Arrow Recap Season 5

Arrow Recap: Breaking In

This week on The CW’s Arrow, while Oliver was away, the new recruits got to play… with fire. Once the smoke cleared, which team member was left in the lurch?

I was not a fan of this episode. It felt 90 minutes long. I “get” what it was trying to do, but I don’t think it was done terribly well. And there is just something about the new collection of recruits that hasn’t “clicked” for me yet, not enough that I am greatly invested in their need to “belong,” to “succeed.” And certainly not as a ragtag, questionably attired group operating independent of their seasoned leader.

Oliver’s primary goal this week was to spring Diggle out of a maximum security federal prison, at Lyla’s request. Done well, and cleverly, that is an episode unto itself. Instead, Oliver smuggles himself inside via a laundry cart, and the only wrinkle he runs up against — Dig was moved to gen pop — is remedied in seconds. Surprising Dig in his cell, Oliver gets a nice speech about how, as his “brother,” “Anything that happens to you, happens to me,” as he states his case for busting Dig out against his wishes. The gents then use a nifty “antimolecular compound” to fizz a hole through the floor and slip out through some tunnels, before getting airlifted via a harness Oliver slips Diggle at the last second.

Back at the lair, Diggle and Lyla properly reunite (“If you wanted to make your own decisions, you wouldn’t have gotten married,” she smiles), while Oliver takes stock of the mess that was made in his absence. Namely….

A thingamabob that Team Arrow (minus Rory/Ragman, who can’t bring himself to work alongside Felicity) had earlier stopped a Church henchman from “stealing” gets checked into the evidence locker at the SCPD, while deputy mayor Quaetin and DA Adrian carefully look on. Church then uses a gizmo from outside to get the box humming, before it explodes a hole into the SCPD wall, allowing his minions to loot the place, and its many weapons.

On the heels of this incident, Felicity tracks down and appeals to Rory, acknowledging his still-tender wounds but suggesting they each need a means to move past the Havenrock tragedy and how it still distinctly haunts them. “We both want to move forward,” she says. “And we could really use you.”

Sure ’nuff, Rory resurfaces at the lair just as the team is out-voting Felicity in favor of venturing out sans Oliver to stop Church’s gang from attacking the Anti-Crime Unit bunker where Adrian is currently grilling one of their arrested goons. Ragman, Mr. Terrific, Artemis and Wild Dog infiltrate the bunker and ward off Church’s men well enough, though Curtis takes a dagger in the back and Wild Dog gets KO’d and eventually is hauled away to be tortured. That’s when Oliver returns from the prison break, vowing to not “write off” Rene but find him — wherever he is.

In flashbacks, meanwhile, Oliver played drunk to get thrown into a Russian jail alongside one of Kovar’s associates, squeeze information out of the guy and then snap his neck like the “Bratva devil” he is. “You trust us, now we trust you,” Anatoly later says. “The third test is over. You are now Bratva, family.”

What did you think of the episode “Penance”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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51 Comments
  1. Lola says:

    I like Felicity and all but she really needs to stop this holier than thou act. I’m way over it. Especially after knowing she killed poor Rory’s family and probably countless other innocent families. It’s starting to become an overbearing characteristic every time she’s onscreen. Always having issue with everyone else’s mistakes while not seeing her own record isn’t exactly squeaky clean. These are gray characters that walk the line between right/wrong and she needs to get down off of her soapbox because it’s not becoming. I see why half the Arrowverse viewers don’t like her.

    I’m glad Oliver went to save John with help from Lila. That relationship to me is the very foundation of this show. These two were comrades before any of the other team members came on board, even Felicity. I know lots of viewers and the show itself likes to say that Oliver, John, and Felicity were the original team Arrow but IMO the original team Arrow is Oliver and Dig. I hope John can rise above his guilt from killing his backstabbing criminal brother. It’s not a burden he should live with nor feel guilty about. I got a good laugh at Oliver whipping his novice team. I also miss Thea as Speedy. The office persona does nothing interesting for the character. I feel like she’s stuck in mud watching her scenes. I hope she’s back in fighting form by mid season.

    • Unknown says:

      I agree I do like Felicity but she knows Dig should not be in jail and that he isn’t thinking straight any other time she would be on Oliver side and she knows those three could not talk Oliver out of doing it let alone stop him she just seems different it’s like every choice Ollie makes she doesn’t like but I’m not a Felicity hater it’s just something seems off with her still a good episode tonight though

      • Liz says:

        Literally the only reason why Felicity objected was because they needed her to stay behind and have scenes with the new team and Rory. It’s all so contrived and forced. She had a point though. Diggle is now a fugative. Dumb idea.

        • M says:

          I don’t get their reasoning. Lyla was emprisoned in Russia when they went to rescue her but Diggle was emprisoned in the states. He puts one foot outside and he’s back in prison. There’s a difference and to not stop for one second and think about the kind of life he would have if they never find a way to exonerate him is non-sense. I think people forget that Felicity had a dad who was a fugitive for most of her life.

          • Liz says:

            Exactly my point. There’s always talk on this show about finding another way but they didn’t even consider it. They just wanted a cool prison break and didn’t stop to think of the consequences, which only Felicity was doing. And Diggle escaping prison now makes him look extra guilty. The whole plan was stupid, especially because he’s now on the run for however many episodes and doesn’t even get his life or family back.

          • laperkin@gmail.com says:

            I agree with you and Liz. Diggle has no where to go and will constantly be running and looking over his shoulder from now on. How can you raise a kid that way?

    • 134sc says:

      I actually really like how Felcity has been written this season. She is who she is and the writers havnt shyed away from that. What I have appreciated is that the other characters are now acknowleding how she is and are reacting and forming opinions accordingly. In other words they arent letting her get away with her crap.

    • kath says:

      What “holier than thou” act? She’s repeatedly said that she can’t forget that she is responsible for the nuke killing all those people,in Havenrock, including Rory’s family even though she did it to sake the millions in Monument Point. And what’s worse is that this isn’t the last mistake she’s going to make. What more do you want from her?

      Her objections to breaking Diggle out of prison are 1. Diggle didn’t want to break out; 2. he would have to be on the run for the rest of his life and 3. they gave her literally 5 seconds to process it.

  2. MsBaseball34 says:

    I have been confused about something since last season, so I’m just going to ask . . . if Ray Palmer tranferred his ownership in Palmer Tech to Felicity before he “died”, how can the board fire her? And how exactly is she affording that loft she is living in / financing her vigilante lifestyle? Otherwise happy to see John & Lila back – even if I seriously hate that they changed baby Sara to John Jr. Why did they have to drag the stupid Flash time jump over??

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I’ll take a highly unqualified stab at this: Just because you own a company doesn’t mean you can run it questionably, without oversight. You must answer to stockholders, to a board of directors. So maybe she was fired as CEO, but she still owns what she owns, and draws dividends from it — as long as PT does well/operates in the black…?

      • MsBaseball34 says:

        It’s as good an answer as any :). Thanks!

      • jrex says:

        I like that but wish it would at least be referenced on screen. Ditto with Oliver and Thea regaining access to some of their financial assets which were frozen awhile back. They surely were “cleared” of whatever justified seizing their fortunes.

        • Agent 86 says:

          Didn’t Thea inherit Malcolm’s millions / billions when he “died” (even though he then returned to walk the streets of Star City and nobody ever recognised him)?

          Or did Malcolm take that money off Thea, although he doesn’t need it since the LOA presumably has all the funds it needs (other than enough money to afford modern weapons, electricity, indoor plumbing, etc in their not-so-secret headquarters)?

          The issues about how every can afford to partake in Team Arrow activities has been prevalent ever since Thea and Oliver magically lost absolutely all of their money, including personal possessions like Moira’s jewellery, artwork, etc which were apparently all part of Queen Consolidated which Ray Palmer took over (from fuzzy memory).

      • Jim says:

        Yes. Felicity still owns her (Ray’s) piece of the company. The board just removed her as CEO. They were able to do that because she must not have been a majority (over fifty percent) shareholder, even though she’s still probably the largest shareholder.

      • Jim says:

        And there’s no conceivable way Deathstroke could have cleaned Oliver out to the point where he doesn’t have a few million kicking around.

    • dean says:

      It’s THEA’s loft!

  3. Jason says:

    Really liking Arrow so far this season.

  4. jill says:

    Arrow this season felt different and cheesy without Laurel & Sara..the new team kinda sucks i think..i hope this is the last season for Arrow..

    • jj says:

      Nobody is forcing you to watch it. And of the four superhero shows on cw, Arrow is the least cheesy.

    • 134sc says:

      I think people are missing the point about the new team. Remember a couple seasons back when the team basically told Oliver he wasnt in charge anymore. He was essentially demoted from coach to team captain. Olivers opinions held the most wieight, bu the team as a whole made decisions. This season, there is no doubt who is in charge. Ollie is coach and what he says goes. Sure Felcity has an opinion and Oliver will let her have her say, but he makes the final call. The new team dynamic is there more to inform Oliver as a character. I dont think we are yet meant to really care all that much about them as individuals, maybe over time, but definitely not now.

  5. datdudemurphy says:

    I’m not loving the new team, most of all WildDog….at this point I am kind of hoping to see his character bite it.
    Curtis and Artemis both have potential….Ragman seems very out of place for this group.
    …and this was definitely the weakest episode of the season so far.

    All in all, this season is much improved. So, I’m not going to freak out about a stumble.
    we shall see what happens next week

    • Ben says:

      I like Curtis and Artemis. I think Ragman will grow on me but he does seem out of place. It’s very hard to like Wild Dog.

    • kath says:

      I like Ragman, he seems mature and and thoughtful.
      I think I could get to like Evelyn/Artemis but they should have shown how she picked up archery so fast. Basically she’s just there so Wild Dog has someone to tell his POV.
      I really liked Curtis last season but this season he’s rubbing me the wrong way. He should be doing mechanical tech like Cisco, not out in the field.
      Wild Dog is just the worst. He’s arrogant and a bully (calling Felicity “Blondie” even though she’s repeatedly asked him not to). I don’t know why the show is so enamored of him, He can go, the sooner the better.

  6. ALM says:

    This show has become such a shell of its former self. Even the flashbacks, which I have never liked, seem to be afterthoughts more than intentional. I know people have a lot of different opinions about this show and what it is and should be. My problems with it begin with the fact that in its beginning and at its heart it is a superhero story. But who is that on this show anymore? I understand gray areas, but I see no heroes. Oliver has murdered, not just killed but murdered, enough people to be considered basically a serial killer. I no longer recognize the once faithful companion of Diggle, and Felicity gets more and more annoying as she takes more and more of the front line. As is often true, good secondary characters rarely turn in to good primary characters. Looking back over the seasons, this show “jumped the shark” to me on the last episode of season 1. While the death of Tommy was a definite surprise, that was only a momentary satisfaction. Much better would have been Malcolm dying in a fight with Oliver, Tommy vowing revenge, and Laurel being caught in the middle. Then we could see the journeys of the three becoming the iconic characters of Green Arrow, Merlyn the Dark Archer, and Black Canary through this scenario. But ’twas not to be. I only watch any of it now as background noise mostly. I usually wish for no show to end as that can be bad for the fans, but I do wish this one to end because a better and true superhero show (like Flash and Supergirl are usually) could take its place.

    • 134sc says:

      I understand most peoples problem with this show. Especially over the last couple of seasons. But I have really enjoyed this season so far. So I guess I just dont understand your problem with it as it is currently constructed. Your issues seem to stem from the shows original concept which had Oliver killing all the time, so to say its a shell of its former self makes no sense to me. Based on your issues, did you enjoy seasons 2-4 where Oliver really didnt kill unless completely necessary?

      • ALM says:

        Through the flashbacks, and I know that means it happened before, he has killed so many people. How is he able to cast judgment on others? How is he able to bring justice to others when he faces none? In my opinion, they have made him kill so much that he has ceased to be a true hero, much less a superhero.

      • ALM says:

        Just let me add that I understand flawed heroes. Flash and Supergirl have flaws and make mistakes but they are basically good intentioned always and aim to always do what is right, yes but still making mistakes. This no longer seems true with Oliver. I don’t see him as always good intentioned or always being a good person. Thus to me no longer truly heroic.

        • jj says:

          The Flash always aims to do what’s right? I like Barry but let’s not sugar coat his behaviour. He has frequently done whatever he wanted for himself and screw the consequences. Barry and Kara have powers, so throw on a costume and decided to stop crime etc. They are a rose colored glasses kind of hero. Oliver has no super powers. Instead he went through horrendous experiences and came out of it with a deep desire to protect others from all of the horrible things that others do, to save his city etc. He easily could have gone down a dark evil path himself, but instead fights to protect others (constantly making sacrifices in his own life, unlike Barry). To me he’s way more heroic than the superheroes who go “gee I have powers, wouldn’t it be fun to be a superhero”.

      • ALM says:

        Reading back what you said, I guess I didn’t answer one thing. I began watching this show to see the superhero Green Arrow. I understand there are different iterations of these characters as with all comics characters, but this version has so gone off that he is not much of a hero and the show is no longer what it started out to be. I have liked each season of the show less and less as it moved away from the source. I liked the coming of Roy Harper and Laurel after becoming Black Canary as I wanted to see that character, even though they should have written the development better. Her death was just so dumb that it is no longer must see for me. Far from it. I mean they rush in to fight someone they have had no luck against except with others with magic and then Darkh only kills her. He could have totally won if he had killed them all then. It was just way beyond stupid. And this season, when I have paid attention, which could be a problem I admit, the new ones are just trying. And Mr. Terrific looks silly in costume and fighting, not superheroic in any capacity.

        • 134sc says:

          That’s interesting. To start I’m not a comic book person. When I came to this show, I had just come off the Smallville Green Arrow. It’s the only version I had ever known and I liked it very much. However, I grew up on the original Batman Movies and then the Nolan Batman Movies. When the new Green Arrow show said it would resemble a darker, brutal more vigilant type of “hero”, that would kill if needed, I loved the idea. The killing didn’t bother me because Oliver had killed on Smallville, so I didn’t even see it being out of character. So to me the show never started out as a superhero show. It started out as a dark vigilante show. (In hindsight how great would ARROW be if it could have been on Netflix a la Daredevil, but I digress).

          Now, the show did launch 2 clear superhero shows in The Flash and Legends and kinda a 3rd in SG (all shows I really enjoy btw), but to that point Arrow tried to be like those shows and it failed miserably. Only now has it gotten back to the tone of its early seasons. Which I very much prefer. It also helps the writing has been much better. As for the flashbacks, in seasons 1-3 and now 5 I loved them as a concept and for the most part for the story. Green Arrows origin of being trapped on an island for 5 years (for the most part), is actually pretty dark and pretty messed up. Its an interesting narrative to explore. To know exactly what happened to make him who is, juxtaposed with present day narrative is such a cool idea. It’s just sometimes the execution was bad while other times the entire plot sucked (looking at you season 4).

          • laperkin@gmail.com says:

            I agree with 134sc on everything (I also came from smallville). I LOVE that Oliver isn’t a true definition of hero by killing those that do deserve it. It shows a dark vigilante trying to help save the city.Thats why I think the show is great and while I don’t like how certain story lines have played out I’m not going to stop watching EVER!!!! lol :)

    • MONICA says:

      I would like to see oliver and felicity get back together. PLEASE

      • ALM says:

        That is fine. I have ceased to care about the “shipping.” They deserve each other to me actually. He has slept with just about any female near his age and she now has a boyfriend but flirts with her ex. The dysfunction should be kept between them.

      • Lizzie says:

        I’d love them to get back together too. Quit with the drama and just let them be happy together. I personally think all of their scenes so far this season would’ve been exactly the same had they been in a relationship. Nothing would’ve changed except we wouldn’t have the absolutely pointless boyfriend.

        • Isobel says:

          Yeah the illegitimate kid and Arrow and felicity breaking up was unnecessary and added nothing to the show, that whole plotline was a big mistake that took time away from the show

    • Brigid says:

      Wow, I absolutely loved your idea of Tommy turning into the Dark Archer and Black Canary and Green Arrow working together as heroes. I’ve gotten to the point where watching this show is becoming a chore and I really don’t care about any of the characters. I scrolled through Facebook the entire episode. I was fine with the team before Laurel died and now I’m suppose to care about these newbies, no thanks, I liked the other crew much better. The Flash is 100 times better and I’ll take it ANY day over this mess.

  7. Liz says:

    I liked the Felicity and Rory scenes very much. I also agreed with her that breaking Digg out of prison was not the right idea. Is he gonna be a fugitive forever now? Escaping prison just makes him look guilty.

    I don’t like the new team though, apart from Ragman, which surprises me. Wild Dog is annoying, Artemis has no personality and is just there and Curtis is ten levels of annoying and probably better in the bunker. I appreciate them taking their time with learning though. One of the biggest downsides to Laurel becoming BC was just how quickly she evolved and with very little training. So that’s something at least.

    I don’t know, this episode felt strange and I thought the plot was very forced. A shame because I have enjoyed this season so far.

  8. Jake says:

    Felicity has been great this season. The whole point of the team is they are beginners and they are learning. The flashbacks have been great this season and really are starting to feel like they mirror the present.

  9. Csb says:

    I’m right with you Matt. This was the episode that would not end.
    They need more genuine character connections and development. I love this show, but this season is making me not care. I miss Thea and Digg, and normal Felicity (her reaction this week to the rescue mission was completely out of character and lame) I just don’t care about the new people enough to watch entire episodes about them.

  10. Linda says:

    and here I thought I was the only one not feeling the new recruits.

    • Isobel says:

      Yeah I hope they let wild dog, Artemis and Ragman leave to become their own heroes in other cities soon and Lyla, Diggle and Speedy return to the team

  11. dancmh says:

    The episode was smarter than most of last season. I liked that Oliver didn’t run around the prison in his Arrrow suit although I’d have loved it if he went in wearing the Raj al Ghul robes or maybe dressed as Malcom. However, I did have to facepalm when, after the big speech about Lila keeping clear of the operation, she rolls up in the truck and sends an 8/10 glossy of herself in the prison’s computer system.

    Also, does Curtis’ husband have any idea what he’s doing? He’s gone all night, quit is job, and comes home beaten the hell up and stabbed routinely. What the hell kind of cover is running to keep this a secret from the guy?

  12. Sarah says:

    I feel like every episode of Arrow is 90 minutes long.
    The Flash is the only DC/CW show I am still enjoying. Can’t tell if it’s because the writing or acting better. Maybe both.

    • sarah t says:

      I’m the opposite, I feel like the Flash is very “meh” this year and I think Arrow has at least recaptured some of it’s mojo. I’m not very attached to the new team but that’s mainly because I prefer Oliver and maybe some Diggle. I feel like when you get too many “super” heros running around then they’re no longer “super” (especially when the show is called “Arrow” and not Legends of Tomorrow. So I’m hoping to the fact that at least some of these other recruits will either move on or likely be taken out (since I’m guessing the writers are wanting us to at least get somewhat attached so we’ll be surprised when they die).
      Overall though, I think this season is somewhat tighter and better written. I like the Oliver/Felicity dynamic again. The flashbacks make a bit more sense. And I’m hoping we’ll get more Diggle since he’s now out of prison.

  13. GirlvsTV says:

    This was the first season 5 episode I tuned in for because it seemed like it was going to be more focused on Oliver/Diggle/Felicity. I only made it through the first 15 minutes. I guess since LL is gone, Felicity is now the writers’ punching bag. I’ve also found Oliver extremely unlikable since the secret kid lying and hospital ditching in S4, I found him pretty insufferable here so I’m pretty sure this was my last attempt at an Arrow ep. Shame, it used to be my favorite show but something is really off with it chemistry wise now. I didn’t like the new team at all, and though I liked Curtis last year I found him really annoying at the top of this episode.

    • M says:

      Isn’t it odd when an episode that is supposed to be focused on Diggle only lets Diggle appear in the last ten minutes? I agree with you. Most characterizations this season seems to be infuriating, even Lyla’s, which is surprising considering she was always one of my favorites but they did it with that one line. I’m sure you can identify it. Meanwhile, Oliver is a shell of his former self. Even when I had trouble empathizing with him in the first seasons, he had quiet moments either with his family or Diggle/Felicity where we would see more than the grumpy vigilante with the growly voice. That rescue scene with Diggle was so rushed that I felt nothing. It seems like they’re not writing stunts around the plot anymore but writing the plot around stunts. Which brings me back to the newbies. So far the only one who seems to be relevant both on the team and on the field is Rory.

      I think this episode lacked heart but I don’t think it was just this episode. This has been a problem since the beginning of the season and it all goes back to how they wanted to reboot Oliver, which is starting to feel a whole lot like regression.

    • Liz says:

      I usually love Oliver but he has been pretty unlikeable this season. He’s just a robot now.

    • GirlvsTV says:

      I doesn’t seem like Oliver is on any kind of ‘hero’ journey this season. He isn’t striving to be better, or to give people hope . . . He’s just kind of ‘there’.

  14. SBrellah says:

    I think this was the second best episode of the season behind Legacy. I was so looking forward to this rescue, but I would have liked more moments between Dig and Oliver. There was almost too many things going on in this episode, and I think it could have been broken up into two episodes to better focus on everything going on. I did not feel it was as Dig and Oliver an episode like it was advertised. With having Dig back now though, he will help Oliver be a better mentor for the new recruits. Oliver is going overboard in the training because of what happened with Laurel. Dig is better at getting through to Oliver than Felicity.

    Felicity is a character who has not evolved well on this series at all. Her moods/actions change so drastically from episode to episode. She was a more interesting/more stable character in seasons 1, 2, and beginning of 3. Now Felicity is almost dangerous with the way her emotions dictate her actions and how she is so judgmental of the others. She used to be supportive. Her expertise is in the tech, and she is very good at that, but now she seems to have a judgmental opinion about everything and everyone.

  15. OPENDI WILLIAM says:

    wat a great episode really enjoyed it. actions wow thanx to team new arrow