A+ Episode Arrow

Arrow 1×21 – The Undertaking

"Feels really good having you inside me. And by you I mean your voice, and by me I mean my ear. "

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Damn! Arrow just got epic!

No more complaints. This was a riveting hour of one of my favorite new dramas of the year. Arrow‘s experienced some growing pains this year, but the show is pretty much firing on all cylinders now and I absolutely adore it.

The superhero drama needed to answer a bunch of question leading into the finale, and this episode did not disappoint in that regard. Thanks to a number of intriguing flashbacks revolving around The Undertaking, we discovered that Malcolm’s plan for The Glades consists of a revolutionary new weapon (the Markov device) that would level the area under the guise of a natural disaster. Malcolm’s speech about not answering his “annoying” wife’s calls before she died was suitably disturbing, and John Barrowman sold it beautifully. Merlyn’s backstory supplies The Undertaking’s plot with a motivation that feels both relatable and realistic (in line with the show’s comic book tone of course). It’s exactly what we needed to up the stakes and get us thoroughly invested before the finale.

Can I just say that I freakin’ adore Moira Queen? What a complicated and compelling character. She’s been a bit of cipher this year, but this episode pretty much proved that she always wanted what was best for her family. Her husband Robert wanted to atone for his sins but was effectively screwed over by Frank who planted the bomb (in cahoots with Merlyn). This betrayal positions Moira’s recent deceit of Frank in a new light, and proves how deserving he was of his tragic fate. And Susanna Thompson? Well she’s just astounding.

Stephen Amell was also terrific this week. He hasn’t always had much to do acting-wise, but Amell really displayed his fantastic range this week as he saved Walter in a poignant moment, finally discovered Moira’s sinister dealings with Malcolm, and then managed to retain his composure while facing them both. Oliver’s been through quite a journey this year, and you could see it on Amell’s face at the end as he almost broke down while admitting his feelings to Laurel. Speaking of these two, I continue to love their epic love-story. I know many people don’t feel invested in their relationship, but I’m rooting for them to get together. The flashbacks this week did a tremendous job of showcasing how much Ollie has changed (he was really unlikeable before the island) and how deserving he is of her love today.

Bits & Arrows

– I’m growing to love Felicity more and more with every passing week. She tried her best to bring Diggle and Ollie back together, AND she volunteered for the casino mission. Plus that red dress? Gorgeous.

– I was surprised Tommy flat out told Laurel that she “belongs” with Oliver.

– Loved Ollie storming the casino and kicking serious ass the moment Felicity got made.

– Beautiful flashback (set to Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love”) with a young Ollie and Laurel discussing moving in together.

– I hate to say it, but the episode was stronger thanks to the omission of Paul Blackthorne (Detective Lance).

– Badass sequence: Arrow parachuting in and that incredible hallway fight scene with a dozen thugs.

– Brilliant flashback right before the Queen’s Gambit voyage. Ollie is really despicable telling Sarah to circle the block as Laurel drops by. Awesome touch with Laurel giving him the picture he holds dear on the island.

– I didn’t even realize that were no flashbacks from the island this week until the episode ended. Wow.

– Again, I adored Ollie finally admitting his feelings to Laurel who was still wondering how to get Tommy back. Katie and Stephen rocked that scene on every level.

– Excellent ending with Ollie finally going back to Diggle and discussing Moira as we cut to the bomb bus entering Starling City. I could not be more pumped for the remaining episodes.

Starling Quips

Felicity: Feels really good having you inside me. And by you I mean your voice, and by me I mean my ear. I’m gonna stop talking right now.
Oliver: That would be my preference.

Laurel: Will you please go talk to Tommy for me?
Oliver: And say what?
Laurel: Say that you and I are over, that you’re not still in love with me.
Oliver: I can’t do that.
Laurel: Why not?
Oliver: Because it wouldn’t be true. And I have enough lies in my life already.

Must Download Tunes
Bleeding Love By Leona Lewis
Your Heart Keeps Burning by Adam Agin

Conclusion
Gripping and tremendously moving, The Undertaking is a perfect hour and my favorite episode of Arrow thus far.

Nad Rating
A+

3 comments

  1. This has easily become my favorite show, and this episode is proof why it's so good. The performances are incredible, the story keeps getting more complex and intriguing and the dynamics between these characters are so addicting.

    I absolutely ADORE Felicity! I hope she stays on the show forever (I've been avoiding any Arrow spoilers so I know absolutely NOTHING about season 2) and I am definitely rooting for Olivier & Laurel to get together by season's end. I am seriously so pumped up about this show (I can't believe you didn't recommend this to me sooner, shame on you!), I can't wait to watch the remaining 2 episodes of the season before catching up on Season 2!!

    Always so entertaining to read your reviews, Nad!

  2. Hahah love your excitement. You have no idea how great season two is. It takes all the positives and makes them even better! Hurry up and try to catch up! Next weak is the season finale. I think you'll catch up in time! And please avoid spoilers online. Lots of awesome twists in season two that have been spoiled online. BE SUPER CAREFUL!

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