Arrow, Season 5, Episode 3: “Matter of Trust”
If last week’s episode wasn’t enough to convince you, this week’s Arrow is back to reinforce the point that Oliver Queen has trust issues and those issues often get him into trouble.
He doesn’t trust his new team of sidekicks and they accidentally create the villain from Deadpool. He doesn’t trust his sister/chief of staff; she stumbles into a scandal. Thankfully Felicity is there for another “come to Jesus” meeting/lecture and Ollie is able to work everything out.
It’s all a road we’ve been down many times before, and it doesn’t matter. Between all the little meta winks, tight action, and Felicity and Diggle doing the dramatic heavy lifting on the episode, the formula works. Much like with the boxing glove arrow from a couple of seasons ago, seeing Curtis in the Mr. Terrific “FAIR PLAY” jacket and T mask forgives a lot of sins.
The episode also featured some nods to star Stephen Amell’s outside interests: pro wrestling and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. For those in the know, it adds a layer of fun, but you don’t miss out on anything if you didn’t remember that Amell also recently played a vigilante in a hockey mask.
In short, you are buying what Arrow is selling and can’t wait to see what more it has to offer.
This episode makes it feel like this shift in tone is permanent. Ollie is still going to brood and tell people who were actively trying to make Star City worse that they “failed this city.” However, that is counterbalanced with the new team figuring out how to work with Ollie and work together. We’re going to see how Thea and Quentin grow in their roles as political operatives. The show is out of the “sulk, kick ass, rinse, repeat” funk.
It still has its drama. Felicity is still dealing with the guilt of nuking Havenrock, and the fallout of telling Ragman the truth is yet to be determined. Diggle is in federal lockup for a crime he didn’t commit, but his keeping himself behind both literal and figurative bars because he feels awful about killing his brother.
It’s not easy for a show of any genre to feel like it still has potential as it closes in on its 100th episode. Thanks to an overhaul of cast and characters, Arrow is far from just playing out the string.