Arrow: ‘Human Target’ Review
The Fear of Pain.
Full SPOILERS are discussed in this week’s Arrow review.
Arrow was completely on point this week, pun very much intended. Been waiting a while to say that. Me, personally, I’ve enjoyed every season so far, not really noticing huge declines in the show. I was even on board with the whole Ollicity romance thing. However, a lot of people have not been thrilled with the past couple of seasons. So, it’s been pretty obvious the show in its fifth season has been trying to sort of reinvent itself. So far, we’ve seen examples of that. Some good, some not too great. So while there have been so missteps and experiments in this early part of the season, episode five was the one to get the formula right.
First off, I knew once Diggle returned to Team Arrow, everything was going to be all right. John Diggle (David Ramsey) has always been the strong, sturdy pillar of Team Arrow. Even with all his personal lame decisions and always getting down on himself, he’s always been a good partner and adviser to Oliver Queen. Plus, he’s just cool as hell. Now that he’s out of prison (even though he’s a fugitive), he’s able to offer his services once again. Having him debrief the freshly rescued but beaten up Rene was a great place to start. I could tell Dig was more at peace with himself, thus making him a more effective mentor to Rene. Rene took one hell of a beating while being held captive by Tobias Church. So it’s totally feasible while being dazed by the pain he was in, with a slip of the tongue, he gave away Oliver’s identity. Because of that, I can’t be mad at the guy nor call him weak. I was hoping he’d learn some humility while getting beat up, and apparently he did. From here on out, I hope he becomes a better listener and fighter. With Diggle helping him through his ordeal, there’d be no reason for him not to be a more efficient part of the team.
Rene’s slip up was a good way to introduce the conflict. Knowing Church knew who the Green Arrow was brought a major sense of urgency to find and stop him. The twists and turns it took to do that were quite fun. One of those factors was Oliver faking his death to gain the upper hand. He received help from a familiar DC Comics face, now introduced to the Arrowverse. Christopher Chance aka the Human Target assisted by impersonating Ollie and getting shot by Church’s assassin. For me, it was a treat seeing this character brought back to life on TV. I used to watch and enjoy the FOX show from 2010 before the network canceled it. The character was useful in the regards to protecting Ollie’s life, but since the character was in disguise most of the time, Wil Traval (from Netflix’s Jessica Jones), the actor who played him, felt a little underused. So I really hope they can bring back the character in this show or any of the other DC shows. From what I could tell, Wil Traval seemed to fit right into the role. His introduction was rather sudden, but once we saw him appear in the Bratva flashback, it made sense. It is a little sad though that Chase, while impersonating Oliver, was really the one responsible for handling Oliver’s crucial mayoral duties. Makes you wonder if Ollie could have done it himself.
Well, it appears Tobias Church is not our main villain this season after all, on account of him getting killed in the final scene. Chad Coleman did some pretty good work here. His opening scene where he tells Rene a story about fear was some intimidating sh*t. His final fight with the Green Arrow was also really bad ass. However, it appeared all too clearly that a stuntman stepped in for Coleman. If I’m wrong, I don’t mind being corrected. It’s a shame to see him die off so fast, but with him gone, Prometheus is now the main threat for Team Arrow. Truth is, they didn’t really do too much with the Tobias Church character. Maybe it was always intended for him to be a ploy as the main villain to prepare us for Prometheus’ reign of terror. With Prometheus single-handedly wiping out an entire convoy of cops (off camera, sadly), you can tell he’s going to do some damage. So long, Tobias. Do your worst, Prometheus.
Felicity’s love life was a small subplot. I didn’t mind it all too much because it didn’t get in the way of the excitement of the main plot. In fact, it led to a very touching scene between Ollie and her. Whether they get back together remains to be seen, though it seems unlikely at this point. What was established though is that Oliver cares about her too much for him to be jealous that she’s moved on. She mentioned that she wasn’t sure if her current relationship was a real thing or not, which may explain why we don’t see a lot of her current boyfriend, John Ritter’s kid. Good. Keep it that way. Hey, just because Oliver can accept it, doesn’t mean I have to.
The Bratva flashback fit nicely with the episode. It makes sense that there are people in the organization that feel Oliver’s placement is wrong. Makes for some interesting conflict. This new journalist in the present time, Susan Williams is going to be trouble now that she possesses a photo of Oliver associating with Bratva while he was supposed to be on the island. It’s about time someone found evidence of him not being on Lian Yu. I always felt it kind of odd no one ever caught him in public during his adventures away from the island.
“Human Target” was an exciting episode with a great main plot, and well rounded subplots. We saw the demise of a lacking villain in favor of a more threatening one. The mayoral stuff did not get in the way nor was it boring. The team fought well together, and they all felt useful. Diggle’s new helmet is way cooler. I buy that he can actually see out of it now. I also loved that the team paused to marvel at how awesome he was when he was blasting bad guys. All in all, I feel like the team is fully ready to kick ass. Especially after seeing them questioning criminals with Oliver in the opening scene. Things are really starting to fit in nice and neat. Now, they just need to keep the momentum up with Prometheus as the scary, highly skilled villain.