Robert Falconer / The CW

Arrow Starts To Wrap Things Up

As the fifth season approaches its finale, the show picks up some threads left over from its premise.

Oliver's still talking about his "five years in hell," but I think it's time to let that go. We've seen almost the entirety of that time, and in every case, whatever happened five years ago was not as interesting as what happened when Oliver came back to Star City. If the island was so life-shattering, it would have risen above being a subplot more often, you know? And I think Oliver agrees with me, because in this episode, he tells Thea, "Leave the past in the past."

For most of this episode, people seemed more concerned with the past than the present. Iron Heights has disgorged a bunch of inmates again, this time because the prosecutor was Adrian Chase. I didn't know you could get convictions overturned just because the prosecutor was a serial-killing supervillain, but I admit that I don't have a law degree. So Team Arrow turns their attention to Sampson, who is a guy that can't feel pain. At least, that's what they keep saying, but I don't think that's a superpower. People in the real world with that condition have to be pretty careful about not bumping into things or getting burned, but Sampson just shrugs off things like being shot repeatedly. I've always thought Sampson didn't make a lot of sense, and I'm not thrilled that they brought him back, even as a one-shot.

If I didn't know the episode number, I think I would have thought this was the season finale for most of this episode. Team Arrow got to send Prometheus to a secret Argus prison and then go out for drinks. Flashback Oliver got to set up that Deathstroke mask and get ready to go back to civilization. Even Rene's subplot looked like it was going to reach a happy ending, because Quentin gave him that great pep talk about showing up for the custody hearing. That was my favorite scene, actually. It didn't have a lot to do with heroes or villains, but I liked the acting.

Anyway, it turns out there are still a few episodes to go in the season, which is why Rene didn't get his daughter back and Dolph Lundgren showed up out of nowhere to punch Flashback Oliver's lights out. But never mind that for now. How Arrow-y was Arrow?

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Trick Arrow At this point, I'm just glad to see Oliver shoot an arrow at all. He spent way too much time in a ski mask and shooting a pistol at people. Although the show has never really explained why it's okay for most of the team to use guns while the boss restricts himself to archery.
Oliver Queen: A Jerk In his final showdown with Adrian Chase in the stairwell, Oliver finally called upon his secret superpower and weaponized his inner jerk. Chase thought he was here for a fight, but suddenly Oliver was telling him that Daddy Chase never loved him? That's a low blow, man! You're not supposed to make the bad guy cry.
Comic-book reference I don't think the Robert Queen Applied Sciences Building has a rich publication history. Although I'm kind of impressed that it still exists at all, considering that Queen Consolidated got renamed to Palmer Technologies a long time ago.
Someone walks into the Arrowlair without warning Even though it seems like everyone in town knows where the Lair is, no one chose to sneak in this week. Say, hasn't it been a while since Malcolm Merlyn stopped by? We saw him in that Russian flashback, but he's been hanging out with the Legends Of Tomorrow and forgetting his old pals.
Flashback scenes mirror the present day In the flashbacks, Oliver talked about wanting to come back to civilization to clean up his father's legacy. And then he talked a lot about his father in the present day. Seems pretty straightforward.
Things get gory Sampson got absolutely riddled with bullets, but he didn't appear to care. And the only corpse we saw had been dead for too long to be all that gross.
The Only Hospital Room In Town The hospital room is only for injured heroes, and things went too well for the good guys for it to be needed.
Someone gets kidnapped I was pretty sure that Chase was kidnapping Oliver's secret son at the end of the last episode, but it didn't come up this week.
Someone goes shirtless Even that corpse in the cement still had its shirt on.
2 / 9
Final Score
Daddy issues
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