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ARROW “Past Sins” Review

By on January 29, 2019

Arrow — “Past Sins” — Pictured: Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake/Black Canary — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW

 

ARROW “PAST SINS” REVIEW

 

BY JUSTIN CARTER

 

I think at this point it may be time for Arrow to figure out what to do with both Diaz and ARGUS. This week’s episode seems like it’ll be off to a good start with a cute montage of Diggle and Lyla sorting through potential recruits for a new Suicide Squad — the show can’t call them that for some reason? — featuring Cupid, China White, and Deathstroke’s son Joe. What seems like a potential for an engaging band of weirdos, or at the very least a fun breakout sequence, instead is just a VR gimmick that becomes clear once you calm down and realize that no, Curtis was not just going to die with his neck snapped in a parking lot.

On some level, I understand why the show is taking time to show the conflict Curtis and Diggle are going through at ARGUS. Legends of Tomorrow revealed in one episode that the organization becomes authoritarian at some point, and since this is the show where they most come into play, that’s where the development needs to be done. I just wish it was more engaging, or at the very least, was being done with an organization that wasn’t already shady when we were first introduced to them. The only good people that we know work there are part of Team Arrow, is it any surprise when things don’t turn out well decades from now?

It’s a shame, too, because this is an otherwise pretty good episode that’s notable for being the first one directed by David Ramsey and playing well to the strengths of Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy (now Cassidy Rogers!). Bringing in a son of the man Oliver’s dad killed is a good way to bring Oliver’s SCPD job and his woes with Emiko into one coherent thread. It’s really the story that Oliver needed to have, since it ends with him promising to never lie to the anyone in the city. That it’s the most grounded story helps it land as effectively as it does when Emiko decides to finally connect with her half-brother.

As for Laurel’s story, that’s where things are a little funny. To the show’s credit, all of this tracks with what we know of Laurel-2, and Cassidy Rogers continues to be doing good work with the role. Even when she’s not revealing her tragic backstory to Felicity, it’s just interesting watching her talk about herself in subtle ways, such as when she throws shade at her Earth-1 counterpart for being a former alcoholic. Seeing her with Felicity and Dinah continues to show her much needed growth this season and a better use of Cassidy Rogers’ time when she gets to actually be a person with her own desires and agendas.

The morning before this episode released, the funniest thing happened: WB released a short tease for the upcoming Birds of Prey movie that’ll feature a Black Canary played by Jurnee Smollett. The showrunners of Arrow have made it clear later the season will see the Arrowverse version of that iconic all-woman team come together after small teases this past season and team up between Laurel, Dinah, and Felicity. Whatever the movie ends up being, one can’t deny that teaser had style and flair, and it’s something Arrow should pay attention to. Since the movie itself won’t be out for another year, this would be a good way to get anyone watching the show interested in the film when that marketing begins.

 

Additional Notes

  • Laurel’s stalker is actually a vigilante stalker. Short of it being Stanley, I don’t know who it could be, that just feels like the most logical choice.
  • Also, Laurel needs therapy. This sounds obvious, but it doesn’t really become apparent until you hear her tell her story of her dad’s death and you realize that she’s messed up on a level the Earth-1 crew can’t really understand.
  • Oh, Cupid, please fix your gaydar.
  • No Rene this week.
  • Next week is episode 150 of Arrow, that should be fun.

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