Josh reviews this week’s episode of CW’s Arrow. Will Malcolm be successful in his “Undertaking”? Can Oliver stop him? What will happen to The Glades and everyone involved in Malcolm’s conspiracy, enemy or foe? Find out after the jump, in our weekly episode review of Arrow, aptly named Sacrifice, along with Violet’s commentary (in pink font)! Spoiler Alert!
This episode of CW’s Arrow (called Sacrifice) follows the conclusion of Oliver’s attempt to stop Malcolm Merlyn’s plot to destroy The Glades. He of course has his usual help, Diggle and Felicity, but has some unexpected help from Detective Lance. Also unexpected , are a few other twists that I did not see coming. Let’s get into this week’s episode of Arrow to find out what they are!
The episode opens to a flashback, where Oliver’s father asks Oliver (who is unconscious) to right his wrongs. He then shoots the third person in their raft, tells Oliver to survive and then shoots himself in the head.
Oliver in the present is then dowsed in water from a bucket from one of his guards, and we see that Oliver has been chained up, and beaten, probably by Malcolm himself. Malcolm enters the room, and says “I hope I haven’t hurt you” (think he knows that is a lie). Malcolm tries to apologize to Oliver for what he has done, and “thanks” Oliver for saving his life, but Oliver fires back, telling Malcolm he isn’t doing anything to honor his dead wife with his plan. Malcolm retorts that he believes he is as much as Oliver believes he is with the hood. Malcolm then warns Oliver that he cannot beat him because Oliver doesn’t know what he is fighting for, and that Oliver is not willing to make sacrifices.
Malcolm has a good point. Unfortunately, those very words may come back to haunt him…
Back on the island, Edward Fyres has initiated the missile launch for the plane he intends to crash in order to start a war. Oliver, with the concealed knife he has, attempts to stop him, and frees Shado. Fighting begins, but Fyres is able to get a missile launched.
Meanwhile, back in the present, Oliver is alone, and through is macho-ness, he is able to climb the chains being used to hold him, flip upside down, and use the force from his drop to break the pipe he is held to. Immediately the noise attracts his guards, to which he battles using the chain. He looks to be losing, but at the last moment Diggle shows up! They explain Diggle finding Oliver with Diggle saying that he will stop making fun of Oliver using a tracking device in his boot. A little too convenient, but I’ll accept it.
Yeah I don’t remember ever hearing Digg make fun of Oliver for that before, or ever hearing about the tracking device, but maybe I missed it… That, or it was just a convenient way to find Oliver. I’m assuming the latter. I was expecting the task of finding and saving Oliver, or Oliver escaping, to play a much bigger part in this episode, but he’s rescued within the first few minutes.
Back at the Arrow-cave, Diggle and Oliver discuss Felicity’s progress on figuring out where the Unidac device is and how to disarm it, and Felicity has made some progress on finding schematics, but hasn’t located it yet. Diggle calls Felicity, and she is heading back to the Arrow-cave, but she is picked up by Detective Lance.
She is taken to an interrogation room, where Lance begins to question her about her hacking and takes special care to mention that the cases she has hacked into are cases involving the “Hood”. Before Felicity can respond, Lance is called by Oliver. Oliver warns him about the device and Merlyn’s grand plan. Lance lets Felicity go to pursue the lead given to him by Oliver, and Felicity, before she leaves, tries to convey her feelings of Oliver being a hero to Lance, and by the look on his face, he is not completely discounting her thoughts.
Back with Oliver, Tommy has come to visit at the bar, and Tommy has had a few drinks. He is upset with Oliver, telling him what he saw between Oliver and Laurel the night before. Oliver changes the discussion to his father, Malcolm, and tells Tommy about The Undertaking. Tommy attempts to punch Oliver, but winds up falling to the floor as Oliver just sidesteps his attempt. Tommy then tells Oliver he wished he had died on the island.
What Tommy actually told Oliver was that he saw him “kissing” Laurel. They were doing a lot more than just kissing!
Speaking of the island, the island flashback has the fighting continuing, and Shado and Oliver have hopped on the missile launcher. Shado manages to reprogram the missile but winds up falling from it. Oliver is able to re-attach necessary circuits though, which causes the missile to crash into the base they were fighting in. The missile launcher has managed to drive out of range of the explosion, but we are not sure of the fate of Slade and Shado.
Shado and Slade sure didn’t seem like they had just gotten shot moments before this all went down…
Back in the present Lance is explaining the plan he heard from the vigilante to his supervisor. When pressed to how he received such tips he reveals it was the vigilante that informed him, which angers his boss, who then puts him on suspension. This seemed a little over the top to me, as Lance has attempted to catch Oliver as much as he could. It seemed a little over the top in my opinion.
Yeah, that was dumb. Here’s basically how it went — Lance: “I got a tip from the Vigilante.” Boss: “You’re suspended!” Um, what?
At the Queen mansion, Oliver visits his mother, and asks her for help to stop The Undertaking. Moira tries to say that everything she has done was for her children. Oliver then explains the story of Oliver’s father’s death, which upsets Moira. Oliver tries to talk the location of the device out of Moira, but she receives a phone call–from Malcolm. He has moved the plan ahead of schedule–to tonight.
Laurel then shows up. Perfect timing for Oliver. He doesn’t have enough on his plate right? They have their obligatory heart to heart, where Oliver reveals that the island didn’t change him, but “scraped” away the bad parts, and that Laurel saw those good parts before he went to the island. Cue make out session! Oliver then warns Laurel to stay out of the Glades. This probably means she will wind up there anyway.
Back at Merlyn Global, Tommy is talking to his father, and drinking quite a bit. He reveals his ending relationship with Laurel due to Oliver, and even tells Malcolm that Oliver thought he would be leveling The Glades. Surprisingly Malcolm confirms that Oliver was telling the truth. Malcolm then plays his wife’s final voicemail left for him, which has her dying from a gunshot wound from somebody in The Glades who shot her. We also learn that his wife had a clinic in The Glades, but no one would help her as she bled out. Tommy tries to ask if they all should die for that, which causes Malcolm to get really angry, and says they should all die like his wife died.
I was surprised that Malcolm admitted everything to Tommy, and I was glad that Tommy didn’t seem to support his father. I had been wondering what his reaction would be when he found out the truth about his father. Amazing performance by John Barrowman in this scene, I’ve never seen him so angry!
Back at the Arrow-cave, Felicity has figured out that the machine is probably on one of the line of rails that was on the map that Oliver’s father had. Felicity locates a geological fault line that runs below the Glades along the subway line, which then somehow enlightens Oliver to know exactly where the machine is. Before he explains, however, Thea calls, and tells Oliver that Moira has called a huge press conference at their mansion. Oliver pulls up a news station, which shows Moira admitting to her involvement with Malcolm Merlyn’s plan. The scene flashes to Malcolm and Tommy, and Malcolm becomes angry . We see several people reacting to the news, including Laurel, Lance and Thea. With Roy living in the Glades, Thea takes off to warn him.
Moira had tried to go to Thea immediately following the press conference, telling her she loves her, but Thea says that she loves Roy, and that Roy is in the Glades. Hm, didn’t realize the “L” word was involved with those two. Didn’t they just break up last episode?
Returning to Merlyn Global, Malcolm reveals his Dark Archer suit, as the SWAT team shows up. Malcolm takes them down rather simply, but Tommy has grabbed a hand gun, and aims it at his father. Unfortunately this does little good, as Malcolm easily disarms and knocks Tommy unconscious.
Poor, helpless Tommy, getting a beating for the second time this episode. But kudos to him for at least attempting to go after his father.
Back at Arrow-cave, Felicity apologies to Oliver for his mother’s arrest, however Oliver doesn’t seem fazed, and seems content that at least the people in The Glades have a chance to escape. We also learn that Oliver has another bow, which is packed in an older looking case, making it possibly the one he used to train with Shado back on the island. They then discuss that the Unidac device can be detonated two ways: via remote transmitter, or a timed detonation. Diggle says that he must go with Oliver in order to defeat Malcolm. This leaves Felicity to locate and disarm the device. Oliver then comes up with a thought, calling Detective Lance, telling him the location of the bomb. Oliver informs Lance that their mutual friend (Felicity) will talk him through the disarming of the device.
Remember, Malcolm broke Oliver’s bow during their fight at the end of last episode. I guess now that the Vigilante’s tip turned out to be correct, we are to assume that Lance is no longer suspended? Seriously, there was no basis for that suspension. Anyway, so what Josh forgot to mention was that the way Oliver knew the location of the bomb was because Malcolm’s wife was murdered at that subway station.
Oliver and Diggle arrive at Merlyn Global, but they only find the dead soldiers. He finds Tommy unconscious, and asks where Malcolm is. He doesn’t know, but Diggle finds the secret room Malcolm kept his Dark Archer suit in. It turns out that Malcolm is hiding in there, and after some witty banter, fighting begins. Diggle is wounded by a throwing knife, and Oliver has to chase a fleeing Malcolm alone to the rooftop.
In The Glades, people have taken to the streets, and chaos have broken loose. Roy goes outside, and sees the exodus of people trying to flee. Lance has shown up at The Glades, to find the bomb, and makes his way into a boarded up tunnel. He locates the bomb, which is a glowing blue cylinder standing vertically. Felicity begins talking him through the disarming process, but there is only about 4 minutes left on the clock.
Back with Roy, he attempts to save a man being assaulted by 4 guys, to which he easily dispatches with the exception of one, who has a handgun. Luckily, Thea with her amazing throwing ability (which I believe is a throwback to her comic book version of her, but I haven’t read any Green Arrow so I am not sure) winds up with a glass bottle connecting with the gunman’s head, knocking him. Roy asks how she did that, to which she responds, “I don’t know, I guess I have wicked aim!”
Back in the flashback, Oliver finds a bow (looks to be the same as the one he just unpacked this episode). We hear Slade laughing, who is severely wounded, but still alive. Fyres then comes into the scene, holding Shado hostage. Fyres wants to make a deal to free Oliver, but Oliver declines the deal with an arrow to Fyres’ throat.
Back on the rooftop, Oliver and Malcolm continue their fight. Lance continues disarming the device, but somehow he trips the anti-tamper mechanism. This prompts him to freak out, thinking he is going to die. He calls Laurel, who (surprise, surprise) is at her work in The Glades. They have a heart felt goodbye, but Felicity is able to locate the way to disarm the bomb. Meanwhile, back with Thea and Roy, there is a cheesy “anti-text message” advertisement, followed by Roy deciding to rescue some stranded Glade residents.
Back with the fight between Oliver and Malcolm, Diggle has managed to crawl up the stairs, but is too wounded to do anything but watch. Oliver begins to lose the fight, and Malcolm is able to get him into a choke hold, and it looks like this might be the end of the Vigilante. Luckily (but also very painfully), Oliver sees an arrow on the ground, and makes the decision to impale himself, which in turn impales Malcolm. The wound injures Malcolm much more severely, and their fight is over.
Ironic that Malcolm’s earlier words to Oliver regarding knowing what he’s fighting for and making sacrifices are what inspires Oliver to win this fight. Brilliant.
Back with Malcolm, Felicity has successfully disarmed the device. She notifies Oliver via cell that it is done, to which he informs Malcolm. Unfortunately Malcolm has foreseen this possibility, and Malcolm tells him of a second device, as it begins to explode, and The Glades begin to crumble. Felicity is in the Arrow cave, which has some tectonic activity, but is unharmed, though emotional. Laurel has been trapped in her work, and Oliver thinking she might be in danger, heads to her work via motorcycle. Laurel has been pinned down, and what we first think is Oliver to the rescue, is actually Tommy. He manages to lift the rock pinning her down, and Laurel runs out. But before he is able to escape, the building collapses. Oliver then rushes into the collapsed building to try to help Tommy, but he has been impaled by some rebar. They have a very emotional goodbye as Tommy dies. Before he dies, he asks if Oliver killed Malcolm, to which Oliver says no. Tommy passes and Oliver screams, “It should have been me! Open your eyes Tommy!” The episode ends with a final camera pan of the destruction of The Glades.
Oliver abandoned Digg yet again for Laurel. Poor Digg, always an afterthought, never a priority. I was so glad when Tommy was the one who showed up to rescue Laurel, and told her that he loved her! But ugh, I was so disappointed to see Tommy die, I surely did not see that one coming! I feel like Laurel should have been the one to die, although not without first seeing that Tommy came to save her. If it hadn’t been for Tommy, Oliver would have been too late and Laurel would have died. Tommy turned out to be a good guy all the way up until the very end, he did not deserve to be killed off. But if he had to go, at least he went out being a hero. When Oliver tells Tommy that he did not kill Tommy’s father, I was not sure at that point if he was lying for Tommy’s benefit, since he knew Tommy was about to die, or if it was true. It was unclear whether or not Malcolm had died. Oh, and how come something can get shoved through Oliver’s chest, and he’s just fine, not seeming to be injured at all, but something gets shoved through Tommy’s chest and he dies in minutes?? Not fair!
Thoughts on the season finale: All that I can say is “wow”. This season finale was excellent. The teamwork between Diggle, Felicity and Oliver has been awesome. I really am appreciating Roy’s development into a hero/sidekick as well. Malcolm’s character was great as well, and the reveal to Tommy was really exciting. I had predicted that Tommy would turn to the dark side upon learning of the death of Malcolm, but neither turned out to come true. I did enjoy how their story played out, especially with the emotional death of Tommy at the end. I am glad that he did not lose his way, and went out heroically. Additionally, Moira’s confession was really surprising as well, providing her character with some redeeming qualities. All in all, aside from the cheesy scene between Oliver and Laurel, and Lance and Laurel, I thought the finale was better than I had imagined it would be.
My thoughts on the season finale: Amazing season finale. Wow. Just as I predicted last week, I knew the Glades had to be leveled (although I did not see the backup device coming). This was the only way that Oliver would keep being the Hood, since he implied he would hang up the Hood once he took care of the Undertaking. Very sad about Tommy’s death, but I’m glad he never went over to “the dark side.” Lots of surprises that I never saw coming. Such gripping, emotional scenes. Great performances by all actors. Beautifully done.
As for the season as a whole, I have repeated this for probably almost every review I have done: this show surprised me in how good it turned out. I really thought it would turn into more or a romantic drama with some action scenes here and there, and a poor storyline. I thought the comic book factor would take a backburner. But I have been shown otherwise. We have seen a lot of character development, with Oliver changing from the “rich, stuck up son”, to a marooned, hopeless kid, to a heartless vigilante, to a redeemable hero. Almost every episode has been great, with great villains, and great storylines, whether it was the overarching story or even the subplots within each episode. I think the writers have done an excellent job this season, and I hope this continues into next!
I remember when we first saw the pilot, which was at San Diego Comic-Con last year, and thinking that it looked like it could be a pretty good show, and that we were interested in watching it. It got off to an okay start, but I think I really started getting into it the second half of the season, especially the last few episodes, which have been spectacular. There is no question we will continue watching next season. I predict that Oliver will again find a way to distance himself from Laurel, now that he has to continue being the Hood due to his failure to stop the Undertaking. But I think she will eventually learn his secret identity and they can be together because he no longer has anything to hide from her. However, when she finds out, she may pull away at first, then later accept it. As for Malcolm, he’s probably still alive. Think back to the scene where Tommy pulls a gun on Malcolm and says he doesn’t want to hurt him, but Malcolm says, “You can’t hurt me.” At the time, you think he means that Tommy can’t hurt him because he’s too weak, both physically and emotionally. However, and this is just a theory, I think that maybe Malcolm has some sort of superhuman abilities, such as healing abilities, that prevent him from being easily killed. Maybe he has other superhuman abilities as well, since we have seen his ability to easily catch an arrow that is being shot at him. He had access to lots of scientific resources, so I think it is possible that the scientists could have come up with some sort of formula to enhance Malcolm’s capabilities. I’ve never read “Green Arrow” though, so I could be way off. Also, I’m really hoping that John Barrowman will be around next season so that Captain Jack and River Song (Alex Kingston, who plays Laurel’s mother) can finally meet! Too bad we have to wait all the way until October for season two to begin…
If you haven’t seen the finale yet, take a look at scenes from it below: