The four episodes Arrow has delivered in season five so far have ranged from solid to watchable. “Human Target” is at the higher end of the spectrum, probably the best episode of the five, but that isn’t to say that it doesn’t have problems.
Following Church’s capture of Rene last week, we pick up this week with the villain torturing the new recruit. Oliver and co., of course, are desperate to get him back and enact a rescue, but any success they have may not be as ideal as they’d like. Church once again serves as the villain of the hour, with another nefarious plan in place – aside from holding Rene – involving the Green Arrow. Prometheus makes a reappearance in more than one scene, nearly diminishing his character in one, and there’s another unnamed bad guy working with Church in the mix too. So many bad guys!
Wil Traval guest stars as Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target, and while his role within the story makes sense, the execution of it struggles to do so. Furthermore, his usefulness is limited, and once his part is done, Arrow keeps him around a little longer by injecting him into another two looming narratives. Still, Traval is enjoyable enough.
On the back of Diggle’s guilt storyline, “Human Target” further explores that in relation to both himself and another character, and it’s absolutely the highlight of the hour. Taking the time to give these characters these moments is a crucial part in establishing and furthering them, and the episode – and the show – benefits from it.
Felicity’s new boyfriend has been an occasionally touched upon point thus far, and her relationship gains a little more focus this week. So too does Oliver’s love life, with a potential new romantic interest in Susan Williams, the reporter who caused issues in Mayor Queen’s reign two weeks ago. Both of these things are fine.
It’s tough to say too much about “Human Target” without giving away spoilers, such is the way the episode revolves around big moments and twists. There’s a heightened pace to it that perhaps hasn’t been present in prior episodes, which serves as both a good thing and a bad thing: it has plenty of energy, but doesn’t take too much time to breathe with certain aspects that feel rushed as a result. Overall, though, it’s another solid episode.
Some teaser quotes:
1. “I know a guy, very specific skill set.”
2. “Sorry about the suit.”
3. “I’ve been thinking a lot about that decision.”
4. “That’s not usually a word I’d associate with his demeanour.”
5. “It’s not pain that breaks people. It’s fear.”
“Human Target” airs on Wednesday 23rd November at 8pm on Sky 1.