Arrow: “Vigilante” Review
Oliver clashes with the new villain in town.
Warning: This is a spoiler filled review. Watch the episode, then come back and give this a look.
This has got to be the most stressful year for Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow. There’s just so much on his plate at the moment. Between his vigilante duties and his mayoral duties, I don’t know how he hasn’t gone off the deep end. As if dealing with Prometheus wasn’t bad enough, now he and Team Arrow were introduced to a new foe. A vigilante that calls himself… Vigilante. This is a guy who has the same interests as the Green Arrow, which is to stop criminals and clean up Star City. Only major difference is, while Oliver struggles with the decision of killing or not killing, Vigilante has no hesitation sending criminals to the morgue.
After recalling some DC facts I glanced over once and doing a quick search, I come to find out Vigilante is indeed a comic book character in the DC lineup. Now, I didn’t read too much about the character, but I did see that the man under the “ski goggles” could possibly be a character already introduced this season. I’ve heard chatter that it could very well be mister hot shot District Attorney Adrian Chase. If you read my review for the last episode, “So It Begins”, I said Chase could possibly be Prometheus. But now it’s looking more likely that he could be the gun toting Vigilante. It makes a little more sense given he knows the limitations of the legal system. His dark side is shown when he interrogates a suspect who tells him to “go to hell” only for him to respond by saying he’s already been there. Either way, that scene indicated Chase is a much more interesting character than I originally thought.
Whoever Vigilante really is, he’s already a fascinating character, and adds a great conflict to the show. He’s not trying to be a villain, but his methods are too extreme to be commended. He says he’s doing what he’s doing because the Green Arrow isn’t getting the job done because crime is at an all time high. He’s pretty much referring to the lack of bodies Oliver has dropped. This reminds me of the conflict between, Batman and the Red Hood. How one is willing to go to more extremes to get the job done. Oliver even begins to doubt his work as the Green Arrow and whether or not it’s been effective enough throughout the years. When these two confront each other in the third act, it’s so dramatic and suspenseful. Vigilante shows he is truly a dangerous advisory. So yes, please, let’s see more of Vigilante as well as Prometheus. With the right balance, these two can be the best villains since Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. I’m already impressed with Vigilante’s outfit and weaponry. Oh, and his night vision mode, which is similar to Predator’s heat vision, is dope.
The reoccurring Thea and Quentin subplot reached an emotional high. I’ve been so engrossed with these two working together this season. I’m still astounded on how excellent Willa Holland and Paul Blackthorne are at tugging the heartstrings with their onscreen chemistry. Their dramatic work has kept Quentin’s alcoholic storyline from getting stale. It’s a beautiful story that keeps both characters relevant since they’ve been absent from all the action. I also appreciate how this issue with Quentin was never rushed. That it took this long for him to finally go to rehab. I’m also glad they’ve pretty much ruled out the possibility of Lance being Prometheus by coming to the conclusion that he’s being set up to send a message to Oliver.
The Bratva flashback was once again engaging. Dolph Lundgren continued to impress with his performance as Konstantin Kovar. I love how even though he can easily crush Oliver and kill him, he proceeds to play mind games with him. It also begs the question if Kovar is really the guy Oliver should be after. Either way, Bratva is one messed up organization. The little throwdown between Ollie and Kovar was pretty sick, even though it was clear a stunt double stepped in for Dolph. No doubt Dolph can put a hurtin’ on somebody, but I doubt he can move as fast as the shadowed figure on screen.
If this episode had a significant flaw, it was Diggle’s cabin fever issue. Being cooped up in one location for a number of weeks to hide from the law could certainly suck. Missing your son’s birthday can add to some stress, for sure. However, dude… what was up with David Ramsey’s overacting? His mood was way too over dramatic. Thankfully, the subplot was saved by Rene setting up a family reunion for his teammate. Shows that the bound between Diggle and Rene is solid.
So uh, yeah, let’s talk about the gut punching twist at the end of this episode, shall we? Oh, Evelyn, Artemis, how could you? Meeting up with Prometheus (in his only scene) on a rooftop, saying “no one suspects a thing”. WHYYYYY?! I’m a wee bit upset because I was starting to like this character as a hero, even with her lack of screen time. Now it seems she’s turned out to be an interesting villain. So the character’s potential has gone way up now. Just not the way I wanted it to. I honestly didn’t suspect her to be a mole. She’s so convincing with her innocent act. Let’s not forget how angry she was with Oliver when she found out he set out to murder people when he first became the Arrow. Now look at her. She’s quite a manipulator. Now what remains to be seen is how far she’s willing to go to serve Prometheus. It’s also really going to give Oliver some major trust issues with new people coming into his life.
Not going to go too much into Ollie’s possible fling with Susan Williams, but I’m curious what her angle is since she knows about Oliver being in Russia during the time he was supposed to be stuck on the island. She was quite slick with her comment on being in a Twitter war with a Russian. I do think it’s cool that Oliver is willing to move on and start dating, but he has to know it’s not at all a good idea for a mayor to date a journalist, right? Gotta give it up to Carly Pope as Williams too. She’s quite the charmer.
With the focus being shifted away from Prometheus this week, I thought this was going to turn into a filler episode. Thank goodness it wasn’t, but if it had been, it would have been one of the best fillers I’ve seen in a while. “Vigilante” was a solid, if not exceptional episode filled with top notch action, lots of heart and emotion, intrigue, even romance. We had quality storytelling and thrills this week with a setup that can give us some compelling conflicts in the near future. It’s quite clear Arrow is aspiring to get back to its gritty roots, possibly to get back those who have walked away from watching the series. The pace is picking up so well for season five, I almost don’t want to see the upcoming four-way crossover with the other DC/CW shows, especially with the cliffhanger we were left with.