Title: Arrow: “Training Day” Review
Release Date: March 11th, 2019
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Arrow will be coming to an end this Fall after a shortened eighth season. As anyone who has been (somewhat) keeping up with my reviews this season would know, I’m feeling pretty bittersweet about the whole thing.
Season 7, so far, has been an amazing ride. As I’ve said in a previous review, Arrow has made a triumphant return to being the best DCTV show on television. With Daredevil now gone (unfortunately), I could really make the case for Arrow being the best superhero show still on the air. Despite that, I do feel that the writing team and the entire staff is putting everything they have in this season. The flashforwards will inevitably paint the show into a corner, from a creative point of view. With Oliver Queen unmasked as the Green Arrow, what more is there for him to accomplish as a vigilante? I’d rather Arrow go out due to these creative issues rather than poor ratings or a retread of old ideas. Oliver’s totally dying in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” though.
Enough about cancellations and how it will all end for Arrow, let’s talk about “Training Day”.
Last week, I missed out on a big detail in the flashforwards story. Connor Hawke referred to John Diggle Sr. as his “adoptive” father. I caught it a few days after the write-up. Bronze Tiger did see his kid in this week’s episode and called him “Hawke”. Does this mean Bronze Tiger is doomed to die soon and the Diggles take him in as their own? And what does this mean for John Diggle Jr? Could he be a casualty of timeline changes after “Crisis on Infinite Earths”?
I’m really glad that Laurel isn’t the one who killed Diaz. After two seasons spent on redeeming her, killing Diaz like that would have just unraveled all of that work. Emiko is in a much darker place and we haven’t spent years investing in her character. I can believe Dante asked her to kill Diaz and that she would do it. While this mystery isn’t as interesting as I expected it to be (yet), I do have faith that Arrow will put the time into it soon.
The opening montage was, while unnecessary, hilarious. Team Arrow doesn’t need any extra training. If anything, the roles need to be reversed. But, this entire situation was just to set up the new bunker and Dinah’s evolution as a character. As I said in my “Star City Slayer” review, I was looking forward to Dinah’s motivations and her arc going forward. She is caught up in two different worlds and doesn’t want to betray either of them. On top of that, she no longer has her canary cry and is struggling to live up to the Black Canary name. It was pretty entertaining to see her juggle all of this in order to keep this fragile partnership alive.
Oliver and Felicity’s rogue mission was enjoyable as well. It just proves that Oliver is intimidating with or without the hood. Their decision to keep Felicity’s pregnancy a secret from the rest of Team Arrow, not nearly as fun to see. It does feel like the flashforwards have kinda backed the present-day story into a corner. Because Roy, Dinah, and William didn’t know about Mia, the present-day has to account for it somehow. (Sidenote: Of course, Oliver comes up with Mia’s name. It’s not like his almost inevitable death was sad enough)
The flashforwards are compelling though. A lot of that credit, in past episodes, has gone to the older versions of Team Arrow. This week is different as Ben Lewis’ William and Katherine McNamara’s Mia stole the show for me. These two have been great in every scene they share together and “Training Day” didn’t disappoint in that regard. Also, Mia’s version of the Green Arrow theme is just awesome.
Felicity’s message to the two is sure to put them both on the road to becoming vigilantes themselves. It’s going to be intriguing to see what The Glades look like in the future and why Felicity wants the team to go there.
What baffles me is that there was no Dante or development into Emiko’s story this week (other than Emiko threatening Laurel). “Brothers and Sisters” was the big reveal of Dante, who we can only assume will be our big bad this year. We also had the revelation that he had been funding Emiko’s mission. Coming off of the high of the last episode, it was a bummer to be treated to, what is essentially a filler episode.
Verdict: “Training Day” was a filler episode. It was definitely enjoyable as Dinah’s arc and the flashforwards kept you entertained throughout but, it was still filler nonetheless. Hopefully, Arrow puts the focus on Dante and the flashforwards soon so we can finally get some answers.
What did you think of this week’s Arrow? Let us know in the comments below!
- The flashforwards
- Dinah's dilemma
- The opening montage was hilarious
- Laurel's redemption wasn't ruined
- This would have hit a 2-Star rating for me if not for the enjoyable SCPD/Team Arrow story
- Filler episode
- Felicity and Oliver's decision to keep the pregnancy a secret from their friends doesn't make much sense