Arrow: “Human Target”


Jim’s Thoughts

“Human Target” wrapped up the Tobias Church story arc. It would have been much more satisfying if the focus hadn’t been scattered, but I came away feeling like this season may finally be taking shape.

Church was never really built up as a character. It’s not the actor’s fault. His portrayal was sound, but the writers didn’t give him much to work with beyond establishing him as a drug lord with ambition. All the wasted screentime this season could have gone to flesh out his story, and if it had, Church’s fall would have had much more of a payoff.

Wild Dog’s story with Diggle was poorly handled. Having him suddenly recall a key fact is lazy writing, and does nothing to develop his character.

Elsewhere with the team, we really need to see some sort of weakness in Ragman. Right now, he appears to be invincible, and his presence in the field makes everyone else superfluous.

I’m tired of griping about Felicity. It’s the same every week with her, and so this week, I’ll mix it up a little. The only way for Felicity to become a compelling character again is for her to somehow transform into a villain. That sounds ridiculous, I’m sure, but I stand by it. All of her lectures to Oliver about honesty and secrets, and she looked her new beau in eyes and lied about a fairly significant thing, something that affected him personally and professionally, since he’s working with Oliver as the mayor. It wasn’t for his safety, or to protect a mission. She lied because she thought it was easier. Now, on top of every other thing that makes her insufferable, she’s also a hypocrite. I could take her screen time if I wasn’t expected by the show to root for her in any way.

I liked the nod to Chance, and the possibility of using The Question, but this show doesn’t need more characters to juggle. That makes it hard to get too excited for him. While I’m harping on Felicity, let me also add that Oliver sneaking out after faking his own death to talk to Felicity about her new hump-buddy was pure cringeworthy nonsense. He couldn’t even let his sister know he wasn’t really dead, but he can’t wait to talk to Felicity about her love life?

I know it sounds like I hated this episode. Kyle and I write these up right after we watch the episodes, so there’s a lot of raw reaction in these comments, and Felicity draws my ire, but all things considered, this may have been the best episode of the season. I like that we’re getting back to Prometheus, that Diggle isn’t just isolated from events in his own storyline, and that they’re building for a larger conflict.

Kyle’s Take

When asked by The People’s Choice Awards this past summer if Flashpoint will have a huge impact on Arrow Stephen Amell answered, “You bet.”

Pair this answer with Prometheus outclassing Green Arrow (and his band of merry men and women) on an ability level and you have Arrow having to ask Flash and perhaps Supergirl for help at the obligatory, mid-season, crossover episode, and we’ll have a convergence of pratfalls I’ve been warning folks about for weeks. Both Arrow and Flash will reboot their shows.

The mid-season break can’t come soon enough, because I can’t take anything Arrow or Flash does seriously until after Barry works his time warp magic. I can’t trust Church’s fall. I can’t trust that Prometheus is this season’s main villain. I can’t trust that Arrow won’t merge the cast from the past several seasons with this new cast to form a cast the size of which has never been seen. I can’t trust anything.

I agree with Jim that “Human Target” is, in many ways, a step in the right direction. I also agree that Felicity is a hypocrite, Ollie’s priorities have always been skewed toward his genitals, even when he’s playing the role of a hero, and Diggle needed to return to the Arrowcave. Sprinkle in some characters I still don’t care a lick about, and you still get an unfocused mess, even after wrapping up Church’s story arc.

Don’t gripe, Kyle. Turn off your brain and enjoy the pretty colors. No. I won’t. “Human Target” might’ve been more enjoyable if I knew that it righted the show for the full season, instead of giving the show a speck of focus for three or four episodes before Flashpoint renders most of what we’ve seen on Arrow this season meaningless.

I want to like Arrow more than I have and I hope that once the real season five begins, the show will gain momentum. Until then, I’ll try to sit back and enjoy the final few episodes before we get Costco-sized, wholesale changes. Thanks for reading.

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