ARROW “LIVING PROOF” REVIEW
By JUSTIN CARTER
Does it feel like this season of Arrow has been disjointed?
There have been so many starts and stops, and a variety of status quo changes that can’t help but be called out when remembering that this is the gateway to the home stretch in the fall. And while it’s been a mostly enjoyable one, again, it has also felt scattershot. So perhaps it’s fitting that in what mostly amounts to a bottle episode sees Team Arrow try to make their way out of a crumbling building, and deal with some of the many developments that have come in recent episodes in an isolated environment. (Mostly. Until the last act of the episode.)
The best example of this scattershot nature is the Star City police storyline. It’s becoming clearer that deputizing Team Arrow led to vigilantes being outlawed and the eventual creation of the Archer program, which in turn leads to supercops in 2040. Other parts don’t make sense; why would the city elect Rene as mayor 11 years later when in the present day, he actively lied to the police and covered up two murders? More than that, why is Emiko so dead set on framing Team Arrow when her plan is to kill the cops and still destroy the city anyway? This isn’t something that can really wait until next week’s finale to be answered.
Fortunately, the show goes back to a well that thankfully hasn’t run dry yet, and that’s giving Oliver a hallucination of Tommy Merlyn, bearded up and happily trying to steer his friend on a new path. Discounting the switch up with the Human Target last year, it’s been a very long time since we’ve gotten to see Tommy. The chemistry between Stephen Amell and Colin Donnell is still rock solid , and he’s the perfect person to bring things full circle with regard to Oliver wanting to break his family’s cycle. There’s perhaps one too many fakeouts in the episode, but it’s hard to not feel something as Oliver gives what one can only assume to be a final goodbye before his eventual rescue.
Is Emiko able to be redeemed? That…remains frustratingly unclear; she wouldn’t pull an arrow on a pregnant woman, but she’s also got no problem becoming a terrorist and bombing a city. Oliver went through the same internal crisis that she is in right now, but her interiority this whole season does not feel substantial, as as she’s constantly being talked about in the context of Oliver and through his eyes, we are robbed of the opportunity to see how she justifies her own actions.
While Oliver gets a therapy session from basically himself, it doesn’t take long for the other members of Team Arrow to reunite and try to stop the building from exploding. This really is where Colton Haynes and Juliana Harkavy shine and get a chance to unpack last week’s episode. It’s a nice moment that sticks out in an episode that’s otherwise concerned mainly with Oliver interacting with his own head.
- Boy, they aren’t wasting any time in establishing that Felicity’s going to leave with her baby, huh.
- Meanwhile in the future: Team Arrow is screwed, basically. (Was anyone else not surprised that Alena turned out to be why Archer went super evil?)
- See you all for the finale next week!