The CW might as well have just advertised this season’s finale of ‘Arrow‘ as a three-part special event. Last week’s episode (which ended at the most inopportune time) felt like a first act and this week’s felt very much like a second act. Now, all the cards are on the table for an epic conclusion that will find the newly reunited Team Arrow joining forces with Starling City’s finest to take down Deathstroke and his Mirakuru-fueled army.
When we last left Oliver Queen, he and his family were in mourning as they had just buried the matriarch of the family, Moira Queen, after she had sacrificed herself to save her children’s lives from Slade Wilson. But Ollie opted to skip the funeral and dwell on how all of this could have been prevented had he acted differently on the island all those years ago. Luckily, Felicity and Diggle were able to track him down and snap him out of this state. Now in the right mindset, the three of them set out to do everything they can to try and stop Slade despite all the odds against them.
This week finds each member of the team backed into a corner. Ollie and Laurel are buried under the rubble of the collapsed tunnel that took out a squad of soldiers, Diggle is facing off against Isabel, and Detective Lance and the others at SCPD have Mirakuru henchmen knocking down their front door and just about everything else in the city.
For the majority of the episode, Team Arrow was on the run in search of a courier that was en route to Starling City with a cure for Mirakuru but Slade’s forces had intercepted the briefcase and basically played a game of keep away with it until it came into Sebastian Blood’s possession. After Slade’s forces ransacked Blood’s office and basically killed everyone in it, Blood saw that he was in over his head and he made the wrong choice in aligning with Deathstroke. Kevin Alejandro made some interesting choices in playing Blood in this episode. His redemption played well and I liked the monologue about his mask. Of course, he wasn’t entirely redeemable as he threatened Oliver with revealing his secret identity if the public found out about his mask, but it was a good effort. It didn’t really matter anyway since Ravager showed up to make him pay for his treachery against Slade. And then Mayor Blood uttered his last words: “I loved this city.” Maybe it was the delivery or maybe it was the line itself, but it was kinda corny. I get why the writers had him say that, but it didn’t exactly translate well. Regardless of the line, the sentiment of Blood giving his life for Starling City was still pretty heroic.
On the other side of the episode, things are on the up and up with the Lance family. Now that Laurel’s life is back on track and they’re all in the know about Sara’s extracurricular activities as Black Canary, the former assassin has a support system besides her fellow vigilante ex-boyfriend. When she’s feeling down about her past and the terrible things that she’s done, her sister is there to bring her back up. Then, after she saves a little girl from a burning building, her heroic reputation is solidified. This storyline was a little on the nose as well, but it worked out. Plus, Detective Lance had some pretty kickass scenes because of it, so that’s a plus.
Finally, another family dynamic was explored in this episode that saw the return of John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn. When he heard that Moira had died, he returned to Starling City under the guise of the Dark Archer to check in on and protect his daughter Thea. But the youngest Queen wasn’t exactly welcoming her estranged father with open arms despite his good intentions. In fact, as the credits rolled, we were left with Thea literally holding the smoking gun after firing two shots in Malcolm’s direction. Will the former ‘Doctor Who’ star make it to the season finale? I hope so! I mean, I’m sure that there are some things that Thea would want to ask him, right?
Basically, this episode was built off of the theme of redemption. While it was certainly earned in some instances, in others it was cliché, but that didn’t hurt the episode too badly. There was a lot of great action, some great comedy (mostly from Felicity, as usual), and plenty of setup for what should be an epic finale. Now with a ticking clock courtesy of Amanda Waller and ARGUS, there’s just so many things that need to be wrapped up in the season finale. Hopefully they pace everything out well enough to give Oliver’s intense journey of personal struggle the proper ending it deserves.
‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.