In the wake of the shocking conclusion of last week’s episode, the latest chapter of ‘Arrow’ is a somber one. When we last left Team Arrow, they were forced to take down one of their own and deal with the Mirakuru-fueled rage of Roy Harper. However, Oliver and Sara are at odds over taking the next step in their relationship and that spills over into how to subdue their young associate. Meanwhile, island time is traded in for a flashback to Ollie’s frat boy days where he is forced to go to his mother for help in dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. But all that suddenly fell to the wayside when Slade Wilson took the Queen family as his prisoners and forced Oliver to make a similar choice to the one on the island that resulted in Shado’s death. Except this time, it was Moira Queen sacrificing herself so that her children could live.
This week, we open on Moira’s funeral where her son is noticeably not in attendance. Throughout the episode, we see how Ollie and Thea are dealing with this tragedy. After Isabel informs her that the club is no longer hers, Thea looks into leaving the city after properly saying goodbye to her mother. On the flipside, Oliver goes into hiding immediately and deliberates surrendering to Deathstroke to end this onslaught on his loved ones. But while he’s brooding away, Laurel, Diggle, and Felicity learn that Slade and Blood have more in store for Starling City than just dethroning the Queens.
Business has certainly picked up as this episode was just exciting beat after exciting beat and they surprisingly didn’t feature Oliver in all of them. Yes, it was pretty cool to see him put all the cards on the table during his meeting with the newly christened Mayor Sebastian Blood, but people like Diggle, Felicity, Thea, Laurel, and even Amanda Waller stepped up to get their hands dirty. Out of that group of actors and actresses, I think Emily Bett Rickards particularly stood out and gave one of her better performances of the season. Of course, she had a lot more to work with in this episode, but she was awesome nonetheless, especially when she was flexing her interrogation muscles. I can already imagine the “Bitch with wi-fi” t-shirts at cons later this season. A close second standout was Katie Cassidy. I cannot tell you how happy I am that Laurel is done with her cliché storylines and is back to doing something interesting. Now that she knows Ollie’s secret, I’m wondering how their relationship will evolve from here. However, before I can really think about that, there are more pressing matters on my mind in regards to this show.
The opening shots have been fired and both sides are preparing for war. Team Arrow is down two members, but the original three members (and Laurel) are ready to take on Deathstroke, Brother Blood, and their Mirakuru-powered army. We have a slobberknocker in the making, folks, but there was one big problem with this. The episode cut off at such an inopportune time. Seriously, it felt like a movie cut out just before the climax. While cliffhanger endings are the norm in television, this was a poorly placed one. I blame terrible time management on the part of the writers for this one. There was a ton of good stuff in this episode, but they tried to squeeze too much in. If they had cut it off when the roof caved in on Oliver and Laurel or when Isabel/Ravager revealed herself to Diggle, things would have been much better than where they decided to end things on the island. Despite enjoying the majority of the episode, that was just a very poor storytelling choice.
Even though I was pretty pissed by the way that the episode ended, I did find this episode to be pretty great. It’s continuing the trend of exciting and surprising twists and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us in the final two episodes of the season. I just hope that they sort out that time management issue.
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‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.