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REVIEW: Arrow 3×11 “Midnight City”

Let this be a lesson kids. Even if you have the superhero costume it does not mean you are ready to fight the bad guys. Look to this weeks’ “Midnight City” and how Laurel spectacularly failed at being a hero, in a good way. The writers could have found a way for her to suddenly be good at fighting and being able to stand her ground, but it is so much more enjoyable to watch our heroes struggle and flounder to achieve their goals. Not only did we have that, but once again we got some really great side character work from all of our main players as they are continuing to define what life is supposed to be after Oliver is gone. Add onto this with the fact that the flashbacks were actually relevant to the current going ons and you manage to have an all around strong episode. So, let’s dive in.

So the old saying is one step forward, two steps back, but I think it is safe to say that in Laurel’s case we can clearly add in a thorough beating to that saying as our new heroine got the ever loving crap kicked out of her. I have to say this really made me happy in some sick way as after all of the crappy storylines we have had to put up with involving Laurel, we were finally treated to her making some progress towards being likable. Watching Laurel struggle to succeed as a hero is really entertaining considering how usually everyone picks up being a hero rather easily. It was also great to see Laurel finally acknowledge that she is not Sara and is not fighting to protect Sara’s memory, but rather prove that she is a capable human being. Too long has Laurel been the woe is me character, even after Ollie called her on her bullshit last year she continued to be. Hopefully, and please let it stick this time, Laurel has finally turned a corner and will stand up for what she believes is right.

One the other side of all of this Laurel material you had all of team Arrow as they are still trying to define themselves in a seemingly post-Oliver world. It was great to see Roy step up and take lead this week not only as the person training Laurel and making sure she does not get herself killed, but also recognizing that the choices he makes are his and his alone. Roy realized that he is the reason that one alderman got killed and it was great that he realized he has no one to blame but himself and to see that the entire team was there to back him up. Roy could’ve simply blown his mistake off, I mean city counselors are like flies in Starling, but the fact that he is still grieving about killing the cop while under the influence of Mirakuru shows that Roy has really evolved.

Similarly we got to see Felicity return to the fold after abandoning the team last week, realizing that the team are going to continue protecting the city whether she wants them to or not. Watching her interact with Laurel and Ray were definitely some of the major highlights of the episode and helped to elevate what was going on even more. I especially enjoyed here conversation with Laurel as they two realized they need to be heroes in order for them to truly be themselves, cheesy sure, but it managed to work well enough that I wanted to see where their story was heading.

You also had Brick who continues to be a super enjoyable villain as his plan to take over The Glades went into full effect. It is still strange that everyone wants to either destroy or control The Glades when there is no real value to the land itself. I guess it is more of a pride thing to say that you can, but luckily for us Vinnie Jones is so likably intimidating that I don’t care if his plan is to only capture The Glades. Hopefully, now that The Glades are under his control we will get to see some real mayhem and violence in the neighborhood moving forward, or Ollie will just come back and save the day as he always does.

The last major enjoyable part of this episode was watching the flashbacks payoff in the present day as Maseo and Oliver went to save Tatsu. We got to see the fiercely determined Maseo of the past is still alive and well under all that League of Assassins nonsense and that he is willing to do anything to protect his friend. It is so rare that we get to see the actual payoff for Oliver’s flashbacks in the present so quickly, so I was overjoyed to see Maseo injure himself for Ollie to survive. Also, the bar escape team up showed us just how capable the three of them are while working together, I hope we get to see them team up again in the present.

Overall a really enjoyable episode.

Final Grade A-

+Laurel getting her ass kicked

+Roy Being the leader

+Flashbacks paid off this week

+Brick still really fun

-Thea and Malcolm stuff unnecessary

-Seriously, Lance still doesn’t know Sara is dead

Extra Thoughts

-Hey DJ Douchebag is a spy for the League. I guess thats something.

-In all honesty, this is going to blow up in all of their faces if they don’t tell Lance soon Sara is dead

-I know it is the quick out, but why hasn’t Roy called Barry? City under siege seems like a Barry situation.

About the author

Scott Swartz