In this episode we find Oliver recruiting some of Star Cities new vigilantes. Renee Ramirez, Evelyn Sharp, and Curtis Holt are brought to the HIVE (or Arrow cave) to train. The training does not go well, as Oliver uses exercises that were used on him when he was being recruited into the Bratva.
Oliver meets with the CEO of AmerTek to discuss funding for a free clinic that he wants to put on, to help the people of Star City. The CEO agrees, because it will help their stock prices increase. Later that night, the Vice President is attacked by mysterious character in rags. Thea suggests that Oliver uses his new team to help protect the event. Oliver doesn't believe they are ready and insists that he will be enough. Felicity also prods Oliver to use the recruits and he begrudgingly agrees. Oliver brings his new team to the event, disguised as volunteers, to help him keep an eye out for the ragged assailant. The man appears again and attacks the CEO. He escapes, but not before Renee grabs a part of his costume. Oliver lays into the team for disobeying orders, which cause them all to quit. Curtis and Felicity explain to Oliver that the recruits don't trust him and that he was not building them up, but tearing them down.
Meanwhile Thea learns that AmerTek's CEO is planning on selling a large arsenal to Tobias Church in order to save them from bankruptcy. Oliver goes to the exchange, hoping that the mysterious Ragman will be there. Ragman does appear and we learn that he is the last survivor of Haven Rock, the city that was nuked in S4. He blames Amertek's CEO, because it was their missile that was used to destroy his home. Oliver fights Church and convinces Ragman to help him defeat his foe and forego revenge.
Later, Ragman meets Oliver on a roof and explains how he survived and why he was in Star City. Oliver recruits him to his team. Back at the HIVE, Oliver brings back his original recruits and reveals his identity to them as a sign of trust. They agree to come back to the team. Somewhere else in the city, Church is attacked by Prometheus, who warns the gangster not to go after the Green Arrow. Prometheus wants him for himself.
In the flashbacks, Oliver learns the same training exercise that he tries to teach his recruits. His training turns out different as he is the only survivor. He must now prepare for his next test.
I was very vocal about my concerns for the writing and direction of S4 of Arrow. I didn’t hate it by any means, but the show started to lose its identity and it’s roots. I love Arrow and it played a large role in getting me into comics. I had reservations about picking up the show, due to my beef with the last season. But I can honestly say that these first two episodes of S5 have far exceeded my expectations.
Much like this weeks episode of The Flash, Arrow delivered an episode that topped the season premiere. For both shows, there could have been a two-hour premiere, as it felt like a part 1 and part 2 with the first two episodes. That being said, Arrow has had a fantastic episode this week.
Introducing Rory Regan (Ragman) was one of the most exciting things that has happened on the show in a long time. Here we have a hero, with supernatural abilities, that they successfully tied into the events of S4. In the 1991 mini-series Ragman, Rory was the son of Gerry Regan. Gerry refused to sell his shop to a local gang who wanted to use it as a front for their drug trade. The gang sent men to murder Gerry and Rory. Rory woke up mostly dead after being found and brought to a clinic. Wanting justice for his father, Rory returned to the shop, now under control of the gang, and found a box containing the mystical rags that turned him into Ragman. I was very impressed with the working of Ragman’s origin to both honor the comics and fit into the Arrowverse. He is shown to be a mystical powerhouse, who has little trouble taking on a large number of foes. In a show were all of the heroes are regular human vigilantes, it’s awesome to have someone who comes from the darker supernatural side of the DCU on the team.
We also get reacquainted with Evelyn Sharp and Renee Ramirez, who are brought in with Curtis to form Oliver’s new team. Renee Ramirez is a reimagining of Jake Wheeler, the Quad Cities Wilddog from the comics. Being a more obscure character, the change gives more diversity to the team. His exact origin has yet to be revealed, so we will have to wait and see exactly how he got his start and why Felicity was so interested in him in the premiere. Evelyn’s attempt at being the Black Canary in S4 was short-lived and mostly unwelcome. In S5 she is slated to become Artemis. We have several known versions of Artemis that are known. First, we have primary Artemis from the comics. She is an Amazon who is currently on of the trio of misfits that make up the cast of the popular comic series Red Hood and the Outlaws. It is unlikely that this is the version that the show will take. Second, we have the Archer from the popular, but short-lived, Young Justice cartoon series. This will probably be the version that Arrow takes inspiration.
We also see another scene with the new villain Prometheus. Though there is a Prometheus in the comics, the show runners did confirm that the two only share a name and have no other similarities. Having an original villain is breath of fresh air and give the writers the freedom to focus on the heroes. What I mean is that Prometheus can be that mysterious force that shows up only occasionally for the first part of the season. This can give the show time to develop its new heroes. Then, they can go all out for the second half of the season.
If the season continues to look like these first two episodes, I have the utmost confidence; that Arrow will take its place back on top of the Arrowverse. I have been very happy with what I have seen so far and everyone I have talked to so far feels the same way. I can only hope that the writers keep up the good work and give us a fantastic season.
LET US KNOW
-How did you like Ragman?
-Who is your favorite recruit? (Evelyn, Renee, Curtis, Rory)
-What are your theories about Prometheus?
-Who would be a better mayor. Oliver or Quentin?