Arrow: The Recruits Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)
With “The Recruits,” Arrow continues to have a solid start with old-school flashbacks, new characters, and a couple of new Big Bads.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Primarily, “The Recruits” was an episode of rebuilding, pep talks, and meeting new characters, all of which Arrow did quite nicely. Building Team Arrow 2.0 is something that won’t pay off for a few episodes down the line, so it’s so difficult to judge it from one, largely expository, episode. From the extremely small sample size, right now, on a story level, everything seems to be working.
First of all, Ragman. He’s awesome. Here’s the thing about Ragman, though: he needs a new hero/vigilante name. It’s atrocious. Besides the horrible name and Wild Dog’s hockey mask, he’s probably the best thing about the new team. Having someone who mirrors what Oliver went through with his dad was a genius device. I expect a ton of story to be created from Ragman’s background as the lone survivor of Havenrock.
I’m not digging the Diggle storyline. It’s nice that he is getting a storyline all his own, but it’s piggybacking off of last season’s season finale plot mess regarding the bombs. That’s something that was brought back through Ragman this episode in a much more effective and character-driven way. Seeing someone personally affected by the horrific massacre was something I never expected to see.
As Diggle’s superior officer betrayed him, something hit me. Arrow has a nasty habit of portraying the military in a horrible light. From my recollection, every time Diggle has interacted with any military person, except for Lyla, they have been a despicable human being. It’s disappointing that only two military characters have been portrayed in a positive light. This is something that needs to change. There needs to be more respect for the military on Arrow.
Thea continues to be the rockstar of the first two episodes. It’s remarkable how she has come into her own over the past five seasons. I would have never thought that the hard-partying teenager would be practically running the Star City or bonding so much with Lance. Not having her storyline revolve around a romantic interest is so refreshing. Throughout the series, almost all of her storylines have involved a boyfriend in some shape or form, so it’s nice to not have her be defined by that.
Just like The Flash, I’m going to go ahead and guess who the Big Bad’s identity is. I hope I’m wrong on both accounts, and that it’s not as obvious as it seems, but I think that Prometheus is Felicity’s new boyfriend. On both series, there’s a new villain and there happens to be two new characters. Coincidence? I think not!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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