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ARROW “We Fall” Review

By on January 26, 2018

Arrow — “We Fall” — Pictured: Jack Moore as William Clayton — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

 

ARROW “WE FALL” REVIEW

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

Has there ever been an opening of Arrow so unapologetically grim? I know last season had an episode devoted to gun violence, but that had more of an air of foreboding than anything else. Here, we get all hell breaking loose at 7 AM: a councilman killed in a car wreck, six people dead in a hospital, and five more electrocuted in an elevator. It’s a Final Destination scenario, kickstarted by Cayden James so he can finally get the payback he’s been looking to enact on Oliver and all of Star City.

There’s also some headway made on the mystery of Oliver killing Cayden’s son, thankfully. He’s convinced that Oliver’s arrow killed his son a year ago, but with Oliver having been in Hub City at the time, things are understandably not lining up. I’m not sure that this is a matter of Prometheus’ mad planning at work — it’s not brought up here, and seems too superfluous for the now deceased villain. With the news that Oliver missed his intended target, I’m half convinced to think that he’s referring to Felicity’s ex-boyfriend Billy from last year, but even that feels like a stretch.

It’s a fraught situation, and one not helped by the fact both parts of Team Arrow are pulled at the seams. Diggle is back as Spartan, but New Team Arrow starts to have some adjustment pains after a week of being an official team. Vincent drops the bomb that he’s playing double agent on Team Cayden, which makes some degree of sense — as Dinah points out, the guy was a cop and undercover before he went all Vigilante — but the guy also spent a year running around and acting like the Punisher and lying to Dinah about his involvement for a month, so she’s understandably upset.

Fortunately, this seed of distrust between Team New is uprooted almost immediately. Curtis and Rene make up with Dinah to do the most mature thing possible and weigh out the pros and cons of using Vincent as a mole. I’m glad that they get over this rough period instantly rather than letting it simmer between them, and that Dinah is able to remove her personal bias from the situation to let things play out. There’s a good chance that the show is going to drop that Vincent is a triple agent, but Johann Urb is good at both playing up his ambiguity and the fact that he’s visibly tortured by his choices.

Team New is the trio that end up saving the day this week, thanks to Vincent’s help. As far as hero moments go, Dinah takes MVP in a stunning subway moment where she uses her Canary Cry to keep a pair of trains from colliding and manages to stop it from hitting her in the process. All three of them manage to have an entertaining dynamic, such as Rene and Curtis having a back and forth about a “suit up!” cry while Dinah can’t help but roll her eyes. Even when they’re bickering, they all work together cohesively as a unit, and there’s a sense that they’ll be just fine on their own in the moments where problems aren’t so big that they need to call in Team Classic.

By the end of the episode, Oliver ends up capitulating to Cayden’s ransom demands after publicly declaring that he wouldn’t bow down to terrorists. This is inevitably going to blow up in Oliver’s face, as things always do, but it must be said that putting this show in close proximity to Black Lightning doesn’t do our hero’s relationship to Star City any favors. In Lightning, it’s very clear that Jefferson Pierce has a personal connection to the city of Freeland, something that feels mostly nonexistent for Oliver and his hometown. The problem for the show is so glaring that when it is brought up that the city’s police captain has died — a character who’s been recurring on the show for years, mind you — I had real trouble remembering the last time I saw him or what relationship he has to the main cast beyond being a police officer. Oliver’s ransom storyline may be what helps fleshing out Star City as a character, but if that’s the case, six years in is a tad too late.

Additional Notes

  • I’m liking Spartan’s new costume. The red trim works for him.
  • William learns that Oliver’s been Green Arrow for the past month, and this part of the episode is…fine? I like that it’s complicated by the fact that William’s fully ready for Felicity to just be his new mom in the event that Oliver dies.
  • Cayden’s fake name is Ben Gale. Clever, Arrow writers, that’s a good one.
  • Vincent kills Cayden’s right hand man, and I genuinely can’t recall them ever mentioning his name. You’d think he would warrant that much, at least.
  • On the comics side of Green Arrow, writer Benjamin Percy announced earlier this week that he’d be leaving writing duties for the Emerald Archer’s titular comic after handling him for three years. (His final issue will be in March.) If you haven’t read his Rebirth series, you definitely should.

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