Friday, October 21, 2016

Arrow - A Matter of Trust

DC's current crop of shows has done a decent job (for the most part) in adapting comic characters to the small screen. With "A Matter of Trust" the show's writers have more mixed success in their attempt to create one of their own. WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes guest-stars as street-level drug dealer Derek Sampson who is given powers after Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) drops him into a vat of strange chemicals (which include a drug named after Rhodes' wrestling alter-ego). Further straining the trust Oliver (Stephen Amell) has in his team, he has no choice but to eventually take them out in the field and prevent the new threat from duplicating the experiment and creating an army of criminals who can't feel pain.

"A Matter of Trust" also includes four separate subplots which leave the episode a bit scattered. The flashbacks to Russia continue Oliver's training with the Bratva (and, of course, have a message that ties back to the main story). Thea (Willa Holland) gets played by a reporter (Carly Pope) forcing Ollie to play some defense and help promote an Assistant Mayor he never wanted hired. Diggle (David Ramsey) begins freaking out in prison and makes an important decision about his future. And, after fighting her guilt the entire episode, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) explains to Ragman (Joe Dinicol) that she was partly responsible for the attack which destroyed his hometown.

Pulling in several different directions, there are several pieces of the latest episode that work well, but the show's attempt at an original villain isn't necessarily one of them as Sampson is limited both by his TV-origins and the wrestler's limited acting experience. Oliver trusting his team moves that season arc one-step forward while finally giving us our first look at Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum) in costume. By the end of the episode Ollie's new team is still pretty green, so to speak, but they do help him stop the latest threat to Star City and earn back some trust from their leader.

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