For me, the best Arrow episodes are ones that have a compelling foil to the team that makes them wonder different things about themselves. All the while, having compelling stories for various characters. “Vigilante” did that in a very good way.
Let’s start with the obvious, Vigilante himself was actually very well done. Even though it’s a bit obvious who it is under the ski mask, it’s still a very compelling character. After all, aside from the guns, this was who Arrow was for some time. Taking names and taking lives in order to “save” Star City. What was interesting though, was at first, the idea of Vigilante was compelling to Team Arrow outside of Olliver and Dig. Which as Ollie noted was the exact opposite of what they thought when they learned about The List a while back. What I also liked was how while at first Vigilante seemed like another Arrow, the echo from season 01 about “restraint” kicked in some, and innocents were lost in one of his strikes.
Which of course bring us to Oliver again doubting himself about whether he was doing enough for the city. You’d think after everything he’s done, it would be enough to say “yes”. But remember, not all of his victories have been victories, or come without great cost, so when Vigilante comes in, and the voices of his past start talking to him, it’s not hard to believe he’s doubting himself again.
It was funny that this go round Summer was the one who pulled him out of his funk (with a tease that she’s still looking into Ollie’s Russian past), and it’s clear she meant what she said. Whether she’ll still be an ally by the end of all this is up for grabs though.
The other two really compelling storylines was with Diggle and Quentin. Diggle was angry because his fugitive status meant he couldn’t be with his son (Dang it Barry!!!!) at his birthday party. Now yes, while this may seem superficial at times, remember, being a father is everything to John. And he wants to be with his son, but with his confinement, he can’t be like he wants to. I did like how Renee stepped up to help Diggle, furthering the mentor/pupil bond I hope to continue seeing.
Then there’s Lance, who easily had the most surprising arc when he revealed to Thea that the throwing star was in his room, and that the blackouts meant he didn’t know why he had them. Seeing Thea reach out Quentin and be there for him like no one else could was really good. These two have had an interesting arc throughout the series, and as Thea has noted, Quentin is like family to them, so it’s totally believable that she wants to help him no matter what. Him going to rehab was a big step, and a surprising one in some ways. Hopefully he won’t be gone for too long.
The flashbacks were amazing this week, and Dolph Lundgren continues to amaze as Kovar. He’s soft speaking and eloquent, yet will kill you if you cross him. His chats with Oliver were very tense, and the fight at the end was cool. With the reveal of the Bratva and Kovar striking a deal, you have to wonder how much Oliver “trusts his brothers”.
Finally, that twist at the end came out of NOWHERE!!!! Even I didn’t see that coming. Artemis and Prometheus? Holy crap! What does this mean for the team? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
“Vigilante” was a very solid episode. Yes, some things didn’t work, but overall it was very well done. Especially with Vigilante himself now still on the loose, and the new evil duo that’s going to make the next few episodes very, VERY, interesting. Next up? Humans vs. Aliens!