ARROW Review: “Underneath”


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After last week’s huge episode involving Team Arrow, Helix and more, this week’s , “Underneath,” goes back to the basics. Oliver and Felicity are trapped inside the bunker thanks to Prometheus and that’s pretty much it. It’s an interesting time to bring the story to a halt, particularly as Prometheus has gone on the run and we’re itching for a resolution.

On the other hand, for the past few weeks in the wake of that fateful episode where Arrow I felt undermined itself, I think it was about time that the show addressed some of that. And what better way than to put Oliver and Felicity together in a destructive space where they can air out some of their feelings?


The bunker that has served as ground zero for the Green Arrow and his friends is now kind of an antagonist. Oliver and Felicity are slowly running out of air and as they try to break out, speed up that timeline even more by accidentally releasing toxic gas. The door that might have been broken through is reinforced with a rare alloy, making Oliver’s arrow shots pretty much pointless. And the Green Arrow injures himself on more than one occasion. Oh, and because they’re no power, Felicity can no longer walk (I almost forgot about that).

While the two struggle in the present, we flashback to better times about a year earlier. Now that the Russia flashbacks seem to be concluded, I’m happy that that free time can be dedicated towards other storylines. Last week, there were no flashbacks at all, but I felt some of the side players like Lyla got some strong attention. And this week, that extra space is used to remind us of the very different kind of relationship that Oliver and Felicity once had. It’s hard to believe that was only a short time ago.


In the present and above ground, meanwhile, Diggle and team fight to break Oliver and Felicity from the bunker. This requires the help of Lyla, whose relationship with Diggle has been on thin ice of late now that she’s head of shady organization ARGUS. Diggle doesn’t like that Lyla is dealing with the gray. I felt this tension was little bit forced at the start (Dig goes from zero to 100 rather quickly), but it mostly makes sense and gives the two some drama to deal with.

Eventually the team discovers that Lyla and ARGUS have been working on an improved version of one of Curtis’ gadgets, which they use to blast into the bunker, and even give the near dead Green Arrow a shot of adrenaline to make it out alive.


Oh, and I should mention that with all hope lost inside the bunker, Felicity finally talks some sense into Oliver and in the process starts to revive some of the ideas that were broken down when Prometheus broke Oliver. Namely, the idea that Oliver “enjoys killing.” Felicity basically makes the argument that Oliver is damaged and how couldn’t he be? He spent five years on the island. Still, the Ollie she knows is a good man.


With Oliver and team occupied with the bunker, we’re also left with the question of what Prometheus is up to, and unfortunately for this episode, we don’t get a taste of that until the show’s final moments. He arrives in another town and tracks down Oliver’s son William (who now goes by another time). When William hops of a school bus, he falls right into the arms of Prometheus/Chase. I felt I wanted a little bit more out of this moment, though, and a hint of what Prometheus has in store. Plus, William was a bit too easily snatched up by Prometheus for my liking. If he and his family were on the run, he wouldn’t be as trusting as he comes across here.

In any case, with Chase having William, this is sure to bring some big time action next week.

TB-TV-Grade-B+Season 5, Episode 20 (S05E20)
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8PM on CW

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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
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