Arrow: Training Day

Training Day

Really? You’re going to teach me how to shoot? 

Team Arrow struggles to adjust to their new status quo in “Training Day.” While the team has some growing pains getting used to their new role, not to mention pressure from an old enemy, the future group is getting used to each other, and Laurel gets a new subplot. There’s a lot of interesting things going on this episode.

In what is not at all a good idea, Mayor Pollard has pressured the team into integrating with some new police recruits. Watching them go through a version of basic training while the police drill sergeant lectures in a voiceover is an interesting study in contrasts. No one is happy with this new arrangement, which was probably Pollard’s idea in the first place. While Dinah gives the team a sort of lukewarm pep talk, Mayor Pollard comes by to basically just be a dick.

 

Oliver and Felicity get home, dissecting the day’s events. They are both hoping to just tough it out and make the city a better place for their child-on-the-way. They debate a bit, agree to not spread the news of her condition, and then Felicity asks Oliver to start on the dinner he promised earlier. She certainly is having the pregnancy appetite issues. Elsewhere, the villain of the week demonstrates some really nasty new weapons that are going to be a problem.

 

The next day, the gruesome deaths are discussed in a scene that doesn’t make sense. If the cops Team Arrow are with were trainees, why would they be in the loop on a new, high-profile murder case? If not, why were they going through basic training? Oliver and Felicity both express their frustration with working within the system. This is why Batman doesn’t have an office at the GCPD. The vigilante style doesn’t mesh well with regulations and bureaucracy.

 

Laurel gets a surprising call from someone we haven’t seen in a bit. Her new informant tells her about some recent events in Slabside (we just can’t stay away from there this season), and makes a unique demand for payment. Team Arrow is initially excited to go after the new threat, which is when Dinah drops the latest surprise: they can’t wear their costumes or use their gear. Sure, makes sense: we want to make the city safer, but you can’t use the methods that have clearly been working for the past few years. The raid goes down, implicating yet another corrupt rich man in Star City (seriously, are any of them NOT engaged in criminal activity?), and, to no surprise, Team Arrow and the cops sort of get in each other’s way. Even Felicity is thwarted by the police computers being too slow to keep up with what she does. Dinah gets a nasty surprise she keeps from everyone. Back at the SCPD, the sergeant yells some more, and Oliver finally snaps back at him. Dinah is siding with the cops, and no one is happy. Felicity comes in with some more information, and Dinah keeps insisting on doing things the police way. Pretty sure they don’t teach archery at the Police Academy, Dinah. They didn’t at mine, anyway.

 

Felicity and Oliver are frustrated by the way the raid happened, and Oliver is clearly losing his patience. Dinah and Rene pore over files that, as Felicity said, really need to be digitized. I see a lot of scanning in some poor intern/volunteer’s future. Rene tries to find out what’s going on with Dinah, who keeps stressing they can’t work as vigilantes anymore. She’s also worried about losing her job. Two side notes, there: 1) I think Dinah is the only actually employed member of Team Arrow at this point (are the others getting paid? We don’t know), and 2) I guess we’re supposed to assume Rene lost his job at City Hall in the chaos around Oliver’s arrest and trial, although I don’t think we’ve ever been told that explicitly.

 

In a fit of pique and impatience, Oliver drops in on the bad billionaire, doing things his way, down to the, “You have failed this city!” line that seems to be making a comeback this season. Oliver gets results, of a kind, but since the next thing we see is Pollard apologizing to the fat cat, we know this won’t go well. Pollard is ticked off at Oliver, and Dinah isn’t far behind her. There’s a lot more tension and lot of everyone pissed at each other. As this little drama plays out, Laurel meets with her new source. Both sides honor their agreement, although Laurel gets some very surprising news out of it. So do we, about someone that will effect things down the road, and bodes ill for Laurel’s source.

 

Rene confronts Dinah over how she’s acting, and she finally admits her Canary cry isn’t working. This very closely follows a plot from the Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters series back in 1987 when Black Canary lost her cry for many, many years. Rather than give up being a hero, she focused on other skills and fought her way up to the top tier of hand to hand masters in DC Comics. She seems crushed by the loss, and Rene reassures her. With her power gone, Team Arrow now has no metahuman members.

 

Oliver and Felicity are back in the Bunker, which is remodeled, repaired, and updated. I really, seriously, wonder where the money is coming from for this. Diggle joins them, and Felicity fills him in on their secret. Diggle paraphrases the show’s usual opening voiceover as they try and figure out what to do next. Rene and Dinah join them, Felicity gets a new clue from one of her creations, and the team moves out to go after the rich man and his deadly toys. A really huge fight ensues (does the rich man villain package come with a mob of henchmen? Do they have to advertise? How would that ad read?). Midas, the rich idiot in question, smirks when captured, but then learns the team did some things differently and he’s going to have a lot more trouble wiggling out of this one. I wonder if Pollard will try and help get him off?

 

The team reunites in the Bunker and sets off for a victory celebration, with Felicity and Diggle abstaining. They also announce something good (finally) about the team’s future. Diggle offers Felicity some advice, and I think it’s good. Laurel has a chat with her new suspect which doesn’t go well, and Felicity and Oliver debate baby names. Of course, we already know how that works out, because in the future…

 

Mia and William go to some kind of bazaar. Mia goes to seek out what they need, ordering William to stay put and do nothing, in a scene that mirrors one Ralph and Barry had in the “Goldfaced” episode of Flash. William doesn’t, complications ensue, and they need to combine her threatening presence with his smarts. Eventually, they get what they need and hear a recorded warning from Felicity. She also tells them to get out of the city and not look for her. We already know how well that’s going to go. They regroup in the Bunker to figure out their next step.

 

What I liked: I was glad to see Laurel’s source again. In the comics, that’s a favorite, if obscure, character of mine. I was surprised at what we learned in that scene, both about the suspect and some family ties. It was good the team figured out how to try and make things work finally. Mia and William make a good team.

 

What I didn’t: I really don’t like Oliver losing his secret ID, or the team being cops, essentially. Arrow isn’t a cop show, and it’s not why I watch. I’m concerned for a character’s future. I’m not thrilled about Dinah losing her cry, and I really, seriously, can’t stand Pollard. She’s annoying, smarmy, smug, and I don’t really understand her anti-hero stance.

 

This wasn’t one of my favorite episodes. I hope they get this constantly shifting status quo figured out. I’ll give this one a low 3 out of 5. We’ll see what the future holds for the team. On a few levels, I guess.

 

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