The first thing I noticed on this week’s Arrow, “Salvation,” was that the writers appear to be reaching out for a more complex storyline. They’re doing more dodging between the multiple characters and using smaller scenes to tell a bigger story. They’ve been setting up for it all season now, so I guess it only makes sense that they’d use what they presented. Still, the villain this week is shallow and boring and so no matter how much effort was put into the overall story arc, the latest 23 minutes had no backbone.
We start off with Arrow overtaxing himself, going against bad-guy after bad-guy. The first one we see him pursue ends up getting snatched by someone else, and so Oliver must figure this riddle out. Turns out a guy calling himself The Savior is the villain of the week. He’s a vigilante sort, just like Arrow, though he doesn’t give warnings. His technique is to kidnap people and then force them to confess their crimes to the world via livestream. Then he kills them, whether they’ve confessed or not. Arrow doesn’t like the more sadistic version of himself so he heads out to catch this guy.
In the meanwhile, Thea has made a boyfriend of the petty-criminal Roy. She’s still trying to make him into a nice guy, but he’s ghetto through-and-through. He ends up in some deep doo-doo and, predictably, the kidnapping Savior nabs him. It’s then up to Arrow to rescue his sister’s squeeze before he dies.
Also, Moira negotiates the tenuous world of betrayal, trying to help her allies while dodging Malcolm. The search for the missing Sarah is still happening on that front, though comes to an end for now. I’m not even sure why this was included, unless they plan on doing something relevant with it soon. Otherwise, they need to drop it and just wait for next season to continue. And in the past, Oliver and Slade try to exchange the circuit board for Yao Fei’s freedom and end up with his daughter instead. Luckily, his daughter kicks just as much ass as he does.
The contrast between Arrow and The Savior is a theme that the writers really like to explore. Over and over. We’ve seen it before, there’s no need to continue - we get that Oliver has conflicts about his job. Please, please, just stop already. Although this week did have some nice parkour stunts from Oliver. I’m more and more impressed with the level of training this guy undergoes to avoid using stuntmen.
Hopefully this coming week will prove better than the last. I really hope they forgo any new introductions until next season. There are plenty of cast members to work with so far and the less new information we viewers need to process for these last few episodes, the better. This has the potential to end with a bang or go out with a fizzle. Let’s hope it’s the former.