Arrow: Sacrifice

Dig: "Army regulations, a soldier never lets a brother go into battle alone."

This was an excellent season-ender that wrapped up all the major plot lines, and delivered on almost all the character growth built up all season. Also...

Holy shit! They did it. They actually destroyed the Glades. We speculated in the comments of last week's episode that it was a possibility, but I'd shrugged the idea off as improbable. Way too bold a move for a freshman show, but that's exactly what they did. Malcolm's insane plan actually went off. It does appear that the damage was contained within the Glades itself, but wow. Color me surprised.

They also killed off Tommy. I was shocked that they killed him off. He even went out like a hero. He saved Laurel, and apologized to Oliver. Talk about changing up a character. I cared about him in the end, I actually got misty when he died. They had set him up all season to be the next big bad, and then they went and did this.

Moira's very public statement about her involvement in the Undertaking was also a bit surprising, although less so than Tommy's death. The writers needed to give the people of the Glades time to get out, which should've been the first clue that the earthquake plot was going to actually happen. I bet Moira's confession will be a big plot point in season 2. Still, she probably saved hundreds if not thousands of people. It was an act that redeemed the character completely in my eyes. So much so, that I finally think I can call her a character I like.

I loved team Arrow coming together as a family. That they wouldn't let Oliver try and save the city alone. Sure, they didn't entirely succeed, but they did save lives by disarming one of the devices. Redundancy, at least he didn't fall into the long line of super villains whose super-complicated evil plan never displays logic. I thought that final fight was pretty good too, although it was clear the man under Malcolm's mask was not John Barrowman.

Roy really came into his own in this one. He kept making good heroic choices. He must've saved dozens of lives, and really earned Thea's love. For me that seems like the right approach to get the Hood's attention. Speaking of Thea, I loved her clocking that thug with a liquor bottle. It was a fun save. The Thea and Roy sub-plot has been a good one, if not necessarily an exciting one. I'm looking forward to where it goes in season 2.

Oliver almost stopped Fyres's missile plot right away, but we had to have some more drama. Thankfully, the whole sequence of events was really well done. In the end I'm not sure how much has been added by the Island flashbacks yet, but they have become consistently entertaining. I did like that eventually Oliver saved the day, and it was fitting that he was the one that killed Fyres. The idea of him choosing Shado over his freedom was a sound one. Of course, it wasn't that hard a choice, he couldn't exactly trust Fyres. I wonder though, if maybe having him become the big hero on the Island was a bit soon.

Bits:

Great opening sequence between Malcolm and Oliver. Sure, John Barrowman was hamming it up, but this was his big finish, he kind of had to cross the line.

Ferris Airlines, the label on the side of the plane that Fyres was gonna shoot down, is the name of the company that Hal Jordan works for. Hal Jordan is the alias of Green Lantern, who is a frequent partner of Green Arrow in the comics. I love the Easter eggs in this show.

Ouch, Oliver breaking out of his chains at the beginning must've hurt, although they way he did it made it seem like he had to escape from a similar situation before.

Felicity and Quentin's first scene was delightful. She really is team Arrow now, and they never even made an issue out of her original statement that she would only stay until Walter was found.

Oliver warned Quentin about the Glades, and Quentin actually trusted him. Talk about an awesome scene. Quentin basically redeemed himself twice in the episode, so much so that I was sure he was going to die.

The episode's theme was hammered in a little too heavily, but eh, that's okay.

Oliver's speech to Laurel was really nice, and oddly truthful without revealing too much. It was the first time I really felt their chemistry.

Tommy's mother's clinic. Wow, that was mentioned in like episode two or something. That's either good continuity, or a very long set up. Of course the device was under it.

Dig was stabbed and Oliver put an arrow through himself to defeat Malcolm.

Malcolm's dead, which means no more John Barrowman. We'll miss you, Captain Jack.

I loved that Malcolm's arrow catch backfired, fool me once.

Quotes:

Felicity: "You see a timer?"
Quentin: "Seven minutes."
Felicity: "Okay, well, the good news is it's gonna be a paper weight in three."

Fyres: "Are you prepared to sacrifice your freedom, for her?"
Oliver: (Shoots Fyres in the throat with an arrow) "Guess so."

Felicity: "No, I'm not any kind of criminal."
Quentin: "What do you call computer hacking?"
Felicity: "A hobby... that I do not engage in."

4 out of 4 Earthquake devices that Felicity couldn't turn into paper weights.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow, The Originals and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.

9 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I was surprised at where they went, too. Characters died that I didn't think would die. I honestly didn't think they'd go through with the Glades thing, and I didn't expect Moira to do what she did. Oliver reached hero status in the Island flashbacks already, sooner than I expected -- but hey, it's the season finale.

And I was glad that Dig, Felicity and Quentin all made it. I was sure we were going to lose one of them, and I so didn't want to lose any of them. I've started to truly like Stephen Amell's Oliver, too. He's grown into the part, hasn't he?

The only complaint I have about this season was we didn't get enough of Roy Harper. I got very fond of Colton Haynes during the second season of Teen Wolf and I'm looking forward to what they do with him next season.

Austin said...

Loved the episode. It sure did pack an emotional punch. I loved the part where Papa Merlyn just exploded in anger and said they all deserved to die. Tommy's reaction was so startled at the sudden explosion that I can't help but think it was a genuine reaction. John Barrowman really shocked me with the vehemence in his voice. What a great actor!

TJ said...

Loved this whole season. It has been a wonderful journey. I was also surprised that Tommy died, was so sure he was going to avenge his father's death next season. And I was sure Dig or Quentin wouldn't make it. I'm glad they did!

I'm with Billie about Roy Harper. Can't wait to see what they are going to do with him next season when his bumped up to series regular.

Freeman said...

Great episode. They really turned all my theories on their heads. Good job writers!

Sure Ollie gave Fyres a sweet throat surgery but I dunno if that necessarily means he became "the hero" yet. I think it was more of a "baptised in blood" situation and came out a new man, ready to become the guy we saw at the beginning of the show. We also gotta remember he wasn't exactly heroic at the start of the show either.

PhantomZodak said...

you guys do realize that roy is going to turn into speedy right? he is always wearing a red hoodie.

Billie Doux said...

Yes, we're aware. It's been mentioned in earlier reviews.

ChrisB said...

What a great season finale. I did not see the destruction of the Glades nor did I see Tommy's death. Both were beautifully handled and left me very excited for next season.

Great season of reviews, J.D. I have learned a lot about the comics from reading them and they are one of the reasons I stuck with the show at the beginning. Thanks.

Marianna said...

Amazing episode! I wanted to point out that even though the more obvious hints are that Roy will become Arrow's sidekick, there was one more subtle indication that Thea could also become a sidekick: "I have wicked aim." =)

Lamounier said...

Bastards! They killed Tommy! I so did not see that coming.

Ok, so, the sacrifice theme was actually annoying. Fifteen minutes into the episode I was tired of how many times the word itself had already been said. Come on, guys, subtlety.

Having that said, they did everything else pretty well. The red herring of detective Lance’s last phone call to Laurel, the big red herring that built through the last few episodes that had us believing Tommy would become the Dark Archer after his. Major kudos to the writers.Looking back, Tommy’s arc is very, very sad and possibly the high point of the season. It’s funny, because when I first watched the pilot I wasn’t pleased by the possibility of a Tommy/Laurel/Oliver love triangle, but the writers pulled it off to great effects.

It was very good that they went ahead with the Undertaking. It made for some very powerful moments, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it impacts season two.

Oliver escaping his imprisonment was another good moment. It gave some meaning to all those shirtless scenes of Stephen Amell working out: “see, guys, now he’s able to shirtlessly work out his way to freedom, it was not about sexualizing the actor, it was all leading up to here”. That might be sarcasm, but I’m not complaining.

Another good moment: Moira’s confession. I think I can finally decide that I like her.

For the season as a whole, it was not must watch TV, but it was solid entertainment and it got better and better. Amell also improved a lot, and delivered his best work on his final scene with Tommy (so much so that I wished the show had fade to black with a silent shot of the two of them, instead of going outside to show the destruction of the Glades with a hero score playing). His Oliver grew a lot on me and has become one of my favorites.

Now I’m waiting for season two to become available on Netflix.