Arrow Season 5 Episode 20 – “Underneath” Review Arrow Season 5 Episode 20 – “Underneath” Review
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Last week’s episode left Oliver and Felicity under siege from a bomb in the Arrow cave. This week’s episode went straight into the action,... Arrow Season 5 Episode 20 – “Underneath” Review

Last week’s episode left Oliver and Felicity under siege from a bomb in the Arrow cave. This week’s episode went straight into the action, as our heroes had to escape from any imminent threat of Prometheus. Underneath is a very contained episode, heavily portraying the relationship between Oliver and Felicity – a bottle episode. This comes straight from last week’s episode, when Oliver was faced with Felicity betraying Oliver’s commands, and the struggle she continuously faces with him.

Underneath left the two main stars having to MacGyver out of a sticky situation. The first bomb Prometheus set up in the cave was an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse). In addition to leaving Felicity unable to walk again, this also left the duo unable to use any electrical equipment. This made the episode entirely focused on Oliver and Felicity’s relationship as they try to escape the cave. It was a very symbolic episode, with hitting dialogue that ties greatly in the development of the season and our characters.

Similarly to their physical beings trapped underground, both Felicity and Oliver also feel trapped mentally, without any real sight of a light at the end of this relationship tunnel. Felicity has a constant struggle of having to back up anything Oliver orders, but will not trust the one action Felicity makes to try to catch Prometheus. However, Oliver does not see this as an issue for Felicity, but an internal one, as a big shock as that may be. With the realisation that he likes to kill, he doesn’t want Felicity to make the jump to the dark side, even though she isn’t exactly killing anybody.

The carry-over from last week’s episode exemplified the emotional turmoil between the two, and felt extremely believable. The talk between the two has been foreshadowed numerous times throughout the season, and Underneath had very fitting emotional dialogue. It was further demonstrated through flashbacks when Oliver and Felicity tried to define their modern day relationship. After they broke up, we see them trying to rekindle their romance. Despite not resolving their overall issues, the drunk sex did make them just a little step closer.

The full resolution came at the end of this episode, as they try to escape multiple bombs. Oliver finally confesses to Felicity his admittance of killing being a part of him, defusing that bomb in his life. They both come together to agree that their life is full of mistakes and future complications, yet they are still willing to accept and trust each other. Injuring Oliver in the beginning by refusing to listening to Felicity’s plan, and Felicity’s inability to walk added to the suspense and drama. Even though Oliver almost died multiple times, he still manages to carry Felicity through the whole ordeal, where the whole team coordinated their escape.

The Felicity & Oliver debacle was also mirrored through Diggle and Lyla’s arguments. Felicity and Oliver had a various episodes leading up to this point, but Diggle and Lyla only had last week’s episode to development their conflict. Although only a subplot, the Diggle & Lyla arc wasn’t completely selling. Lyla made the argument that Diggle continuously supports Oliver despite any bad decisions, so in turn he should support his wife. Even though both Oliver and Lyla need support from their compatriots, Oliver isn’t the leader of a massive shadow organisation that also stole Curtis’ T-ball technology. Diggle has every right to be concerned that Lyla is going into a power hungry Amanda Waller state, and nobody, not even Oliver, should be encouraged into becoming a dictator.

The main star of this episode is undoubtedly Felicity, in terms of her character development and performance. Underneath proved Felicity’s resilience, and the importance of her character. The only unbelievable part is the fact Felicity’s toned body couldn’t do a chin-up. The flashbacks with Felicity and Oliver added a nice touch that compelled the story line and emotion. Two weeks without any Russia flashbacks make it seem that the Russian story line has really been concluded. The episode also ended with the return of Adrian Chase, in the presence of Oliver’s son William, aka Matthew.

Arrow airs on Wednesdays on The CW.

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Kevin Perreau Contributor

When I'm not watching a good TV show, I'm watching a bad TV show.