Holy Cr- I mean, spoilers ahead!
Alternate Title: A Call To Arms.
You have to watch the show before you read this, ok? No way I can’t mention some big developments in this episode.
As it was hinted in the previews, we get a look at Merlyn’s past and how he became- actually, we get hints. There’s a bit of a turning point but we don’t get a training montage. We do get Malcolm and Thea’s now traditional sparring scene.
Team Arrow is grossly unmatched, but they end up with an unexpected ally in their battle for the Glades. Malcolm learns… ok he’s got the Arrow Cave (yes I know we don’t call it that) bugged and listens in when Felicity discovers that the gun that Brick treasures (the one that he keeps using as a, ahem, motivational tool) was used to killed Rebbecca, Malcolm’s wife.
There’s a pattern slowly developing where the show keeps bringing us closer to Malcolm. However, at no point in time we ever condone his actions. It’s this duality of good/evil in which we know what is right but we want to reach an objective so bad that the shortcuts that compromise our integrity are extremely appealing.
Felicity is still at the heart of the group. The brains of the operation (I’ve always thought Oliver as the guts), her morals are all heart without compromise. She is the pure idealist, a believer in the idea of justice more deeply than the person who taught her. Laurel Lance instead, has gotten her hands dirty and is willing to bend things to make them work. It comes to no surprise she would consider Malcolm’s alliance. Roy is also more heart and drive, but his opinion starts to turn as she hears that Malcolm saved Thea from Thea herself.
It’s a tease, of course. Although it would seem that Felicity is the minority, John Diggle breaks the verdict to Malcolm. They turn him down. Instead they gather all their allies and march to face Brick’s forces. Nice to see Sin again. Ted (Laurel’s boxing coach) even makes an appearance in a generic mask although he fails to take down Brick. And here is where it gets interesting… because even as the odds waver back and forth between criminals and concerned citizens…
… Arrow returns.
It’s a win and a loss. It’s Oliver convincing Malcolm not to kill Brick. But it’s also a compromise on Oliver’s part as he decides to ask Malcolm for help in training to fight and kill Ra’s Al Ghul. That is a massive bomb of a decision, taking out Felicity’s heart in the process. It’s a very dramatic but expected outcome that makes this a heart wrenching episode. Now I can honestly say, this is a new season of Arrow and the dynamics are going to change a lot before the dust settles.
- Malcolm Merlyn steps out of the curtain and reveals his vulnerable side. Ok, his past vulnerable side.
- Lieutenant Lance wises up. First, he can tell it’s Roy Harper when he sees him. Poor Roy gets no respect (“Arsenal? Are you guys picking names out of a bucket now?”). Then he finally gets a clue that the Canary he’s been talking to is not Sarah, albeit from someone else’s observational skills. At least he’s a better detective than Gordon… Ok, ok, not comparing shows…
- It blatantly sucks that Olivier has to deal with Malcolm. I see why yes and not. I see why it’s a compromise. Oliver is going to get his hands dirty to protect his sister. It also means he’s going to let Malcolm borrow in deeper into his operation and his life altogether. There are very good chances that Malcolm will start rubbing off on Ollie, alienating him further from Team Arrow. There is also a small chance that Ollie might rub off just a little on Malcolm and set him on a redemption path (or halfway there at least).
- Felicity sitting on her chair looking at Malcolm invading the lair again. She sounded so much in control and enraged at the same time. Miss Smoak also gets her heart broken and walks away from Oliver. I can see her becoming Team Atom full time now, but I really hope she won’t stay completely away.
- Oliver came back too soon, he should have- OK I AM KIDDING PUT THE BOWS DOWN. They couldn’t really let on how he gets back but technically he’s barely down the road from Nanda Parbat one moment and he appears in time for the battle for the Glades the next scene. Then again, I don’t care. I did enjoy the arrows showing up first before we get the full reveal. Arrow making a speech on top of a bus while cops hold Brick below was a bit corny, but I’ll take it.
That will do for now.
(Sources: The CW)