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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

HMMMMMMMM. You know, I think I like this season of Arrow better so far? While I did enjoy last season Oliver showing more positive qualities, I wasn’t too fond of the second half. And no, it’s not because Olicity broke up, because they’re still broken up and I think it’s been pretty reasonable so far. I guess it’s more that they said they wanted to get to Arrow’s roots again, and it feels both like that and like something new. Arrow struggled for a bit, but having a new team does have some new options. I’m kind of annoyed by Wild Dog though. I’m not sure I care about him. Anyway, previously on Arrow, Oliver recruited four new team members. One of them is from the town that Felicity destroyed while saving lives, so there’s that. Oliver can’t really do well at teaching them though, since he’s being harsh, and in the flashbacks we see how the Bratva warped his idea of team building. Also he’s Mayor, so he’s trying to handle that, with Thea doing much of the work right now. She offered Quentin a job last week.

This does feel a little bit like last week in the sense that Oliver is still having trouble┬átrusting his team. I did like how Felicity set him straight on a particular issue in this. Anyway the bad guy for this week is Derek Sampson, he’s been creating a new kind of drug, and Oliver’s trying to investigate. He refuses to let the team go with him though, but Wild Dog (I think his name is Rene) and Evelyn disobey to investigate themselves. Rene thinks he has a better idea of where these drug lords could be hiding. He gets into a fight and ends up tossing the bad guy into a vat of the drug. Oliver is ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS about what they did, especially since at the time they think the dude is dead. He gets more anry when it turns out the dude got super powers, he can’t feel anything and appears to have super strength of a kind, so he blames it firmly on Rene. As he should. However, Felicity does point out to him that as a leader, whatever his team does reflects on him, and if he had been more willing to listen to Rene when he said he had contacts that could help them, this might have gone differently. Again it’s great to see that Oliver now is willing to change more and listen to good advice. That’s character development for him since early seasons for sure.

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They do manage to take the guy down. Thea gets Oliver in trouble by having hired Quentin without asking him. The press messes with her, or one of the press ladies, by implying then that Oliver picked the wrong person AND doesn’t know what his people are doing. After connecting that as the leader he is responsible, he makes a statement saying he supports Quentin and tells Thea she is not going anywhere although she offers to resign. I love their relationship. Felicity also admits to Rory / Ragman that she is the one who killed his town. Curtis encouraged her to. He does not attack her or show anger, just shock, and leaves, but that’s not the worst case scenario honestly. Also of course Diggle is in some serious trouble, arrested for an act he didn’t commit. Lyla tries to talk him into fighting it, but he’s kind of given up. He feels a lot of guilt for Andy’s death still and even hallucinates (???) Deadshot. Lyla obviously isn’t going to take that lying down so she goes to Oliver at the end of the episode and asks him to help break Dig out of jail.

YAY Oliver and Diggle reunion. I miss their friendship so much. I don’t think this will lead to Dig joining the team again full time, but he really needs his bff to help him. I overall liked this episode! It’s still a step forward for the team. I want more with Evelyn though, we’ve gotten a lot for the other teammates, but she’s the one who has the least amount of character development right now. I know people are still startled by Oliver’s return to murdering people, but I still argue that his reasoning makes sense. For him, at least. If he killed Darhk when he had the chance, Laurel would be alive. That’s fact. Also the flashbacks aren’t so bad! I didn’t mention it here because not a lot happened, but I do think they’re more interesting than it’s been for awhile. I really like Anatoly, for a very shady character, he’s very charming. So I think this has been a good season so far. It’s stronger than I expected, and while I still don’t watch it live anymore, I have looked forward to seeing the episodes.

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