Arrow: 5.14 The Sin-Eater
If last week's episode of Arrow was a mix of dull plotting in the first half and a thoughtful debate on gun control in the second, then this week was more 'fun' with three recurring female villains teaming up to take down Star City. China White (Kelly Hu) has been a recurring foe since Arrow 's early years, Carrie Cutter / Cupid (Amy Gumenick) another of Oliver's enemy archers and bad cop Liza Warner (Rutina Wesley); none of them are in the super villain league but China White and Cupid at least have made enough of an impression to keep coming back again and again. And having all three together is a hoot; after all, who doesn't like a good villain team up?
That isn't to say The Sin-Eater fully delivers on its promise. The baddies' master plan seems to be little more than tracking down the deceased Tobias Church's fortune and using it to buy an army to take over the city. Oliver and co spend a lot of the episode tracking them down and the final showdown, while great to watch, is standard Arrow fare. It's kind of easy to take the show's fight choreography for granted because its so well done but there was nothing here on the level of the Green Arrow taking down a helicopter from a few weeks ago. It was good to finally see Dinah Drake in action against China White - not full Black Canary costume yet but the eye mask was a good first step. I'm just hoping that she finally takes on that mantle the team can do something about upgrading Mr Terrific and Wild Dog's outfits too because they really do need some work.
Oh and bring back Rag Man fast because he's much cooler than everyone except the Green Arrow himself.
There isn't really much more than that to the villain's story, making the episode a little forgettable in places. Even the flashbacks feels a little wasted this week. Oliver reveals his plans to return to his old life to Anatoly, save him from some bad guys, hide and then give himself up. It's filler for what I can only assume is the final showdown with Konstantin Kovar. The fact that we know Anatoly is alive in the present takes the tension out of the threat in the past.
Far more interesting was Thea and Felicity's take down of reporter Susan Williams. I've never really bought into Oliver's feeling for Susan as much as her manipulation of him; it feels similar to Felicity's relationship with the now deceased Detective Malone, a forced connection to keep Oliver and Felicity apart romantically. That being said, Carly Pope has given Susan an endearing quality. She does appear to have some feelings for Oliver and I liked that she outright asked Oliver if he was the Green Arrow. So while Felicity and Thea planting evidence to discredit her as a reporter may have stopped that investigation dead, I did feel a little sorry for Susan having her career torn to shreds. Oliver's anger was justified but it was a surprise when Thea failed to feel remorse. She has always had a darker side, certainly since she began her tutelage under Malcolm Merlyn, and her actions here suggested she hadn't completely lost that ruthless nature.
I'm not sure I cared for the Green Arrow as public enemy number one again, hunting by the police for his role in killing Detective Malone. I'm glad Captain Pike was able to listen to Oliver's assertions that Green Arrow was framed by Prometheus. However it does build on the manipulations of Prometheus, first bringing Green Arrow's actions to the public and then threatening to destroy Oliver as mayor by revealing the cover up in Malone's death. After Oliver shone as mayor of Star City last week, this might be the end of his career.
The Sin-Eater was all about - as the episode suggests - atoning for your sins. Oliver helped others like Anatoly by taking on those sins and making something good happen, while Thea embraced her sins in destroying Susan's reputation. It was certainly more interesting than three bad girls who just wanted to get revenge and take over the city. Those moments were fun but overall a little forgettable. But at least there are sure to be consequences from this episode in the weeks ahead.