This week we see the second part of the mid season finale, and boy howdy was it all sorts of amazing. From the reveal of a new villain to the birth of a new hero, so much happened. So without further ado, lets dive in.
Since I see no point in breaking from tradition, lets start with the flashbacks. Our time on the island was very minimal this week and that was definitely a strong point for the episode. With so much happening in the main plot it was a wise move on the writers part to keep these short, but that’s not to say they weren’t well done. While short these scenes were very intense and actually did a good job of tying into the main plot for the episode. The most important parts here of course are the death of Shado and the Slade getting powered up. Here that people, we finally have our Deathstroke! Can you see the glee in my writing, there is glee there, it is gleeful. Shado’s death was an interesting choice, while not surprising in the slightest, it seems that this moment is major driving force behind everything that is happening to Oliver in Starling City. Granted that is just speculation on my part at the moment, but Slade’s anger over Shado’s death, comment of destroying the person who did it, and his villainous monologue to Blood at the end, it is a safe assumption that Shado’s death is the driving force behind Slade.
Back to the present, we pick up with a Barry and his attempt to save Oliver from whatever he was injected with in the last episode. I would say this was one of my favorite scenes of the episode. While you know that Oliver wasn’t going to die here, this was a tense scene to watch. Watching Barry start out in a panic before quickly falling into his element and dashing around Oliver, quickly ruling out the various possibilities before saving him, with rat poison. That was odd. Really everything about this scene was amazingly well done. The look of hurt and betrayal on Oliver’s face when he found out that Felicity and Diggle toward Barry was amazing to see, the two people he had trusted with his biggest secret had let it out. Surprisingly, this didn’t lead to as much drama was I expected, keeping it all in this one scene. Felicity and Diggle effectively defended their actions, and Barry standing up to Oliver to defend them, gave me chills. I commented last week how much I enjoyed Grant Gustin in his role, and this week only increased that. I look forward to his return later this season, and his hopeful spin-off.
The big part of this episode of course being Oliver’s hallucinations of Shado, Slade, and Tommy. For the most part these didn’t really stand out as overly great. Shado urging him to give up the fight and peace really just acted as foreshadowing to her death of course showing how tired he is of his personal crusade and desire to find peace. Slade of course acting as his own doubt and self loathing. While interesting to watch, these two weren’t all that impressive. His fight with Ghost Slade, or Glade as I started to refer to him as, was a well done fight scene but wasn’t anything fantastic. This all changed with the appearance of Tommy. His appearing at the end, giving Oliver the motivational speech, again while not overly original, was honestly amazing to watch if only because it has Oliver finally forgiving himself and letting go of the guilt over Tommy’s passing. This is what allowed him to fully embrace his role as a hero, and take out the super powered Cyrus Gold. (more on him in a moment)
This led to another pretty amazing fight scene, really showing that Arrow is strong in that regard, and was a solid hero moment for Oliver.
Because of these hallucinations we got to see Lance step up into a more prominent role this episode. Oliver passed off the reins to Lance here, not trusting himself to be able to stop Cyrus do to his current problem with ghosts. While his effort to stop Cyrus was futile in the end, it was good to see Lance in a more active role in this episode and rallying the police force to actually try and stop the bad guy, instead of them just being in the background and acting as another antagonist for Oliver. On the subject of Lance, we also saw the return of Laurel, who like in the past didn’t really do much. We didn’t see any more of her recently shown drug/drinking problem, instead she ends up playing a bit role in the Thea/Roy subplot. Like stated before, the writers need to do something with her, or just drop her. Hell, let’s replace her with Sarah, I like Sarah.
On the topic of Roy and Thea’s subplot to help Cindy find her friend. We didn’t see much of a resolution to that either just sort of petered out to nothing, really the most interesting part was Oliver confronted with the injured Roy, who obviously felt uncomfortable with what he had done despite feeling justified with the whole putting an arrow through his leg. Talk about tormenting the little sister’s boyfriend, shudder to think what he’ll do if Roy ever wants to ask Thea to marry him. Really, this whole subplot seems to act as set up for one thing, Roy getting the super drug. This was a very interesting direction to go, and I for one look forward to seeing this play out.
Jumping back a bit, Cyrus Gold aka Solomon Grundy. While he do now have the introduction of super powers into the Arrow universe, the prospect of a giant, hulking zombie is an interesting thing to throw into the mix. Granted, it would be pretty easy for them to spin the character in a new way and not make him one of the undead, so all we can do now is wait and see how they build off this. I will say that I am excited at the potential of Grundy being a villain for the show, and could make a fantastic villain at that.
Not much else to say, so gonna close out with this. We saw some interesting bits between Felicity and Barry. There is an obvious mutual attraction between the two, but nothing came of it, mostly because of Barry just being a guest character, but there was a lot of implied Oliver/Felicity here, and it was nice to see Barry just sit back and accept it. Again, this is a point where they could have amp’d up the relationship drama, but chose not too. Instead, the characters are actually acting like the mature adults they’re supposed to be. Shocker I know, but hey, its working for the show, they should keep that up. They are really pushing the prospect of a romance between Oliver and Felicity, and while I have stated in the past I am all for this, I hope that they will do something about this soon and not just keep dropping hints.
To wrap this up, the closing scene was amazing to watch. Slade’s voice over of destroying Oliver’s life while cutting to flashes of his friends and family was amazing set up. The villain’s plot has just become much more personal, and I am sensing that will to great things to watch as Oliver fights not to protect the city, but the people he loves. Barry getting his power up was a visually amazing scene to watch, it was brief and lacking in dialogue, focusing mostly on the visuals and sound to really sell this scene, and sold it they did. I look forward to seeing his return as the Flash, which I believe will happen in episode 20 of this season, but don’t quote me on that. And of course, the Arrow has his mask, another step forward on the path to becoming Green Arrow.
Overall, fantastic way to close out the first half of the season, while we didn’t have any wrap ups to established plot, we got so much more. Slade/Deathstroke as the villain pulling the strings, Brother Blood being a pawn, the evil plot to destroy Oliver, and the building of army for some unknown, and most likely nefarious purpose. This episode was perfectly did what it was suppose to do, wet our appetites and make us eagerly await the next half of the season.
Until next time, Goon out.