After a slow first half of the season, Arrow returns with a familiar face and an even more familiar storyline.
Right from the start Laurel’s return seemed too good to be true, but with her far-fetched story to explain her reemergence the audience probably quickly surmised her true identity. While name dropping Sara Lance and the Legends was a nice touch, Felicity appeared to be the only one with any doubts. Oliver’s eyes lighting up at the possibility of this being his Laurel was heartbreaking, especially after seeing an alternate future with her in the 100th episode earlier this season.
Felicity suggests a party to celebrate her return but in actuality used the opportunity to run a DNA scan on “Laurel’s” glass, which subsequently matches. While random Arrow team member (I haven’t bothered to learn the latest recruits names) starts running through possible scenarios he suggests an evil twin, automatically making everything fall into place for Felicity. This isn’t Laurel- it’s Black Siren from Earth-2, whose most recent whereabouts where in Central City, safely imprisoned in Star Labs.
As this epiphany is unfolding, cue big entrance of Black Siren. Prometheus has recently released her from her cage to impersonate Laurel and by revealing her true identity has only managed to piss him off. In an attempt to get back in his good graces, she sets up a meeting with Oliver, who in turn is desperately trying to find a piece of his Laurel in this dark impersonator.
I loved it when Felicity calls her Black Siren and says, “Everyone gets a nickname.” This little reference to our nicknaming buddy, Cisco, subtly manages to provide a perfectly woven weave to our friends in Central City. Even after three seasons, my favorite parts of all these shows really are when they overlap, whether it is in theses small instances or in our yearly crossovers.
Overall, the Prometheus storyline to me is getting old. Every season introduces our new big bad but I find this character falls a little flat in comparison to previous villains like Deathstroke. The back and forth between characters is not a new trend on this show and probably one of the main reasons that watching it live recently has become harder. The strained relationship between Felicity and Oliver is also getting weary. While I was never a fan of Olicity, I find I have grown to dislike the whiny, bossy girl that has become of Felicity in stark contrast to earlier seasons of what used to be a fun and witty character.
After Felicity purposefully releases Black Siren, in hopes she will lead them to Prometheus, the big showdown happens. Once again Oliver is forced to make a choice between saving Felicity or going after Prometheus and is saddened to realize that perhaps there is no redemption to this person who physically reminds him of the woman he lost. As an audience member, I was hoping, like Oliver, that perhaps Black Siren would be redeemed.
While I was not much of a fan of Black Canary, I always held out the hope that ultimately she and Oliver would reconcile after everything they had been through. Seems that wish will not be seen today, as Curtis helps Team Arrow take away her Siren Call metahuman ability and successfully manages to capture her. Speaking of Curtis, I really love his character and wish he would take it upon himself to be the Cisco to Felicity’s Caitlyn because he would be so much more valuable to the team in that capacity.
Intermixed throughout the entire episode were flashbacks to Oliver’s time with the Bratva. While the flashbacks themselves seems redundant, given his penchant to having been tortured by various cronies over his five missing years, it was a nice surprise to be introduced to Tahlia Al Ghul. You may recognize her name as the more famous of Rah Al Ghul’s daughters and our link to another famous Cape Crusader.
The last bit of this episode leads us to Hub City and yet another possible Black Canary. Let’s see what this one has to offer the team, as our last two haven’t exactly been a good fit.
Katie Cassidy back in any capacity is always great and really makes me wish that they hadn’t killed off her character as these storylines end up becoming a disappointment. While Oliver’s naivety and positive outlook was a nice change, I wish it could have been rewarded with the redemption of Black Siren. Who knows if now that they have her locked in ARGUS, our hero will get his wish. Overall the episode dragged for me, but my hope is that the remainder of Season 5 packs more of a punch then it has so far. I guess only time will tell. Til next time!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW