5×18: Disbanded Preview

Arrow builds on Adrian Chase successfully breaking Oliver Queen with a solid enough episode, though it’s hard not to feel we cross ground we’ve covered plenty of times before.

Whereas last week’s episode was pretty bold by Arrow’s standards, with almost all of the present-day scenes involving just Oliver and Chase, and resulting in the latter crushing the former, Disbanded feels a little more run of the mill.

For much of the episode, Oliver is out of it. He’s a broken man. He’s completely broken by Chase. Stephen Amell predictably handles the material with ease, convincingly portraying a man whose spirit has been shattered and resents his own existence. He turns his back on the team, tears it to pieces and is rendered helpless as Chase continues to pull the strings. The issue is, Oliver questioning himself and questioning his methods is something we’ve seen before.

Yep. Okay. The circumstances that have led us here are very different, however, it all plays out a little predictably. That’s not to say that Disbanded is a bad episode, it just simply doesn’t have that spark that the previous two instalments have had.

With Chase’s death all that now matters to him, Oliver recruits the Bratva to take him out – leading to conflicts with the team. Again, it’s the sort of ground we’ve covered before. Diggle, sidenote David Ramsay is also very good this episode, believes that Oliver will regret the Bratva killing Chase and leads the team on a mission to save their beleaguered leader’s soul.

It’s a solid enough watch but the material just isn’t as compelling as last week’s torture scenes between Chase and Oliver were. The writing isn’t as sharp in places, though in fairness, it does appear to set up an intriguing prospect for a sixth season in the big bad department.

Elsewhere, Felicity and Curtis seek to trip Chase up in one of this week’s subplots. This was probably the area that frustrated me most, this episode. It’s the resolution to it, rather than anything to do with Felicity and Curtis. You’ll see what I mean.

We also have Anatoly in the present day – as you’d guess with the Bratva involved. It’s veritably a Nykl fest, and who are we to complain? Moreover, Josh Segarra remains Josh Segarra. Chase has one of his eeriest scenes to date towards the end.

Ahead of a lengthy break, it’s not a grand statement of intent to leave you chomping at the bit for more. It’s a good enough episode and does what it does in solid, assured style. It just feels a bit of a comedown after the intensity of last week.

“Disbanded” airs on Sky 1 on Thursday, April 6th at 9pm.

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