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Arrow: Recruits – Season 5 Episode 2

The Green Arrow starts recruiting his new team.

Recap

Rene Ramirez, Evelyn Sharp and Curtis Holt are summoned to a special location to train with the Green Arrow. They all show up, but it doesn’t seem that any of them were quite prepared for what he had in mind. He immediately gives them all a single task: ring the bell that he’s guarding. This is actually a friendlier version of a test that Oliver was put through by the Bratva, but it sure doesn’t feel friendly to the new recruits. 

In the political world, Oliver and Thea have been soliciting support for better medical care in the Glades. Representatives from AmerTek offer to fund their endeavors in exchange for the publicity. While Oliver’s training the recruits, one of the AmerTek representatives is smothered by a mysterious man covered in rags. In the wake of the attacks, Oliver is forced to put up extra security for the new facility’s opening. Part of that security includes putting the new recruits on surveillance for the rag covered terrorist (I guess we’re calling him Ragman). When Ragman attacks, the Green Arrow is there to intervene. He has the situation under control, but Rene jumps into the fray and ends up allowing Ragman to escape.

In the wake of this failure, Oliver is ready to go HAM all over the new recruits, but Felicity is able to pull him back long enough to reveal that they have a lead: a piece of the rags. While Felicity has her new boyfriend and cop, Billy Malone (Tyler Ritter), run some analysis on the rags, Oliver tries to do damage control for the city. When he gets back to the HIVE training facility, Curtis gives him a big speech about him not trusting and building people up. Because of the way Oliver treated them, the recruits have quit. Afterwards, Oliver reveals to Felicity that he was keeping the recruits at a distance in order to avoid getting hurt again. Felicity encourages him that he can be a good leader as Oliver Queen, instead of the Green Arrow.

While Oliver is soul searching, Thea is trying to get in contact with the CEO of AmerTek. She’s surprised to find her literally making a back alley weapons deal with Tobias Church. A little research reveals that AmerTek needs the money for the clinic being attacked because Genesis day sunk their stock prices. The Green Arrow goes to break up the buy, but Ragman gets there first. While Green Arrow and Tobias Church trade blows, Ragman reveals the reason for his attacks. AmerTek is responsible for making the missile that fell on Havenrock during Genesis day. Felicity listens on, horrified, as Ragman reveals that he is the last survivor of Havenrock. When Church gets the upper hand on the Green Arrow, Ragman gives up on his revenge in order to save him.

Based on his actions, and his abilities, Oliver decides to recruit Ragman to help him. Ragman reveals that he’s also trying to honor the memory of his father, who wrapped him in the protective rags before the bombs hit. The Green Arrow reveals that he is also honoring his father and offers Ragman a chance for them to do that together. He also reaches out to the recruits to ask them to come back. In order to gain their trust, he reveals his true identity to them.

The end of this episode ends similarly to the first one, with the masked archer attacking someone. However, this time, he attacks Tobias Church. He tells Church that no one is allowed to kill the Green Arrow but him. He also reveals his name: Prometheus.

The Island / Flashback

We are shown the version of the “on the line” training that he is subjecting the recruits to. The difference is that his version is 5-on-5 with he and some other recruits fighting against 5 members of the Bratva. Oliver figures out that they need to work together and ends up being the one to ring the bell. As soon as he does, Anatoly appears and executes the other men.

Favorite/Other/Notable Moments

  • “I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see him do all that other stuff I don’t believe” – Felicity
  • “They’re too Green” – Green Arrow
    “Some could say the same about you. I’ve been waiting 5 years to make that joke” – Felicity
  • We find out that the training facility is a HIVE facility.
  • Overseas, Diggle is on a mission with his new unit. His commanding officer takes them on a mission to retrieve a war head. However, it turns out that his CO is after the warhead for himself. When the deal goes sideways, Diggle is framed for the whole thing.
  • People are referring to Darhk’s attack as “Genesis Day”. It’s the catalyst for AmerTek’s falling stock prices and Diggle’s CO’s breakdown.
  • Thea has reached out to Quentin to give him work in order to help with his drinking. The first thing she does is have him work security at the hospital, which he fails to do properly. She then goes against Oliver’s wishes and offers him a job as deputy mayor.
  • Later, it’s revealed that Oliver let Church get the upper hand in order to recruit Ragman.

Commentary

Personally, I think the recruits reaction to Oliver’s training was a sign that they shouldn’t have been doing that training. The training that he was putting them through was actually nicer than the training that he was put through. Granted, Oliver was a bit more battle hardened than them when he went through his Bratva training, but it’s still not a great sign to me that they were so easily discouraged by it. Of course, that’s not the point that they’re trying to get across. The point is that Oliver’s method doesn’t engender a great “team spirit”. I guess that’s one way you could take it.

I guess I could chalk it up to “liberal America going soft” or something like that. More than anything, I just find the whole thing a bit uneven. Felicity even points out that Oliver had people to help him. What she doesn’t have the knowledge of is that most of those people also caused him a great deal of pain, more than he’s dishing out now. Fortunately, this whole aspect of the story has been wrapped up with Oliver revealing his identity to the recruits (and again to Ragman). There will still definitely be issues on the horizon, but ones that are slightly different.

I also really liked Felicity and Thea in this episode (and I don’t usually find myself liking Thea). In an episode where they kept talking about how angry and terrifying Oliver could be, these two women both sting him with a good amount of sass. Not only that, they have some interesting character beats. Thea seems to be honoring her sororal relationship with Laurel by acting like adopted family to Quentin.

Felicity has a more pressing issue to deal with. Finding out that Oliver’s new friend might end up trying to kill her is going to throw another wrench into their teamwork. I like the idea of giving Felicity her own big issues to deal with outside of her relationship with Oliver. That’s another thing that becomes a theme throughout this season.

Looking forward, it’s also worth noting that Oliver’s conversation with Ragman has some significance. For the 2nd episode in a row, the idea of Oliver’s crusade to honor his father comes up. It’s subtle, but the writer’s really are queuing up things from Oliver’s deeper past and putting in the forefront of the viewer’s minds.

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