‘Arrow’ Review: “A Matter of Trust”

Season 5, Episode 3: “A Matter of Trust”
Original Air Date: October 19th, 2016
Grade: A-


This week’s Arrow episode has left me speechless. And that really doesn’t happen often. “A Matter of Trust” was able to highlight Diggle’s dilemma, the slow building of the chemistry of Team Arrow 2.0, Bratva initiations, and Oliver’s mayor struggles.

The episode started off  with a good ol’ classroom lesson of “Vigilante-ing 101”. The scene looked straight from a Lord Mesa drawing that you’d find on your Instagram feed with Felicity and Oliver teaching the art of hitting people. Three episodes in and Oliver has still not allowed the new recruits to go in the field with him. Not that I blame him. Wild Dog was on my ‘dislike’ list basically in the first episode, but in “A Matter of Trust”, I kind of wanted to punch him in the face. Low key, though. Low key.

I mean, come on. How could “get back to your training” be translated as “go out and mess everything up”? Seriously bro?

Wild Dog In Costume! - Arrow

This entire episode focused on Oliver and the team trying to deal with the repercussions of Rene (Wild Dog) ignoring Oliver’s orders. Sigh. I do not like that dude. He needs to chill and stop hating on everyone.

Speaking of ‘chill’, let’s just talk about Oliver for a second. In the beginning of the episode, he dropped a drug dealer off a building. Significant? Insignificant? Just for giggles?

Here we go again. Back to square one with the killing. Personally, I liked lighter-toned Oliver better, but I guess when the producers said they were bringing Arrow back to its roots, they really meant it. Hopefully, the show can pull it off. Maybe one episode they could dig a little deeper into his struggle with killing again. At the moment, his “I’m going to start killing again” idea seems a bit random. I know they mentioned it was because of Laurel, but it still feels too forced, and like I said, random.

The ‘magic’ element of Arrow that was introduced in season 4 and ongoing in season five, also seems a bit out of place. Sure, Damian Dahrk has magic powers. Constantine? Bring it on. Vixen? Go for it. But a teenager with a thousand-year-old magic mummy rag? Um… what? I wish the producers could incorporate his backstory into the plot line more. But all in all, I’m glad the mentions of magic have decreased this season. Quite frankly, I could rarely tell what was going on in season four.

Right here on Arrow, we were able to witness Cody Rhodes’ (aka Stardust, on WWE) debut into acting! Did you know Derek Sampson, the villain of the episode, had never acted before? Honestly, if I wasn’t aware of the Summer Slam drama summer of 2015, I don’t think I would have known. I just had to shout him out for his acting skills this episode. Good job, Cody Rhodes.

I really, really am enjoying the flashbacks this season. Even in the earlier seasons, when Anatoly was first introduced, I liked his character a lot. I’m glad he was brought back as a familiar figure for Oliver to turn to during the Bratva initiation. The flashbacks are beginning to really show the change Oliver had made mentally during his ‘5 years away’. I noticed the switch from “charming, no-killing Oliver” to season one Oliver Queen. Everything these past few seasons is really coming together, just with these flashbacks. All the seasons are finally being knit together. At least, that’s what I feel like. One question: when will the flashbacks interlock with the current plotline? Maybe Anatoly will return to Starling City, or Oliver will become a Bratva captain again?

Bratva Blues - Arrow Season 5 Episode 3

Then again, I don’t think being a Bratva captain will put Oliver Queen on good terms with the public. You know. Being mayor of Starling City and all.

Mayor Oliver Queen has been a really cool side to see, by the way. From billionaire playboy, to night club owner, to broke and jobless, to mayor, Oliver Queen has had his ups and downs, career-wise. His job now will force him to have to compartmentalize. Is he the Green Arrow or Mayor Queen? He can’t be just one or the other. However, with his new team, he can easily balance the two. All aspects of the plot are like moving gears to make a well-oiled machine work.

I’m glad this season won’t just be vigilante-ing and Olicity. This episode included some problems Oliver is having as mayor as well, and while Thea is no longer Speedy, she can still make mistakes. The moments with Thea during this episode were meant to reassure viewers that she’s still a major character in the show, and she’s not just the person who does Oliver’s mayoral work. While we’re still on the topic of Oliver being mayor, the scene of Oliver’s conversation with his security guard seemed a bit similar to his moments with Diggle in the first season. Running away from his security detail? Season five Oliver seems to be an uncanny replica of season 1 Oliver, which seems to be an ongoing theme this season.

Another major component of this episode was Diggle’s, ah, problem. We saw the emotional struggle and fallout from Andy’s death that was not quite addressed in season four. Watching Diggle’s internal conflict (in the form of a Deadshot?) was incredibly heartbreaking to see.  Andy’s death and the repercussions of the battle with Darhk are the consequences of being a part of Team Arrow. I have a feeling that Diggle will not join up again anytime soon.

Next week’s episode will be a perfectly timed episode about Team Arrow getting Diggle out of jail (at Lyla’s plea). Hopefully it will be primarily focused on Diggle’s character. Maybe we’ll meet baby John. (Well, technically, we were supposed to already know him, but Flashpoint. And stuff.) Many questions. Many predictions.

All I know is, OTA’s back.

(OTA means Original Team Arrow. It’s a thing. I swear.)

Watch Arrow every Wednesday night (8/7c) on the CW.

Yvonne Tang
Yvonne Tang
A sophomore in high school who manages to watch six ongoing shows every week. Just a question of priorities, I guess. That was a Flash reference. Heh heh.

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