Arrow: “A Matter of Trust” Review
Ollie’s new team is ready.
Warning: Full SPOILERS will be in this review.
Team Arrow 2.0 got its first mission this week, but not without a slight blunder. Rene (Wild Dog) Kinda sorta created a powerful new villain who can’t feel pain. When he and Evelyn went looking for Derek Sampson at his drug lab, Rene caused the drug dealer to fall in a pool of drugy chemicals. I personally loved the action-filled scene, but Rene making the decision to go after him, even after Oliver told him not to, was quite an impulsive and stupid thing to do. So I have to somewhat call bullsh*t when the theme of trust is used against Oliver in suggesting he should have trusted Rene when he said he could have tracked Sampson down. Call me crazy, but I think acting out of spite and going against the orders of your trainer, creating a super powered villain outweighs a trust issue.
So even though I wasn’t too thrilled with that bit of storytelling, the result was we got to see a kick ass first mission from the new team in the final showdown of “A Matter of Trust”, the third episode of Arrow’s fifth season. Out of the first three episodes of the season, this would definitely be the strongest. I worried this new narrative for the show would be an issue, but this episode has somewhat assured me things are going to work out, even though there are some clear issues with some of the veteran characters.
The new characters are starting to take shape. It seems they are becoming the stronger focus of the show, aside from Oliver and Felicity’s story. Rene, despite raiding Sampson’s operation against orders, is starting to cool down and become a team player. Evelyn seems like she’s starting to observe her situation, asking questions, using a little bit of caution. Curtis was back to being his dorky self, but he seemed more comfortable with his teammates. Rory (Ragman) just kinda fits right in and seems to be the most disciplined. This was very much their episode, and you can see their effort in becoming stronger at what they do, while Oliver continues to become a stronger mentor to his new team.
Sadly, our vets, Thea, Diggle, and Lance continue to get the short end of the awesome stick. Thea continues to run things from the political side, getting played by a news reporter, almost resigning from her position. Lame. Diggle facing fall out from getting setup by his military officers spends this episode in a cell with an imaginary Floyd Lawton. Very lame. I mean, it was great seeing Michael Rowe reprise his role as Lawton, but to be a figment of Diggle’s imagination, is just weak. It just shows that they really have no use for Diggle in the series right now. Not only is he still needlessly feeling guilty for killing his corrupt brother, but now he’s seeing visions of the man he thought originally killed his brother? Come on, writers. Why you gotta do Diggle like this? Not only that, but the previews for next week suggest Oliver is going to break Diggle out of prison. So he’ll be a fugitve now? Man, I knew at the end of season four, Diggle’s story line was going south. Oh, and Lance? One scene, one line….. I-I can’t right now.
Fortunately, I think I’m done complaining because the rest of this episode was solid fun. I know I mention the action in every review, but this week’s action sequences were incredible. Oliver had some dope ass moves this week. His fights with Sampson were great. You gotta love his arrow to the shoulder takedown move he pulled on Sampson. The raid on the drug lab was awesome, and seeing the new team work as a unit was very awesome. This episode was not short on thrills. Much credit to director Gregory Smith, who’s done some great work on the show before, with “Genesis” being a prime example. Not only that, but Smith, much to my surprise, is an actor known for shows like Everwood and Rookie Blue, as well as the film The Patriot. I mean, whaaaat?
They even did right by creating a conflict between Rory and Felicity. She felt guilty for her part in redirecting Damien Darhk’s nuclear missile to Rory’s hometown, Haven Rock. It was good that she struggled with approaching him throughout the episode. I liked that when she did finally apologize, Rory said nothing as he walked away in shock. This was something that needed to happen. You can’t have a man out to avenge the annihilation of his home work alongside someone who was partially responsible for the event. I hope this conflict isn’t glossed over in the coming episodes.
As much as I was annoyed with the episode’s writing in some areas, I sorta forgive it with the amount of excitement it provided. Sampson shined as the villain this week, enjoying immunity to pain. He even made a great reference to Lethal Weapon. The movie, not the new TV show (which is great, and you should check out my reviews I’m writing for the series). I feel this was a balanced episode, not tackling too much, but giving us a thrilled pack good time. The Bravta flashbacks added some good context to the theme of trust which Ollie used his teachings from that mission to not only take care of his team of vigilantes, but also his duties as mayor. I hope this episode was a step in the right direction in getting Arrow back on point.