Arrow, “Fighting Fire with Fire”: Be the Impeachment Hearings You Want to See in the World

Hello Arrow fans, I know what you’re thinking: am I experiencing time slippage? While I can’t be entirely sure you’re not a time traveler taking time out of a grand adventure to read this recap, I can assure you that this is a day late. See, I moved on Wednesday and my plan to watch “Fighting Fire with Fire” after all that turned into an Icarus situation. Except in this case, the sun was actually me thinking I could move stuff unaided, build my new furniture and THEN have the energy to watch a TV show. I’m honestly lucky not to be crushed under an IKEA couch.

Anyway, you’re not here to read about me. You’re here to read about Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) impeachment hearings. Yeah, I know it sounds boring and it kind of was. Why the writers think we’d want to watch more political drama when there’s already so much of it happening in the real world is hard to understand. Haven’t we suffered enough?

That said, this episode was written and filmed months ago and the writers were definitely doing just the tiniest bit of wish fulfillment. I mean come on, wasn’t there a certain degree of schadenfreude in watching a privileged rich guy who won a political position for which he had no qualifications get punished for abusing his power? The problem, though, is that Oliver is our alleged hero and he can’t really be punished in any permanent way. Of course he wasn’t going to lose his job—he’s got the world’s best hacker and a whole team of vigilantes behind him. That said, it was surprising to watch Oliver publicly throw the Green Arrow under the bus in order to keep being mayor. Thea (Willa Holland) may have overstated what he’s achieved in office, but it does show real growth on his part. In the past, Oliver was always willing to sacrifice his real live for his vigilante life. That he decided to do the opposite this time is huge.

The real key to the whole storyline, though, is that Oliver could have avoided any consequences at all. He had other options. However, they were too morally reprehensible for him to accept. While this episode was a tad scattered, its goal was to examine the moral compromises our heroes are willing to make to do what they believe is right.

While Oliver was obviously a big part of that, surprisingly, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) was too. Miss Smoak has been the show’s moral center ever since she found out Oliver’s secret, but that status has been challenged lately. Felicity has been through a lot since Season 1 and it’s not surprising that it’s beginning to take a toll. Still, I’m not really sure how far the show can push the character into darkness before it becomes unbelievable or she becomes unredeemable. Despite Diggle (David Ramsey) giving her a very good lecture about her empathy being her superpower, Felicity still made a surprising choice at the end of the episode to join up with the super-secret and very powerful hacking group that’s been helping her get information for the last few weeks. That she doesn’t see the inherent danger of getting involved with anything named “Pandora” seems strange, though. That obviously won’t end well.

However, that’s a problem for another day. This week, Felicity’s moral compromises dovetailed nicely with Oliver’s. Part of it was involved her–at Thea’s bidding–digging up blackmail material on the council members deciding on Oliver’s impeachment. Unfortunately, the larger part of it had to do with her restoring Susan Williams’s (Carly Pope) reputation. I honestly can’t believe Susan is even still around. I mean, it makes sense that they need to give Oliver time and space to properly mourn the relationship, but come on. Now the show wants to actually try to convince us they have potential? What’s the endgame? God willing we’ll find out in two weeks when she gets damsel-in-distressed by Prometheus. I definitely don’t want her to get thrown in a refrigerator, but they need to wrap up this storyline ASAP or I’m going to lose my damn mind.

Oh, by the way, I guess I should mention that we finally figured out who Prometheus is: Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra). Now, the actual content of that reveal is painfully obvious. Of course it’s him: he’s the new character this season and his relationship with Oliver has always seemed kind of off. However, I do have to give the show credit for how the reveal went down. In the comics, Chase is the secret identity of Vigilante, a character who has figured very prominently throughout the season. So, it was genuinely surprising when Prometheus knocked Vigilante off a building and then took off his mask to reveal his identity. Admittedly, that’s a pretty small achievement considering how mind-numbingly stupid the rest of the storyline has been, but it’s just a relief to see this show be kind of decent again after so many months of being terrible.

Fighting Fire with Fire Rating: 7.5/10

By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to.