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REVIEW: Arrow 5×05 “Human Target”

Finally, it’s about time to see exactly why we should fear the big bad, and boy is Prometheus to be feared after tonight. “Human Target” managed to do a lot of good in focusing on Oliver and the issues he is dealing with. I mean sure, it was through the focus of Christopher Chance’s Human Target, but we got to see Oliver deal with his life through the lens of someone else. Add on some great character development for Rene and some solid action all around, and you easily have some of classic building blocks for a great episode. I think now what has helped this season succeed where the past two have failed is the idea of a self contained story. Arrow, at this moment in time is not aiming to serve another show or have some loopy plot. It is purely self contained to Arrow at this moment and while you could complain Flashpoint didn’t have further reaching effects Arrow has managed to succeed where the other DCW shows have struggled.

First thing is first, how great was Wil Traval as Christopher Chance. It was great having the actual reveal of who “Oliver” truly was for that day, even better when we were left guessing If Chance would pop up in some unexpected place. What made Chance such an effective character was seeing his version of Oliver and how Ollie could be an effective mayor and hero at the same time. Traval does excellent work in expelling to Oliver that his act was simply the best possible version of Oliver and that our hero is indeed one capable of a very strange work life balance. Also he was fantastically but in taking no shit from anyone and it is easy to see why he was the character detour for this episode. The only real issue I had with his introduction was the random pop up in the flashbacks. You would think Anatoli would have told Oliver a little more, and having Chance be a friend of Diggle’s would have been enough.

On the same note it was great to see Diggle and Wild Dog actually interact. I have not felt like Rene actually had an ally on the team and that everyone was not truly able to relate to him in any way, shape, or form. However, with Diggle who has also had his share of military experience and making poor choices Rene has found a role model. Oliver was too high a bar for Rene to reach, but Diggle is scarred in his own special way and that will allow the characters to bond in a way the rest of the team never could. I especially enjoyed when Rene asked Diggle about the time he had been tortured and Diggle fessed up. It would have been so easy to have Diggle not be an adult, but David Ramsey played it perfectly as a put up or shut up type moment. It wasn’t a subtle, but it was a necessary moment in order for Rene to grow.

The big show this week was the action however and boy did it deliver with the rematch, Ollie finally taking down Church, and the final massacre. Each of these added a specific element to the episode. I really did enjoy Rene manning up and attempting to get his revenge on Church, it shows that all of Diggle’s talk this week actually paid off and Rene is beginning to accept the team for what it is. Same goes for Oliver who finally has a monkey off his back in terms of Church who has been tormenting him for a while. The fight was well staged and it finally put Prometheus on Ollie’s radar. The question is whether Oliver will actually pay any attention to the monster behind the scenes

I have to say what really sealed the episode as a really good trip was the final scene with Prometheus murdering everyone. I would have been very easy to have quick cuts showing the bodies drop, but the silent terror as we pull back to reveal jus how many people Prometheus had killed to get to Church was a thing of beauty. Church knew what was coming and just how dangerous a person Prometheus is, so for him to basically tell the guard to stay alive raised the tension. Church knew he needed a bargaining chip or a split second to get away and for him to waste it was pretty odd. I guess he assumed he was dead anyway, but he should have at least waited before telling Prometheus that Green Arrow is Oliver Queen. Reasons I guess.

Overall it was another really satisfying episode of Arrow. A surprising trend I hope continues.

Final Grade A-

+Fight scenes

+Diggle and Rene’s relationship

+Human Target was on point

+The final Prometheus scene

-Church revealing Ollie’s identity before being guaranteed safety

-Olicity stuff felt off this week

Extra Thoughts

-Curtis and Artemis were mostly benched this week and unfortunately nothing was lost.

-Ollie knows about Felicity’s boyfriend, raise your hand if you care at all.

-No sign of Lyla this week but she is still running ARGUS despite helping a fugitive escape. Ok then.

About the author

Scott Swartz