Dark Arrow killing everyone at Unidac Industries was pretty horrible. Papa Merlyn is just a total over the top, mustache twirling super-villain. He's been built up as the big bad all season, and I really have no idea if he's going to survive the next episode, but I love the commitment to creating a season long villain. That's the kind of planning that my favorite shows use frequently, and this show is quickly becoming one of them.
So a manmade earth quake, huh. Why do I have the feeling that'll cause more damage than Malcolm is intending? I'm kind of torn. On one hand I don't want the villain to kill thousands of people. On the other, wouldn't it be bold if they went there? At least the reveal of Malcolm's true identity to Oliver was kind of amazing. The arrow catch was totally impossible, but also absolutely awesome. That fight was also really well done, and wow, Malcolm knows the truth about Oliver. Again, I wonder if Malcolm is not long for the world... I hope not, because I don't want to say goodbye to John Barrowman so soon.
On the hero front, we had several big developments. Team Arrow set up Moira and used Dig as a stand-in for Arrow to interrogate her. It put Moira and Oliver's relationship on thin ice, and gave him a solid reason to be angry at her publicly. Which is good, because I doubt he would've been able to hold that in for very long. I also thought the lighting in that scene was very well done, using a single greenish hued bulb made Dig's Arrow very imposing. The use of green is very prevalent on the show, but it is kind of subtle. I never feel overwhelmed by the color, unlike in Smallville where the red and blue was omnipresent.
I did feel like they shoved Tommy into the episode a little, although he had a couple of significant moments. In yet another reference to The Dark Knight, Tommy said "Why so serious?" to Oliver when he came in. A subtle nod to the Joker, who is Batman's greatest villain. Was that another hint that Tommy is going in that direction? I know I ask this question every week, but they keep dropping hints. I'm not sure if I want him to go that way, or buck the obvious and choose a different path. I like Tommy now, so I really don't want to see him break bad. Still, that moment where he saw Oliver and Laurel together had 'tipping point' written all over it. Is that the singular moment that pushes him into darkness?
Speaking of Laurel and Oliver, I'm really surprised the writers went there already. I honestly didn't expect them to hook up this season. Of course it makes total sense, Oliver thinks he's done with his alter-ego after The Undertaking. Of course that would be the end of the series, so I bet something is going to change his mind. Maybe it'll be Roy, who has developed a bit of an obsession with Arrow. It wasn't just inspiration that rubbed off on him when Arrow rescued him from the Saint, it was a desire to emulate him.
Of course Roy Harper is Green Arrow's sidekick in the comics. It feels a bit early for that kind of character dynamic, but at the same time it could be a way of humanizing Oliver next season. Either way, Roy's behavior is not exactly healthy. He stole a car to track the cop's investigation on Arrow, then asked Thea to use her job influence to get information on the Dark Archer. Finally, his single minded obsession forced Thea to a point where she couldn't take it, and she broke up with him. It's an interesting route the writers are taking with the character, and I think I like what they're doing with him.
So after two weeks without much Island stuff, we got a lot in this one, yay! So Fyres's plan is to destabilize the Chinese government by bringing down commercial airlines until no one will fly into the country anymore, thus crippling its economy. Sounds League of Shadows-esqe to me. The whole episode was leading up the final moment where Fyres used Yao Fei as a scapegoat (posing as an active member of the Chinese military) so that planes going down would look like an internal rebellion instead of an external terrorist, then he promptly shot him in the head. Damn, that was shocking, I mean I really didn't expect it at all. I should've seen it coming when Fyres shot Slade and Shado, though.
Why did Fyres only hit Oliver? Was it because he doesn't perceive him as a threat? That's probably how Yao Fei managed to put a knife in Oliver's hand, which I bet will come into play in the next episode. Lastly, who was the woman in the red heels? My DC comics knowledge is stretched to the limit on this one. There are literally dozens of DC Comic-inspired female villains to choose from, if I had to make a guess... maybe Talia Al Ghul? Probably not, although wouldn't that be fun?
Windows 8 product placement again. This time it was very obvious.
Okay, I'll admit it finally, Moira is an interesting character.
Walter filed for divorce, which was totally expected, but very cool.
Felicity: "The last time the vigilante paid your mom a visit, you got shot, and I got to play doctor with you. Ah, brain thinks of the worst way to say things."
Oliver: "Mr. Andrews get his lunch?"
Felicity: "One Belly Buster with benzodiazepine, hold the mayo."
Oliver: "Don't look down."
Felicity: "Too late. I should mention I'm afraid of heights. Which I just learned."
Oliver: "Felicity, hold onto me tight."
Felicity: "I imagined you saying that under different circumstances... very platonic circumstances."
Felicity: "Yes!" (raises fist into the air) "Wow, I really do do that."
Dig: "Lets go, Barbie. Your new last name ain't gonna be Merlyn."
Felicity: "But I love him! He's my man!"
Yet another really solid episode, which progressed numerous plots successfully, set up events for the final episode, and still managed to be coherent and fun. That's a good episode in my book.
3 1/2 out of 4 Belly Buster burgers laced with benzodiazepine.