Arrow, ‘Training Day’: The Focus Falls Back on Evolving Team Arrow  

Arrow, Season 7, Episode 15, “Training Day”

Much like a good fast food cheeseburger, there wasn’t much of substance to this week’s episode, though it was satisfying in its own way. The writers made a solid choice by focusing on character growth and development in an hour that didn’t advance the plot all that much. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:

What’s the scoop:  Star City’s police academy is more homework and learning about the chain of evidence, and less about pranks and madcap fun than TV and movie led everyone to believe. Team Arrow’s members, despite their best intentions, are chafing under the rules of law and order. There’s a world of difference between getting the job done by any means necessary, and following the rules so a proper arrest that leads to a conviction can be made.

Meanwhile in B-plot land:  Fake Laurel finds out from Ben Turner, who you might remember from Ollie’s stint in prison, that Diaz is dead and the prison is covering it up since they’ve had a bad run of PR recently. Turner knows all the details, but wants to at first be freed, and then settles on seeing his son in exchange for the information. It turns out that out Laurel is not the culprit, as I first suspected; rather it was Emiko who did the deed. They have a showdown in the Fake Laurel’s office where it’s revealed they know each other’s darkest secrets.

Sex and the Olicity: Oliver and Felicity rediscovering their couplehood has produced an odd side effect. After battling the forces of evil for the last seven years, Olicity would really like to wrap all that up within the next few months so their baby can be born in a better Star City (which is ironic given the last week’s news that the series is wrapping up next season). The impatience borne from that attitude has put them both at odds with their new by-the-book training. After telling Diggle their news, and a botched attempt at solving the week’s big dilemma the old way, Diggle convinces the couple that being on the right side of the law (and out of prison for violating the anti-vigilante law) is going to do more to make the world better than doing it the old way ever can.

On the island of the future: The Queen siblings share a little bonding time trying to locate a microcassette player for the tape they discovered last week. They go to a black-market bazaar straight out of Into the Badlands to locate the retro tech. William gets scammed by a vendor while Mia is looking in other spots. She threatens to pound the merchant, but he has a direct line to some undercover SCPD officers. William uses tech to distract the cops long enough for the vendor to get his comeuppance, a refund, and their recorder. On the tape is Felicity, explaining that she and Oliver kept the kids apart for reasons, and to give the team some coordinates then get out of town. Mia recognizes the coordinates are within the walls of the Glades.

What about the action: The dilemma du jour is that there is a new bullet on the street that is chemically based and almost instantly lethal. They don’t take long to pin down who is manufacturing the bullets, but when the evidence doesn’t come together quick enough, Team Arrow goes rogue and gets an inadmissible confession. During the process, Dinah discovers that she can no longer use her powers, and there are a lot of cheer-up speeches about how she’s everybody’s favorite Canary anyway. In t,he end Dinah turns the team into a task force, which makes it a perfect blend of the old and new ways and results in a lawful arrest of their suspect.

What’s next: We jump forward in time to the birth of Mia.

Last impressions: While technically this was a wheel-spinning, filler episode with Dante only accounted for indirectly by Emiko’s brief, sinister appearance, it didn’t feel like a waste of time because of the focus on the characters. With the stint in prison and everything else that’s gone on this season, there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for the show to take a beat and give its characters some time to process all the changes going on around them. Dinah was in the spotlight most of the episode since she is the one who has been working the hardest to make the whole deputizing of vigilantes thing work. Discovering that she’s lost her powers almost breaks her but thanks to some encouragement from Rene and Diggle, Team Arrow rides again. At long last, the team is reunited, and everyone has been given the opportunity to find some peace with their new circumstances. The series seems prepared to move forward for the home stretch of the season.

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Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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