“The Recruits”

What!? Is Arrow great two weeks in a row? I must be dreaming! Well, thank the lord I am not. I am pleasantly surprised that Arrow, of all shows, might be the better than the Flash this year. Putting Guggenheim in the backseat might be the best decision for the show. I understand that he built the show from the ground up, but the change in ideas has been a great time.

I know that the episode is called “the recruits”, but this episode is really about Oliver and his transition into trusting people more. I actually loved the flashbacks in the episode because they tied perfectly with the story. I felt like they connected what happened he experienced in the past to what he is trying to teach his new recruits in the present. I’m glad that no one could figure it out, but Oliver succeeded in the flashback because it was his 5th year stranded. These new kids are having trouble because they’re just starting.

There are some growing pains as with most training sequences. It was handled well, though. The show never felt like it lost control of everyone and it was nice to see it not spiral into a black abyss. I thought the addition of Ragman was great and we start to see a situation that will go south in the future episodes. I’m excited about the new team. I think they will work well together and they’ll be a joy to see on screen.

I think Oliver also got a much-needed wake-up call on what his mayoral duties actually are. There’re a few points where I was rooting for Thea just so that Oliver could get his head on straight. Thea in a non-vigilante role might be my favorite so far this season. She has such a great presence on screen and the way that she handled Quentin was great.

My favorite part of the episode was definitely Curtis. He’s so likable, to begin with, and he stepped up in a big way this episode. I have enjoyed him as the goofy type, but now that he will be fighting people, I’m glad to see the transition in his character. He goes well with almost all of the cast and he’s super smart, so there really is nothing to dislike about him. Curtis is going to be the project of the season like Laurel was in past seasons, and I think he’ll be great. I can’t wait to see his new suit or what Cisco or someone else draws up.

The transitions might’ve been my favorite part. They work so well in this episode. From the panning right to another time period or what have you, they kept the show engaging and action packed. I was able to keep track of where the show was going at all times and it was just a fun time.

I didn’t care much for Diggle’s plot. I understand that they needed it to show that he’s not going away, but I would’ve liked it as almost a whole episode and then he rejoins the show. I know that’s not always appropriate in network TV shows. I would just add that to my wish list if I could change any one thing about the show.

Overall, I had a great time and I’m glad that Arrow is back. Prometheus’ name was revealed and I’m interested to see who it is. Are we going to be placing bets? I’d say Tommy for right now, but you never know. I think if they were feeling mega-ballsy then they would choose Felicity. I know that’ll never happen. The end of this episode was great unlike the Flash and it was a good time.

Grade: A-