Well, I’ll say this much for Arrow, they sure know how to set up a finale. Hard to say at this point if they’ll deliver a great last episode for season five but man, they are pulling out all the stops. The chess pieces are all finally in place, now it’s time to find out who will be left standing when the battle is finally over.
I will admit, after a very slow start, and I mean very slow, Adrian Chase has turned out to be one of the best villains to ever appear on Arrow. His cold, calculating and intelligent maneuverings have seen him three steps ahead of Team Arrow at all times. It was pretty much a given that his being caught last week was just a ploy but I was a bit surprised at just what he had up his sleeve.
First of all, Chase executes multiple plans that see most of Team Arrow captured. Felicity, Diggle, Thea, Quentin, Rene, Dinah and his son William are all now being held by Chase. Not only that, the people he enlisted to help him, Black Siren, Evelyn Sharpe, Talia al Guhl and the League of Assassins, make for a formidable roadblock in terms of rescuing them. The rescue is made more difficult as they are all transported to Lian Yu for this final showdown, which really is quite fitting when you think about it. Oliver’s whole life has somehow revolved around this island so why not stage yet another battle here, only this time the cards are really stacked against him.
This is the cue for Oliver to bring his own ‘rescue’ team together, which include Malcolm Merlyn and Nyssa al Guhl, who’ll if you remember is still technically Oliver’s wife in the eyes of the League of Assassins. Not as an impressive a group, especially when Nyssa and Malcolm hate each other, but when they get to the island Oliver has one more person to hopefully add to his team, that being none other than Slade Wilson himself. Yes, Deathstroke is back, although it remains to be seen just which side he will end up playing for in the end. Slade was always about himself so it’s anyone’s guess how this will play out but man, if he plays nice for at least a little while, what an addition.
Season five has gone to great lengths to make heroes and villains alike deal with supposed inner demons. There were even some flashbacks this week, back to Lian Yu, where Oliver was given some kind of drug that made him relive his violent past, making old wounds new again so to speak. The set up for the finale is seemingly a culmination of this theme, fighting inner demons, paying for your past, confronting who you really are and Oliver will probably be forced to make another possible decision along the way.
I am still convinced, now more than ever, that one or two core people are not coming back from this island. In fact, at least one better die to justify this theme they have tried to build all season long. Whatever happens, Arrow did itself proud this week with the way they structured this episode and set up the finale next week. It should be an epic battle.
Hey, what ever happened to Ragman and the Vigilante? Just wondering….
Four stars out of five
- Great setup episode for the finale
- Wonderful to see some old friends and enemies
- Chase might be the best villain Arrow has ever had