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REVIEW: Arrow 2×22 “Streets of Fire”

Written by Scott Swartz

Oh man that made me all gooey inside, like warm apple pie gooey. “Streets of Fire” was part two of our three part season finale and much like the first part it was about raising the stakes and tying up certain storylines before the big final brouhaha. It just so happened that everything worked because Slade is so fixated on his vendetta with Oliver that some of his other allies are willing to betray him. While Ollie and his team were trying to recover the cure from the STAR Labs courier some of our side characters managed to finally be pulled into the fray including Merlyn and the newly recommissioned Detective Lance. We also got to see more of Sebastian as mayor which provided a very nice change of pace in comparison the slow planning Slade had been doing. There were a lot more payoffs than I suspected there would be in this week’s episode, so let’s dive in.

I have to say first of man did this escalate a hell of a lot quicker than I thought it would. I mean in the span of a few hours the city has not only been placed under siege but Waller has decided to initiate her favorite pastime of cratering a problem. I know that Waller has a tendency for escalating the situation to the max but I don’t think cratering the entire city is the right move. I mean how on earth are you going to earn goodwill once you go that route. Luckily it was more of a kick in the pants scenario for Oliver and it gave him the motivation to finally cure Roy of the Mirakuru. I am not sure whether or not this was indeed Waller’s true motivation as she has known Ollie for awhile and knows what it takes to put him in gear, but either way it got the job done.

The aspect I liked most about this week’s episode was Stephen Amell’s performance as much like last week he really had a lot of ground to cover in terms of range and he managed to hit all of the notes just right. Whether it be him calming down Laurel and telling her to fire the arrow or his standoff with Blood, Amell managed to hit just the right note for the dialogue without it begin to overdramatic or ham-handed. I truly believe some of Amell’s best work this season was when he was given the chance to bounce off of Kevin Alejandro’s Brother Blood as the writing served to mirror the two paths the characters could go down to save the city. Blood truly believed if he was given the chance he could have saved the city and helped it prosper. Ollie on the other hand knew that even if his intentions were nobel he could not support one of the men behind killing his mother. That is some really good dichotomy right there folks.

As far as Sebastian goes this appears to be his final episode considering he got run through by Isabel with two swords. Kevin Alejandro had been a major bright spot this entire season and always hit the right note on the smarmy politician front. I am definitely saddened by the fact we won’t get to see him anymore but in the end he did what was right for Starling City by giving Oliver’s team the cure for the Mirakuru. It was extremely odd that Slade did not have that more well guarded or even seemingly guarded at all, but I will give that a slide as the ramifications were so swift and gratifying. Also, jesus christ, I knew Manu Bennett could be terrifying but damn if Slade’s speech to Blood about what he is going to do to Starling didn’t make me shit my pants a little. There is just something about how he said all Starling will be come morning is a place full of graves that was absolutely terrifying.

The last major part of the episode which unfortunately did not get a lot of screen time devoted to it was the return of Malcolm Merlyn and his face to face meeting with Thea. Sadly, this was the weakest part of the episode as it was apparent the writers were over ruffing the episode and somewhere would be forced to suffer. John Barrowman and Willa Holland definitely had some nice back and forth when they finally are put face to face, especially the bit with Merlyn telling Thea that she had the safety on her gun. That little detail really shined through as Merlyn basically telling Thea to be ready to kill him if she feels the need to, but Merlyn ever the gamesman keeps trying to persuade Thea to come to his side. It was not out of left field that he would attempt to do this, but it was kind of lackluster that he thought the plan would work so easily. Merlyn right now is the devil Thea knows so it will be interesting to see just how much she is willing to trust her father. My guess, not as far as she can throw him.

The major highlight of the episode was definitely the action that was on display. Whether it was Merlyn’s fight with the Mirakuru soldier, or Diggle’s all to brief confrontation with Ravager, each setup was extremely well done and just brutal enough to make you cringe. By the way how pleasurable was it to see Isabel get nailed by the van and then go full terminator and just get right back up. So freaking cool. If this week is any indication of what we can expect from the finale man are we in for a treat.

As for this week’s flashbacks there were definitely adequate and put all the major player in the places they need to be for next week. Sadly, besides the brief bro moment between Ollie and Anatoli there is not much else to discuss. It was to be expected that Ollie would not want to sacrifice any more of his comrades on the island, but he did just leave a ton of prisoners in the fuselage, it would be strange for Anatoli to just abandon them all. Hopefully the finale finally brings us that sweet Island Ollie vs Island Slade fight we have been promised for two years now.

A strong step up in terms of material from last week.

 

Final Grade A-

 

+Amazing action left and right

+Top notch work from Amell, Alejandro, and Bennett

+Roy is finally cured

+The cops siding with The Arrow

 

-Waller going to nuke Starling

-Lack of Merlyn material

-Flashbacks ok but not great

 

Extra Thoughts

-Seriously Sebastian, why on earth would you not Mirakuru yourself?

-So how did the team manage to get from the clock tower to Verdant, and back again without being attack while carrying an unconscious Roy? I know these are minor nit picks but dude was dosed hard.

-I was seriously holding out hope that call from STAR Labs was about Barry waking up. Still crossing my fingers we get something Flash related next week.

About the author

Scott Swartz