Arrow S06E18 “The Fundamentals” REVIEW

Arrow S06E18 “The Fundamentals” REVIEW

0 comments 📅13 April 2018, 14:54

Airing Thursdays at 8pm on Sky 1

Writers: Speed Weed & Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Director: Ben Bray

Essential Plot Points:

  • A pair of openly corrupt cops are discussing whether or not they should be openly corrupt. The lights go out and Oliver pummels his way through as many of them as he can demanding to know where Diaz is.
  • Diaz arrives. Surrounded by staff. And Oliver is unmasked.
  • Felicity and Olly are discussing the possibility of impeachment. Felicity spots a 45 minute window where every camera goes off in the Precinct and figures out that’s when Diaz comes in. Oliver of course wants to storm the place alone. Felicity insists that he can’t do that and tricks John into arriving at that exact moment. She tries to get them to talk and, well, it doesn’t work.

  • Oliver takes a meeting at work and is told that impeachment hearings are imminent. Quentin holds Oliver up, telling him all he has to do is stay the course.
  • William is prepping for a science fair in a manner that suggests POSSIBLE tragedy some time in…oh the next 9.5 hours? Especially as they argue to the point where Oliver raises his voice to two of the only three people left who will still talk to him.
  • Later, Oliver apologizes but it’s far too little far too late. Felicity is done. She tears a strip off him and tells him that she’s leaving for a while.
  • And Oliver keeps hearing banging noises…
  • Quentin shows up and Oliver explains the issue; he can prove the staff he fired were on the take but in doing so he has to bring Felicity’s abilities out into the light. And that puts him right back in the spotlight as Green Arrow. Quentin sets him straight, reminds him that the meeting at City Hall is in an hour and leaves.
  • The banging intensifies, Oliver grabs a gun and…Prometheus appears, shooting him in the shoulder. He never did go back for the body…
  • They fight, Oliver wins and Prometheus dares him to kill him. If he doesn’t, he’ll never stop coming for everyone he loves.
  • Oliver snaps his neck. Hears the banging again and…Prometheus vanishes.
  • Only to reappear all over again. And then Oliver puts it together; he’s hallucinating.
  • Oliver checks his blood to see if he’s been dosed. Prometheus goads him the entire time until the test comes through…Vertigo. He was dosed during the meeting in the office.
  • Oliver ignores the mockery of his hallucinations, calls Quentin and heads for the meeting…only to walk right into his old life. And meets Laurel. First on the day of his fateful voyage and second on the day she died. As Prometheus mocks him for daring to think she could ever survive, he’s joined by Laurel. And Rene. All of them tearing at him for his terrible choices.
  • And then Dinah joins them. And Curtis.
  • Oliver refuses to accept anything is real, walks out into his home and finds Raisa bleeding to death and Diaz waiting for him who promptly stabs him in the chest.
  • Oliver passes out. Then wakes up in the Cave. He calls Quentin, asks him to delay the meeting and…is confronted by the Hood. He tells Oliver he has failed his city and he knows what he has to do…
  • They have no other play. Oliver hands over the evidence and explains that it came from the Green Arrow. No one buys it.
  • Quentin pulls him out of the room on a pretense and tells him to get home and get straight. The second he leaves, Prometheus reappears and goads Oliver into making a run at Diaz.
  • Felicity calls Quentin, they fill each other in and roll out to help. Quentin gets there first but Oliver refuses to believe that he’s real and knocks him out.

  • Felicity follows Oliver’s trail of destruction into the precinct and stops Oliver right outside the room where Diaz is waiting. Felicity begs him to not open the door, and, as the Vertigo fades from his system, Oliver believes her. Diaz chases them out and they escape, barely.
  • Later, Oliver concedes that John had a point but also that the Vertigo gave him clarity; the mission needs to be brought back to basics. He can’t work with a team. Quentin turns the TV on and they watch an announcement confirming Oliver’s impeachment. Quentin’s the mayor now.
  • Later, Oliver assures Felicity that he isn’t firing Overwatch but he needs to separate his worlds. He visits William, apologizes to him and William assures his dad he won’t ever lose him.

  • The next day, Black Siren shows up at the precinct to talk to Diaz. Diaz explains that the impeachment was just the first step. With Mayor Queen out, Star City is open for business…


Most of this episode is very good. One thing isn’t. And we see that first.

The cold open not playing out how we spend the entire episode expecting it to is a cheap trick. It doesn’t matter that the explanation (Oliver imagines the door opening) is implicit either, it still feels unearned. Get over that basic annoyance though and there’s a lot of good stuff here.

Not the least of which is Felicity finally not being awful! Yaaaaay! She and Quentin both have good weeks and it’s great to see Felicity FINALLY re-positioned as the conscience of the team rather than the callous edgy sense of humour she’s been far too often this season. Also nice to see Quentin finally start to reap some benefits from still being alive. He’s going to be a good mayor. We hope he survives the experience.

Likewise it’s great to see Josh Segarra back as Prometheus. His measured, calm delivery is a deliberate mirror of Oliver’s Arrow voice and he has great fun being the anti-conscience on the hero’s shoulder.

But if this episode belongs to anyone, it’s Amell and not before time. The dogged figurehead of the show and the Berlantiverse has often been terribly served by scripts this season and this week that absolutely pays off. The show acknowledges every single one of Oliver’s terrible mistakes and Amell shows us the pain, and the resolution, behind each one. It’s a great performance, one this show often hasn’t deserved this year and it brings the show, the season and the character very much back on track.

What the all new, all streamlined mission will change remains to be seen. What’s clear now is Oliver Queen has had a moment of clarity and so has Arrow. Bring on the final act of the season.

The Good:

  • Amell is SO good this week. The way his voice cracks on ‘I scared him. Really bad.’ is heartbreaking.
  • The fact Olly storms the precinct in his old outfit, with no domino mask, is really cool.
  • William handing Felicity her shoes is a sweet touch.
  • Raisa isn’t dead! Yay!

The Bad:

  • That opening and the cheat to get out of it.
  • Is the SCPD really SO corrupt two guys can literally have a ‘Is it good being a corrupt cop?’ conversation in a precinct corridor?

The Random:

  • Speed Weed & Emilio Ortega Aldrich wrote this week’s episode. Weed has written extensively for Haven, NCIS: Los Angeles and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as well as Arrow. Aldrich has written for Arrow and Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
  • Ben Bray is a prolific actor, director and stunt performer. He last worked on Arrow on the episode ‘Bratva’ and most recently directed the fantastic Legends of Tomorrow episode ‘Here I Go Again’. He’s also directed for Shadowhunters and Lucifer among others.

Best Lines:

  • ‘That isn’t how I wanted this to go.’
    ‘Of course it is. This is who he is. No one knows that better than you.’
  • ‘On the bright side if I get impeached you get promoted.’
  • ‘Well you outdid me. All I did for my science project was hack Napster.’
    ‘…What’s Napster?’
  • ‘Maybe you are a better Oliver Queen. A happier Oliver Queen. But it’s made you a worse hero.’
  • ‘You’re not my worst fear, Adrian. You’re not even close.’
  • ‘When it comes to destroying you, Oliver? We all come in second place.’
  • ‘Where’s Dad?’
    ‘Buying expensive gifts if he knows what’s good for him.’
  • ‘Drugs are bad’
  • ‘I don’t give a crap about political capital.’
    ‘You should. Because you’re the mayor now.’

Review by Alasdair Stuart

Read all of our Arrow reviews

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