TV Review: Arrow 5×08 “Vigilante”

On this week’s episode of Arrow, a classic western hero spawned from original DC Action Comics who goes by the name Vigilante, civilian name Greg Sanders, was brought to live action for the first time as an opposing end of the spectrum of superhero that closely parallels the conflict shown on this year’s season of Daredevil between Matthew Murdock and Frank Castle as The Punisher.

 Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

This opposition from another of Star City’s hopeful heroes comes at a convenient time for Oliver Queen as he continues to struggle with understanding how he has evolved in the four years since returning from those five hellish ones “on” Lian Yu.

Speaking of the flashbacks, season five’s continue to be among the most compelling of those arcs, at the least most since the conflict with Slade Wilson, and the last couple of episodes make for the best example by way of introducing 80’s action movie star Dolph Lundgren as Russian mobster Konstantine Kovar, who monologues and intimidates spectacularly despite an inconsistent accent that sounds more German than most american viewers would care to notice.

The more important subplot for the episode (because Oliver’s romance with the local news anchor is not of any particular interest for now) is Paul Blackthorne continuing to kill it in terms of performance as Quentin Lance, especially as last week left viewers with a terrifying prospect that he might be the villainous Prometheus. My suspicion of that role being a setup however seems to be accurate as Quentin has to be brought unto a rehab center by Thea. The scene where he does pulls at the heartstrings when viewers consider the trust built between the two and Oliver’s Green Arrow crusade being the only family that either of them have left, but is also the exact thing that took most of it as well. Most dramas know how to nail the impact alcoholism and the struggles of recovering from it like a science, however Blackthorne truly sells Lance’s pain this week so well that I’m not sure how I could process him actually being Prometheus instead of being set up like the episode implies.

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

In lieu of further spoilers, I will say that a lot of fan excitement surrounding this episode mostly is in reaction to Evelyn Sharp AKA Artemis, easily the strongest of this season’s new characters by the way, and her story line looking to pan out quite similarly to her comic and animation origin, and if it bears any resemblance to how it pans out throughout Young Justice, I couldn’t be more excited to see how Arrow builds up this plot on the sidelines.

7/10

 

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.