ARROW’s “The Demon” suffers from a bit of a misnomer. The episode title implies that the focus will be on The Demon, who turns out to be Talia al Ghul. But the promise of Diaz’s prison leader only puts Oliver back in Level One – and at square one. This season of ARROW continues to suffer from a lack of focus when it comes to Inmate 4587.
It’s not that Oliver’s conflict in “The Demon” isn’t interesting. Dr. Jarrett Parker is an interesting one-off villain, and the Oliver-Talia guard fight is fun. However, ARROW has built up the reveal of The Demon as a potential game-changer, which it’s not. It gives Oliver no real insight, aside from knowing Talia’s alive again. It doesn’t advance his story, and lends no clues as to when things might change. “The Demon” fails both Oliver and The Demon, as neither shine through.
While the Demon reveal wasn’t particularly exciting, it was interesting to watch Team Felicity form. Again, this story doesn’t do much to further the season-long story, as they lose Silencer for most of the episode. That said, the formation of a new sort-of vigilante squad is interesting. The more we see Felicity dive into darkness, and the more folks she brings in, the more the grim future makes sense.
ARROW also does a good job with the Diggle-Curtis story. Curtis hasn’t gotten much screen time in season seven, and John’s only gotten a bit more. “The Demon” finds a way to give them a one-off adventure that builds up their characters. We see Curtis embrace Mister Terrific again, and Diggle learns more about the ARGUS conspiracy. It’s not groundbreaking TV, but it’s a solid C-story. It’s nice that at least some characters in ARROW can keep focus.
ARROW is still failing its titular hero. Mister Terrific is cool, but why does ARROW care more about him than the Green Arrow? What does Talia’s freedom actually do for anyone? The prison angle is hypothetically an interesting challenge, as Oliver faces a threat he literally can’t fight. But without any idea as to what his time behind bars will yield, it’s hard to root for him to escape. Besides, no offense to ARROW, but DAREDEVIL did the prison fight scene way better. What does ARROW have to offer?
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