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Arrow - S5E16 - Checkmate

Previously on Arrow, “Fighting Fire with Fire”

With last episode’s reveal that Prometheus is Adrian Chase, the season is finally starting to ramp up. Oliver’s immediate desire to just kill Chase is thwarted by the capture of Susan, which may be a good thing, because, really Oliver, the mass killing is what started all this in the first place. Talia Al Ghul is back, and really rubbing Oliver’s nose in the whole ‘stop killing people’s fathers’ message. She trained Chase to kill Oliver after he killed Ra’s Al Ghul at the end of season three. You’d think at some point Oliver would have figured out that Talia was related to Ra’s, but that boy is notoriously dense so I’ll let it slide.

Images: The CW

The Good

Chase is wonderfully smug and villainous now that his true identity has finally been revealed. He manages to walk the line between in control and unhinged in a way that is truly threatening. That said, I can’t help but think of how good Talia would have been as the big bad this season, although there are five episodes left, so who knows what could happen.

The Bad

Okay, so you’re trying to tell me that Helix has a giant screen streaming everything coming through from people’s cell phone cameras, and yet there is not a single dick pic in sight? That’s even less realistic than a hood and a tiny mask successfully concealing Oliver’s identity for five years.

I have mixed feeling about the Helix storyline. On the one hand, it’s great for Felicity to finally have a storyline that’s about her and not about the men in her life. On the other hand, the only way the show could be telegraphing that this is all going to go wrong any more would be if their facility had ‘Bad Guys’ spray painted on the wall in giant letters. I know we don’t watch Arrow for its subtlety, but a little ambiguity now and then isn’t too much to ask. Also, Felicity, if you’re part of a dangerous crime fighting team maybe let them know when you’re going to go off the grid. Just a suggestion.

Curtis’ balls – sorry ‘T Spheres’ – look so silly. But then again, so did Curtis trying to fight.

You can add Chase’s wife to the tally of women killed to make men feel things on this show. I think we’re nearing the hundred mark at this point. And on the subject of underutilized women, are we ever going to see Evelyn again? It seems a waste for them to have spent so long training her and then having her side with Prometheus, only for her to never be seen again.

Quotes of the Week

Anatoli, on hearing Oliver’s gruff Arrow voice: “What’s this thing you are doing with your voice?”

Felicity: “Oliver’s got something up his green sleeve.”

Arrow S5E16
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Performances - 8/10


Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorn, Echo Kellum

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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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