Lots happened... lalalala... spoiler space.
And the other shoe dropped. Slade isn't just out for revenge, he wants to destroy everything Oliver loves, including the entire city. Which we now know has a population just over half a million. Kinda makes Malcolm's "I want to save the Glades by destroying it!" feel a little tame. One thing is clear though, there isn't a machine to shut down. This time we have an unstoppable army to fight, and oh yeah Amanda Waller is sending the bombs down as well to level the city.
It's good that the show established Waller's ability to go overkill. She's bloodthirsty when other methods would work just as well. So much so, that I'm surprised the pseudo-government organization A.R.G.U.S. puts up with her shenanigans. With criminals like Deadshot I can almost see her ends justifying the means. Leveling the city though? That seems like a step too far.
That scene where Oliver called Waller was actually kind of awesome. Oliver was utterly conflicted, and completely unable to use Roy as a guinea pig for the Mirikuru cure. Even though I'm pretty sure a clear headed Roy would've volunteered. Then in a minute, when the stakes were raised, he didn't hesitate. Team Arrow is basically damned either way, but at least fighting against Slade has a chance of success if the cure works. Which made his choice to inject Roy an easy one.
Laurel has had a rather remarkable reversal of character these last few episodes. In a lot of ways she has become a better character than she's ever been before. She didn't hesitate to support Sara, she rescued Oliver with a well placed arrow, and even made the selfless choice of setting the heroes off to fight the good fight so they wouldn't have to worry about her. I never thought I would say it, but I'm actually liking her now. Figure that.
The rest of the episode focused on Sebastian Blood's almost Vader-like revelation that he placed his trust and loyalty in the wrong team. I'm not entirely sure how evil he was, he did some very questionable and murderous stuff. But he died like a hero, and even thought his actions were for the good of the city. See, the best villains always think they are doing the right thing. As it turned out, his evil scheme really was an attempt to make the city a better place. He actually cared about the innocents, so he turned out to have a breaking point that Slade crossed by a mile.
The Thea plot was the only aspect of this episode that didn't entirely work for me, and it had nothing to do with the scenes or the plot. Malcolm coming to her rescue and trying to convince her that he wants to be her father all worked for me. But with so many other things going on, their interaction felt a bit slow. The scenes didn't ruin the pace of the episode, but I wish they had somehow worked them into the last episode where the weight of them could've been felt when we had time to let them sink in.
Lastly, it looks like Quentin is at a turning point. He's been put in charge of the current crisis as a liaison with the Arrow. That's one step away from being named Chief of Police (since apparently the previous Chief died or something, I'm a little vague on that plot point). Although I love this development, I think it's a touch fast. Wasn't he in jail in the last episode? Well, considering most of the political leaders in the city are dead, my guess is that Laurel will be the new D.A. and Quentin will be the Chief next season. Or perhaps I'm jumping the gun a bit. Having those positions of power open means that new characters/villains could fill the vacuum.
See, Isabel, never monologue. You get hit by a car. That being said, any chance to do a Terminator reference with Summer Glau is welcome.
Quentin's quick thinking to take out that Mirikuru thug was pretty awesome. Although Felicity in the van running over Isabel was the best take down of the episode.
Oliver's relationship with Anatoly was set up early in the season as almost a throw away exchange to set up his character. But having him become so important on the island is really cool. Especially when we finally got to see the moment where Anatoly pledged his friendship to Oliver. Simply lovely continuity
Sara's return wasn't unexpected, but having her really only interact with Laurel was a surprise. The whole 'I'm not a hero' arc for Sara feels a bit forced here at the end of the season, but I did like the slightly hokey moment between Laurel and Sara. Also the parallel of Sara begging Oliver to let her go home, to the Canary explaining to her sister that she's irredeemable, was well done.
Seeing Felicity hurt was not fun, but that moment she had with Oliver was great. The focus on his hand on her back was interesting. She's the one person that will stand by him no matter what, and that's a pretty powerful thing. Greater relationships have started with less.
It's probably just nice casting bonus, but there's a good resemblance between Thea and Malcolm.
Blood's mask was a representation of his father's face. That's was an unexpectedly deep meaning behind a relatively silly mask. I wish Blood's plan made a bit more sense though, because now that he's dead I doubt we'll ever learn what he had planned for the city.
"I loved this city." Blood's final words.
Felicity: "Why does ever secret formula have to be a color? Whatever happened to good old fashioned clear?"
Felicity: "Just saying, if you guys don't come back alive, I’m gonna be really pissed."
Malcolm: "You still have a father."
Great moment with Thea shooting him, but I seriously doubt he's dead.
Felicity: "I know two things. You are not alone, and I believe in you."
Slade: "They say Nero sang as he watched Rome burn. Now I understand why."
Quentin: (to Arrow) "The Starling City Police Department is behind you."
This is about as far a turnaround from last season as you can get.
Anatoly: "I'm discovering capacity to do many things I never thought I would do."
Felicity: "Isabel attacked Dig, so I hit her with the van."
Another solid episode jammed packed with some really excellent character moments and plot turns. One more to go in the season, and I hope it caps things on a high note.
4 out of 4 Vials of neon blue Mirikuru cure.
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.