After “AWOL”, the episode we received week before last, I wondered if the show might have found its stride again this season after the slow start that was the mid-season premiere. Two weeks later and I’m feeling like that was a fluke. Both last week and this week have seen the show spinning its wheels. Mind you it hasn’t dipped into Season 3-levels of bad, but it’s not good either.
The bright side is that amidst the wheel-spinning in regards to Damien Darhk and HIVE, the show has at least taken some time to address other dangling threads. Last week brought back Roy, who was certainly a welcome guest, for a little bit more closure from Oliver’s old protege. We were also treated to the introduction of Felicity’s criminal father, The Calculator, and this week finished off that bit of character expansion (at least for now). Katana was touched on again as well. All good and fine, but nothing overly exciting.
Last week also brought Nyssa’s revenge plot against Malcolm Merlyn to the forefront again, pitting it against the back drop of Thea’s condition worsening. The wound left by the previous Ra’s was festering once more and the only cure was in the hands of Nyssa. Her bargain for Oliver? Kill Malcolm and make her the head of the League of Assassins.
Naturally Oliver wanted a different way of accomplishing his goals and ending up finding one. In the process, Nyssa herself wised up and ultimately disbanded the League after claiming its throne. This effectively takes both Nyssa and the League off the board, thereby capping both story arcs, at least for the time being. Again, things that needed to be addressed at some point on the series, but the execution was not overly interesting.
Unsurprisingly, Malcolm is still alive, though now missing a part of himself. The final reveal shows him aligning himself with Damien Darhk, which should come as no surprise to any fan of the series. Such a partnership was inevitable and, providing we aren’t in for too much stalling, it should make the remaining 10 episodes of the season interesting and eventful. At least I hope so, anyway. While this season is automatically better than the majority of last year’s, it’s too complacent and sluggish in its storytelling. Things need to pick up and become tighter. As is, characters and subplots will now disappear for weeks on end with no explanation given and there’s really no excuse for it. It’s poor storytelling and the showrunners need to buckle down if they want to prevent the same kind of mess they fell into last year.
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