Spoilers ahead for “So It Begins,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow!
The short version: Prometheus officially declares war on the Green Arrow by becoming a serial killer in a confusing (but clever) way. Oliver’s team learns he used to be a cold-blooded killer. Oh, Oliver’s team also doesn’t like being left out of the inner circle.
The good: Team Arrow, Prometheus arrives, and the story starts to come full circle
Balancing all the new members of Team Arrow has been a tough tightrope to walk, but “So It Begins” did an excellent job of fitting everyone in without bogging the story down. Bringing Diggle back really seems to have been a stabilizing factor in the overall dynamic, and hopefully the show will remain this seamless in the future. It’s relegated to a B-plot, but we get to see the new recruits dealing with some jealousy when Oliver starts keeping secrets and using Diggle and Felicity as an inner circle to handle the Prometheus situation. Sure, it makes sense they’re his go-to group, but he went to the trouble of recruiting and training a new team — just use them. Seeing the team stand up to Oliver was solid growth, and the growing pains for Team Arrow are finally starting to fade. The newbies were also (understandably) not psyched about the fact Oliver used to kill people. It was another callback to Season 1, and that’s a story that’s been mined a lot over five years, so it was actually kind of nice to see that one largely breeze by.
The entire Tobias Church arc was sprinkled with Prometheus breadcrumbs, and now the mysterious new dark archer finally got his official debut. Oliver learned about Prometheus’ existence last week, and this week the killer upped his game by taking out random citizens whose names served as anagrams to the names in the kill list Oliver used way back in Season 1 (the book he got from his father, which set him on this entire crusade all those years ago). Sure, that was a little too complicated, but it was still a solid introductory story to bring Oliver up to speed on this new threat. This guy is smart, connected and pretty much pure evil.
Having the victims be anagrams of the names from the book was also a nice callback to Season 1, especially considering this is Season 5 of the series (and the flashback story will end with the beginning of the series this year). The entire show has really been on a five-year cycle due to that format, and they look to be taking full advantage of this season’s Big Bad to bring it full circle. We still don’t know who is under the mask, but don’t be surprised if the mystery baddie has some connection to the first season.
Oh, and the parachute arrow. Yes. Trick arrows for the win.
The bad: Throwing star killer panic, Quentin’s story needs some hope
Though Prometheus was technically the episode’s Big Bad, it was mostly his shadow that caused the most trouble. The big action set piece that anchored the episode found Team Arrow helping stop a riot after someone claims to have see the throwing star killer. Which was really just a strange sequence. For one, nobody actually knows what Prometheus looks like at this point, so how could he be “spotted” at this street fair? Also, why on Earth would people just start shooting wildly into the air, as if they’re aiming at something? It seemed like a fairly heavy-handed indictment of the wacky open carry laws across the U.S., which is fine, but it just seemed random and jarring. This city has been through absolute hell the past four years, and a few bodies getting dropped causes a riot? Come on. That’s an average Wednesday for Star City natives.
This season has pulled Quentin Lance right into the inner circle by having him appointed the deputy mayor, and you can never have too much Quentin. But we’ve also seen him relapse into alcoholism this year in the wake of Laurel’s death, which is a compelling story to mine. They just need to actually start mining it. Seeing Thea try to help him is great, and in a way, she’s the only “daughter” left there to try and save him. But we need to see some hope on the other side for Quentin. He’s had a tough few years, and it’s beyond time to get him on the path to redemption.
So who is Prometheus? This episode dropped a big “reveal” at the end of the episode, when Lance finds a throwing star and a cut on his arm (matching with the injury Prometheus sustained earlier in the episode). We’re betting this is a red herring for a few reasons: Lance has never been that great of a fighter, and Prometheus looks to be Oliver-level (or beyond) in training. He’s also obviously gone to great care to put his plan together (making his throwing stars from Oliver’s melted arrows? That’s hardcore, man). That takes a ton of planning, and to imply Lance pulled it all off while apparently blackout drunk? We’re not buying it.
A popular fan theory is that Prometheus could turn out to be the long-lost Tommy Merlyn, and considering how they’re planting seeds to connect back to Season 1, that would be an excellent twist (how they’d do that, story-wise, is TBD obviously). But for now, we’re thinking Lance is just a fake out.
The flashback story continues to be a nice distraction from the modern day action, and we finally got a look at Dolph Lundgren as the Russian baddie Konstantin Kovar. He’s one heck of a casting coup, and we can’t wait to actually see these two face off (with Oliver not tied to a chair).
Felicity’s cop boyfriend now knows she works for the Green Arrow, and he takes it … really well. This guy still doesn’t exactly pass the smell test, but we’re curious to see where it goes next.
Lines of the night:
“That was my throwing star sound. What does yours sound like?” -Felicity
“We were afraid you would kill us if we didn't. Too soon?” -Curtis
“You play, what's American term? ‘Douche’? Very well.” - Bratva guy
Next week: The Vigilante arrives!