ARROW Season 5×02, “The Recruits” recap

13 Oct

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Welcome back, Arrowheads! Now that Ollie is busy being the Mayor of Star City, he kind of needs a new Team to help take the load of fighting crime. And that’s good, because crime boss Tobias Church and some mystery bad guy are looking to cause serious trouble. With Thea happy to remain sans costume and Diggle serving overseas, Ollie doesn’t have many options. Also, we all remember that city that was accidentally nuked last season? Just keep that in mind.

The Bell. In the flashbacks, Ollie and several guys awaken to find themselves in a room, where they are told if they want to advance into the Bratva, all they need to do is run through a gauntlet of guys and ring a bell. Easier said than done because the first few tries don’t go so well. Its only when Ollie gets his fellow recruits into working together as a team that he gets through the gauntlet and rings the bell. And then his fellow recruits get killed. Oops. Anatoly shows up to remind him that thanks to his quick thinking, he’s passed that test, before Ollie blacks out from all that running and that wound on his stomach from last episode opening up. Someone needs new stitches!

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“Next, Oliver, you shall learn how to make long hair wigs!”

The Green Teacher. Wild Dog is chasing some criminal on the rooftops and probably thanks to that wound to his leg from Ollie, slips and falls of one roof. Ollie just swings by to save him, incapacitate the baddie, and then ask that if Wild Dog wants to do more with his life of vigilantism, go to a specific place tomorrow afternoon. Ollie goes back to the HQ and discusses what the plan is for tomorrow, mainly Felicity and him wearing masks in front of the new recruits (shh, don’t say that in front of recruit Curtis while he’s trying out the salmon ladder!), And also briefly mentions some mystery baddie who killed that cop last week. Then the next morning, Ollie makes a presentation to the President and VP of AmerTek to get funding for a new state of the art children’s hospital, which goes well. Well, it does until a hobo in rags seems to envelop and kill the VP later that night, but we’ll get there.

So that afternoon, Curtis, Wild Dog, and Evelyn Sharp (who you might remember using the Black Canary outfit last season) are all there as the Green Arrow and Felicity (yeah, she’s not wearing a mask!) show up. And Ollie gives them a challenge to join his team: get past him and ring a bell. The good news is apparently this test won’t involve killing the losers (that we know), but the bad is these recruits get creamed by Ollie. At least he gives them a break to heal up when he’s told about the AmerTek VP getting killed.

Off-Guard. Hey, how’s Diggle doing? Well, he’s in Latvia, about to go on a dangerous mission to recover a nuclear trigger or something, with a small team. He reassures one nervous new soldier he’ll be fine, which is pretty much saying the newbie is about to die. Well the unit gets there and is immediately ambushed, so that’s bad. Let’s come back to that later…

Ollie learning the AmerTek VP got murdered by some kind of metahuman or something has put that whole hospital plan into trouble. So Ollie assures the company’s president that the big announcement ceremony will be covered and protected by the City. That means he’s gonna use the recruits…for surveillance at the event. Yay, I guess for them?

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Jason Voorhees for Crossfit: moving faster at killing teens.

Team Building Exercise. At the big press event for the clinic, Ollie’s trainees are blending in while Ollie is hanging by the AmerTek President. And Thea is already nervous, but seems more so when Quentin, who she brought in to help with security, arrives late and probably because he was drinking. Not that a sober Quentin would have helped much because superhuman hobo man comes out of nowhere and his rags start to move and attack her. Wild Dog goes off the “just surveillance” script and attacks Ragman, taking a piece of his rags before the guy vanishes.

So in quick succession we find out Ollie really should have told Thea that Quentin was off the wagon, that the City could be sued for this failed attempt to kill the AmerTek boss lady, and they still need a Deputy Mayor that Thea was convinced Quentin could do. And the second he gets back to check on the recruits, he rips into them for not following his orders. Well, ol’ Dog there hands Felicity those rags he tore off and says he’s out. Evelyn joins him, and before Curtis hands in his walking papers, lets Ollie know that he failed recruiting them because he hasn’t given them a reason to trust them. You know, the reason why his former teammates aren’t around anymore. Ouch. Oh, and regarding former teammates…

Loyalty Tested. Diggle has that soldier he made buddies with, being the only one left in the squad, rush to grab the nuclear trigger. But surprise, the General who sent them on this mission arrives with his own team, and they take it for themselves, killing Diggle’s new buddy. And just to make things worse, Diggle gets framed for the theft and the murder! Ooooh, you really should’ve killed him when you had the chance, random evil military guy!

Felicity has managed to get an answer on where that rag came from, thanks to cajoling her new detective boyfriend, Billy (and what do you know–she’s totally lying about the Green Arrow and all!). The rags match residue found at Havenrock after that nuclear blast, and guess who made the missile that hit there? Thea is coming back from the AmerTek offices after trying to smooth things over when she spots something suspicious. She sneaks a closer look and finds out the company’s president is making a backdoor deal with Tobias Church to offload some military-grade weapons. Of course, having one of your products accidentally reduce a small town to waste really hits your income hard, so the company is looking to make a quick buck from their not in-demand surplus.

The Rag Man. Ollie hears what’s going on and realizes their Ragman is seeking revenge against AmerTek for the Havenrock disaster, so he wants to go to stop the trade-off alone, knowing the Ragman will show up. And he’s right, because the Ragman goes after the company president (who, by the way, should’ve sent a proxy instead to this highly profitable and highly illegal exchange) while Ollie fights Church. It looks like Ollie might be finished off by the physically tougher Church, until the Ragman decides to ignore his vengeance to save Green Arrow’s life by knocking out Church. And from what I can tell, the two don’t arrest either baddie, but meet up on a roof.

There, we learn the Ragman is just a teen, changed by the Havenrock blast that claimed his family’s life. Ollie tells him he knows what its like to lose a father, to seek revenge against the people responsible, and that the 10 years he’s dedicated to that have bore little positive fruit. So he offers Ragman a chance to be better, to be a hero.

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Hey, you ask permission before you use another man’s salmon ladder, Curtis!

A Purpose. With that, somehow the recruits along with Ragman are brought back to meet Green Arrow. There, he decides to offer up a symbol of trust to them: he reveals who he is! That seems to get them back into training with him, for now. And Thea talks to Quentin, and decides rather than cut him loose to drink himself away, to give him a job…as Deputy Mayor!

Meanwhile, Church is coming out of a club when he’s pinned down by the mystery bad guy. Our mystery guy is upset Church almost killed Green Arrow, because he (or she?) wants that and Church to not do that. When asked by Church who this is, he’s told, “Call me Malcolm Merlyn, I mean, Prometheus!”

We all know its him, right?

–Comic book connections: AmerTek is one of those many fictitious corporations running around in the DCU, and they are connected to superhero Steel. Prometheus is more a JLA/Batman baddie, who has super intelligence that can outwit any adversary.

–Lots of references to Genesis Day from last season, from Ragman’s origin to why that General wants to steal that nuclear trigger.

–Let’s just not mention Felicity was inadvertently responsible for Havenrock’s destruction to Ragman. Its not like that’s a time bomb that will go off later.

–As bad as things are for Diggle when the episode ends, imagine if he finds out Barry Allen’s time travel screw ups of late made baby Sara a slightly older son? Dammit, Barry.

–Its easy to forget until he says it, Ollie has been at this for nearly ten years since his father’s death. I’m just saying, he’s taken some serious injuries since then.

–“It’s really hot–I mean, not.”

–“Aww, its really cute you think I can be replaced.”

–Ollie: “They’re too green.”
Felicity: “Not as much as you. I’ve been waiting five years to make that joke.”

That’s it for now, but comment below and cone back next week for the recap of “A Matter of Trust”…

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