A New & Improved “Arrow”- Season 5.5 & Mid-Season Finale Review (Spoilers)

When I first started watching “Arrow”, it was more for the sake of work (as an entertainment writer), and because of John Barrowman, as I knew him as Captain Jack Harkness from “Doctor Who”. As the seasons went by, I ended up enjoying the show, especially as it was the show that started it all for the DC TV Universe, which is doing really well right now, especially with “The Flash”, and the additions that are “Legends of Tomorrow”, and with “Supergirl” coming onto The CW. And yes, even though there were some moments in “Arrow” that weren’t that great in the last two seasons, I still stuck by it. However, this year, with season five, it seems like everyone on “Arrow” has got their game on, culminating with this year’s mid-season finale.

From this point onwards, if you haven’t seen “Arrow” season five, or the mid-season finale, please don’t go any further as there will be SPOILERS from this point on.


“Arrow’s” fifth season, so far, has been a wonderful improvement, and in particular, with  the flashbacks, as I was beginning to lose all interest in them at a certain point in the last season. However, this season’s flashbacks were pretty good, and in particular, the flashbacks that they employed for the mid-season finale were definitely on point.

I must admit that I did have some worries about how the new team would be, especially as the new team would be new characters, but so far, they’ve been pretty okay.

This season however, it seems as if the writers are beginning to run out of stuff for Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), and I wish that they will be given more to do, especially in the back half of the season. Oddly enough, I kind of miss Thea as Speedy.

The 100th episode of “Arrow”, which took place during the  second night of the four-way crossover, for me, was good, as they were able to get a break for a while from this whole Prometheus and Vigilante madness. However, I should have realized that this was a sign that things were REALLY going to go down in the mid-season finale.

Honestly, after watching “The Flash’s” mid-season finale, I thought “Arrow” wouldn’t be able to top it, but I was so wrong.

And, it didn’t take long for all hell to break lose, as after all the couples  met each other at Mayor Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell)  Christmas party, Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) was attacked by Promotheus. This, of course, ended up in Curtis in the hospital, and ended up revealing to Paul what his nocturnal activities were all about. This, led to Paul (Chenier Hundal), Curtis’ husband,  ending up leaving Curtis, because even though Curtis comes home all “banged up”, he is the happiest he has ever been. So, one point down for Prometheus in trying to drive everyone away from Oliver and prove to him that Oliver destroys people’s lives.

Oliver then discovers that the throwing star that hit Curtis was laced with a drug that was manufactured by Justin Claybourne, whom he had killed in his early days as “The Hood”, as Claybourne’s name was on the list, and as he had been colluding with a company called AK Desmond to weaponize TB so that he could jack up the prices for the antidote, which will end up killing those who cannot afford it.

And that’s where the flashbacks started to kick in. First, it showed Oliver and John Diggle (David Ramsey) tracking down and hunting down Claybourne four years ago, and it also featured Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) back when she was working in the IT Department of Queen Consolidated.

The team then went to Claybourne Industries, where Oliver fought with Promotheus before. There, they found  a bunch of ashes that actually belonged to Claybourne, and where Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin) was revealed as the spy who was working side by side with Prometheus.

Billy Malone (Tyler Ritter), Felicity’s new detective boyfriend,  much to her chagrin, refused to step down from the case, and ended up getting abducted by Prometheus, but not before sending Felicity a text message of a picture of a baby he found in a desk in Claybourne Industries. That baby picture is, apparently, Claybourne’s son, who is now old enough to seek revenge against Oliver, as Oliver killed Claybourne.

So, Oliver goes to AK Desmond, the company which colluded with Claybourne before and where he confronted him as “The Hood”,  alone, and there, he saw that the entire place had been set up, to recreate every scene leading up to the rooftop where Oliver killed Claybourne.

There, Prometheus taunted him by telling him that he will turn Oliver’s teammates against him. Angered, Oliver shot two arrows into Prometheus’ chest, but upon unmasking him, realizes that he had just killed Billy, whose mouth had been gagged the entire time. Back at the Arrow-cave, Oliver, in a stroke of maturity, told Felicity the truth as to what had happened, leaving poor Felicity heartbroken. However, despite this, I think that Felicity will not blame Oliver for Billy’s death. But I do believe that she will be definitely going down a darker path in the last half of the season because of this.

Prometheus then strikes again as Diggle ends up getting ambushed by soldiers in his own house, lured in by a distress call from his wife.

Meanwhile, Oliver goes to Susan for some drinks and comforting advice, then heads to the Arrow-cave, where he finds, of all people, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), standing right in front of him.

Now, I don’t know if this is our Laurel, or if this is Black Siren Laurel, or if she’s a hallucination, but this, of course, will definitely change things dramatically for them. Although, I have no idea if this has anything to do with Flashpoint, or if Laurel’s death is really set in stone, like a “fixed point in time”.

Also, some clues were laid out as to who Prometheus is. My guesses as of the moment is that it’s really the son of Claybourne, or Susan, as Oliver said that Prometheus did a move that he learned from a woman in Russia, and the camera deliberately lingered over a Russian looking labeled product in Susan’s apartment. At a certain point, I thought it was Talia Al Ghul (Lexa Doig), but it doesn’t seem to be pointing in that direction.

Also, Oliver should have picked up on something interesting. Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra), whom we know is the Vigilante, was quite aggressive and passionate about giving out a shoot to kill order for Promotheus. I’m pretty sure that that will come back in play in the future, as he is still not yet out of the game.

This episode was a roller coaster of emotions, and I’m so happy  at what they did here. They landed surprise after surprise, and the fight sequences were really good, just like they have been in the past few episodes. And I really did not see Laurel’s return coming at all. Also, I felt kind of bad that Thea didn’t have a chance to fight at all in this episode. I really want the writers to give her more.

Another thing that will be interesting in the back half of the season is how the entire team dynamic will change, with Laurel maybe being back, and with Felicity mourning over Billy. Also, I’m a little bit worried about Diggle at this point.

The flashback sequences here were really good, as these were new scenes shot to look like first season scenes, and I love how they used the flashbacks to transition into the present during the AK Desmond scene.

The mid-season finale truly showed the fans and the show’s audience what “Arrow” truly is, and that was not only a fine, solid forty-five minutes of good television, it is no doubt, one of the show’s best episodes in quite some time.

I cannot wait to see what the back half of this season brings, but we will have to wait until January 2017 for that.

What did you think of the mid-season finale of “Arrow”? Who do you think Prometheus is? Do you think Laurel is back for good, and how? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


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