Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 4 - Penance

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


When Lyla asks Oliver for help in breaking John out of a military prison, Oliver goes off despite Felicity's objections. While Oliver's gone, Tobias Church launches a serious of vicious attacks on the police, requiring the rest of the new Team Arrow to move against him.


The TV show Prison Break and the Judd Winick run on Green Arrow.


Team Arrow moves to confront Oliver in costume but without their masks?

The circle Oliver makes in the hole of Diggle's cell looks far too neatly cut for something created by an aerosol compound.


The script does a fine job of drawing parallels between various sequences. For instance, the flashback plot mirrors the current events, with both stories involving Oliver breaking into a prison. There's also some brilliant interplay between Oliver and Diggle's escape from a military prison and Team Arrow and the Police escaping the police building being attacked by Tobias Church's men.


The briefcase Team Arrow recovers in the opening sequence was stolen from Kord Industries. This is a nod to the business run by Ted Kord who - in the DC Comics Universe - was a scientist superhero and the second hero to use the name The Blue Beetle.

This episode marks the first time that Evelyn Sharpe is seen using a bow and is addressed by the codename Artemis.

The original Artemis came from the Young Justice animated series. Artemis Crock was the daughter of two super-villains - The Sportsmaster and The Tigress. She and her sister Jade were trained from a young age to take over their parents roles. After Jade ran away from home and her parents divorced, Artemis began looking for a better life. She met Green Arrow and became his protege, with Green Arrow coming up with a story about her being his niece to hide her connection to a criminal family.

In the original comics, Rory Regan's father was a pawn-shop owner named Gerry Regan and a Veteran. The DCTVU version of Rory Regan's father is also a pawn-shop owner and a Veteran, but his name is also Rory Regan. This is taken from the origin of the post-Crisis Ragman from the comics, who was the latest in a long-line of Ragmen.

John Diggle's cell number is 1138. The number 1138 has been used in a number of media - mostly as a reference to George Lucas' first film THX-1138.

The IP address Oliver is given for communicating with Kovar is This is the IP address for The CW Network's website.


Oliver steals an anti-molecular compound capable of dissolving any material from PalmerTech. This is used to break the floor of John's cell.

The item stolen from Kord Industries by Tobias Church's man was a 6800 computer processor available for purchase in any computer store. Curtis notes that it makes no sense for this to have been stolen given the more valuable cutting-edge technology Kord Industries makes that could have been taken.

The man Oliver talks to communicates with Kovar through a digital dead-drop on the Dark Web. The IP address is

Felicity is able to predict where Tobias Church and his men are heading by cross-plotting his prior locations into a projection algorithm.

Dialogue Triumphs

Adrian Chase: Public service isn't easy. Sometimes you get a little dirty clearing out the filth.

(A black-clad figure moves into a secure area at Palmer Tech. Suddenly, their phone begins to vibrate. The figure stops and pulls up their mask. It is Oliver Queen.)
Ollie: What's up?
Felicity: Hey. There's been a break-in at PalmerTech. Are you still in the area?
Ollie: Uh, yeah. I can look into that.

(Ollie enters into The Bunker, still wearing his burglar blacks. Felicity is waiting for him.)
How was PalmerTech? Before you answer, you should consider that your phone has GPS. And if you were thinking about lying, I do admire your consistency.
Ollie: I wasn't thinking of lying to you. I was't looping you in after you made it clear you didn't approve of the decision
Felicity: John's the one who doesn't approve of the plan.
Ollie: John's not thinking clearly.
Felicity: Well, I'll bet Roy is. And if he were here, I think he would tell you that life on the run is no life at all. And I seem to remember you not being on-board with that plan.
Ollie: Roy was making a bad choice. Just like John is making a bad choice. He is currently locked up in a military prison for a crime he didn't commit!
Felicity: To atone for a crime that he did commit! And what does it matter? John doesn't want to leave! It is not your choice! Why do you always have to make decisions for him?!
Ollie: He already abandoned the team. I am not going to let him abandon his family.
Felicity: Is that what this is about?  John leaving the team?
Ollie: This is simple. I am going to stop John from making a decision that he will come to regret. You should consider doing the exact same thing with Rory.
Felicity: You do realize that me having a chat with Rory is completely different than you committing half-a-dozen felonies, right?

Adrian Chase: Did you ever think you'd be doing this again? Handling evidence?
Quentin Lance: No. Didn't think I'd be Deputy Mayor either, but here we are.
Adrian Chase: I was surprised you took the job, to be honest. From what I hear, you and Queen have a, uh... complicated history. Got a lot of hatchets to be buried there.
Quentin Lance: Yeah. Well, at least I know where they're buried. That's something you can't buy or steal.

(Oliver easily took down the rest of Team Arrow when they tried to stop him from leaving town.)
Curtis: You know, Felicity? Could you please explain to me again how you thought this was all gonna go down?
Felicity: I thought that if he saw you all united against his crazy plan, he'd reconsider.
Curtis: Right. Because Oliver Queen is known for thinking things through and taking input from others.

Ollie: Tell me where I can find Kovar.
Pytor: You think you scare me more than him?
Ollie: No, but he's not locked up in here with you. I am.

Sergio: I'm not rolling on Church. You think you scare me more than him?
Adrian Chase: No. But he's not here with you. I am.
(Chase stands up and begins to roll-up his shirt sleeves.)
Sergio: Hmm. You're not going to a beating on me. You're a D.A.
Adrian Chase: Yeah. Haven't you heard?  All of the justice in this town comes from vigilantes.

Evelyn: Things have really fallen apart without Oliver, haven't they?
Oliver: (entering the room) A good thing I'm back then.
(Everyone turns to look at him.)
Rory: Was he waiting for an entrance line?
Curtis: Nope. He's just that cool.

(Tobias Church walks into the room where his men are torturing Wild Dog.)
Tobias Church: Man. (gestures to a bruise on his face) Been a long time since someone tagged me like this. Respect.
Wild Dog: Oh, my pleasure. But I promise you if you untie me, I'll show you a hell of a lot more than respect.
Tobias Church: Oooh, man, you've got spirit. And I am duly impressed. But I'm gonna break that spirit. I'm gonna break your soul. And when we're finished, assuming that you're still alive - now, I wouldn't bet no money on that, though - there's gonna be very little of you left for The Green Arrow to work with.


Curtis Holt was a bronze-medalist in the Decathlon.

Evelyn Sharpe is identified by the codename Artemis and seen using a bow for the first time.

Curtis Holt is identified by the codename Mr. Terrific for the first time.

Wild Dog served in the US Navy, but was dishonorably discharged.

As of this episode, Quentin Lance hasn't had a drink in a week.

Rory Regan is a sculptor who welds scrap metal together.

Rory Regan's father was a pawn-shop owner.

Rory Regan's father was a Gulf War Veteran - 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. He was also named Rory Regan and he too wore The Ragman costume before passing it on to his son.

John's cell number is 1138.

18 Mill Road is where the Anti-Crime Unite of the SCPD is bunkered.

The Ragman costume is capable of deflecting a bomb blast and repelling bullets.

Oliver sets up John in an old HIVE hideout until they can find a more permanent solution.

Wild Dog is captured by Tobias Church and is being tortured by him and his men as the episode ends.

In the flashbacks, Oliver passes his third and final test to join The Bratva. This requires him to kill a person on orders from Anatoly with no questions asked.


U.S. Disciplinary Barracks - Langham Penitentiary

In the flashbacks, Oliver goes into an unnamed Russian jail in an unnamed Russian city.

The Bottom Line

Not bad but a far cry from the quality of everything we've seen so far this season. It's telling that the most interesting interaction is between Adrian Chase and Quentin Lance and the hints at Adrian Chase becoming a Vigilante himself. Everything else in the episode is competently executed, but is awfully repetitive up until Wild Dog sacrifices himself to complete the objective. 

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