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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My review of Arrow 5.02- The Recruits

Oliver works with new team members and meets someone new while Diggle learns a hard lesson of his own.  In the past, Oliver learns that joining the Bratva has a steep price....

Oliver is not the most inspirational teacher in the world.  Shocker.  Yes, if you noticed large amounts of sarcasm there, you are reading it correctly.  Oliver is a very intense, dedicated, and focused man who is not the best people person.  He has lost so many people over the years that it is little wonder that he is reluctant to work with new people and he is very hard on them when he does decide to work with them.  Both of his parents, Laurel, Shado, Tommy, the people from the Glades, the people killed by the soldiers on mirakiru, the people killed by R'as Al Ghul, the people killed by Damien Dahrk, and on and on.  Rightly or not, Oliver has taken the responsibilities for all of those deaths on himself which means that he won't put anyone else in danger until he is convinced that they are ready.  And that also means that he will be merciless when he is training them to make sure that they have the best chance possible.  Where he really fell down was the way he reacted after Wild Dog disobeyed him,  Did good come of it?  Sure, but it could very easily have gone south like a bird during the winter.  But Oliver's reaction to completely belittle all of them was a very, very bad reaction.  Understandable, but bad.  The rest of his training made sense.  He was trying to force them to work together as a team to take him down.  And he knew that if he told them what the goal was, it wouldn't be worth as much because they need to decide on their own to be a team.  So inspirational?  No.  Good?  For the most part, yes.

Remember that Oliver was against the idea of Laurel going out in the first place because she wasn't trained the way everyone else was.  Diggle is a trained soldier, Thea was trained by Malcolm, Oliver trained Roy himself, but Laurel only had some training with Nyssa.  Not that Nyssa is not skilled, but she didn't work with Laurel as long as anyone of the others had been trained.  I think that if he something happens to the new recruits properly and he thinks that hasn't trained them properly, he will blame himself and that idea terrifies him.  And Wild Dog's attitude towards being trained isn't helping.  One problem with the old team was the fact that there wasn't really a clear cut leader because Diggle kept challenging Oliver.  The team really does need to have one leader to plan things and Oliver is indisputably the best one for that role.

Listening to Diggle talk with the young soldier, I felt a little uneasy.  Diggle never really struck me as the type to hide from responsibility, but that seems to be where he was headed with his speech about how having other people make the decisions is a good thing because it provides clarity.  I know that may sound odd after the last paragraph, but it really isn't.  While I may not be super fond of Diggle, it was more because of the way he dealt with things in stark black and white terms.  I appreciated that Laurel and Felicity can challenge Oliver's ideas without actually challenging him the way Diggle would.  The two of them had a way of pointing out the problems with Oliver's ideas in a good way.  That means not just blindly following him, but still following him with thought.  They also saw that the world was not as simple as Diggle seems to think it is.  And that sort of thinking really got Diggle in trouble.  I am hoping that he isn't just going to be separate the whole season because if he is on the show, it really does need to tie into the story in Star City.

As for Lance, I am glad that Thea is giving him a job.  As I said last week, the man still needs serious therapy to get over his self-loathing if he really wants to remain sober.  The fact that he needs to have something outside of himself to be sober is seriously not a good thing.  I don't think it will change, but I hope it does.

Am I the only one worried that Ragman is from Havenrock?  You know, the city that was hit by the nuclear missile at the end of last season after Felicity redirected it to save as many lives as possible?  yeah, this is going to get messy....

Until next week!