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REVIEW: Arrow 1×22 “Darkness At The Edge of Town”

Malcolm Merlyn: Father, Businessman, Psychotic Archer. Tonight’s Arrow had a lot going for it as the penultimate episode this season, forcing a lot of storylines to converge and come to head in 42 minutes. Even though he did not have as much screen time as I thought he would, John Barrowman managed to chew the scenery with the best of them. The episode had some fun action scenes, including a few in the daytime. We also got to return to the island where things have taken an interesting turn and now more questions about what is really going on the island have been raised. Enough small talk, lets dive in, and as always SPOILER ALERT.

With Oliver’s discovery last week that his mother and Malcolm are involved in The Undertaking, this week Ollie decided to confront Moria. These were a fun couple of scenes on a few different fronts as it is not very often we get Moria and Oliver actually talking about things. Sure, they appear in scenes together, but they are not extensive and they do move the plot forward often. I was glad to see Ollie’s initial tactic of just “ talking to her as her son,” was really a ruse. The interrogation worked so well on so many levels for me as a viewer as Ollie got the information he needed, Moria showed her family’s safety is always her highest priority, and Diggle got to be a badass while working out some anger issues. Watching the three play off each other and Ollie feeling out how far he needed to push it to get the information required. I do not know if Ollie would’ve had had Diggle stab him or anything to that extreme, but I had a few moments of grimacing in pain.

Ollie was not the main draw to this episode as Malcolm began putting the finishing touches on The Undertaking. Malcolm took severance package to a whole to level by killing all the researchers at Unidac in the opening minutes, although he was a little sloppy leaving the bodies to be found like that. Thanks to Ollie’s interrogation, we now know how Malcolm plans to level The Glades, part Lex Luthor from Superman and part Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins. I have to say, the whole earthquake plan disappointed me a little bit, as to me it still seems like it would be suspicious for an earthquake to be so localized. Malcolm proved to be a force to reckon with when Ollie finally chose to confront him and boy, was it brutal. I really want that flashback to Malcolm learning his skills and who his mentor was. Plus, how cool was it to see Malcolm throw Ollie’s arrow hard enough to shatter that glass case. That is some terrifying strength folks.

Meanwhile this week we returned to the island and found out what Fryer’s boss’s end game is, and I like it more than Malcolm’s plan. Fryer’s is going to destabilize the Chinese economy by shooting down a Ferris Airlines plane, yes that Ferris Airlines. Our good friend Hal Jordan made my Five Characters I want to see in Season Two, so I am on a hot streak of wishes if they decide to go in that direction. I will use my powers for good I promise (well maybe one pony). Fryers is tying up loose ends as well as once he convinces Yao Fei to take the wrap for blowing up the plane, Yao Fei gets shot in the head. We also learned that Fryers boss is actually a lady boss, so yeah, go gender equality. I was kind of disheartened that Shado and Slade did not do anything this week, but I am sure Slade will have a large pile of bodies under him by the end of the season finale.

Sadly, the weakest parts of the episode went to two of my favorite characters, Roy and Tommy. Roy just won’t leave well enough alone with finding his new idol and unfortunately I have a feeling that this is going to get either Thea or him killed eventually, especially with the whole level The Glades plan. I did enjoy Ollie and Roy finally meeting, which is kind of odd as I thought Roy still worked at the club. On the other hand, it seems like Tommy can’t help but be screwed over by those he thought cared for him. I mean that has to suck seeing your best friend sleep with the girl you love. That is no bueno Ollie, especially after you had just told Tommy he was in the clear. Hopefully next week both characters get the love they deserve.

A lot of really good stuff in this episode: the interrogation, Roy and Ollie meeting, the island. I am a little sad that Walter was brought back only to leave the next episode, even if his speech was fantastic. So lets all prepare for next weeks season finale and the piles of bodies that are sure to come.


Extra Thoughts


-I love you Felicity but you need to control those innuendos, before they lose their comic effect. I did enjoy your “hack face” – that was funny.

-I am fairly confident that Diggle enjoyed beating the crap out of Ollie a little after feeling betrayed by him a couple of weeks ago.

-The infiltration of the Merlyn Building was fun. Note for Season Two: we want more of that.


Final Grade: B+

+The interrogation

+Malcolm Merlyn proves he is a force again

+Ferris Air


-Walter left really quickly

-Ollie being the worst bro ever

-Malcolm’s plan

About the author

Scott Swartz