Nocking Point: ARROW Episode 504, "Penance"

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Ragman, Mister Terrific, Artemis and Wild Dog
There is an age old saying that a well oiled machine runs smoothly. Its pretty clear that the new Team Arrow is not familiar with the quote!

In Oliver’s desire to have his old team back together he has agreed to allow others to join him in his crusade, but it doesn’t seem to being going so well. I struggle with the new team dynamic, as the original one grew organically. Each member came aboard one at a time, in a manner that fell into place. They each had a legitimate background to help the viewer believe that they could hold the mantle they portrayed.

Rene “Mad Dog”, Evelyn “Artemis”, and Curtis “Mr. Terrific” can’t seem to handle themselves without Ollie watching over and protecting them. On their first mission alone Curtis “Mr. Terrific” is injured and Rene “Mad Dog” is captured by Tobias Church. Each new member was thrust upon us as alternatives to the heroes that have fought alongside Arrow for the past few seasons. I find it very hard to watch as Oliver has to juggle the city, training the newbies, and being mayor.

It's difficult to see Felicity push Ollie to trust a group of ‘would be’ heroes to the point of revealing his identity and the location of his lair. In just a few episodes. It felt like it took much longer for him to do the same with others such as Diggle or Lance. The trust hasn't been given adequate time to feel like it has a natural feel.  A team should work on a level of trust that just isn’t there….yet.

This episode Ollie teams with Lyla to break Diggle out of a maximum security military prison. Having been placed there after being framed for military crimes he didn't commit, he chooses to remain there as penance for killing his brother. This direction has me torn as I don’t want to see Diggle in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but I also hate the thought of him being a fugitive for the rest of his life. He has always portrayed such honor that this will be a new layer to his character. Perhaps our new District Attorney, Adrian Chase, will find his path crossing with Diggle and we can see the charges cleared.

Speaking of Adrian Chase, I can't help but wonder about his motives every time I see him. There is something fishy about him that I just can’t put my finger on. Is he really looking out for the well being of the city or is there an ulterior motive hiding somewhere within?

Amongst all the different trails of storylines in this episode, Felicity is looking for her own penance. Felicity struggles with her role in the destruction of Havenrock and how she has affected Rory “Ragman” for the rest of his life. While it's a choice she can never truly make right, she finds the courage to confront Rory and express her desire to try and move forward and work together for the sake of the city and for their respective healing.

All in all I enjoyed the episode. As the team continues to grow and learn I am certain that well oiled machine will emerge. I am excited to watch season five unfold. Stay tuned!!

4.0 / 5.0