Were you a fan of Oliver calling time on his days as the Green Arrow?
On Arrow Season 5 Episode 17, Prometheus successfully broke Oliver down, holding him captive for six days until he admitted he was a killer.
Below, TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Steve Ford, Kathleen Wiedel and Robin Harry discuss Malcolm Merlyn being part of the mystery, Artemis' apology, and the significant flashbacks.
What did you think of Malcolm Merlyn being part of it all?
Jim: It's always great to see Merlyn in his element. I'm glad they didn't overuse him in this case. Was just enough to remind us what he was doing at this point in the story.
Steve: I've had a rejuvenated interest in Merlyn ever since he did his Broadway thing on the Flash recently. It was good to see him back and tie into the Bratva storyline.
Kathleen: It's easy to forget nowadays that Merlyn is more than just the Dark Archer -- he's an evil, cutthroat, corrupt businessman, too. His inclusion here worked for the flashbacks.
Robin: Like Steve, I've had a renewed interest in Merlyn because of a conversation I had with John Barrowman last summer at a convention, where he convinced me that Malcolm's not the craziest person on Arrow. I'm quite intrigued about what his role might be here.
Did you buy Artemis being sorry?
Jim: I did right up until Prometheus threw her in such a way that she conveniently landed not showing her face. Then I suspected she was faking it and was still working with Prometheus.
I'm guessing I've seen too many shows and movies do the "pretending to be dead" trope that I now automatically suspect anybody laying face down (or away).
Steve: I wanted to and was almost swayed until Adrian supposedly broke her neck. I'm with Jim, as the cutaway and then the no cut back to her body sent up a red flag for me.
Kathleen: Maybe I've just seen too many cop shows, but I didn't buy her sob story. And I agree with Jim and Steve that the cutaway was a dead (heh) giveaway.
Robin: You know, I was so focused on Oliver that I didn't even notice the hard cut from Adrian and Artemis. I did buy it, mostly because Artemis had seemed shocked when we last saw her when she realized how ruthless Prometheus was. Man, I am all kinds of wrong this on Arrow Season 5.
Did you enjoy the bigger focus on flashbacks this week?
Jim: I'm glad they finished the story on how Oliver became a Captain in the Bratva, and it did keep the "I'm going to torture you until blah, blah, blah" part of the show smaller. Honestly, I've been getting bored of both story-lines, so I'm glad something moved forward.
Steve: I've said before how the flashbacks this season have been some of the best of the series, so I had no gripes with the heavy focus this episode. Especially since it was far more interesting than seeing a helpless Oliver being talked to death by Prometheus.
Kathleen: Haha, I'm with you, Steve. There wasn't much going on in the "present" portion of this episode, and the flashbacks dealing with Oliver's time with the Bratva have been interesting. Though perhaps I'm just a huge fan of David Nykl (who I absolutely loved in Stargate: Atlantis a few years back).
Robin: Wow, was I the only one that enjoyed Oliver and Adrian's scenes? I love those break-the-hero tropes the ( the same thing happened on Sherlock this year). As for Russia, I thought the two were quite balanced and well-connected. It was good seeing how Oliver became a Bratva captain.
Oliver has disbanded the team. React.
Jim: I took his comment more as he was quitting, not that he was disbanding the team.
And my first thought was "Oh goody, we are up to the "hero questions why he does it" trope, maybe now we can move forward faster." -- Its very common for any hero (super, meta, or other) to occasionally question why they do what they do. I just hope he doesn't quit for too long.
Steve: I'm on the other end of the interpretation. Oliver said he's shutting everything down. He doesn't want anyone else to get hurt and seems to have lost his way...again.
Kathleen: This will last about five seconds. And Jim is right about this being a common hero thing. Though if Oliver didn't want anyone else to get hurt, he's doing it wrong.
There was a reason that Ollie put on the hood in the first place, after all, and just because *he* hung it up doesn't mean all the bad guys will magically go away. If anything, it would almost certainly embolden them.
Robin: Like Jim, I think he was giving up as an individual, but given that he's the leader of Team Arrow, I think that the group would go down with him. I quite like Oliver as a character, and I really felt for the guy.
He's tried to be every best version of himself that he can think of, to be all the different persons that people expect and need from him. It never works. Dude can't catch a break, ever. I don't blame him for feeling defeated.
Were you surprised Team Arrow never managed to find Oliver in the six days he was missing?
Jim: I was more surprised that Prometheus had him for six days and Oliver never had to go to the bathroom or eat/drink anything.
It was pretty clear that the writers were using this as a method for transitioning something about the story, thus they didn't feel the need to explain days passing from Ollie's point of view, or provide credible examples of basic living conditions for Ollie and when they flipped back, someone said "6 days have gone by"... Oh well.
Steve: It was surprising, but they never seemed to give up hope at least and stop trying. Adrian must have given Ollie some water and bathroom breaks in between his torture sessions.
Kathleen: It does seem rather odd that Adrian managed to keep Oliver that well hidden for six days. As Jim pointed out, it seems like a cheap excuse by the writers for explaining Oliver's breakdown, and totally smacks of plot device. How did Prometheus do it? Because the plot required it.
Robin: I don't think it's that surprising. They spent months looking and weren't able to find Prometheus before, not when he didn't want to be found.
Oliver had to go all the way to find Talia just to get a clue. Prometheus has always been several steps ahead of them, and I didn't think this was all that unlikely.
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Over to you, Arrow Fanatics. What did you think of all the drama?
Sound off below.
Note: Arrow continues on Wednesday with Season 5 Episode 18.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.