After several episodes building up the new team, “Penance” got to send them off on their own mission with an actual unified effort. What really set the episode apart though was that there were consequences to what they did.
The starting mission was really cool, as we got to see the team in action, and then fall apart because they still weren’t a team yet, and thus haven’t gotten full trust of one another. This led to an interesting insight about Wild Dog, in that he was in the Navy…and was dishonorably discharged. This no doubt is one of the reasons for his lack of trust for others.
What got things rolling though was Oliver’s plan with Lyla to get John out of prison, something Felicity was against on many levels, even enlisting the others to try and stop him (and failing hilariously, but…thought that counts…right?). Ollie’s loyalty to Diggle has always been one of the best parts of Arrow, so seeing him go all out to try and get him free was very believable, and fun to be honest. The prison break with Lyla was very well done, and had plenty of cool moments and twists along the way. Skyhook baby!
Meanwhile, Tobias Church showed he’s definitely not a one-note villain, and he hatched a very intricate plan to not only get more weapons for his crew, but strike at the heart of the city. With Ollie away, this meant the “B-Squad” had to take over, which almost didn’t have its heavy hitter in Ragman. I appreciate that they did show the fallout from Felicity’s confession to Rory. I also appreciate that they didn’t let it dwell like they would’ve done in previous seasons.
The rescue mission was very well done, and for a moment, you thought the team would get a win…until Curtis got stabbed in the back by Church, and Wild Dog basically sacrificed himself to give the others time to get out. Church wanting him alive was believable, and now Ollie has a new mission for the team, get their ally back.
The flashbacks were brief, but interesting, as Oliver’s quest to find Kovar took a big step. As he not only found a way to get to him, but earned the trust of the Bratva, as he is now a member. Hopefully it’ll pick up even more going forward, I want to see Dolph Lundgren!
All in all, “Penance” was a solid episode, and it should that actions have consequences, how much those consequences ring out will depend on next episode.