TV Review: Arrow 5×04 “Penance”

Arrow -- "Penance" -- Image AR504b_0002b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Oliver and Lyla conduct a plan to break Diggle out of prison this week, and it mostly goes off without a hitch, except for the fact that John doesn’t want to be rescued from the military prison. As we discovered through a dream sequence cameo last week from Michael Rowe’s Deadshot, Diggle’s remaining guilt over killing his traitorous younger brother makes him believe he is serving penance for his crime, even if his public reputation is tarnished for treason against the United States. Of course, Oliver and Lyla successfully break him out with an ode to the skyhook, and in the end Diggle shows through his actions that he can’t hate being a fugitive if it means being back with his family. Whether he’ll take this opportunity to work in the shadows with Oliver again as the Spartan is yet to be determined, and I’m sure he won’t be willing to swing back into vigilantism so quickly.

While Oliver takes a trip out of the city, the team is forced to take action when Quentin’s first assignment turns explosive by way of Tobias Church, whose impact on Star City has slowly accumulated over the course of four episodes, and now is inflicting that weight onto the new Team Arrow. Of course, Rene as Wild Dog continues to have his stubbornness be problematic for the way Oliver executes his missions, but that stubbornness functions as sacrifice and bravery as he stays behind to take on Church hand to hand and allow his allies a window of escape.

Arrow -- "Penance" -- Image AR504a_0375b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Madison McLaughlin as Evelyn Sharp and Rick Gonzales as Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Rory on the other hand, gets to put his skills as the Ragman on display, giving the writers room and visual effects artists a chance to show the character to be one of the most powerful allies of the Green Arrow yet, but in a more mystical way as opposed to Ray Plamer’s Atom. In order to have him do so, however, Felicity is required to pay him a personal visit to expose information about his father, and the lineage of the Ragman, in addition to a healthy dose of her guilt that she feels will haunt her for the rest of her life until she starts quipping jokes again in the next scene.

All in all, watching the Team Arrow, now consisting of Overwatch, Mr Terrific, Artemis, Ragman and Wild Dog was interesting to watch from a choreographic and tactical aspect if only because it was a chance to see these characters work as a team without also being beaten, or yelled at, by Oliver simultaneously. You know that Oliver’s arrow zip-line trick is old hat when the stunt looks more hokey than Ragman’s whips on screen within a single episode. One last note, though, can someone tell Curtis that his makeup job is really terrifying? Can we get Cisco Ramon or someone to build him a suit or mask maybe?

Boston, Massachusetts: Evan is a 23 year old college graduate with a degree in English and Journalism. He's had a lifelong passion for film, games and reading things. A living movie quotation machine, and obsessively analytical, Evan will always give an honest and fair opinion with an insertion of wit where appropriate. (Who are you kidding? It’s always appropriate.) Additionally, he is an aficionado of the superhero genre, old video games and (yes, subjectively) awesome movies.