It has been an interesting season so far for Arrow as the writers are desperately trying to re-capture the darker and grittier atmosphere that we enjoyed in season one. While they haven’t always succeeded this year, and this episode was a bit erratic itself, ‘Vigilante’ was a welcome step back into the darkness that this show really needs. The constant back and forth concerning the good and bad parts of the Green Arrow will always be with us but at least this week it was fun to embrace the world of the true vigilante again.
The new player in town, the Vigilante, is basically The Punisher just in different clothing. (By the way, what is with the dumb ass ski goggles?) The character is nothing we haven’t seen before, as with his methods, but the kill the bad guys motto kind loses its charm when some innocent people are killed in what he calls ‘collateral damage’. There are some not so subtle hints dropped as to his identity but the main point here is watching Team Arrow struggle with the morality of yet another vigilante in town.
This is a great moral grey area if you will that gave Arrow a great chance to jump in and tackle but it quickly went up in smoke when the Vigilante started killing innocent people. It was very frustrating to see yet another great plot arc or story line wasted and now the writers have made him simply a killer that needs to be hunted down.
The action in the episode was top notch, with great moments between Green Arrow and the Vigilante and some excellent fisticuffs in the flashback moments between Oliver and Kostantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) Speaking of the flashbacks, these might have been the least annoying trips to the past Arrow has ever done, with some interesting plot and dialogue and of course, the fighting. These are the kind of moments the writers need to bottle, save and re-visit over and over again.
Of course, Arrow isn’t complete without some head scratching moments. The whole Diggle/Wild Dog bonding moments felt phony and forced, like it was a late addition to the episode and thrown together in a confusing rush. Also, Oliver and soon to be outed evil journalist just doesn’t work as the chemistry is totally off making the whole idea of them being together almost laughable. I was surprised at the little twist the writers threw out there at the end of the episode concerning Prometheus and his secret partner. This should make for some real fun as the season progresses.
Overall, the episode did more good things than bad, trying hard to embrace the darkness again but not totally succeeding…again. Still, I have to give them points for the effort and ramping up the action. I mean, who doesn’t like watching Dolph Lundgren fight? Great stuff.
Three and a half stars out of five
- Great fight scenes with Dolph Lundgren and the Vigilante both getting a shot at The Green Arrow
- Re-visitng the whole vigilante topic in general created some great dialouge
- The moral issue of killing was pushed aside too quick
- Bonding moment between Diggle and Wild Dog? I'll pass