I had enormous expectations heading into this week’s climactic hour, and almost all of them were met.
It’s not like we were going to get an elaborate sprawling clash on the streets of Starling City (in the vein of The Dark Knight Rises) but Arrow‘s attempt was still pretty ambitious and season finale-esque. I absolutely loved watching Canary and Arsenal lead the fight against Brick’s minions with Wildcat and Sin in town. However, if I had any complaints, (aside from the fact that the skirmish was far too short), it’s that Ollie’s arrival wasn’t nearly as climactic as it could have been. Picture Team Arrow really getting a beating and struggling to stay alive, only for Arrow’s arrow (see what I just did there) to fly in and save the day. That would have been a true goosebump-worthy entrance. I think the show kind of dropped the ball with the potential of that momentous moment.
But, the writers obviously had other plans with regards to Ollie’s return. His much hyped return was in fact quite low-profile, as he stopped Malcolm from killing Brick (who apparently was the thug behind Rebecca’s murder). Sadly, I’m on the fence concerning the super-villain’s storyline this week. On one hand, it was a refreshing change of pace to flash back to Malcolm’s journey to badassery (as opposed to the inconsistent Hong Kong flashbacks), but I’m not exactly sure what to make of the character. Am I supposed to be rooting for his redemption? Is that even possible after everything he’s done? Have we forgotten his super villain status in season one, and the fact that he had Thea KILL Sara not too long ago? I just can’t shake the feeling that something about this whole arc feels messy (although it’s remarkably riveting). Still, it was a treat to see little Tommy and Ollie, punctuated by little Nyssa’s appearance in the final moments. And hey, we finally know where Malcolm’s name – The Magician – originated from.
Laurel and Arsenal continued to kick ass this week. First they cleared the diner in the teaser (before strutting out and boarding that bike), and then they took out Brick’s thugs one-by-one from the shadows in a manner that would make Batman himself proud. But the duo’s real highlight? Gathering their army at the end and uttering Arrow’s prophetic “you have failed this city” line. Too.freaking.perfect. Brilliantly done show.
Finally, although I’m still not a fan of Olicity, Uprising‘s end scene was wonderfully effective with Felicity telling Ollie off. Yes the character has gotten far too whiny for my taste (and I’ll never buy this supposed romance), but her entire “I don’t want to be a woman you love” speech was extremely impactful. Maybe now Ollie can focus on training with Malcolm and the show can bring the Ra’s Al Ghul mythology to the forefront. The show needs to top last year after a horrid first half, and I’m supremely confident with how the rest of the season is shaping up. There are so many players, and so much potential for exceptional storytelling. Here’s hoping
Bits & Arrows
– Another week, another expertly-choreographed fight scene between Thea and Malcolm. Now if only the writers would give little Queen something more to do; she’s starting to feel ridiculously redundant.
– Quentin recognizing Roy as Arsenal was the most awesome moment ever. If only he was as perceptive with Laurel! Sadly, Sin’s line at the end almost certainly tipped him off. Heartbreak is coming people.
– I like Tatsu a lot. She better move to Starling soon and kick ass with Team Arrow.
– Apparently, J.R. Ramirez (who plays Ted Grant) has been cast in a another show – hence his recent disappearance. Still, it was good to see him again and his Wildcat alter-ego. Too bad he almost died.
– So if the Dark Archer didn’t do the saving, Canary and Arenal would have lost against a SHOTGUN? Seriously?
– The quiet moment between Team Arrow in the van before the big battle was everything (see below). Shades of Buffy’s Scooby Gang anyone?
– Loved Ollie’s speech to the crowd before zip-lining above them. And he was even on television? Very series-finale-ish.
– Oliver telling Thea that he was in jail was a nice nod to his careless playboy persona of season one. And boy is Thea dense. Who takes naps in the middle of total anarchy?
– Felicity hugging Ollie at the end was pretty touching.
Thug: You that Red Streak I been hearing about on TV?
Arsenal: Wrong city.
Quentin: It doesn’t mean I can’t help out the hood squad off the books.
Felicity: We call ourselves Team Arrow. Well, actually, that’s just me.
Felicity: Ok. I’ll send Arsenal over once the next brushfire’s put out.
Quentin: Arsenal? What, are you just pulling names out of a hat now?
Lance: Harper! I’ve seen you wearing a red hoodie, I’ve seen you firing arrows at people, you think I don’t recognize you with a bit more leather and lace?
Laurel: (to Felicity) I did not understand one word that you just said, but Oliver was certainly lucky to have you.
Roy: (to Thea) You stole my idea. I was gonna lean here and wish my problems away.
Diggle: Once we let the ends justify the means, that’s just the first step.
Malcolm: Towards what?
Diggle: Becoming you.
Felicity: Feels like recess and we’re about to fight the school bully.
Laurel: Looks quiet.
Roy: For now. You ready? It’s okay to say you’re scared.
Laurel: Okay. I’m scared. Is what we’re doing crazy?
Roy: I’ve learned it’s better to ask that question when I’m not wearing a mask.
Brick: My two favorite trick-or-treaters. Didn’t anybody tell you Halloween was 3 months ago?
Laurel: Daniel Brickwell…
Roy: You have failed this city!
Malcolm: Thea will never forgive me.
Oliver: Start giving her reasons to.
While Uprising wasn’t as epic as I was hoping it would be (no surprise there), this was still an excellent conclusion to the three-part Arrow-less trilogy. Superb!