Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Prepare for one heck of an introduction sequence. Starting on the heels of the tragic death of Moira queen, we watch as the scene splits between a heartbroken Queen family (minus Oliver) and Sebastian Blood giving his oath of office, making him the new mayor of starling city. We have been given more than a few hints at just how dark Kevin Alejandro’s portrayal of Sebastian is, and this week’s episode of “Arrow” makes us watch the employee of the man who murdered Moira, stand in front of her family offering condolences. Alejandro plays the role with excellence, layering ruthlessness evenly over a politician’s delivery. We watched him kill Ollie’s mother and it’s interesting to see just how far lost Sebastian really is.
The Funeral of Moira Queen was loaded with activity, with Blood’s “confession” to Laurel, to John Diggle and Felicity Smoak airing their true feelings for Moira and Ollie, to the shocking resurrection of Isabel Rochev (played by fan fav Summer Glau) and her subtle threat. The scene with Walter Steele and Thea Queen was the most touching of the set. Steele’s sorrow was held in very well, but the sadness in his face as he looked into the picture of his dead ex-wife was a heartfelt one. Despite the distance between the Steeles and the Queens, it’s obvious that he still very much cares for Thea and Ollie.
We’re then given a quick flashback of the Island where Ollie and his island crew find the old Japanese submarine that brought the Mirakuru to the island with the hopes of piloting to safety. Peter was pretty much a stock character from the get-go, and the one liner about heroism was nice, but it seemed convenient that he was there just to serve a single purpose: to move the plot forward. The ending moment of the island with Sara was a little too predictable for my taste, but you’ll have that.
I was glad to see Laurel sack up and bring her hesitations to her Dad. She was a great lawyer long before anyone was suiting up or accusing her of having a drug problem. It was nice to see her grounded again, following her gut instinct when she sensed something was wrong. Laurel has been a pretty flat character these last few episodes, and I was pleased to see her getting back to where she needed to be. When she went on a spy mission to ask a favor for Blood, only to sneak a chip in his computer for remote access was awesome.
The call from Slade Wilson was a perfect reminder of who exactly is running things. Blood had a cool smile in front of the press, then to see it melt away when he heard Wilson’s voice telling him to get to work was great.
Hats off to Stephen Amell in this episode. It was touching to watch him mourn the deaths of all the people that died as a result of him letting Slade Wilson live. The tears in his eyes, the sound of his voice and expressions on his face were played very well. When “Arrow” started out, I had my reservations about Amell’s ability to play the billionaire playboy and the emotional parts with any real conviction. “All that’s left is for me to die” stands as one of the more heartfelt statements “Arrow” has delivered throughout its two years on air thus far. Supporting this, was him telling Thea that she was the best of the Queen family and that she had the purest heart. It’s a statement like this where one could believe it’s a person’s last words. Another sentimental scene was had between Laurel and Oliver where she convinces him to get back in the hood.
The dinner with Oliver and Sebastian was as fantastic as it was tense. Oliver’s hatred lying dormant and Sebastian slowly making small talk was exciting to watch. We finally got a look under the hood of what Sebastian wanted for the city. It was interesting to see his faith in Wilson and to remind Oliver that he makes good on his promises. I don’t remember seeing Oliver want to kill somebody so badly as I did at the dinner table with Sebastian. The way Sebastian calmly stood up and walked away with a smug smile says again how great of a villain he is.
Seeing Oliver go toe-to-toe with one of Deathstroke’s (Sebastian’s) armies was a nice action sequence, but they’re a bit all over the place when it comes to the strength. If the Mirakuru makes these men as strong as it’s supposed to, then Oliver should have taken more damage. It’s a minor inconsistency, but I like what they’re doing so much that I want to see it work all the way through, not just when it serves as a cliffhanger for a commercial break. And of course, in the one cliché of the episode, Laurel ignores Oliver’s request to wait in the wings and ends up helping him out of a jam, (*sigh*).
My main complaint with this episode is the sudden and totally jarring ending. There was so much that happened at the end of the episode in Sebastian’s lair, the train station, the police station, under the bridge and with Smoak that it really just seemed off, like “Arrow” should have been given at least another 10 minutes to wrap things up. With so many fantastic moments in this episode, it was unfortunate the way it ended, but man oh man does it make me want tune in next week to see where this season of the “Arrow” I headed.
How did you enjoy this jam-packed episode? Can you not wait for next week?! Voice you anticipation in the comments below.
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