Arrow Episode Review: "The Recruits"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 5 television episode that first aired October 12, 2016.

Synopsis: Oliver (Stephen Amell) reluctantly begins to form a new team of vigilantes. However, his efforts to train his new recruits quickly fall flat. Meanwhile, his efforts to bring a free medical clinic to Glades survivors is put in jeopardy by Ragman (Joe Dinicol), a Havenbrook nuclear holocaust survivor who is seeking revenge against the clinic's main sponsor, AmerTek, because they manufactured the weapon that destroyed his hometown.


After watching last week's episode and learning Oliver was going to recruit a new Team Arrow, I watched last night's episode with some apprehension. While there is, admittedly, some potential created by starting fresh, a large cast change like that could send a show in either direction. And, unfortunately, after watching last night, I'm still not feeling confident about the change being a good decision.

To be fair, other than the surprise addition, Ragman, I have yet to see any of his new team members in action. As a result of that, I am holding out hope my confidence will be restored. However, so far at least, there's really nobody in his group that stands out, especially since they seem to spend more time complaining than actually earning their places on Team Arrow.

Another major plot point from this season I'm still not completely sold on is Oliver's new job as mayor.

At first, I thought it was an intriguing twist. And, as would be easy to predict, he does have quite a few challenges juggling his day and night jobs (I wonder if/when he sleeps). But, at the same time, while there have been some entertaining awkward situations, it also feels a bit like his character has become a sell out because, let's face it, the series was much more interesting when the police considered him a criminal.

In fact, more and more, I think the series would have been better had the city done as Lance (Paul Blackthorne) casually suggested and made the better-organized Thea (Willa Holland) mayor. Yes, it would have been difficult to explain that choice, given her relative obscurity compared to her brother. But, now that he's gotten back to killing bad guys, it would also have some potential to put them at odds with each other.

I will say, however, I did like the side story involving Diggle (David Ramsey) being betrayed by his unit and set up to take the fall for stealing a nuclear trigger. While I'm still not completely sure how that connects to the happenings in Star City, I suspect there will ultimately be some sort of twist that brings the two storylines together. Perhaps then, the episodes will start to be a bit more entertaining.

Final Opinion

So far, I like this series. And, because of that, I'm trying to give the new season the benefit of the doubt. However, I really hope we'll see more out of Oliver's new recruits and they'll prove to be adequate replacements for his original team.

My Grade: C

Updated: 10/13/2016, StevenHelmer
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