“Penance”: ‘Arrow’ 5.04 Recap And Review

WARNING! The following article contains SPOILERS from ‘Arrow’ Season 5, Episode 4. Read at your own risk!

Arrow has been the most surprising show out of the four CW DC shows so far this year. While Supergirl has been going very well and The Flash‘s under par performance may come as a shock, it is Arrow‘s consistency and signs of improvement that push the show above the others for me. This episode continues that consistent quality we have seen throughout Season 5, so let’s break down this episode.

The story of this episode was very self-contained and didn’t have too many side arcs like the typically episode of a CW show. This episode had two stories: Oliver breaking John out of prison and the team facing off against Tobias Church. Let’s talk about the positives of both arcs first.

The story with John and Oliver was by far some of the best stuff we’ve seen on screen so far this season. Oliver’s dedication to Diggle as both a friend and figurative brother is heartwarming, and was very similar to Seasons One and Two. You can see their relationship beginning to strengthen again after everything they’ve been through in the last two seasons. Undercover Oliver was a lot of fun to watch and he had almost a Wild Dog or Deathstroke feel to him. While the plane escape was a tad ridiculous, this was a good arc for the episode.

As for the team arc, Wild Dog continues to shine as the focus of the new team. After not listening to Oliver and almost screwing up the entire mission, he redeems himself by sacrificing himself to Church at the end of the episode. Also, we got to see Artemis’ codename used for the first time and while she is no where near as cool or similar to the Young Justice version, it is nice to have that name drop throughout the episode. As for Ragman’s departure and return to the team, I thought it was a bit weak but worked for the story they are trying to tell. Also, the scene where Oliver wipes out the team in under fifteen seconds proves that the show still knows and can show that Oliver is still the best.

Moving on to the flashbacks, I actually really enjoyed them in this episode. We got to see Oliver’s final test to join the Bratva and we got to see him be a badass in the jail cell. We are beginning to witness the Season One Oliver Queen in the flashbacks because we are approaching the beginning of the show in the timeline. I think we may get to see Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) in the next episode because that seems to be the next logical step for the flashback’s story.

In every episode there are flaws, and tonight is no exception. Unfortunately, some of these are major flaws that I cannot shake. One of which is how quickly the team is improving. The show tries to undermine them by showing they can’t work together or that one member does something wrong but there are other areas that I can not deal with. One of which is Artemis’ sudden ability to use a bow! We never saw her do any training, and it took Roy almost an entire season but it only takes her an episode! Also, Mr. Terrific is becoming a very good fighter, faster than Laurel, which is alarming to say the least. I hope that the show can slow things down before the characters become too powerful too quickly.

Prediction time! Since we got NO MENTION of Prometheus tonight, I have to stick with my theory that he is Felicity’s boyfriend. I am a little frustrated that he suddenly disappeared after not doing much of anything in the first two episodes. Hopefully we get to see him again next week. As for next week’s predictions, I do not think Oliver actually got shot, it is most likely a hoax and I guarantee Wild Dog will be rescued by the team. Hopefully we also get a look at Spartan and his new mask designed by Cisco.

So, what did you guys think of this episode? Let us know in the comments below and on Instagram and Twitter!


Arrow shoots into your TV every Wednesday night at 8pm EST.

Sean Hussey

Sean Hussey is a writer who enjoys both Marvel and DC, as well as Star Wars. He also has two YouTube channels as well as hosts a Podcast.