Holy shit! Arrow’s Season 5 has really upped its game this year and has become such a strong series once again this year.
The thing I love about Arrow is the the run up towards the end of each season it has this epic scale feel to it. In previous season’s this is the point where there has been a massive attack to topple Star City, but I really like how it has been changed up this year. I really think that Season 5 has brought a breathe of fresh air to the Arrowverse. This time there’s not major weapon or plot to destroy Star City. The theme running throughout the season is that this time it’s more of a personal conflict between two rivals….Oliver Queen the Green Arrow and Adrian Chase Prometheus! It’s going to be a feud that will end in a jaw dropping way. I mean shit…episode 22 of Arrow’s fifth season was just incredible, had me on the edge of my seat and everything about it was a brilliant build up to what is going to be an explosive and action packed season finale!
THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS!!!! IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE WITH ARROW THEN STOP READING NOW!!!!
This week’s episode “Missing” did start out with a little light hearted moment in which the team were celebrating Oliver’s birthday with a surprise party, while also celebrating what they thought was the defeat of Adrian Chase. I remember thinking at the end of last week’s episode that is battle was far from over and Chase definitely had something up his sleeve. During the start of the episode the rest of Team Arrow were celebrating, but Oliver was a little reluctant as he knew that something felt off as Chase went down way too easy.
The episode did a brilliant job of building up Chase’s latest surprise sneak attack and towards the end of the episode, made it so much more satisfying to watch. I did feel genuinely surprised with some of the developments in this episode as they did catch me by surprise. This really felt like a culmination of everything that Chase had planned up to this point and it really stacked all the cards in the deck against Ollie this week, making his situation seem a lot more worse than what he previously thought leading into the finale next week. The theme in the season in particular is that Oliver draws his true strength from his friends and his team. This episode acted as a metaphor in which Chase one by one was trying to destroy Team Arrow, making Ollie feel more lost and alone than since he was on Lian Yu.
I really think that Stephen Amell has stepped up his game big time and has put on some spectacular performances this season as Oliver Queen. I mean the interrogation episode where Chase exposed Ollie as a killer and nothing but was such an amazing performance by Amell, which we haven’t seen before in Arrow. The different arcs in this season really has seen Oliver put through the psychological ringer in the past and present, and whatever the scenario Stephen Amell has not only risen to the occasion but smashed the shit out of the challenge emotionally to portray his character’s feelings and mindset. I love great character development and what I enjoyed in particular is how Oliver’s fear and desperation reached critical levels as the episode progressed. It got to a point where Ollie even lost control beating on Chase to the horrible realisation that his son, William, had become a victim of Chase’s madness.
I really have enjoyed Josh Segarra’s addition to Season 5 as I think that he has been a strong character throughout, putting on some solid performances. I think Adrian Chase/ Prometheus has been my favourite villain since Slade Wilson. I just think that Segarra has really added a sense of heightened danger and a real threat to Oliver, in what looks like could be his winning move against the Emerald Archer. I like how his character seems to becoming more unhinged in the final part of the season. It seems that whatever sanity Chase had previously is being to disappear leading into the finale. I just think that Segarra really has brought his A game in the series and has formed a twisted and sinister villain that will take a place in the Arrowverse history books for sure! I can’t wait to meet him at Heroes and Villains next week!
The one element that I loved the most about this episode and came as a complete surprise, was the awesome assortment of characters that we got to see appear in the episode this week. I mean shit, the writers really are pulling out all the stops leading into the finale! It just felt like an all star lineup situation tonight, with loads of characters from previous season were returning to the fold. We saw appearances from Laurel (Black Siren), Malcolm Merlyn, Yao Fei, Nyssa and the one I freaked the shit out at was Slade Wilson right at the end!!!!! I think having all these guest appearances really added to the epic scale of the story and feels like the show is coming full circle leading into the finale next week. I mean I got chills when I heard Manu Bennett’s first line of Slade Wilson at the end, loved him in season 2 and I’m super stoked that he’s back in the show! Arrow has been renewed for a sixth season so even though we have come full circle for the five-year flashbacks, I don’t think it’ll be the last we’ll see of these characters. As the finale is titled “Lian Yu”, it’s fitting that the action has gone back to the place in which Ollie’s transformation and journey began. It’s like everything in the past five seasons has led up to this point in the show’s history.
I am really glad that Katie Cassidy returned to the show this week, with her portrayal of Earth 2 Laurel Lance AKA Black Siren. I think they regret killing her off in season 4 so maybe this is their way of having her make a return to the show. I mean don’t get me wrong, I really love Dinah as the current incarceration of Black Canary but I just hope they utilise her character more going forward. That’s a different subject so anyway, back to the epic content in this weeks episode. I thought that Black Siren did have a big impact in this episode, especially the scene between her and Quentin Lance. I thought Paul Blackthorne was as amazing as ever with his reaction to seeing what he thought was his Laurel, you could tell that Lance was just confused and emotionally impacted by seeing Black Siren. I liked the impact that Laurel had in this episode, even in the flashback when Oliver looked like he was ready to end it all it was Laurel who was the voice of reason and brought him back from his drug-induced meltdown. I thought it was a great touch having her be the one to bring him back to the light and keep fighting to overcome the drug’s effects on him.
We also saw the return of Malcolm Merlyn this week and thought it was brilliant seeing John Barrowman back on the show after his stint on Legends of Tomorrow. I really loved having him back on Arrow as it’s where he started for Merlyn and was wicked seeing him and Oliver team up again despite their differences. I loved the action sequence between the two taking down Oliver’s own SWAT team in an attempt to get to Chase before he escaped. That whole scene was just spectacular and another reason why this show has some of the best action scenes on TV to date. The whole aim of this episode was to build suspense leading into the finale, but shit dude that was one brilliant action sequence!
I can’t review this episode without talking about probably the biggest surprise in this episode for me, with the scene right at the end. The story shifted to Lian Yu and it thrilled me to see Oliver going down into his supermax prison to have a chat with none other than Slade Wilson! That’s right, motherf****** Deathstroke is back baby!! There was a lot of teasing on Twitter a while back between Manu Bennett, Stephen Amell and Marc Guggenheim about a possible return for Slade Wilson to the show but I took no notice of it as thought it was just a ruse. I’m so glad it turned out to be Bennett returning to the show, as I loved the whole Slade Wilson arc in season 2 so was so stoked seeing him in the episode if only for a brief moment. The biggest element I cannot wait to see in the finale is how the dynamic of Oliver and Slade will play out next week! I’ve not felt this excited for an Arrow season finale since season 2. I think we’re going to be in for a pretty freaking amazing round of to what has been a brilliant comeback season for the show. I mean shit dude, a possible Green Arrow and Deathstroke team up!!!!!!
This week’s episode is without a doubt one of the best in the season so far and think that Arrow followed The Flash’s vibe this week, in the sense of delivering a solid ground going into the season finale with some brilliant character drama and some surprising reveals too. This is the final stretch in Ollie’s five year absence and feels like the show is coming full circle now we are at the end of the fifth year. The episode did a solid job of having Oliver confronted with the many people he has lost over the years, finding himself back on Lian Yu for one final showdown. With the reveal of Black Siren, Merlyn, the Al Ghul sisters and Deathstroke back in the fray, I think it’s safe to say that the finale is shaping up to be an incredible one that will no doubt be the defining episode for the whole series so far. Next stop…..Lian Yu!