Things we learned… 5×06: So It Begins

Prometheus made his first real moves against the Green Arrow as the new recruits learn a secret that could drive the team apart…

Prometheus probably already knew Oliver’s secret.

Last week’s hour ended with Tobias Church (RIP) revealing to Prometheus that Mayor Oliver Queen was the Green Arrow. What that scene failed to confirm or deny was that the villain already knew this information. “So It Begins” pretty much confirmed that he did know, as he began targeting individuals with names that anagrams to those on Oliver’s infamous list. Since this is the third iteration of Oliver’s costume, people aren’t necessarily linking his original get-up and modus operandi to his current one (quite how, I’ll never know; Curtis’s surprise at learning the vigilante, the Arrow, and the Green Arrow are all the same person was frustrating) and so whoever this new villain may be, he knew that Oliver’s been doing this for a long time.

What’s interesting from here is that “So It Begins” didn’t clarify if the anagrammed names from the list were individuals Oliver actually targeted, or if he didn’t get around to them before Malcolm Merlyn unleashed havoc. If it’s the latter, it means that Prometheus has an intricate knowledge of the list, which narrows down the suspect pool quite considerably – assuming we’ve met the man behind the mask before; in theory, it could be one one of Robert’s friends who had access to the list, or something similar.

Quentin is a red herring.

There’s a certain amount of mileage to be taken from having supposed friends turn out to betray a character, and the Arrowverse hasn’t been shy about using that tactic in the past: Arrow, The Flash (frequently), and Legends of Tomorrow have all done it at some stage. And, given the right characterisation, it can work wonders. But let’s establish one thing:

Quentin Lance is not Prometheus.

If he is, then I’ll eat my proverbial hat, because the former police captain is in no way physically or mentally equipped to be Prometheus. Certainly, otherwise benevolent characters can become evil through various means, and even in this fashion – dual personality comes to mind – but the final scene’s reveal was little more than a taunt. A way of showing to Oliver and co. that Prometheus can get at them whenever, wherever he likes. It’s an intimidation tactic because no one in their right minds will believe that Quentin is a skilled killer, particularly now that he’s shown to still be a drunk.

The new recruits learn a painful truth.

Getting back to the team learning that all three green hooded vigilantes are the same person, the new recruits were aghast at realising that Oliver was once, in effect, a serial killer. Their reaction both does and doesn’t make sense: when they joined, they knew that Oliver had killed people (Damien Darhk, at least), so this isn’t outside of his nature; the fact that he, as Diggle described it, considered killing as a first resort and was targeting bankers, lawyers and the like isn’t reassuring and understandably so. Following a man who has dropped more bodies than Prometheus is a tough pill to swallow, and so their hesitance to continue with Oliver is reasonable. Equally, it’s good that the show has addressed this. If these guys are to remain in collaboration for the foreseeable future, they deserve to know everything as Diggle and Felicity (and Thea, Quentin, etc.) do.

Oliver was a slow learner when it comes to building bombs.

Flashbacks this week showed Oliver being taught how to make bombs by Anatoly with limited success, as the Bratva’s newest member nearly blows himself up in the process. (Could be worse – Anatoly actually lost a finger on his first attempt.) Matters quickly got worse, as the bar the pair were in was shot up by Kovar’s men. Here, we got to see Oliver in some undercover action as he went about trying to enact revenge on his target by putting his recently acquired knowledge to good use, though he ultimately got captured before he could detonate the explosives. Kovar, from his one scene, is already proving to be a menacing villain, and it will be interesting to see what he does with Oliver and how this arc develops from here.

Felicity isn’t a hypocrite (again)!

It’s nice to see that after last year’s abomination of a story involving Oliver’s secret child, Felicity isn’t keeping secrets of her own for too long, telling her boyfriend, Billy, that she works with the Green Arrow. It’s a necessary development because Arrow can much better utilise him as an actual character with at least a vague understanding of her world than just being the guy who appears every so often as Felicity’s boyfriend. The scene was a strong one, too, with Malone’s reaction to the bombshell an appropriate mix of concerned and curious.

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