Arrow: ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ Review
Has Felicity finally turned her back on Team Arrow?
Warning: Spoilers will be discussed in this review.
After a near month break, Arrow kicks off its final five episodes for its fifth season with the action packed “Dangerous Liaisons”. Sadly, Ardian Chase is still in the wind, and we got no physical appearance from him. But make no mistake, this was still a Prometheus themed thriller.
A huge chunk of the episode was on Felicity and whether or not she’d turn her back on Team Arrow and swear allegiance to Helix once and for all. This is something that’s been toyed with for the past batch of episodes. This episode sought to show us where her true loyalty lies. Felicity has gone down a fairly dark road lately after the death of her boyfriend, but I think we all knew she was never going to turn into a full fledged baddie. Most of the reasons why she used Helix’s illegal resources in the first place was to help Ollie and the team. Turns out that was the case here when she crossed the line to help free Helix’s founder who was being illegally detained by ARGUS. Even though it was technically wrong to free the Helix founder, and it certainly didn’t sit well with Lyla, in exchange for the guy’s freedom, he’d provide the team with a device that could track Chase’s location. The episode did a fine job making it seem as if Felicity was going to finally turn her back on Ollie, when in fact, she worked against him so she could eventually help the team. She was asking for a little bit of trust, and it didn’t seem like she deserved it. In the end, she came out to be the MVP of the episode. She even shut Ollie’s mouth by calling out Oliver with all the time’s he’s crossed the line for an important objective.
Unfortunately for Felicity, her action’s made Kojo Sledgehammer (who’s real name turned out to be Alena) realize she’s too involved with Team Arrow to dedicate herself with Helix. So although Alena had a profound fondness for Felicity, whom she dubbed her hero, she cut ties with her after their daring mission to break the Helix founder out of ARGUS custody. I’m a little bummed the Helix portion of the season may be over, and Felicity will probably go back to just being her quirky self. This arc for Felicity was great, and I appreciated seeing some better storytelling for the character, and Emily Bett Rickards handled the material very well. Helix could possibly play a factor in the show later though. They know too much info on Team Arrow. So if they ever want to exploit that information, they can use it against the team. Also, as cute as Alena is, it’s a little disturbing how dismissive she was on killing an ARGUS agent in an elevator accident to get a key card she needed. She also didn’t seem to mind the violence that occurred during the ARGUS break in. Helix can be a danger to the team in the future. So I’ll keep my eye out on this organization just in case.
Rene’s subplot involving him refusing to see his daughter because he’s too afraid he’ll hurt her after she was burned from a cooking accident a long time ago was a bit drawn out. However, I was invested none the less. I love that Quentin as a grieving father who’s still mourning the loss of his daughter stepped in and insisted Rene reclaim his daughter. It was a touching storyline that gave the episode some levity with the numerous times Quentin is called Hoss, and a lot of heart.
Curtis, despite being useful in the field, was back to his annoying self with some badly timed jokes and annoying mannerisms. I really hoped the writers had matured the character, and in some ways they have, but he caused my eyes to roll a bit than I would have liked. Dinah had some really great action moments, but not much else. I’d really like to see her get some stronger development soon. Thankfully, since Juliana Harkavy has been promoted to a series regular (along with Rick Gonzalez) for the next season, there should be plenty of time for that.
There were absolutely no flashbacks in this episode, and man, did it help the pace and consistency a lot. I almost wonder if this was done intentionally as an experiment to see if an episode of Arrow can flow well without flashbacks. Short answer: Hell yes it can. With this season’s flashbacks leading up to where the series began, the flashback aspect should be coming to an end indefinitely. Unless they divert to other ways of showing flashbacks. God, I hope not. Even though this season’s flashbacks have been great, the flashback element must die. Or at least not be as often. This episode’s structure worked perfectly without flashbacks, leaving plenty of room for every story point to be explored. No more flashbacks after this season. Please and thank you.
Like I mentioned before, this was still a Prometheus episode even without an actual sighting of the villain. His haunting presence was felt throughout the episode. Ultimately, most of the events that took place in “Dangerous Liaisons” worked towards the ultimate goal, which is to find and take Prometheus down. While Chase is on the run, you still have to wonder if this is all part of his plan. Even if it’s not, he sure is damn good at improvising. I loved his trap in the arcade. I also get a major kick out of the fact that after all that work Felicity and Helix went through, all the trust issues with the team, after so much violence and turmoil, when she finally gets her hands on the biometric device to track down Chase, he just so happens to be at the bunker where he unleashed an attack. What an awesome twist and a cliffhanger!
I am truly hyped for these remaining episodes. This was a solid kickoff to the final countdown. Sure, the humor by Curtis brought it down a bit, but it was countered by the exciting story of Felicity’s last hurrah with Helix. I also really liked the morality theme throughout the episode focusing on Felicity’s decisions and Lyla’s tactics over at ARGUS. She’s kind of turning into a mini Amanda Waller and causing friction between her and Diggle. That’s not good. Although there were no sightings of Chase, it was good that the Helix storyline was wrapped up (for now, I’m assuming). With that out of the way, we should be seeing a straightforward goal to putting an end to Adrian Chase. However, with Chase attacking the bunker at the moment, things are about to get even harder for the team.