Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find all of my Arrow reviews here.
Arrow stayed on course in “A Matter of Trust”, continuing to gradually build a promising season based on a solid, if unspectacular, foundation.
“A Matter of Trust” picked up where last week left off in both story and themes. Both episodes were about Oliver and the new team learning to trust each other. Much like last week, this referred especially to Wild Dog.
That two-episode arc was capped off nicely with this week’s climax, as Team Arrow 2.0 suited up and went to battle together. Last week didn’t flesh out the new recruits very well, but it’s clear the show aims to slowly build them up week by week. Let’s see where it goes.
The villain this week was solid but notable because he was played by wrestler Cody Rhodes, who had a fictional rivalry and a wrestling match with Stephen Amell last year. That made him a fun addition to the show and an asset in action scenes, but I hope he gets more meaty material in the future.
Meanwhile, we checked in on an imprisoned Diggle, who shared a cell with none other than Deadshot. Who then turned out to be a figment of John’s imagination. Twists like that are usually hard to pull off without feeling cheesy, but it worked well in “A Matter of Trust”. Partly because resurrection on Arrow is so common that I was easily tricked into believing Lawton had indeed come back. But more importantly, there was something poignant about John dealing with his guilt over killing Andy by having an imagined conversation with the man he once thought was responsible for Andy’s death.
Once again, my only problem with “A Matter of Trust” was that it felt overstuffed. Promising subplots like the flashbacks or Felicity admitting her role in the destruction of Havenrock were not given their due. And as good as Willa Holland is, there was no need for the side story with Thea and the reporter.
Really, it was a very good episode, and there wasn’t much to complain about. But on the flip side, there was nothing spectacular about it either, which is why I’m giving it a 3.5.
And to be perfectly honest, I’d prefer an unspectacular but inoffensive season of 3.5s over an inconsistent season of highs and frustrating lows like last year. But I do hope Arrow gets better. It already got rid of many mistakes; it just needs to tighten its screws and narrow its focus and it’ll be good to go.