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REVIEW: Arrow 1×18 “Salvation”

Now that’s a little better. Not exactly jaw-to-the-floor, I-need-to-rewatch-this-episode-right-now good, but it was still a massive improvement over last week.

Arrow is one of those interesting shows where the quality of the episodes are usually fairly consistent. However, with the additions of characters like Roy and Slade, the average quality has drastically increased over the first few episodes. The writers have been able to craft interesting stories around these characters, and while some of the “leads” have become ancillary to the story, we have overall gotten some great episodes. So lets dive right into it, and SPOILER ALERT.

Let’s start with the stars of this episode Thea and Roy; mostly Roy, because he has become tolerable and managed to make Thea a likeable character in the process. Roy could have gone the simple route of being an anti-hero and occasionally wanting to do the right thing, but the writers put him on the spot with his confrontation with The Savior. Roy’s understanding that he has done bad things in his lifetime and his belief that he does not deserve a second chance was really powerful. I know that this revelation comes from his recent interaction with Thea, and his belief that he failed her, but it is still powerful to resign yourself to death and give in to what you believe to be your end. Their reunion at the end and the reveal that Roy kept part of Ollie’s arrow were both excellent bookends to this particular storyline. Major props to Colton Haynes and Willa Holland for their performances tonight, those two were amazing.

On the other side of town Ollie’s story of hunting down the Savior was a fun excursion and it provided some character growth for Felicity. Up to this point in the series Felicity has been the easy answer for all of Oliver’s problems, so to have her fail in such a big way was a great change of pace. To have her failure directly result in someone’s death gives her the clear motivation to not mess up again and at the same time instills some fear in her. Her skills are fallible and that puts innocent lives on the line, which, as we have seen constantly, Oliver will not allow.

Speaking of innocent lives on the line the island storyline was a weird but fun parallel to our main story. Ollie is basically getting a mini Suicide Squad, with Shado, portrayed by Celina Jade, joining his merry band of misfits. Ollie and Slade clearly had the upper hand in this situation and yet somehow Ollie screwed it up. Yes, I am blaming Oliver for losing the chip because, like Slade said, Fryers was playing them. Also, if Shado could Kung Fu her way out of that situation you think she would have just done that. Questionable, but she seems to know what Fryers is really planning, so hopefully Ollie and Slade can strike a true blow to him. I am also glad that Slade thought that they could use a boat to get off the island; I am still surprised it took him so long to think of that.

As for what is happening with Laurel and Detective Lance, that storyline felt all sorts of out of left-field, such that I really did not care for it. I understand that they were aiming to broaden the character and bring Laurel’s family back together, but the story failed to make me want to see Laurel’s sister alive and well, which was a big component. I did like Dinah’s confession that she should have stopped Sara from going, but it just felt like this was a one-episode story that stretched on too long. It was nice having Alex Kingston though, so I look forward to her coming back eventually.

Lastly although it was a brief storyline, watching Moria try to cover her own tracks with Malcolm hot on her tail was very enjoyable. This is the story I wanted to see get more screen time if only to have a face to face between Malcolm and Moria, and see John Barrowman feel out the traitor. I think that Malcolm clearly knows Moria betrayed him and that the killing of Moria’s partner in crime was just to send a message that the Dark Archer can get to you at anytime and in any place. It was great to see the Archer again even if only to remind us how deadly efficient and terrifying he is.

This was a marked step up from last week’s episode and although it was not the best work Arrow has presented this season it was still remarkably entertaining.


Extra Thoughts

–       It is weird to see Tommy say he knows Roy when they have never actually shared a scene before. I know he works at the club, but it was just bizarre.

–       That parkour scene with Ollie was well shot and made me continue to want to see the action scenes in the daytime more.

–       Am I the only one who thought that the subway kill room should not have been mobile? I mean the subway was shut down.


Final Grade: B


+ Roy was amazing once again

+Dark Archer showed up to be terrifying

+Felicity got some character growth.


-The final confrontation with The Savior needed more light.

-Laurel’s storyline was a waste

-Ollie and Slade are losing the island

About the author

Scott Swartz