Arrow: “A Matter of Trust” Season 5 Episode 3 Review

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“A Matter of Trust” took steps in righting the ship for Arrow‘s fifth season. For the second week in a row, the show put the focus on the new recruits to Team Arrow. There are still some weak links, naturally, but there was levity to their actions this week, bringing back the much needed fun factor to this superhero series.

When Wild Dog and Evelyn track down a drug manufacturing facility, our hockey mask wearing vigilante has a brutal fight with their leader, Derek Sampson, over a vat of chemicals. After five seasons, it’s fun to see Arrow still capable of giving us a comic book villain origin at its most simple. Sampson is reborn as Stardust, with super strength and immunity to pain. Having Green Arrow fail in his first confrontation with this new foe was a smart, if obvious way to force Oliver to acknowledge that he needs his new team.

Moving to the climax, we got to see everyone in action. Mr. Terrific, Ragman, Wild Dog, and whoever Evelyn is supposed to be (the new Canary?) battle Stardust’s men while Green Arrow fought the man himself. Between some playful dialogue between Mr. Terrific and Ragman, as well as the pathos we’re seeing from Wild Dog, this new team finally shows potential to at least partially match up to the old one. Evelyn, on the other hand, is still so far behind the rest of the team. Given the most mundane lines of dialogue and little to do in the action scenes, Evelyn so far shows that the writers don’t believe in the Canary legacy as much as Oliver did in the premiere.

But I suppose three out of four new heroes being fun to watch isn’t bad when a solid show completely reworks their cast for their fifth season. “A Matter of Trust” smartly kept things simple to let this team grow into something not only effective in the field but worth watching for us at home. Of season five’s main storylines so far, it’s by far the most fun to watch. Though there’s not much competition when you consider Diggle’s very separate predicament, Thea and Quentin’s political maneuverings, and the flashbacks in Russia. Hopefully those can settle in like this episode positions them to and Arrow can find its groove this year. Grade: B

Some Other Notes:

  • Felicity’s arc to confront Ragman about the Havenrock nuclear explosion was really unnecessary.
  • Mr. Terrific’s mask is most certainly NOT cool.
  • That said, I have to point out that this new team on Arrow includes an out gay black man as a full-fledged costume superhero. That’s nowhere in any superhero film or any show Marvel has done thus far, live-action or otherwise. Despite Arrow‘s shortcomings this year, that’s a pretty cool thing for the show to be able to claim.
  • I hope Lyla’s appearance at the end is a call to action to bring Diggle back to the team.
  • No Prometheus this week. Meh.

By Matt Dougherty

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