This week’s episode of ‘Arrow’ was nothing short of a brilliantly done bridge episode. It did a wonderful job of setting up the finale and getting all the pieces in place, not to mention reminding us of why we’ve all enjoyed Prometheus so much this season as the primary villain.
Jumping in, tonight’s episode begins with Oliver and Thea learning that the city has once again welcomed the Green Arrow as its hero because the vigilante is responsible for capturing Prometheus (aka the throwing star killer, aka Adrian Chase), and because of Mayor Oliver’s part in all of this, his approval ratings have gone up to 70%. Thea is also excited because Oliver has shared with her that he is going on a “non-date,” (just dinner) with Felicity that night, which means that things might be heading in the right direction for him and his lady once more. However, when Oliver shows up to take Felicity out, he finds the door to her apartment ajar and his sense of danger immediately turns on. So it is poor Curtis who takes the fall when he jumps up to say surprise with the rest of the gang, and Oliver knocks him down immediately, not realizing they are all there throwing him a surprise birthday party. Clearly, we can all sense of the gang is celebrating way too early, especially since there are still two episodes left. But it does not matter to the group, at least not until they realize that Dinah nor Rene is present, right after Curtis himself is abducted and Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity realize that the members of the Quiver Crew are being captured one by one.
In true Oliver fashion, he decides to send Thea and Quentin Lance into protective ARGUS custody, belatedly remembering that they never told Lance about Black Siren just as Felicity reports the Laurel’doppelgangerer has escaped. The Black Siren captures Thea and Lance using tranq darts, after passing herself off to Lance pretending to be his Laurel, which utterly confuses poor Quentin. Thea later explains to Quentin about multiple universes and doppelgangers from other Earths, and the man is pissed at the woman that looks like his Laurel, even though she claims she is partly helping Chase to keep Quentin safe.
Out of options, Oliver orders Diggle and Felicity to leave town, claiming that Chase would expect him to keep those two close (really? cause sending them away seems exactly like something Oliver would do), and the final members of Team Arrow reluctantly follow Oliver’s orders. However, on their way out of town Felicity gets the proverbial “bad feeling” and their car is attacked by Talia al Ghul, and they are also taken captive.
Oliver visits Adrian Chase in his jail cell throughout the episode to demand answers, but Chase tells him that the only way to save his friends is to set him free. Apparently, the Feds are moving Chase to Idaho (uh…ok) and Chase gives Oliver the ultimatum: if he does not free Chase before the prison transfer, he will kill all of his friends. Oliver refuses and returns to the Arrow cave, where he is completely alone, for a second, before we finally get the return of Malcolm Merlyn. Merlyn chides Oliver for believing yet again that his allies are his weakness, telling him (AGAIN) he needs to get over it (speaking for all of ‘Arrow’s’ audience I might add) and explains he is back to save his daughter because in the end family is everything. He even apologizes to Oliver for telling Damien Darhk about William.
Speaking of William, Chase finally reveals to Oliver through a gut-wrenching video that he has his son, and Oliver realizes he has to free the villain before he kills his son. He goes to take down the US Marshall’s around Chase and is joined by Merlyn, who brings a disguise for Oliver, who guessed that Chase would have kidnapped William. They free Chase, who says he will not release Oliver’s friends and family until he is free and clear, and taunts Oliver by telling him he will see him on the boat. So, as you might have guessed it, Chase ends the episode back on Lian Yu with all of Team Arrow (though we don’t see Rene or Dinah, or William for that matter), gloating, though the team feels confident that Oliver will figure out something, though they admit he’s never had to rely solely on himself to save the day before.
Tonight’s flashbacks feature Oliver being tortured by Kovar, using a drug that causes a subject to relive their worst pain and injuries, giving us flashes of Oliver’s wounds and injuries from throughout all of his time on Lian Yu and beyond. Kovar also gives Oliver a gun with one bullet, claiming the subject who lasted the longest went 12 minutes before shooting himself in the head and guessing Oliver might last 14. Oliver hallucinates Yao Fe who tells him to kill himself, but Oliver is saved by a hallucination of Laurel, who tells him he needs to survive and go home so the death of his father and her sister will mean something. Oliver uses the one bullet to shoot the lock on his cell and marches out, ready to finally get off that damn island and go home.
In the episode aftermath, Oliver is team building, literally. He already has Merlyn, but he needs more, so he recruits Nyssa al Ghul, though he does not tell the woman till she arrives that their enemy is Talia, which was a serious gamble, especially since Nyssa and Merlyn already do not get along. They fly to Lian Yu, and Oliver recruits the final member of his team, who we have all been waiting to see. As he asks for his help, Slade Wilson looks up knowingly and says he is glad Oliver came back. Not as glad as we are that you came back Deathstroke. Let’s just hope they use you properly in the finale.
- If Earth-2 Laurel is telling the truth about her motives in helping Chase, it is another piece of her redemption puzzle for next season. Her trying to defend and keep Quentin safe proves there is still good in her.
- I like the idea that Oliver’s “team” in the finale is basically comprised of villains from all of the other seasons: Merlyn from Season 1, Slade from Season 2, and Nyssa from Season 3. If only there was a way to get Darhk back as a mystical ally of Oliver’s the circle would be complete.
- Was Kovar torturing Oliver on the island still? I was not quite sure where they were
I am very excited for the finale of ‘Arrow,’ and cannot wait to see all of these characters clash on Lian Yu. My personal expectation is that we will see the death of at least one character next week (my money is on Malcolm Merlyn), but here’s hoping they don’t focus too much on something like that for the finale. I want to see the kind of epic season ender that we saw back in Season 2, and I think Season 5 has earned that kind of send off. See you back here next week when we’ll discuss how the show did!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.