ARROW “Vigilante” Review
By Justin Carter
Back in season two, there was an episode of Arrow titled “City of Heroes,” a reference to the reemergence of Team Arrow following Oliver’s departure from Starling City for a few months, along with the arrival of Sara Lance and Roy and Laurel coming into their future roles as heroes. It’s a shame that the writers didn’t save that title for any of the episodes this season, because Star City is absolutely crawling with heroes; in addition to Oliver and John as Spartan, we’ve now got Wild Dog, Artemis, Mr. Terrific, and Ragman providing support, and I imagine it won’t be too long before Thea gets back in her Speedy outfit.
Even with that number of heroes at hand, they still have to wait on the cops and the court system to actually take care of the criminals that don’t run town or end up dead, and it’s not a fair or easy process. Much like Gotham, Star is full of crooked cops and lawmakers, and it’s understandable that folks would get disillusioned after one too many criminals is allowed to walk away, scot-free. Enter our bad guy for the week: the Vigilante, a dude in a ski-mask with impressive guns who likes to gun down criminals.
Any ethical issues the new members of Team Arrow have with the idea of bringing down a killer while working with a reformed (after a fashion) killer are sidelined in order to stop him from killing off the remaining members of a crew of bank robbers. The only real crisis of faith comes from Oliver, not exactly enthused with yet another killer turning up in this city (again, like Gotham, I’m incredibly baffled as to why people live here over anywhere else) is going through a crisis of faith. As both a mayor and a hero, Vigilante is making him look like a fool on two fronts. It’s an understandable crisis of faith, and the flashbacks help drive this point even further. Dolph Lundgren is certainly hamming it up as Konstantin Kovar, but as the crime lord, his big grand speech about perspective is certainly fitting. Oliver may have also technically birthed the Vigilante, but he’s also added others to join him in his crusade who’ve helped save the city plenty of times. It’s always good to look to the positive, and while I’m not 100% convinced that Susan Williams is the best vessel for him to get over his Weekly Crisis (she’s planning on getting with him and still knows about his time in Russia), it is nice that this wasn’t regurgitated by one of the Team Arrow mainstays.
Living a double life certainly isn’t easy, which is something that Diggle is learning now that he’s a wanted man. Having been confined to just chill out at the Lair, he ends up missing his son’s second birthday and starts going postal on criminals as a result. Surprisingly, it’s Rene of all people who steps up and brings in the Diggle family to the base for a late celebration (with cake, because duh). It’s a small moment, but a nice connection between the two former military men, considering that Diggle helped Rene through his problems a couple of episodes ago. By now, each new member of the team has found someone they can essentially glomp onto as a support system–Evelyn has Oliver (sort of), and Curtis and Rory both pull double duty with Felicity–so it’s only natural that he bonds with Diggle.
Arrow is no stranger to weird plot turns, which is what felt like was happening with last week’s hint that Prometheus may be Quentin. Fortunately, both he and the show are smart enough to know that trick wouldn’t hold for a variety of reasons, instead using it as a vehicle to finally get him into rehab. Thea and Lance’s growing relationship has been one of the slowly running subplots through the season, and the dynamic between Willa Holland and Paul Blackthorne hits all the right notes during their characters’ pre-rehab conversation.
It’s the solid character work that makes this week’s Arrow worth watching, though I’m not fully sure the ending sticks. Evelyn working with Prometheus feels like one of those twists that leads to an even more out there twist (it’s actually her brother!), this doesn’t fully stick. Maybe he’s manipulating her, but otherwise, just feels like a weird wrinkle to throw into things. Not enough to not recommend checking out “Vigilante,” but something that’s definitely a head-scratcher.
- Can Curtis get to do something besides basically be a quippier Felicity who always gets his ass handed to him? At this point, it’s getting old.
- I fully believe that entire fistfight between Kovar and Oliver in the flashbacks was done completely with Ivan Drago, and no one can take that from me.
- “What is it with this city and serial killers?”
- Arrow takes next week off, because Thanksgiving, but its return will lead to its 100th episode and crossover with Supergirl, Flash, and Legends. Can’t wait.