‘Arrow’ Recap: “So It Begins” – American Puppy

     November 9, 2016

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Prometheus has been an overarching baddie in Arrow Season 5 since the season premiere, but it wasn’t until tonight’s “So It Begins” that the Big Bad’s mission really began upping the stakes for all of Star City. Meanwhile, the flashbacks are better than they have been in a long, long time when Dolph Lundgren arrives on the scene as the terrifying Konstantin Kovar. Here’s everything that happened in “So It Begins”…

Prometheus is a serious Season 1 fanboy.

So what’s Prometheus’ deal? We knew the masked man with the throwing stars wanted Green Arrow for himself (enough that he killed Tobias Church for trying to kill Green Arrow himself). It’s clear that Prometheus doesn’t (just) want to kill Oliver; he wants to make him suffer. He wants to make a point. How wants to get in on all of the Season 1 nostalgia that Season 5 is really about. And, guys? He’s doing a pretty good job of it.

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Image via The CW

The big Prometheus reveal in “So It Begins” came with the realization that the villain has been killing Star City residents whose names are anagrams of the people Oliver killed from The List in Season 1. Furthermore, he’s using throwing stars that have reformed from Oliver’s own melted down arrows. If this were a high school final, Prometheus would be getting some serious extra credit; someone has obviously been binge-watching Arrow Season 1 on Netflix.

So who might Prometheus be? Well, the show seems to want us to think it’s Lance (come the end of the episode), but I’m not buying it. Sure, it could work on a character level with some articulate writing, but Lance can barely hold down a relatively cushy job in the mayoral office. He’s too much of a hot mess to be a serial killer who can hold his own against Team Arrow. Easy money is still on either district attorney Adrian Chase or Felicity’s too(?) understanding boyfriend Billy Malone. Both appeared in “So It Begins,” and both have wooly backstories that could easily contain some connection to Oliver’s season one killing streak.

Whoever is under the Prometheus mask, it’s interesting that the villain continues to go after Green Arrow when Church told him last week that Oliver Queen is the mad man under the hood. Did Prometheus already know Green Arrow’s identity? Why is he toying with Oliver in this way? What is his endgame? Questions to ponder as Oliver continues on his journey of self-discovery.

Evelyn and Oliver bond for the first time.

Arrow got some good Team Arrow: The Next Generation moments in this week. We got to see the recruits discussing the revelation of Oliver’s kind-of-former serial killing ways in Rory’s welding shop. We got to see the gang call Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle out on their decision to keep the Throwing Star Killer need-to-know only amongst the OTA. (Although, they probably could have just turned on the news. Or assumed that there us pretty much always a serial killer operating in Star City.)

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Image via The CW

The best moments came between Evelyn and Oliver, however, who got some mentor-mentee time after Oliver saved Evelyn from Prometheus. I’m not sure if I believe that Evelyn would have such a change of heart after Oliver had her back out in the field. His ability to provide backup (and a  parachute arrow) in a tricky situation doesn’t really address the larger problems with his on-and-off-again serial killing habit or his tendency to keep things to himself. However, Season 5 Oliver is so much more likable and self-aware than anything that has come before, it’s hard to gripe about the slightly forced set up of this bonding moment. Sufficed to say, Oliver isn’t such a bad team leader once he starts beating his padawans up.

Flashback: Meet Konstantin Kovar, Oliver Queen.

The flashbacks were — yes, I’m going to say it — one of the strongest elements of tonight’s episode. From Bomb-Making 101 With Anatoly to Oliver “going” “undercover” as a rich billionaire playboy, they weren’t the normal sigh-provoking slog they tend to be. It’s hard to tell how much of this is the fact that we know Susan Williams has information on Oliver’s Russian past and how much of it is the appearance of Konstantin Kovar, played by the charismatic Dolph Lundgren. Let’s call it 30/70, shall we?

We’ve heard a lot about Kovar in the first string of episodes in the season and, now that we’ve met him, it feels like we’re finally getting to the good flashback stuff. When Oliver is kidnapped by Kovar’s men, Konstantin introduces himself by pouring himself a drink, telling a creepy story about unity, and breaking Oliver’s Bratva brother’s neck. Oh yeah, and he’s been waiting to meet Oliver. Something tells me Ollie is in over his pretty head.

Rating: ★★★ Good

Miscellanea:

— The flashbacks were almost worth it alone for the description of Oliver Queen as an “American puppy.” Can we always call him that?

— Felicity tells her boyfriend about her night job and it goes over suspiciously well. Then again, this is a city where vigilantes are a dime-a-dozen and mayors who survive their first term are considered a miracle.

— Susan Williams is totally interested in going on a date with Oliver and, based on Oliver’s response to Thea and Lance’s teasing, Oliver is interested, too. How much of Susan’s interest is so that she can get information about Oliver’s Bratva past? And do we really find it realistic that all of Team Arrow, especially Felicity, would tease Oliver about his new “girlfriend”? Thea, yes. Felicity, no.

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Image via The CW

— “Who knew Prometheus was a Babylon 5 fan?” — Felicity

— “What? Curtis and three people we don’t know?” — Diggle’s awesome description of the new recruits

— “I failed chemistry in high school. Twice.” References to Oliver’s school misadventures will never get old.

— “You must be like sponge, Oliver.” — Anatoly

— Thea’s previous nightclub experience finally comes in handy! Yeah, Thea is pretty much running this city single-handed. She is the real superhero on this show.

— “Hold off on giving me the keys to the city. I just know a guy.” — Lance, when Oliver and Thea start getting excited about his contribution to a city event.

— How weird was it that Green Arrow just showed up at the crime scene and everyone seemed cool with it? It’s really hard to keep track of who is OK with vigilantes and who is not OK with vigilantes on this show. Apparently, both Billy Malone and Adrian Chase are cool with vigilantes.

— Watching armed civilians fire into screaming crowds in the name of self-defense is the scariest and most violently relevant Arrow has been in a while. However, I’m not sure I buy that a masked team of vigilantes ziplining into the chaos would necessarily soothe people’s fears.

— “You have a to-kill list? And I’m the out of control one?” — Rene

— Oliver awkwardly trying to explain The List to the new recruits is like watching a dad trying to explain his unruly teenage years to his kids.

— “I am not giving up on you, and I am not letting you give up on yourself.” Thea is basically Lance’s Diggle.

— “It’s strong and a little sweet. Just like you.” Um, is Rory into Curtis? This is the second flirty moment these two have shared.

— “And what a fine weirdo turned out to be.” — Rene, on Rory

— The tennis ball arrow wall is back! #SeasonOneNostalgia

— “I think you’re being a little hard on yourself, which is annoying because it’s usually mine and Felicity’s job.” — Diggle to Oliver

— “I’m sorry that I’m not the man you thought I was. But John reminded me, as he does, that I’m trying to be that man. And I might actually be getting there. Slowly.” — Oliver

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