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Arrow Review: Out of the Shadows and Into the Light in “Checkmate”

by on March 16, 2017
 

After a long season of ups and downs, Arrow finally gives us a different look for the show that really pays off. However, there were still numerous moments where they really tried to shoot themselves in the foot in spite of some interesting twists and turns but they managed to bring it all together for a satisfying episode. Now with Prometheus’s identity out in the open, sort of, there are endless possibilities to where they can take this storyline and that, above all else, is a victory for the show.Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Last week Prometheus unmasked himself and to my somewhat surprise, we found out it was District Attorney Adrian Chase. While this was an interesting revelation, it didn’t have nearly the impact as when Oliver found out the truth during a visit with Talia Al Ghul at the start of this week’s episode. Once he knew, he told the team and it was easy to see where this was going. Or was it? It seems, as usual, Chase/Prometheus was many steps ahead of Oliver and Team Arrow and put certain provisions in place to see that his identity and freedom remain safe.

This turned out to be the best part of the episode as it literally froze The Green Arrow in his tracks. Helpless to do anything due to Chase’s long game thinking, it also put Team Arrow on the sidelines which allowed for the feeling of helplessness and frustration to wash over them all. This is something we haven’t seen in quite a while and it was refreshing and entertaining.

Meanwhile, Felicity is faImage and video hosting by TinyPiclling further down the rabbit hole in regards to her relationship with the hacker group Helix. She is probably the only one on the planet who was surprised when they ask for her help to hack a Homeland Security drone system, using they’re past help and any future help as leverage, a kind of veiled threat. Felicity seems to either be in too deep or just not care to realize that any hacker group with this kind of power is going to turn out to be a bad thing. How bad they truly are and how much farther Felicity will go remains to be seen but we all know this is not going to end well.

The end of the episode is a bit messy. The good part was watching The Green Arrow begin to think in shades of darkness again and makes a move he thinks will stop Prometheus. However, Chase is up to the challenge and one-ups Oliver in the darkness column, then using Talia’s help to subdue and capture The Green Arrow for reasons no one knows yet. The ugly part was the flashbacks, which are usually brutal to begin with, but this time gave us a shootout between Oliver and some Russians in a hockey arena. No, I’m not making that up.

As I said, a few times during this episode the writer’s tried their best to bring all they’re good work tumbling down but the fact that Oliver and Team Arrow are frozen still in a sense of helplessness due to Chase’s long game planning, “Checkmate” was saved and ended up working pretty well. It is great to go forward thinking that not knowing what’s coming next is actually a good thing and maybe, just maybe, there is hope for the rest of this season.

Four stars out of five

 


Positives

- Feeling of helplessness blanketing Team Arrow

- Prometheus is finally becoming the villain we wanted all season long

- Arrow is getting dark again, which is where it belongs

Negatives

- Flashbacks. Fight on ice hockey rink. Please, no more.

- Oliver and Felicity have some real brain freeze moments

Editor Rating
 
Cast
91%

 
Sound
89%

 
Visual
87%

 
Writing
89%

Author Score
89%

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Bottom Line
 

Arrow finally delivers an episode with feeling and a sense of danger. "Checkmate" is the kind of episode Arrow fans have been waiting for all season long and gives us all hope that the rest of the season could be something special