TV Club: Arrow returns with at least a couple of the same old troubles

Arrow still has all the pieces to be a fun show, maybe even a good one. Stephen Amell has proved a charismatic leading man with arms capable of several degrees of freedom. Paul Blackthorne and Willa Holland are consistently great at locating the humanity in their characters and their often absurd situations—even when tasked with spewing expository dialogue that just restates what was in the opening recap, those two make Lance and Thea feel like fully realized characters. The flashbacks are still a deeply weird thing for a show to be doing five seasons in, but at least we’re finally getting to the bit where Oliver becomes a captain in the Russian mafia, and the return of Anatoli harks back to the last season when the flashbacks weren’t a detriment to the show, and even occasionally an active strength. And hey, it’s hard not to cut …

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