Arrow, S5 Ep07 – Vigilante

This season of Arrow has definitely been a mixed bag. While season five’s more grounded approach is a step in the right direction, the series continues to struggle with storytelling and character development. “Vigilante” continues this trend as we are presented with a story involving a new vigilante murdering criminals in Star City, all while Quentin Lance struggles with his alcoholism, Diggle deals with his status as a fugitive, and a flashback sequence introduces young Oliver Queen to Konstantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren).

Arrow -- "Vigilante" -- Image AR507b_0223b.jpg -- Pictured: -- Photo: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Staring down Vigilante

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the comic book source material, “Vigilante” lays it on pretty thick that Adrian Chase (Josh Segurra), Star City’s new District Attorney, is Vigilante. This is made abundantly clear when he is seen aggressively interrogating one of the bank robbers he failed to kill. The voices sound the same and he’s displayed an urgent desire for justice against criminals in Star City.

While this week’s episode didn’t reveal the true identity of Vigilante, it almost did as Oliver comes close to removing his mask before he escapes. The fact that Vigilante’s identity has yet to be revealed makes me hope that Adrian Chase isn’t the true person behind the mask, but someone else entirely. At least this way the twist will be surprising. All that being said, Vigilante himself is pretty cool and makes for some fun comic book battle scenes throughout the episode.

Last week’s episode ended with Quentin Lance recovering from one of his blackouts only to find blood on his hands and a throwing star in his apartment. This ending was frustrating and insulted the audience’s intelligence by seemingly implying that Quentin may be Prometheus or at least have some connection to him. Thankfully, “Vigilante” disregards that very thought as Quentin now believes Prometheus is targeting him for some reason, which also leads Oliver to believing Prometheus knows that Oliver is the Green Arrow and is targeting those closest to him.

Seeing Quentin continue to go through what he’s going through is definitely heartbreaking. Compared to other characters on the show, he has lost a lot. While a little on the dull side, the conversation scenes between Quentin and Thea were some of the episode’s better moments. They really put into perspective how much these characters have gone through and how much they have grown since season one. Hopefully, Quentin lands on his feet sometime soon and is able to take his role as Deputy Mayor of Star City more seriously.

What continues to be frustrating about the current state of Arrow, is what has happened to Diggle. I’ve already displayed frustration over the replacement of Diggle’s daughter Sara with Diggle’s son J.J., so I won’t go into it here, even though it played a role in this week’s episode. What’s really frustrating is the fact that Diggle is still a fugitive. Diggle knew the consequences of escaping from prison, and now he’s basically never allowed to see his family at home again and spends all his time in a bunker doing chin-ups. This new reality leads to Diggle becoming more aggressive while fighting crime, as he takes out all of his frustrations the criminals he and Team Arrow take down. What did you think was going happen when you escaped from prison, Diggle? At least in prison I’m sure he would have had visitation rights to see his family, but now Wild Dog has to find ways to sneak his wife and son to Diggle’s location. I really hope Arrow addresses this situation soon and resolves it because I would hate to see Diggle remain a wanted fugitive for the remainder of the series. That being said, it’s nice to see Diggle return to wearing his Spartan costume with an all-new and improved helmet.

Dolph Lundgren as Konstantin Kovar

Dolph Lundgren as Konstantin Kovar

I haven’t talked much about this season’s flashbacks in recent reviews because, to be honest, they haven’t been all that interesting. This has been a problem with Arrow since season 3 and I take comfort in the fact that this is the last year of flashbacks. In this week’s flashbacks Oliver comes face to face with Konstantin Kovar. Even though I enjoy seeing Dolph Lundgren make his way to the small screen as this villain, the conversations between the two are not all that compelling and don’t seem to amount to much by the end of the sequence.

“Vigilante” concludes with what’s supposed to be a shocker, and for the most part the fact that Artemis is working with Prometheus is kind of surprising. That being said, it didn’t feel like the “gasp” moment it should have felt like. Maybe if Artemis was a stronger character we can care about, the reveal that she’s bad would have more of an effect, but it didn’t have much weight behind it in here. The same problems with Artemis also apply to Ragman, who also hasn’t been that strong of a character. So far the only new member of Team Arrow that brings something interesting to the table is Wild Dog.

Overall, while I enjoyed the fight scenes with Team Arrow against Vigilante and enjoyed some of the more somber scenes with Quentin and Thea, “Vigilante” was an unsatisfying episode with an unsatisfying twist ending. I continue to have hope that Arrow will improve, but it has to start with making us care more about these new characters. Even Curtis, who I loved in season four, is beginning to lose some of what made him so compelling before.

I’m happy to say that in two weeks Arrow will take a break from its drab main plot and cross over with Supergirl, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in a four night event. If you haven’t done so already, check out The CW’s official trailer for what they are dubbing “Heroes vs. Aliens” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Vigilante” in the comments.


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