Arrow Round Table: What Is Talia's Plan?

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Why is Talia being evil to Oliver?

That was a key question four our round table participants after Arrow Season 5 Episode 16.

Below, TV Fanatics Steve Ford, Kathleen Wiedel, Jim Garner and Robin Harry discuss Talia, Helix and Susan's fate...

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What did you think of Talia in the present?

Steve: I've really enjoyed the introduction of Talia this season, so I was glad to see her show up in the present. I'm also happy that they addressed the issue of Oliver having killed her father, and thus giving her motive in helping Adrian.

Even though it was a predictable turn of events, it is a nice change to have Oliver up against two main villains this season, and now that all the cards are now on the table, I'm looking forward to seeing these feuds further develop.

Kathleen: Oopsies, Ollie. Anyhow, I do find it curious that Talia is so bent on taking revenge for her father's death, but since Oliver killed him in honorable combat according to the laws of the League of Assassins. Then again, she did leave the League herself at some point, and she is knowingly aligning herself with a psychopath.

There's got to be more to this story here than her wanting revenge over R'as. After all, it's not like her sister Nyssa is out here trying to take Oliver's head, too.

Jim: I'm glad she is still around, but it does raise the question of exactly _how many_ hot ninja-like daughters does Raz have? I do have to complement the casting on how much Talia and Nyssa look like sisters.

Robin: Meh. I'm whelmed. Talia al Ghul is a fascinating, messed up character in the comics (honestly, look up how she messed with Batman), and this seems a bit simple.

Like Kathleen. I expect there to be more. I think I need to see a bit more of her and Oliver's interactions in Russia before I can be completely sold on her motivations here. 

Prometheus - Arrow Season 5 Episode 9

How long do you see Prometheus being the villain?

Steve: Unfortunately, I've become rather bored with the character. While I was pleasantly surprised with how early Prometheus' identity was revealed, it, in turn, caused the character to lose his mystique.

While Adrian does have a great villainous presence, his alter ego seems to have lost his charm. Personally, I feel the reveal should have been kept for the penultimate episode.

Kathleen: Steve brings up a good point: the problem with unmasking a villain whose secret identity had been a major source of interest as a character. Once that card's been played, you really have to find a new way to keep the villain compelling, especially if the villain ends up sticking around for awhile.

Otherwise, the character just ends up falling flat. With any luck, that won't happen in this case. Either they've rung the passing bells for Prometheus by revealing his identity, they've got something else up their sleeves to keep him relevant, or we'll all be bored silly within a few episodes and wishing that Oliver would just shoot him already.

Jim: First, I called it WEEKS ago that Adrian was Prometheus, so I wasn't surprised at all at the reveal. Second, I'm Sooooooooooo bored with both of them. Adrian walking around trying to be all threatening with the low voice just makes me feel like he took really bad lessons from Batman.

Then as Prometheus, he just whips off his mask now and we are back to goofy-low-voice-annoying Adrian. Gah! If Ollie doesn't vanquish him soon, I'm going to have to start muting my TV.

Robin: I'm actually enjoying seeing how Oliver and Adrian interact on the job with the masks off. It adds a sort of tension that I find fascinating. That said, I agree with everyone else that it's not sustainable for long.

I wonder if Vigilante will have some role in changing the game here. Or Artemis, if anyone ever remembers that she existed. 

Will Oliver fall apart if anyone else dies?

Steve: Oliver relies heavily on his friends and the team. Without them, he is lost. So, yes Oliver will indeed collapse without his support. Obviously, the team will somehow come together and figure out a way to stop Adrian, but it's important to realize how much Oliver depends on and cares for these people.

Kathleen: Oliver never planned on going it alone, even from the first episode of the series; his initial forays into team-building led, of course, to the additions of Diggle and Felicity. And even before that, he almost never worked alone.

He always surrounds himself with friends, comrades, brothers-in-arms, and he relies heavily on them to help maintain what emotional stability he still has after everything he has endured. Would Oliver fall apart if anyone else died? Possibly. It would depend on who died and how everyone else around them reacted. Their strength is his strength.

Jim: Isn't Ollie basically on the verge of falling apart all the time these days? I swear his super-power isn't archery, it's angst driven facial expressions. Team Arrow would benefit greatly from an in-house therapist. 

Robin: I think it would depend on how the person died. I actually agree with him during his conversation with Diggle; his friends are his weakness, his vulnerability. They make him human, but they're also an easy way to hurt him.

If one more person Oliver loves is killed by an enemy to make him suffer, I think that would break him. 

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What's next for Susan?

Steve: I'm not sure. She survived her initial encounter with Adrian, but something tells me she won't survive the season. Adrian was willing to kill his own wife because she found out who he really was. So, what's to prevent Adrien to tying up any and all his loose ends?

Kathleen: The fact that she's not dead yet is practically miraculous. I'm still on the fence whether to agree with Steve that she's toast or to read her survival thus far as a sign that she might actually come out of the season alive.

Whatever happens, I can virtually guarantee that she's not going to have a fun and easy time of it.

Jim: I'm going the happy route and say she joins Team Arrow to help clean up his public image and that we will find next season they need a resource in the news a lot. 

Robin: Meh. They haven't really given us any reason to care about Susan other than the fact that Oliver cares for her. Maybe she'll actually do something useful or interesting, like write an expose on Chase or a retcon of the whole "Green-Arrow-is-the-worst" fiasco the Mayor started. 

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Do you trust Helix?

Steve: It's too early to tell. She seems to have this "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" type of mindset, but to what end? Yes, she has been very helpful to Felicity and team Arrow, but something has to give.

Felicity could end up getting in too deep with the hackers, which makes me think that Helix could end up being set up to be one of the main villains of next season.

Kathleen: I don't trust Helix as far as I could throw them. I do, however, like Steve's idea of Helix being set up as next season's villain. They claim to have good intentions, but then again, the road to hell and all.

Plus, the idea of their capabilities makes me want to leap up and down and scream "Slippery slope!" How long before they use their skills for personal gain?

Jim: I agree with Steve and Kathleen on this one. They both pretty much said what I was thinking, so I'm just going with "ditto" for this one :)  

Robin: Not even slightly. First of all, I don't trust any character played by Kacey Rohl (Abigail Hobbs, anyone?). I find it interesting that she explained WHAT they do, but was all kinds of vague on the WHY they do it.

"Power to the people!" is not a sufficient explanation. Second, of all, they seem a little too eager to exploit Felicity's desperation, and they're already turning her into the kind of person she chastised Oliver for being. Helix is going to be trouble.

What did you think the developments? Hit the comments with your take on the questions!

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Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Arrow Season 5 Episode 16 Quotes

You killed his father and I helped him in the pursuit of vengeance because by then, you killed mine.

Talia

Student: Who are you?
Oliver: I'm her former student.
Student: Former - which means you are not welcome here.