ARROW Review: “The Sin-Eater”


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Every once in a while it’s nice when past villains resurface on because that’s less time spent on developing their backstories, and more on just pure action and fun. And last night’s season five entry, “The Sin Eater” is full of action and fun. It all begins when old foes Cupid, China White, and Liza Warner escape from a prison transport and return to Star City to find the late Tobias Church’s (remember him?) stash of money. Team Arrow moves to stop them but this is easier said than done.

Not only does the team have to deal with these three badasses but also with the fact that some events from a few episodes back resurface. Prometheus’ clever trap that ended with the Green Arrow accidentally killing Billy the cop was one of our hero’s lowest moments. And Arrow’s aren’t just letting that moment go away. When the ACU receives a tip tying the Green Arrow to Billy’s murder, Star City law enforcement goes after Arrow with fury and fervor.

Arrow -- "The Sin-Eater" -- Image AR514b_0083b.jpg -- Pictured (Top): Juliana Harkavy as Tina Boland/Dinah. Bottom (L-R): Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter/Cupid, Rutina Wesley as Liza Warner, and Kelly Hu as China White -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Was it completely credible that law enforcement would just turn on Star City’s greatest hope because of one tip? No, not totally. But it helps that Green Arrow’s tactics have been a bit more take no prisoners this season. And let’s not forget that just like Batman, the cops in particular have often seen Arrow as more vigilante than hero, even when they’re proven wrong time and again.

This sets up a fun scenario where Arrow and co are after the bad guys, while Arrow is also on the run from the cops. Will the Arrow just turn himself in? Of course not. In an early scene where Arrow seems cornered, he uses smoke grenades to disappear in a flash.

I did feel like this dynamic wasn’t mined long enough and it’s not too long before Ollie as Mayor pays a visit to law enforcement to defend the Green Arrow. The calvary is called off, and in a later encounter with Cupid, China, and Lisa, the cops actually come in and help Team Arrow. Ultimately, I think this reveals that the show is still struggling to figure out how to mix Ollie’s role as superhero and mayor. How much power can he have as the top official of the city while also being a superhero that works under the radar? In some ways, I liked it much better when the Green Arrow had little or no connections to the “real world.”

Arrow -- "The Sin-Eater" -- Image AR514a_0137b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Adrian Holmes as Captain Frank Pike and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking of Oliver’s role as mayor, reporter Susan Williams continues to be a thorn on the side of the Queen Administration. The more the weeks go by, though, the less I believe that Susan and Ollie belong together. It doesn’t help that Susan’s own feelings about Oliver feel unclear. Does she actually like him or she just using him for another story?

In any case, Ollie is coming across as a bit too gullible and trusting right now. When Susan, who’s been doing plenty of digging behind our hero’s back, asks Ollie if he’s the Green Arrow, he scoffs at the question. OK, fair enough. It’s not the first time he’s been asked that question and talked his way out of it.

But the fact that Ollie doesn’t seem the least bit suspicious of her doesn’t feel too credible. And as Thea and Felicity work to protect a serious threat to Ollie’s identity, Oliver seems more concerned that Thea releases damaging information on Susan.

Arrow -- "The Sin-Eater" -- Image AR514b_0132b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Juliana Harkavy as Tina Boland/Dinah and Kelly Hu as China White -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I get that Oliver is maybe in love, but I guess it goes back to the credibility of the relationship to begin with. I just don’t see Oliver blindly privileging a fairly new romance over a potential threat to his identity and all the work that he does.

Dinah Drake, by the way, steps nicely into her new role as cop by day and the new Black Canary by night. There’s a mild subplot where she and Lance go back and forth on whether or not Dinah can assume the role once occupied by Laurel Lance. I like the two together as cops and Team Arrow crime fighters. Maybe Lance can finally have a bit of stability after losing so much.

The episode ends with a pretty big bomb. Possibly because of Thea’s attack on Susan, the news that Mayor Queen will be under investigation for the cover up of Billy the cop’s murder. Yep, someone leaked it. This of course puts the entire administration in the crosshairs and might end with Ollie’s impeachment.

Season 5, Episode 14 (S05E14)
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8PM on CW

Read all of our reviews of Arrow here. 
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Ade writes about the philanthropy of billionaires and millionaires by day, and writes screenplays by night.
Follow Ade on Twitter: @derekadeniji
Keep up with all of Ade’s reviews here.

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