5×20: Underneath Preview

As Oliver and Felicity find themselves trapped inside the bunker, the pair must work out an escape while battling Prometheus’ tricks.

For the most part, “Underneath” is far more character-oriented than it is plot; almost all of the action takes place in one setting and very little takes place in the way of furthering the Prometheus arc. In some sense, you could call it a filler.

But it’s something of a much-needed interlude to address tensions between Oliver and Felicity, the characters at the centre of the hour, and to clear the minds of both parties. Thanks to Oliver disbanding the team and Felicity going against the team last week, there is much to be hashed out between the pair. The themes aren’t especially complex but their resolution is enjoyable and shows growth for both characters.

This runs parallel to a sequence of flashbacks from ten months previous, just after the death of Damien Darhk, and delves into their relationship at that point – not long after they broke off the engagement. It isn’t great – Curtis’ role amounts to a very, very bad sitcom scene, and watching it is more painful than any of the beatings he’s taken this season – but is a step above much of the drama of last year; it isn’t a high bar to clear, but it needed clearing nonetheless.

Meanwhile, as the team try to break their friends out of the bunker, Diggle and Lyla are still in their rough patch, not helped by the situation with Oliver and Felicity, nor Lyla’s method of assistance. This is similarly well done and it’s nice to see Arrow spend more time fleshing out their marriage.

“Underneath” airs on Thursday, 11th May at 9pm on Sky 1.

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