by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)
DO NOT read unless you have seen all of Arrow Season One and the season finale.
No good deed goes unpunished
– Every character in Arrow felt the full effect of that phrase in this season’s finale.
That was possibly the most rewarding and emotionally terrifying season finale ever aired. The shock, emotion and suspense combined to a perfect mixture of intensity and concern and the end result did not fail the Arrow‘s fan base. Arrow gave us a feature film-esque finale and it was definitely more than we could’ve hoped for.
The episode began with Oliver and Malcolm revealing their true identities to each other; Dark Archer meet Green Hood – no pretenses, no masks. Now a lot of things can finally fall into place. After a venomous conversation between the two, Malcolm apologized for having to dispose of Oliver’s father and Oliver’s rebuttal was “you’ll see him soon.” Malcolm explained that the reason Oliver failed time and time again while trying to fight him was that he doesn’t know what he’s fighting for. If that’s the case, this episode surely gave him that extra push. Malcolm walked away and Oliver escaped, with Diggle’s help, in the most epic action scene the series has given us. Honestly, props to Stephen Amell for his talent in both the physical and emotional realm of being The Hood.
Meanwhile, Detective Lance picked up an anxious Felicity Smoak, having to almost instantly release her from custody after receiving a phone call from The Hood explaining that Malcolm Merlyn was planning on leveling the Glades. Lance releases Felicity, confronts his superior to take some action and gets suspended. Good deed, meet punishment. Oliver confronts two characters about the Undertaking. First, his mother – explaining that someone has to take action for the situation their family has put Starling City in. Second, Tommy – to explain to him that both their fathers were not the men they thought they were and to inform him of Malcolm’s intentions. A conversation Tommy did not take seriously (especially after seeing Oliver and Laurel get it on while on his way to win her back) continuing on to say, “I wish you had died on that island.”
Moira’s reaction to the confrontation was quite different; she held a press conference confirming her involvement with the Undertaking, an action that resulted in her arrest and Malcolm’s fury. While Moira was making her statement, Tommy was facing his father and simultaneously, facing the truth. Both dialogues led to two reactions: Thea looking for Roy in the Glades and Malcolm mercifully knocking his son out cold before carrying on with his plan. Before he did, Malcolm played Tommy the voicemail his mother left as she was dying; an insanely well played scene by Colin Donnell that will be re-watched by fans for seasons to come.
As Oliver left his mother’s side to defeat Malcolm, he ran into Laurel and proceeded to vow that his love for her was true and that only she could see the real man he was before his time on the island, you know mushy stuff. And as Laurel’s father disarmed the device in the subway station where Tommy’s mother died, Oliver faced Malcolm for what seemed like the final time. And with what could have been his final words, Malcolm stated that there was a second device. Right under CNRI and right under Laurel. With almost every character in the Glades we quickly had to figure out who was in eminent danger. Felicity was fine, Roy seemed fine, Thea was in a car getting away, Diggle was in pain, but safe, Detective Lance was standing, but Laurel was under a pile of rubble with Tommy trying to lift her out of it. As Oliver realized where the focal point of the quake was, he ran to CNRI. Tommy lifted Laurel out of danger after claiming that he still loved her. As Laurel ran away, the building collapsed with Tommy still inside. Oliver got to Tommy’s side, lifting mounds of bricks off of him. And we’re sitting there thinking, well screaming, “It’s fine though, because Oliver is a beast, a machine, he can lift anything off of Tommy and he’ll be fine.” Except, Oliver can’t remove the metal bar that’s sticking right out of Tommy’s torso. Oliver can’t do that for him. So instead, when Tommy asks, Oliver lies and says he didn’t kill Tommy’s father. With that, Tommy dies: a sad and twisted ending, but one that seems sickeningly justifiable. Season Two will bring a sea of tears, as did this season’s finale, and the second installment of a series that the general public would be insane to miss.
Rating: 6 out of 5 stars
1. If you have read the comics and know the general arc of the storyline please do not ruin it for the others.
2. Anyone else realize that both Supernatural and Arrow‘s finales were called Sacrifice?