Arrow Re-Nocked: A Matter of Trust (5×03)

This week’s episode of Arrow continued the Season 5 trend of delivering a solid storyline with amped up action sequences. With this episode acting as “round 2” of the ongoing Green Arrow vs Stardust wrestling rivalry that I am beginning to love, this episode really hit the spot for me. The flashbacks are about to get interesting, Diggle is going nuts, Thea is still the best Chief of Staff ever and Team Arrow 2.0 is finally working as a team. This episode left me feeling extremely satisfied. This isn’t one to miss.

Warning: SPOILERS will follow!

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The Past
The flashbacks in this episode pick up with Ollie confronting Anatoly after the “race for the bell” Ollie was forced to do in the last episode. It’s nice to see Ollie feeling remorse about the killing the three guys who helped him get to the bell, because as Ollie goes down his path to Season 1’s darkness, it’s nice to still see him exhibit some humanity. Through the episode Anatoly takes Ollie around to teach him who these now dead men really were. This gave us a scene between Anatoly a woman whose son was murdered by one of the now dead men. As if I needed any more reasons to like Anatoly, this scene was really heartwarming and showed the positive side of the Bratva’s doings. Now I expect the rest of the season to show us all of the horrible things they do from here on out, but now that Ollie has been inducted into the mob, it’s time for these flashbacks to really begin to ramp up. I can’t wait to see what Ollie is tasked with now that he’s a new member.

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The Present
This episode was filled once again with the team building themes continuing from last week. Oliver – as mayor and as Green Arrow – now has a team he needs to not only lead but take responsibility for; even if their mistakes were out of his control. Thea’s hiring of Quentin Lance last episode was criticized harshly by new character and television anchor Susan Williams; which made Mayor Queen look bad. I am still loving Thea in her new position as Chief of Staff (or as I called her last week “the person keeping Mayor Queen’s office running”). While she’s not seeing much action, Willa Holland really shines in this new role. This episode she was trying to patch things up and came close to resigning, but in the end we got a dynamite scene between Susan and Thea that had me giddy after the fact. Oliver takes responsibility for Thea’s actions and hires Lance publicly. I’m glad of this as well, because like Thea, I think Quentin will fit well into this new role. This theme runs alongside the Team Arrow half of the story where Wild Dog screws up by trying to take matters into his own hands and winds up creating a metahuman named Stardust. While I don’t watch professional wrestling, I really enjoyed Cody Rhodes’ performance during this episode. While his character was based on his wrestling alter ego, the writers did a great job writing his famed character into the DC universe’s lore and making him pretty cool to boot. Getting to see the new Team Arrow all suited up and in action was a highlight for me. You can’t imagine how excited I was to finally see Curtis with that big dumb looking “T” mask on his face. I’ve always thought Mr. Terrific looked dumb in that face mask, but I’m such a comic book purist that I still love that they’re doing it faithfully. In the end, Oliver grew and made his new team come together as a single unit that trusts one another… well almost. Felicity’s arc dealt with her dirty secret about causing Haven Rock’s destruction and ended with her admitting it all to Ragman. I’m glad that they didn’t drag this out too long. I was worried they were going to make this secret boil at the surface for a while before it came out. I’m just hoping now that Ragman takes it okay in the following episodes because he’s still my favorite new character on the show. I don’t want him running off in a fit because he can’t stand to be around Felicity. I mean who wouldn’t want to be around her?

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The Diggle
Diggle’s story reminded me a lot of the last few episodes of The Newsroom. He was stuck in jail and had to face his demons. His demons came in the form of none other than Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot. This was exciting for me just because I believe the rumors that, when DC wants to use a character in their movies, they kill them off the TV shows. So seeing Lawton again was an unexpected treat. It gave the writers the opportunity to have Dig bring back up his feelings for Lawton only to realize that the reason he hated Lawton this whole time was misplaced. I was thinking this before Lawton even brought up Andy, because Diggle was still acting hostile towards Lawton. I really loved the twist that Lawton turned out to be a figment of Diggle’s imagination. Having Diggle going semi-crazy, whether it be because of PTSD or something else, is a very interesting (and relevant) turn for a character that needed a big change up. Diggle has been the rock of the team for the first four seasons of Arrow, having him go a bit nuts will shake things up a bit for him. It was nice to see Lyla again and get a mention of John Jr. (instead of baby Sarah) showing the effects of Flashpoint in Arrow. Lyla turning to Oliver at the end as her only hope to break Dig out of jail sets up for an exciting next episode and finally blends the Diggle storyline back in with Team Arrow’s.

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Overall this was a great episode in my opinion. I was missing Tobias Church, but Stardust was a super fun new villain to have in the show, and I really hope he didn’t blow up and makes a return later. We finally got to see Mr. Terrific suited up, which I’ve been waiting for since last season, and got to see Team Arrow 2.0 learning to come together; though I’m still waiting for Wild Dog to grow on me. With some new characters being introduced and the storylines starting to hit their strides, I think from here on out the episodes will be rolling pretty good. While I’m dying to see this season’s crossover episodes, I feel this first story arc is working extremely well; especially compared to how last season’s first story arc basically set up for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and nothing else. I honestly can’t wait for next week’s episode and would love to talk about this week’s episode with you on Twitter @TheEverwritten.

Points this week:
The Flash: Magenta (3×03) – 8.0
Arrow: A Matter of Trust (5×03) – 9.0

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