This season I have derided the Berlanti TV shows because for the most part, they have been crappy this season. Since Agents of SHIELD went on break, the lack of good Berlanti TV shows and Supernatural being kinda boring, too, is why I’ve stopped writing posts. I’m just not interested enough to bother writing about it.
Last week’s Arrow was good enough to write about, but I didn’t watch it until Sunday night. This week’s Arrow was even better, so tonight, you get a post about it.
This season on Arrow the story has followed Mayor Queen and his new team, which has as this point fractured quite a bit, and their fight against a new threat in town that is like the anti-Green Arrow, because he’s a villain who styles himself after the Green Arrow. A couple episodes ago, we discovered that mild mannered DA Adrien Chase (played by the dude that was that sweet yet dumb pretty boy cop on Sirens) was this season’s Big Bad.
Last week he had kidnapped Oliver’s not-really-girlfriend, and it was up to the team to save her. In doing so, they not only determined that Adrien Chase was so sick he killed his own wife when they tried to use her as leverage, but that his obsession with Oliver went deeper than anybody ever could have guessed.
This week’s episode was a unique one in that we didn’t see anybody else in the present day until the very end other than Chase, Oliver, and the girl that betrayed Oliver. This was a deeply ‘mental’ episode, not in a ‘wow that’s mental!’ way, but in that it was all in Oliver’s head. All the Flashbacks we get are from Oliver’s POV so it stands to reason that they are all Oliver’s memories. This whole episode was about Adrien Chase trying to make Oliver admit some deep, dark secret that his Russian Backstory has been leading us to all along even though we didn’t know it until now.
I have to give serious props to Josh Segarra as Adrien Chase AKA Prometheus, because he has been a really, genuinely frightening bad guy. Arrow (and the other Berlanti shows) have all suffered greatly this season by crappy bad guys, but now that Prometheus showed his face and we see that what’s under the mask is far more terrifying than the mask itself, he’s sooo delightfully creepy. His performance will raise hairs on the back of your neck and it’s brilliant!
Also, speaking of acting, Stephen Amell often doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for Oliver Queen, but tonight’s episode knocked it out of the park. Oliver in the flashbacks, as he slipped into the grip of the monster he was becoming, was absolutely alarming and it was very intriguing to watch him slipping further and further. Anatoly saw what we did, that Oliver was slowly becoming a very frightening individual, and it was fantastically acted. I genuinely started to wonder if Oliver’s big secret was that he was Hannibal Lecter at one point, he was going to Dark Side.
The big reveal, the ‘confession’ that Chase wanted, wasn’t that big of a reveal, but it was still adequately moving and emotional. Getting Oliver to admit that he likes killing was a cruel, horrific thing to do, which is another reason Chase is such a better bad guy than his Prometheus alter ego. There was something very broken about Oliver when he was finally freed, and I genuinely enjoyed that he wasn’t saved, that he just went home a broken man, because it was a traumatic experience unlike most of the other traumatic things he’s suffered before.
The only real negative was, as I said, that his big reveal wasn’t that big of a reveal. One of the reasons I like Oliver Queen is that he kills the bad guys instead of going around his ass to get to his elbow to save the life of someone who is going to murder half the town. Superheroes on TV (and in some movies) have this annoying habit of letting the bad guy live even though he has proven he can’t be held accountable in a court of law without getting off and that he’s gonna just kill tons more people if nobody stops him but “I CANT KILL, DAMN IT!” is their reaction. Oliver had a couple of years of ‘I’m not that person anymore’ that got kind of boring, but generally, Oliver Queen isn’t like that, which is why I like him the most. Because of that, is it really that bad of a thing that he likes killing? Sure it isn’t GOOD. He clearly is very mentally ill to have that desire. But as long as he channels it into killing bad guys, is it really THAT bad? That’s not that horrible of a reveal, honestly.
However, I think the way they showed it, by making it traumatic to him and not to someone else, that made it not as annoyingly anti-climactic. The point in that case isn’t to be a big reveal, but to be an emotionally traumatic moment for Oliver that finally breaks him down.
I’m seriously excited for next week for the first time all season, and I cannot wait to see what happens next after a stellar episode when this whole season before this has been pretty poorly written and boring.
Maybe my favorite Berlanti show is back?