Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find all of my Arrow reviews here.
With the introductory 5-episode arc resolved, dispatching of Church and reestablishing Arrow as a good, strong show, it was time to move on to the story proper in the aptly named “So It Begins”.
Enter Prometheus. The Season 5 villain continued to show more and more promise, making a big splash in “So It Begins” without uttering a single line.
“So It Begins” had a cat-and-mouse, race against time quality to it that kept it lively. Prometheus embarked on a killing spree, causing a citywide panic. And Team Arrow was at his heels, struggling to derive meaning from his seemingly random murders.
From an action standpoint it was strong and intense, featuring frenzied crowds and speeding trains. Oliver even got to finally shoot an arrow into the barrel of a gun, a very popular move of his in the comics.
Another element that I really enjoyed was the direct link between Prometheus and Oliver’s past. Oliver’s changed a lot since his murderous Season 1 days, but he still needs to atone for them in Prometheus’s eyes. By using the list as a guide—and fashioning Oliver’s own arrows as throwing stars—for the killings, Prometheus not only called out Oliver, but also took advantage of the audience’s nostalgia for the early days of Seasons 1 and 2.
Dredging up the past also didn’t sit well with the recruits, who were confronted with the knowledge that their mentor was a serial killer. Artemis especially took umbrage with Oliver’s hypocrisy, and it’s hard to blame them. It was solid character work, but it did slow down an otherwise well-paced episode.
Speaking of Oliver’s past, the flashbacks were also strong this week. Most notably, Konstantin Kovar was introduced and made a good first impression thanks to Dolph Lundgren’s imposing presence.
The final twist of the episode was the strong hint that Quentin Lance was Prometheus. Which I don’t buy for a second, of course. Not only because it’s implausible but also because it had all the classing elements of a red herring (including the timing). It does raise interesting questions though. If Quentin is being framed, then why? And if not, what’s going on?