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REVIEW: Arrow 5×20 “Underneath”

Written by Scott Swartz

Hey, you guys remember when we had a menacing bad guy who wanted to destroy everything Oliver ever held dear and cared about. Good times. Oh well, I guess we have to suffer through one more filler episode until Chase has to prove he is an utter psychopath again. So yeah, “Underneath” was super underwhelming to the point I am actually shocked this is where the writers decided to place this episode in the season. I mean was there really going to be an ideal moment to deal with all of the Felicity and Oliver stuff, probably not, but this definitely wasn’t the time for it considering Chase is out there trying to murder Oliver’s son. There was easily a much bigger threat and yet Oliver was forced to deal with a mistake of a one night stand this episode rather than saving those he cares about. It was just, wow, I have been waiting for the season to really slip up and remind me of season four and while this wasn’t nearly as bad it certainly wasn’t great.

So let’s start with the worst part of the episode because seriously why are we getting Felicity/Oliver flashback right now? We have three weeks until Oliver is supposed to be getting off Lian Yu and yet here we are flashing back to Oliver having a one night stand with his ex. It would be cool an all if all of the relationship stuff was dealt with in the flashbacks and when we came into the season Ollie and Felicity were in a good place. Here however it was the exact opposite, they were not working towards getting better and having a healthy adult relationship by having a one night stand. There are just so many other angles we could have taken with these types of flashbacks from showing the better moments of their relationship that we didn’t get to see in season four, to having Oliver confront what Felicity actual means to him in the wake of Damien Darhk. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am was not the way to go to solve this conundrum and whoever thought it was should have a stern talking to.

As for the rest of the Oliver and Felicity material it was better than expected. I appreciated that both of them admitted that they were wrong on some front with Oliver admitting her can’t protect Felicity and Felicity admitting she over reacted about William. It was nice to see the two of them attempt to behave like adults and bury the hatchet on the issues that tore them apart recently. I mean sure, it was in between a comedy of errors involving methane gas, trap doors, and Ollie bleeding out, but the principal of everything made it all worthwhile. The fact that everyone was able to openly admit that they are hypocrites made all of it very clean and enjoyable on some fronts. The question now becomes if it manages to stick and actually mean anything to the team moving forward, or if we are simply just making a grand gesture that means absolutely nothing.

Speaking of people announcing they are absolute hypocrites, John Diggle come on down. It has been well documented that Diggle despite being a moral compass tends to be a massive flip flopper in terms of morals. I mean Lyla is completely in the right that John works with morally compromised people everyday and for him to judge her is completely wrong. I also enjoyed that without Lyla and ARGUS, Ollie and Felicity would have been dead a hundred times over this week. It is nice to see everyone finally admit they are in the wrong about working in the moral grey area after watching all of the horrible shit that has happened to them. Diggle finally understands that he has been a jackass and is willing to work it out, which is way more than anyone actually thought was going to happen.

So here we are, last three episodes of the season and now it is Adrian’s time to shine and bring death and destruction down onto all Oliver cares about. Should be fun to watch considering how the episode ends.

Final Grade C-

+Everyone admitting they are hypocrites

+Not entirely the worst bottle episode

-Not great flashbacks

-Horrible way to display the Oliver/Felicity relationship

-No Chase really

-Team really had nothing to do

Extra Thoughts

-Best moment of the episode, Ollie getting shot up with adrenaline.

-I am really hoping it’s a misdirect with the cement body as Chase would probably kill him.

-Curtis has a new and better T-Sphere… Thanks Argus.

About the author

Scott Swartz

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