In this week’s Arrow episode, “So It Begins,” the Green Arrow versus Prometheus arc finally kicks into high gear and also addresses the often glossed-over (but still pretty complicated fact) that Oliver Queen is essentially a reformed serial killer. But ultimately, even with all of the forward momentum, So It Begins” also brings up a lot of really pressing questions. Obviously only six episodes have aired, but hopefully the rest of Arrow Season 5 won’t leave all of these questions open-ended:
1. Why is Prometheus so extra?
The episode literally opens with Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Spartan (David Ramsey) essentially going through a haunted house-structured locale, simply to find a message that appears — by fire — from Prometheus: “SO IT BEGINS.” That’s just busy work. Then Prometheus’s entire escape plan from a moving train involves destroying the entire back end of said train, and actually, that was pretty cool. But his throwing stars are apparently all made of Green Arrow’s arrows, melted down and repurposed for evil. That is just some next level time-wasting, even to prove a point. (Keep all of this effort in mind for who the episode eventually suggests is Prometheus, by the way.)
2. Will the B-team ever look like professionals?
It’s kind of an understated moment in the episode, but there’s something really honest about Green Arrow and the whole team going to an outdoor mall simply to stop very human, non-superpowered panic over Prometheus. Superheroes just keeping the peace is probably part of the argument for how vigilantes make the actual law enforcement obsolete, but hey, the team gets things done here in order for the cops to better handle things.
However … if I were in a riot, I would have to take a long beat to decide whether or not the dude in the hockey mask trying to control me was more of a Jason Voorhees or a Casey Jones. And Curtis (Echo Kellum), as harmless as everyone watching knows he is, is still very much a somewhat imposing black man (the T mask does him no favors) in a sea of a lot of frightened white people (a couple with guns). Evelyn (Madison McLaughlin) has the advantage of having a Black Canary aesthetic about her and Rory at least has superpowers, but they’re all kind of plagued by the other fact that no one knows who they are. Not like the Green Arrow or Spartan. It’s not like they don’t know they’re the B-Team — Rene (Rick Gonzalez) even calls them such in this episode, in his only moment of clarity all season.
3. Just checking, did Rene learn anything or grow from his torture session with Tobias Church?
No, of course not. If there is one constant in this season of Arrow so far, it’s that Rene never learns anything. “Why’s Ragman get to have all the fun?” That’s what he asks when he and his teammates (save for Oliver, Diggle, and Rory) are tasked with keeping the peace during chaos instead of taking down the gun-toting fear-mongers at the outdoor mall. Oliver is at least right to shut him down with a classic “Because I said so.”
4. Is Susan Williams the hero that Star City needs?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Another Arrow, another week of Arrow characters hating Susan Williams (Carly Pope) for being the only person competent at her day job and expecting the audience to hate her because the characters we love (and tolerate, in the case of drunk Quentin) do. She reports on Prometheus, coining the “Throwing Star Killer” moniker. She also teases Oliver for not calling her yet for a date, which honestly, good for her. Oliver needs to get it together on that front. And don’t forget, her introduction to the show had her on-air, questioning the choice in making alcoholic, disgraced police captain Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) the city’s Deputy Mayor. Now lo and behold …
5. Why is Quentin in charge of anything?
This is about the “revelation” that Quentin Lance is still drinking, because no duh he’s still drinking. They should have sent him to rehab before officially appointing him anything, and now Thea’s (Willa Holland) allowing him to keep drinking (even if she does convince him to go to an AA meeting) by not suspending him or doing any official reprimand for his behavior. The problem with Quentin being appointed Deputy Mayor wasn’t even as much that he was an alcoholic — because, if you take the proper steps, then you’re not showing up to work drunk — as it was him not having any experience in a city hall where the three most important people in the building have zero experience.
6. Is Quentin Lance the “Throwing Star Killer,” aka Prometheus?
If that even being a possibility isn’t reason enough to stop drinking, then I don’t know what is. We know that Quentin is a really bad drunk, so the idea that he’s now getting into dissociative states and going vigilante on Green Arrow because of it shreds credibility, even on a comic book show. And not just because it would be like Alaric’s plot in Season 3 of The Vampire Diaries. It makes for a good episode cliffhanger though, wouldn’t you say?
7. Is Billy Malone going to make it out of this season in one piece?
Alright, fine, I like the guy. It’s hard not to when he gets giddy over his girlfriend working for the Green Arrow (after the initial shock of her being a criminal) with some questions of his own: “Do you know where he lives? Is his face all scarred or something? Is that why he wears a hood?” Billy (Tyler Ritter) is kind of great, which means he’s one step closer to dying a tragic Tommy Merlyn-like death.
8. Why doesn’t Arrow showcase pop culture more?
On the one hand, the Star City music festival idea is honestly one of the best things Arrow has ever had, just on the basic principle of it being a real-world touch that is sorely lacking in comic book-based TV shows. (They still have music in these worlds, right? Then let the people dance!) On the other hand, this is the line-up: Onyx, Hanson, Paula Cole, Semisonic, Shai, Candlebox, Chumbawumba, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Rollercoasterwater, Paperboy, Eden’s Crush, Bodines Blind Melon, Jamiroquai New Radicals, Whiskeytown, House of Pain, Remy Zero, White Town, Crazy Town, Blackstreet, Sum 41, Cypress Hill, 4 Non Blondes, Crash Test Dummies, Montell Jordan, Snow. I mean, sign me up, but I just have so many more questions: Why no Letters to Cleo?