Now that we have reached the Winter Finale, I can finally say with some certainly that ‘Arrow’ has really and truly done an excellent done of reviving itself this season and bringing itself back to what once made it the amazing show that launched all the other DC shows on the CW. The Winter Finale was dark, tense, had great action, some heartbreaking moments, a couple of great twists, and almost all of the character decisions made sense, except of course of Oliver’s continued choice to date that Susan Williams reporter woman, which still baffles me and better pay off at some point.
Tonight was all about trying to catch Prometheus, especially after he attacks Curtis on the steps of City Hall and puts the man in the hospital. Unfortunately for Curtis, it was just as he and his husband were leaving the annual Christmas Party, where Felicity accidentally ruined his cover story for the all those late nights out crime fighting, and combined with the attack, the jig is up. Curtis’ marriage is falling apart, and eventually he must choose between being Mr. (not-so) Terrific (he’ll earn the moniker when he actually does something worthwhile in the costume and stops being the punching bag for the villains every week) and his relationship with the man he loves. Eventually, Paul decides that Curtis is too happy fighting crime, and realizes he cannot make Curtis choose, so he chooses for him and leaves, leaving Curtis heartbroken.
While all that is going on, the team realizes that Curtis was dosed with a drug manufactured by an old name on the Hood’s list from 4 year’s ago, leading them to suspect the man (named Claybourne) that Oliver killed back then might just be Prometheus. They head out to confront the man but in that moment Evelyn reveals her new loyalties, and claims that Oliver is not a real hero, and that Prometheus and her are saving the city from him, which is of course is ridiculous considering how many people Prometheus has outright killed. Felicity’s boyfriend, who you remember is well aware of who she works with now, is also looking into the case now, especially since the Quiver Crew has realized that with Evelyn on his side, and the attack on Curtis, Prometheus is targeting members of the team. Felicity warns Billy to stay out of it knowing Prometheus is a cop killer, but he ignores her (cause you know, he is an actual cop and everything) and investigates all on his own, finding a picture of a baby in the building where Oliver confronted Prometheus, texting it to Felicity right before he is kidnapped.
Felicity eventually figures out the baby is Claybourne’s illegitimate child, who is just old enough now to have trained for four years to get revenge on the man who killed his father, which explains why he knows certain moves that Oliver recognizes from his own extensive training in Russia, as well as things like Prometheus using a throwing star to literally split an arrow in half during his most recent fight with Oliver, no easy feat mid-fight (but something which looked AMAZING on-screen). Oliver keeps flashing back to his time as the Hood dealing with Claybourne, remembering his justifiable reasons for killing the man, as Claybourne manufactured a TB outbreak and then over-charged the cure for the disease to score huge profits, letting a lot of people suffer for his own gains. And even when Dig from 4 years ago warned him that there might be unintended consequences to killing the man, even if the killing was justified, Oliver did not listen. He ponders all this while he and the team scour the city for Prometheus and Billy, and are even joined by a suited up Thea, who has decided to help for Felicity, and gives Oliver a pep talk about not looking only at the negatives of his legacy, that their parents would still be proud of the good things he is doing, even if he might still be responsible for creating a monster like Prometheus.
Oh, and just for fun, in another flashback we also got a classic Oliver and Felicity moment from back when she was still tech support at Queen Consolidated and Oliver would stop by her desk for her hacking skills, with her giving him an address that he just happened to remember in the present that just happened to be where Prometheus was waiting for him now with Billy. Oliver heads there alone (probably the only dumb decision of the episode) and faces off against Prometheus, finding corpses placed exactly where he mowed down Claybourne’s men 4 years ago (apparently Prometheus had all the crime photos or something). He and Prometheus start their duel on the roof, where the villain asks Oliver if he even hesitated before killing Claybourne. They grapple and eventually swing off the side of the building and down a floor, where Prometheus has prepared a room with confusing mirrors. Oliver makes his way through to Prometheus, who is taunting him by saying Oliver is “…not a hero. You’re a killer, and I’m going to show them that.” Oliver spots his target, and fires three arrows into his chest.
He gets closer and discovers the bow is duct-taped to “Prometheus’s” hands. And a speaker is duct-taped to his chest. And when he pulls of the Prometheus mask, as we now suspect with a pit in our stomach, it is Billy with duct-tape over his mouth, dead by Oliver’s arrows. Devastated, Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave and confesses to the team what he did, especially to Felicity, which I believe shows real growth on his character, as he did not try to hide anything. He tells them to get as far from him as possible as Prometheus is right, he only brings death and destruction to those around him. Felicity, heartbroken, claims this was all Prometheus’ doing, and forgives Oliver, as she should, knowing the position the villain put Oliver in. And Diggle puts his hand on Oliver’s shoulder and tells him they are right where they need to be.
The episode ends with Oliver visiting Susan Williams late night for a drink, confessing that he feels he brings darkness and pain to all those around him, while in montage we see Curtis crying as he is left alone in his apartment, Paul having left him, and then we see Felicity crying alone, mourning Billy. Next we see Diggle arrive at Lyla’s apartment after having received a panicked phone call claiming she needed help with their son, and he is ambushed by dozens of armed men, who point laser guided guns at him. The show seems to be confirming that Oliver might just have a point. Following his visit to Susan, Oliver returns to HQ, and finds a blonde woman inside staring at the costume cases. She turns around, and Oliver is shocked to see a very much alive Laurel Lance standing before him.
End of episode.
- Is there any chance that “Laurel” is really Evelyn Sharp in disguise? Hear me out, we already know the technology exists thanks to the ridiculous ‘Human Target’ episode, and it would make sense. As much as we may want to see Laurel alive and back in the world, something like this seems far more likely than having the show magically bring her back at this point
- Is there any chance that Evelyn is still playing a long con with Prometheus? Cause than I might still have some respect for that character. As of now I simply despise her, which sucks as I really like the Artemis character from ‘Young Justice’
- They kind of danced around the idea of whether Rene is a father in the opening Christmas party for Dig and his son, but I’m sure it is a plot point that will be re-examined later.
- Did Evelyn give up Diggle to the Federal government? Is that how they knew his cell phone number and how to trap him?
- Did Felicity really forgive Oliver that quickly for killing Billy? And on the subject, what did Oliver do with the body? Did he bring it to the SCPD and say “Prometheus killed him?” or did he explain the situation? In which case, shouldn’t he have been arrested? Some things were left weirdly vague, but I feel like he did not take total responsibility with the authorities, but I guess when you’re a superhero it is hard to do that, especially if you are also the mayor.
- Is Susan Williams working with Prometheus? She is either the worst written character in the history of the show (going from super-bitch to totally perfect confidante for Oliver) or is completely conning him to stab him in the back later, which is really what I hope is happening
Pretty solid first half of the season, and a great way to end before the Winter Break. I may not have liked the Felicity/ Billy relationship all that much, but I did not think the guy was going to die, that was pretty surprising. And Laurel being alive is a huge twist (if it is actually her), and I wonder whether that is actually going to stick. A recent interview with Stephen Amell has him stressing how important the Black Canary is to the Green Arrow mythos, but whether that means they would go so far as to bring her back from the dead is anyone’s guess, so I guess we’ll have to wait till the show returns in January to figure out what is going on. See you back here next month!
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 (@starfro67)