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Arrow Review: Bad Habits Return in the Uneven but Entertaining Episode “Disbanded”

by on March 30, 2017
 

After last week’s excellent episode I was very curious how Arrow would come back this week. I didn’t expect the same kind of high-quality episode but still hoped they would continue on the same path. The good news is, they did indeed follow the path they have laid out, forcing Oliver to take a long and hard look at who he really is. (Thanks in no small part to Prometheus) But “Disbanded” fell short in a few areas and also fell back into some bad habits that while not new, are still very annoying, especially aarrowdisbanded2t this point in the season.

So at the end of last week’s episode, fresh off the mental and physical torture at the hands of Adrian Chase/Prometheus, Oliver comes back to Team Arrow’s lair and drops the bomb that he’s disbanding the team. It seems finding out he killed for the enjoyment of it was too much for him and does not want anyone else to get hurt. Amell plays the tortured soul very well but really, who are they trying to kid here? There is no way this was going to happen and everyone knew it. What Arrow did do, which they have a horrible habit of doing, is solving said problem in one episode. All this does is reinforce the fact that no one is ever going to buy these big sweeping twists if they know it’s going to be figured out in less than an hour.

However, it was good to see Oliver so disturbed mentally that he called in Anatoly and the Bratva to come in and kill Chase for him. While this wasn’t a huge surprise it was a fun twist, also allowing the flashbacks going on to coincide with this in real time. It also gave us the chance to revisit the relationship between Anatoly and Oliver and see just how strong their so called brotherhood really was. It goes without saying that the reunion did not go as planned, and neither did the planned killing of Chase. This actually turned out to be a wonderful little mess that was one of the highlights of the episode.

Meanwhile, the relationship betweenarrowdisbanded10 Felicity and Helix continues to expand and there is no doubt that pretty soon Felicity is going to want to leave and Helix probably won’t want her/let her go. In the meantime, she is putting this hacker group to good use as she comes up with a damning piece of evidence against Chase that could turn out to be a way out for Oliver and an end to Prometheus. However, things never go as planned and even though they end up doing some damage, there is no way Chase is going down that easy.

Oliver took time out from looking in the mirror to have some serious one on one time with Anatoly and Diggle. Anatoly gave him a choice, Oliver made his choice and now it will be interesting to see what happens next between these two. The flashbacks played nicely into this and I can’t believe I enjoyed them for two weeks in a row. Diggle had the big speech this week, giving it to Oliver in a way that made his sit up and think about the path he was on. I would have loved to see this spread out for a few more episodes but Arrow has to push through these moments with the speed of lighting so yeah, speech made and all is good.

Well, not everything is good. The Prometheus problem has not been solved, the Bratva are now a problem thanks to Oliver and Felicity is so far down the rabbit hole now who knows what will happen when she wants to pop her head again, minus Helix. It would be great if Arrow took some more time with certain storylines and not use characters as emotional see-saws, but it is what it is and hopefully the season will play out on a high note.

Three and a half stars out of five

Positives

- Fun to see the flashbacks and present time-line overlap

- Prometheus really is a sick, bad ass

Negatives

- Why does Arrow have to solve complex problems in one episode?

- Some scenes were poorly written and left the actors hanging out to dry

Editor Rating
 
Cast
87%

 
Sound
85%

 
Visual
86%

 
Writing
84%

Author Score
86%

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While definitely a step down from last week, "Disbanded" was fun with some interesting moments. It did suffer through some of the same old mistakes that Arrow loves to make but they dodged and weaved around them the best they could. It will be interesting to see what Prometheus does next, especially with the way the episode ended

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