jerk we've seen in the past.
There were also some great moments as dubious alliances came to the fore. Oliver faced the brutal end of Konstantin Kovar's wrath as he tried to escape and exact his revenge for the death of Taiana last season (remember her) and learned that Kovar had plans for him. Not only had Kovar employed Taiana's mother but he was also allied in some form with the Bratva, the Russian mob Oliver's was supposed had allegiance to. In the present day Vigliante was also redeemed somewhat by the surprise twist that Evelyn was actually working for Prometheus. I can't wait to see how that plays out!
Though not next week, as Arrow teams up with the rest of his superhero friends in the big Invasion! crossover (which also happens to be the show'a 100th episode). I am expecting big things - let's just hope it doesn't disappoint.