This week’s episode may have been the best of the season so far as things really heat up in Star City with the season is nearing its end. The team prematurely celebrates the win having caught Adrian Chase in the previous episode. Though it was predictable, the dynamic that this set up worked really well as our primary villain is behind bars while members of Team Arrow are picked off one by one. The episode also featured some pretty strong performances and great guest star appearances before absolutely knocking the end of the episode out of the park.
Stephen Amell was fantastic in this episode, and he had to be as it focused heavily on him and his mindset as everything comes unraveled around him both in the present and the past. The flashbacks were especially interesting as Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) injects Oliver with an interrogation drug that causes the brain to perceive immense amounts of pain. The flashbacks dovetail nicely with the rest of the episode as the lesson Kovar is trying to teach Oliver is the same one that Chase has spent all season trying to prove – that those close to Oliver will always pay for his actions.
In present day, Oliver feels similarly helpless as his friends and family are abducted by Talia al Ghul’s splinter faction of the League of Assassins along with Artemis and Black Siren. That’s right, Katie Cassidy returns to the show having been released by Chase in return for her help. She actually shares a pretty great scene with Quentin Lance and you can see they both hurt in their own way. Obviously, it’s difficult on Quentin to see a woman who is the exact likeness of his own daughter, but for Laurel, it seems like she maybe didn’t have a loving father on her Earth. It may be presumptive, but it feels as though Earth-2 Laurel may very likely flip sides and could end up helping Team Arrow in the finale. It would certainly go a long way to help establish Cassidy’s return to Arrow as a series regular next season.
As the episode progresses and Oliver finds himself alone with everyone having been taken out of the picture, an unexpected ally appears in the form of Malcolm Merlyn. Naturally, being Thea’s biological father he’s more than willing to let bygones be bygones to do whatever they need to do in order to save her. Even still though, Oliver initially refuses to cave to Chase’s demand of breaking him out of ARGUS before he is transferred.
Now, we’ve been waiting for a few episodes and finally, Chase dropped the bombshell that they have William. Amell is great as Oliver finally breaks and decides to try to free him before it’s too late. It’s the only real action scene in the episode as Merlyn shows up to lend a hand as the two of them disable what seemed like several squads of ARGUS agents. In the end, Oliver has to let Chase go if he wants any chance at rescuing his son and the rest of his loved ones.
That brings us to the end of the episode which perfectly sets the table for next week’s season finale. Chase is free and he has quite a team behind him with Artemis, Black Siren and Talia and her legion of assassins. While Oliver and Merlyn are formidable in their own right, it’s clear that they are still short a few hands. First, he enlists the help of Nyssa al Ghul much to Merlyn’s dismay, and then the big reveal. Oliver goes back to ARGUS to get Slade Wilson out of his cell. That’s right, Manu Bennett is back as Deathstroke! With Slade rounding out the group, the battle lines have been drawn and next week’s finale should be outstanding.
Lastly, here are a couple of other quick notes.
- It would seem that Rene didn’t purposefully miss the custody hearing for his daughter, he had already been taken by Talia’s assassins.
- Lyla and ARGUS could become a serious problem for Oliver once the Chase situation is resolved. After all, he did help Chase escape before coming back to break Slade out as well.
On the whole, this was Arrow at it’s best. The narrative was engaging, there were good character moments and some really nice performance plus some great reveals and twists. Next week’s episode should be equally as awesome considering that one episode alone will feature a handful of Oliver’s most dangerous enemies. Hopefully, next week’s finale is able to live up to the expectations this episode set for it.
GEEK Grade: A+
Check out the promo for next week’s season finale right here!
The season finale of Arrow will air on The CW next Wednesday at 8:00pm.
Images: The CW
Written by Speed Weed & Oscar Balderrama
Directed by Mairzee Almas