Arrow

Arrow 2×22 – Streets Of Fire

"You honor the dead by fighting... and you are not done fighting!"

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Last week’s episode was a full-on transitional hour. It got the job done, but it wasn’t particularly special. Streets of Fire, the penultimate episode of the season, is yet another set-up episode, yet it’s definitely much more engrossing thanks to some fantastic table-setting and a particularly epic scope.

Much like Nikita consistently impressed me on a weekly basis, it boggles my mind that a CW show can look this good. The apocalyptic production design in this week’s outing definitely managed to live up to the episode’s name. The flaming cars, the mass destruction – it was all beautifully and impeccably realized. And while this week’s action only served to shuffle the chess pieces around for next week’s hopefully-spectacular finale, it did so in absolutely incredible fashion.

The battles lines for the finale have been perfectly drawn: Slade, Isabel, and the Mirakuru army are ready to take down everything and everyone in their path, while Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. are prepared to level the entire city (that is if Ollie doesn’t contain the threat before dawn). I love that the impending doom with Waller’s threat is what gets Ollie to overcome his hesitation and inject Roy with the cure (after much hesitation). And with Laurel finally serving a purpose, it certainly looks like each of our characters will get their chance to shine in the finale.

Although I enjoyed Laurel’s inspirational speech to Oliver last week, it paled in comparison to Felicity’s stunner of a monologue in the clock-tower. Everybody knows I’m a sucker for great continuity, so hearing the brainy blonde recount all the villains that Ollie dealt with over the past two seasons before urging him to continue his fight was just goosebump-worthy. In fact, this was a marvelous hour for Miss Felicity Smoak – punctuated by her most badass moment yet on the show: running over Isobel and saving Diggle just in the nick of time. Absolutely awesome.

As for Thea, her plight in the train station felt a bit detached from the proceedings, but it was still mightily intriguing. The return of Malcolm Merlyn, our beloved Dark Archer, was undoubtedly thrilling (if only the CW hadn’t been promoting this spoiler-y development for weeks). Although I’m not a fan of whiny Thea, I’m excited to see how the dynamic with her estranged father unfolds. I can’t stress how much I’d like Thea to go down a dark path as a potential supervillain down the line, and forging a bond with Malcolm could definitely nudge her down that road.

Bits & Arrows

– Lance using grenades to take down the supersoldier was very cool.

– Series highlight: Oliver walking Laurel through using his bow and shooting the explosive arrow.

– Again, the flashbacks felt like filler material this week. The finale should be great through now that Slade has Sara and Ollie on the freighter.

– Loved Laurel telling the Canary that she knows she’s Sara, as well as their heart-to-heart as they discussed the Canary name and Sara being “irredeemable”.

– Was I supposed to be sad for the DA’s neck getting snapped? She wasn’t much of a character to begin with.

– Epic moment with the super-soldiers flipping over Team Arrow’s car. Woah, blockbuster much?

 – Can I just say that I was beyond ecstatic when Isobel showed up for the rest of the episode without that horrid, mousy mask?

– Did anyone else laugh when Isabel asked Slade who Shado was?

– Am I totally stupid for never noticing the fact that Sara dons a wig with her Canary costume?

– Fascinating touch with Blood’s mask being a reference to his diabolical father.

– The one thing that really annoyed about this episode: the ease in in which Blood swiped the cure briefcase from Slade; it felt way too contrived. Thankfully, his death at the hands of Isobel who casually dialed Slade before shoving both her blades into Blood’s heart was outstanding.

– Malcolm’s final speech to Thea was kind of touching. Naturally, little Queen decided to shoot him in a not-so-exciting cliffhanger.

Starling Quips

Felicity: (after running over Isabel) Oh. I really thought the air bags were gonna go off.

Felicity: Dig? What do you think, hit her again?

Felicity: Isabel attacked Digg so I hit her with the van.

Conclusion
A wonderfully realized penultimate hour. Here’s hoping Arrow‘s sophomore season finale lives up to my monumental expectations.

Nad Rating
A-

6 comments

  1. Throwing in some monkey wrench: 🙂

    -Lance using grenades to take down the supersoldier was very cool.
    There’s at least one thinking cop. (ironic? Hehehe)

    – Was I supposed to be sad for the DA's neck getting snapped? She wasn't much of a character to begin with.
    I agree with you in this.

    – Can I just say that I was beyond ecstatic when Isobel showed up for the rest of the episode without that horrid, mousy mask?
    I think if the mask is on, there really is no Summer Glau on the set. 🙂

    – Did anyone else laugh when Isabel asked Slade who Shado was?
    I thought it was pretty weird, too. You are with Slade for a number of years and you don’t know what makes him tick? Tsk! Tsk!

    – Am I totally stupid for never noticing the fact that Sara dons a wig with her Canary costume?
    No, you are not. I was also like :-O

    – Fascinating touch with Blood's mask being a reference to his diabolical father.
    I’m (almost) sorry about Blood. He really loved Starling City. Problem is, he wanted it perfect on a silver platter.

    – The one thing that really annoyed about this episode: the ease in in which Blood swiped the cure briefcase from Slade; it felt way too contrived. Thankfully, his death at the hands of Isobel who casually dialed Slade before shoving both her blades into Blood's heart was outstanding.
    I was thinking at the beginning that Slade really handed over a “fake” briefcase, and that Blood was in on it to trap our Team Arrow. Again, I almost felt sorry for Blood’s passing. He’s a nice, but evil character. Won’t be surprised if he resurrects. 🙂

    – Malcolm's final speech to Thea was kind of touching. Naturally, little Queen decided to shoot him in a not-so-exciting cliffhanger.
    He’s alive! Definitely alive! He always have that vest. I WANT HIM ALIVE! You hear? Hahaha.

  2. I made it just in time for the season finale! This has been one damn exciting TV week for me; Arrow has become my latest new obsession. It's official: I'm seriously addicted to these characters.

    Felicity: Dig? What do you think, hit her again?
    That was so hilarious! Man, I love Felicity!

    I wonder how much of a budget the show has because almost every episode feels like a blockbuster movie. Can't wait for the season finale. It's been such a pleasure reading your reviews after every single episode 🙂

  3. Wohooo you made it. And just in time for the finale 😀 How awesome. You really read every review? I'm so glad to hear that!

    Arrow really is tied with The Good Wife as my favorite thing on TV at the moment. It's just brilliant and I so hope tonight's finale isn't a letdown with such enormous expectations!

    I'm curious. Do you like Laurel? I seem to be one of the few. The entire online community DETESTS her.

  4. I realized that ALL THE FANS hate her, even my friends who watch this show don't really like her!

    I can't say that I don't like her. I want her and Oliver to be together in the end (which seems like the endgame couple, I guess?) but I hated what the writers did to her this season. They gave her useless and annoying storylines so I can't blame fans for hating on her. Luckily, Katie Cassidy is lovable so I disagree with everyone else and still like her. Her scene with Ollie a few episodes back (right after she found out Sara is alive) when they both screamed at each other in the hallway outside her apartment gave me hope that they have great chemistry together. It's truly one of my favorite Arrow scenes so far, I can't really explain why.

    Glad she's been of good use in the past two episodes. Her finding out about Oliver and Sara was the best thing the writers could've done to redeem this character. Can't wait for the season finale!

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