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Arrow – Recap & Review – Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Original Air Date: Jan 25, 2017

Brianna – Managing Editor

With Arrow’s return, the Arrowverse hiatus is officially over, and the show ended it with a solid episode that kicked season 5b off right.

The premiere picks up right where the winter finale left off, with Laurel’s presence in the bunker shocking Oliver (and pretty much everyone). Of course, this happens at the worse time for everyone as Digg’s dealing with being back in prison, Curtis dealing with Paul leaving, the team dealing with Evelyn’s betrayal, and the biggest hit of Felicity losing Malone after Oliver mistakenly kills him.

“Who Are You?” has started the second half of season five on a promising note, with so much communication (I’m a fan), and has set up a few interesting things up for Team Arrow.

Felicity’s on to You, (Not Really) Laurel

If the commercials didn’t exactly clue you in, it took a surprisingly short amount of time to reveal that the Laurel Oliver found waiting in the bunker wasn’t their Laurel at all. Rather, she was Black Siren and sent by Prometheus.

After Felicity’s initial shock wears off when she sees Laurel in the bunker, she starts asking questions about how she conveniently shows up in this specific period and decides to do some of her own investigating with the water-glass-DNA-test-trick (which was great).  She doesn’t need to run it, though, because Black Siren shows up to cause trouble and ends up revealing herself to the team.

I loved this Felicity we saw in the winter premiere. She’s grieving, and we’re already starting to see the shift as a result of everything she’s been through over the last year. Her doubt, her increasing determination, and her anger felt like a switch and made me very excited to see what else is in store for her and her journey.

The highlight of Felicity’s interaction with Earth-2 Laurel had to be the moment she confronted her in the bunker cell before letting her go to test her, from the look to the dialogue. Seeing Felicity telling Laurel about why Oliver believes in her was solid and further emphasized the point of the changes we are probably anticipating.

Olicity and the Subtle Shift

While the team was collectively dealing with Black Siren and Prometheus, the focus was on the differences in reaction from Oliver and Felicity. As a result, we got so many great scenes where we get to see the changes the pair have gone through.

While Oliver was feeling optimistic about the chances of being able to save Black Siren, Felicity had no doubt that she cannot be trusted. Throughout the episode, it seemed like there were fewer reasons to believe Black Siren than to try and doubt her. There was no holding back the honesty in their conversation in a way that hasn’t been there in a bit.

Oliver also doesn’t necessarily react in the way you’d expect in those moments with Felicity, and that is part of what allows for this shift, from their conversation while she is training, to that quiet moment after he finds out she set Black Siren loose to track her back to Prometheus. The emotion played by both was spot on and a hopeful start to their stories both together and as individuals in the second part of the season.

There were a few scenes that were reminiscent of previous seasons that I enjoyed. From the first time Black Siren attacks and Oliver goes to Felicity first to ask if she’s hurt (hello, late season two) to that moment he protects her from Black Siren’s attack again and covering her (Hi there, traumatic season four winter finale).

In the end, with a shot at Prometheus gone to help take down Black Siren, the pair take stock of everything that’s happened. And in that conversation, there’s a little of bit of how their conversations have always been, as they both apologize and Oliver promises justice for Malone while Felicity offers that “he was a good man…just like you.”

What I want to know is what “we need to take care of your ex, who is not even your ex” means in the context of that conversation. Was it more of a look at Oliver and Felicity’s seemingly unresolved feelings from the breakup or something else?

Digg Gets Some Help

Oliver reaches out Adrian Chase for some help now that Digg is back in prison after being captured. Chase agrees and throughout the hour, we see peeks at what exactly he will be up against when trying to defend his boss’s friend. What he’s up against is a corrupt three-star general who is unwilling to let anyone but Digg go down for all of those fake charges.

Seeing that Chase is being brought into other realms besides strictly city hall issues was smart, especially if it means keeping Digg from “mysteriously” not making it through transport. The way he got them to keep Digg in Star City was smart, and it will be interesting to see where that goes next and how long before we see Digg free.

Meanwhile, in Flashback Land…

Oliver gets captured and goes through an interrogation of sorts by one of Kovar’s men, presumably. While the final moment of the flashback is substantial as we meet Nyssa’s older sister, Talia al Ghul, all of the forward movement, great story moments, and action in the present day made the flashbacks feel stilted throughout the episode. It may also have had to do with the singular location and the flashback covering one conversation, which isn’t terrible but given what they were setting up in the present, it wasn’t as enjoyable as the Bratva flashbacks have been.

 A Few Random Team Arrow Moments

  • Curtis and Rene talking a bit more than they possibly have spoken all season was nice to see, especially since everyone is going through their own pain, Curtis included.
  • Felicity’s “Hey Pumpkin” moment and the punch that followed was awesome.
  • The fact that Rene refers to Oliver and Felicity as mom and dad is still entertaining.
  • Being reminded of what the recruits don’t know about the team’s history, namely the resurrections we’ve seen over the years and the fact that Earth-2 exists, was interesting and helpful.
  • The Black Canary statue is out, and the hunt for a new Black Canary is in as a way to continue the legacy and from that final scene, looks like Tina Boland will be an interesting addition.

So, that’s it for the winter premiere! What did you think of the episode? Was it a solid start to the 5b? How about that Black Siren appearance? And those Olicity moments?

Next week on Arrow: “Second Chances”

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