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Arrow - S5E11 - Second Chances

Previously on Arrow, “Who Are You?”

There was nothing particularly wrong with this episode, no part that jumped out as egregiously bad, and yet it still fell flat. The three main storylines felt more disconnected than usual, the baddie of the week left next little to no impression, and most importantly, the motivation didn’t feel earned. Are we truly supposed to believe that THIS is what Laurel intended to be her legacy? Somehow I don’t think she’d love the idea of the Canary mantle being forced onto an unwilling participant. And, as much as Laurel wasn’t exactly universally beloved amongst Arrow fans (to say the least), I think even the most stalwart Laurel antis would agree that killing off major female characters for shock value only to replace them with a new-and-improved version is in poor taste.

Images: The CW

The Good

The recruits all seem to be coming into their own a little bit, Rene in particular. Every episode that passes where they aren’t awkwardly written as unrealistically incompetent so that Oliver can have a teachable moment is an episode I treasure. The pairing of Rene’s incredulousness and Curtis’ exuberance is also particularly enjoyable.

Felicity getting her very own fangirl was a cute little scene. This season has been one of the better ones for Felicity and that is largely due to her being placed in a leadership role. Watching her taking charge, making decisions, and taking an active role in mentoring the new recruits has really emphasized how far she’s come from the meek IT girl of season 1, and it was nice to see that she’s inspired another Felicity in the making (even if she’s disappointed that Felicity went corporate). That said, if the writers never again attempt to speak about the Internet it will be too soon.

Dropping in on Captain Singh is always a good time. I would watch a whole show of him trying to go about his work as meta-humans and vigilantes keep getting in the way.

The Bad

Another week without Thea and Quentin, and I am not happy that the show’s two best actors have gone AWOL. That said, since Thea hung up her cowl and Lance lost his badge they have been having trouble organically working them into episodes without seeming shoehorned in.

It seems odd that Oliver would be so keen to recruit someone new so soon after Evelyn’s betrayal. Well, if they ever addressed it that is. Why are they all so unbothered by the fact that they drove a teenager into working with a mass murderer. Well.. a different mass murderer anyway.

On the subject of murder, the show really needs to figure out how it feels about killing. I feel like I’m getting whiplash when they cut between scenes of Rene gunning down people at will straight to scenes of Oliver guilt tripping Tina for doing the exact same thing.

Talia is hot and capable like her sister, so I’m automatically a fan, but I’ve had about enough of wildly more interesting women showing up for the sole purpose of teaching Oliver a lesson (see: Shado, Waller, etc). Sometimes it seems like the only thing women get to do in this show is teach Oliver badass skills, need saving, and die for manpain.

I’ve tried desperately to care about the Diggle storyline this season, but it’s so hard when we all know that he will inevitably end up back on the team like normal, as though none of it ever happened. Feel free to prove me wrong, Guggenheim.

Quote of the Week

Felicity, on the reveal that her online handle is ‘GhostFoxBadass’ – “I made some bad choices in college.”

Arrow S5E11
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Performances - 6/10


How you feel about this episode will come down to your feelings on the team recruiting a replacement Black Canary. If that’s a plot that excites you, then this episode was a reasonably well-executed bit of fun. If, however, like me you find the whole storyline ill conceived, then you are in for a disappointment.

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About Alison Millward (103 Articles)
Alison is a big nerd living in Melbourne, Australia. She is a lover of all things television, particularly anything in the "hot young people in depressing sci-fi situations" genre. When not watching tv, Alison enjoys long walks on the beach, corrupting young minds, and actively avoiding thinking about her future.
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