Oh my God! They killed Tommy! You bastards! Did not see that coming at all. I so love being unspoiled, but at the same time my heart is broken.
“Sacrifice” was definitely about, well, sacrifice. Practically everyone in the cast made one. Oliver sacrifices himself and his well being every day for the city, as do Digg and Felicity. Ollie’s dad sacrificed himself in that raft so Oliver could live. Moira sacrificed her reputation and freedom to save The Glades. Roy sacrificed his chance to leave The Glades to save others. Quentin sacrificed his career so he could protect citizens that he swore to serve when he became a cop, even though his source was a guy he’s been trying to hunt. Malcolm sacrificed the citizens of The Glades, because they’re heartless dicks who left his wife on the pavement bleeding to die. Hey, I never said sacrifice had to be noble.
But the ultimate sacrifice, the one that trumped all, came from a guy who for most of this season I considered to be a total waste of screen time. That is until episode 16 and beyond. Tommy Merlyn sacrificed his life so he could save Laurel. Oliver couldn’t be in two parts of the city at once, and Tommy ignored Oliver as The Hood’s warning to get to safety. He knew that Laurel would go back to C.N.R.Y, which was right in the blast zone. Oliver did find Tommy just in time to lie to him before he died, and I cried like a baby over the whole thing.
I don’t blame Oliver though. How could he be honest during a moment like that? He did after all kill Malcolm. At least we think he did. That idea didn’t sit right with Tommy when Oliver went off to confront the elder foe, but he also trusted his friend would only do it if he had to. Still, to ask Oliver with his dying breath if he killed his Dad and Oliver say no, poor Tommy went out smiling over that fact. That’s going to haunt Ollie for the rest of his life.
I don’t know what killed me more, that lie that Oliver gave to Tommy, or the fact that it took Tommy dying for Laurel to finally get all starry-eyed and see the hero within her ex-lover. Those were the same googly eyes she only saved for The Hood. Poor sap. He never caught a break. You can’t blame him for wanting to see the best in his Dad and not realizing he was a complete psycho. You can’t blame him for being unable to stop his Dad with that gun. Everything he did was out of loyalty for his best friend and the love of his life. All it got him was fatal impalement from earthquake debris, an earthquake caused by his psycho Dad! Farewell Tommy, you’re the best and most ironic tragic hero this show has had so far.
On the plus side, I love how everyone got a chance to play hero. Digg and Felicity played major roles in stopping “The Undertaking,” but they had partners. Felicity was able to help an unlikely hero in Detective Lance. I loved how he responded to the call from The Hood that his city needed him. He would have to find the bomb underground and defuse it. The best part was when he tripped the device, shortening the explosion countdown to two minutes. He had only one thing on his mind. Call Laurel and say goodbye. The conversation was crushing, and so beautifully done. The father/daughter chemistry that goes on between Paul Blackthorne and Katie Cassidy is a major asset for this show. Naturally Felicity finds the answer in the nick of time, and Quentin ends up being the unsung hero that saves half the city. Yeah, stupid Malcolm and his love of redundancy. The east side is usually the dirtier place anyway.
Digg got to go along with Ollie on the bad guy raid, but I wish he had a outfit like Oliver to conceal identity. He looked out of place. Hopefully that gets remedied next year. It should be black leather! I was just tickled by the line, “I only have one bow,” “I have my gun.” So perfect. I wish Digg could have done more than watch the most epic superhero/villain smackdown of the century on that rooftop, but it really would have lost something if he just stood up and blew Malcolm away, stealing Oliver’s thunder.
The most exasperating character continues to be Moira. She’s been holding onto this dear secret for five years, that Malcolm was building a device to level a part of town that could kill many?? Like this was acceptable social behavior? This secret got her husband killed. It got her current husband almost killed. It got her friend killed because she tried to assassinate Malcolm and then exposed her friend as the conspirator because he funneled the money as a favor to her! She did all this only because she wanted to keep Oliver and Thea save? Especially when for most of that five years she though it got Oliver killed too? Why didn’t she do her whole very public confession as soon as Robert (plus Oliver and Sarah) died? She ended up waiting until the day of the attack, where many innocents have likely died (I don’t know, like Tommy??), because she had a change of heart after Oliver gave her his a peace of his mind for a minute? Sorry guys, but this is not a bright woman. This is a woman that deserves jail. Throw away the lock and key jail. I can’t see her doing anything at this point that earns redemption. Unless she finds a way to bring Tommy back from the dead and take his place in the great beyond.
Then there were the island flashbacks, which I commend for taking place during the first half of the episode. They were finished by the big conflict, which really helped that awesome pacing of this ep. Someone did ask, how could that plane not notice a missile coming, and the explosion? Simple, it was a Chinese airliner. This is a secret Chinese prison island. Suddenly the phrase in Mandarin, “You didn’t see anything,” comes to mind.
Anyway, I didn’t think they’d kill off Fyers so soon! I figured he’d be a foe for the next few seasons. Clever that Oliver, the playboy that wrecked everything, was the one to do it with his new found bow and arrow skills. He sacrificed his freedom to save Shado (there’s that word again). I know that Manu Bennett will be a regular, but what about the actress that plays Shado. Please? Those three are an inseparable team. We know that the airliner attack was because of undisclosed evil lady, so that sounds like another twist in island action for next year. They’re stranded for now though since Fyers is dead.
Also, something happened between Thea and Roy that I’m glossing over because of the sheer awesomeness of everything else.
So, the body count so far stands at two dead Merlyns, a few really dumb henchmen, three swat team members that should have had some backup, and an unknown amount of innocents who may or may not have had this coming. Anytime they want to chain up Oliver shirtless again, clothed in only the green leather pants, I definitely approve of that creative choice. As a matter of fact, it needs to be a weekly thing.
The questions for season two are, How is Oliver affected by Tommy’s death? How is Laurel affected by Tommy’s death? How are The Glades affected by…oh we’ll say Tommy’s death, and probably others too? How can Oliver run a nightclub, a place of fun and decadence, in the middle of a war torn community? It’s like having a beauty pageant in Sarajevo. Is Verdant done? How is Quentin going to keep his job and maintain the confidence of “The Hood,” who better flipping be renamed “The Green Arrow” sometime soon. How will Moira inexplicably escape jail time and public scorn? Finally, what’s Felicity going to wear next? The hubby is really asking that one, because he finds cute nerdy chicks really hot. Hey, he puts up with my obsession of shirtless superheroes and the Winchester brothers, so it’s a wash.
I call “Sacrifice” the best of the season, right up there with episode 16. To the cast, crew, and producers of Arrow, congratulations on a well done first season. It wasn’t perfect and had some rough spots, but most shows in their first season do. Finding footing is a tough job. This is an amazing setup for season two, and the salmon bar suddenly gets raised much higher. I’ll be back to watch it all.