The Arrow is back! The Glades have been saved! The underdogs came through! The citizens didn’t fail the city! The entire three party story ended with a big thud!
On paper, yes, this trilogy of the others having to get by while Oliver was gone being not yet dead was a good one. It made sense. When the hero goes away, those that depend on him have decided to learn from his example and fight back, even though the odds were overwhelmingly against them. It’s the story that makes heroes. It pushed Laurel into her new role as the Black Canary. Roy stepped up to be red suited wonder that wasn’t from Capital City (nice shoutout to The Flash there). Felicity got through her emotional hang-ups…sort of…enough to help the team with their quest and Diggle just remained awesome because he is.
I didn’t review last week’s episode, “Midnight City,” because it was pretty light in the story department. The only significant thing that happened was two women suddenly grew a pair. Way to go Felicity and Laurel. While it was meant to represent girl power, we kind of saw this coming. Also, Ray Palmer has a long way to go in the hero department, even though his heart is in the right place. There was this confusing, circular drama between Maseo, Tatsu, and Oliver that ended with Maseo sending word back to Ra’s Al Ghul that Oliver escaped and is out there somewhere.
One thing though. Oliver survived because of his will to live and the cold? If I squint hard enough I could get over the idea that a sword going through the chest somehow and miraculously didn’t pierce any major organs (although that pesky liver and lung was clearly in the way unless Oliver is a mutant), but he was THROWN OFF A MOUNTAIN. So the will to live and cold thwarts death by falling down a mountain and landing on a sharp rock? Go figure. I thought it only stopped bleeding out. But hey, I’m not a doctor.
Enough of that though because we’re here to talk about “Uprising.” Behold, the power of groupthink! How do you defeat an enemy that outnumbers you? Recruit the citizens of The Glades! Bring back the fighting dude who used to be a superhero before (and was delivered a nasty ass whooping which is probably why he’s out of the business). Bring back Sin, who really can’t fight very well but she’s adorable and has moxie. I did at least enjoy seeing her again. Why did she go away? Let Ray- oh, no, he wasn’t in this episode. No room for every hero wannabe I guess.
As the clash for The Glades raged on, some green dude with an arrow shows up just in time to deliver a hokey speech after the good guys win and then does a flashy exit for show because he’s not exactly in fighting shape. Way to steal everyone’s thunder Ollie. That’s where I think the whole story fell apart. Yes, it’s the comic book ending, the hero swoops in just in time to rally the troops, but in when done in live action, it doesn’t work. For one, could Oliver look more like a cold hearted jerk? His priorities seemed out of whack, but then again the travel schedule probably threw things off a bit. So, he had to deal with Malcolm first by stopping him from killing Brick, then talk to Thea with Malcolm there so he could form an alliance, and then go talk to the team. So nice of Oliver to work the very people who risked their asses to deliver his vision to save the city into his schedule.
But honestly, “Uprising” has a huge upside. We finally got some insight into Malcolm Merlyn! I’ve been waiting for a flashback sequence from him forever, and the only bummer for me was we didn’t get to see Colin Donnell return as Tommy in the flashbacks, but hopefully there’s still room for that. The flashback went back to Malcolm, devoted husband and father, who’s world was shattered apart because his wife was brutally murdered. He loved his son, but protecting him was more important. He confronted a guy that was a suspect in the murder and killed him, but it didn’t solve anything. That’s a common theme for everyone that takes that path of revenge in this show (see Huntress, The). Malcolm decided to do more, and that led him to Nanda Parbat. Yes, I found it extremely interesting that he first encounters the young daughter of Ra’s in the middle of a fight, Nyssa. Malcolm charms her with the same coin behind the ear trick he did with Tommy. Wow, they have a history. I’m curious to see why Nyssa so hates him now.
We got to see Malcolm really struggle with who he is, and I was surprised to find he hasn’t reconciled that killer side of him. He’s been happy lately teaching and bonding with Thea, coaching her that she can’t hesitate and show mercy. She has to make the kill. Heck, he already turned her into a killer in a way with Sara, but she doesn’t remember that and it hasn’t sunk in. Yet as soon as word came around (spying on Team Arrow Malcolm?) that it was Brick that killed his wife, not the guy he killed, Malcolm sunk into that part of himself that he loathed, the killer. As the flashbacks showed, once you have that first kill, things change. You can never go back. Once a killer, always a killer. Wow, wasn’t that all of Arrow season one? I’m still not sure why he wishes that for Thea. I’m assuming its that protection thing again.
Thea gets Malcolm though. Every decision he’s ever made is because he’s protecting his family. Sure, he’s made some pretty bad decisions, and it resulted in the death of 500 plus people including his own son, as well as getting him in thick with the League of Assassins, but his intentions were pure. She was able to convince Roy as well, but that wasn’t enough to get Diggle, Laurel, or Felicity on board. They still think the guy is a psycho killer and wouldn’t have an alliance with him, even though his marksmen skills and fighting abilities are in Oliver’s league.
That’s where Felicity’s world fell apart. Oliver, before even coming to see her, made a deal with Malcolm. The very deal she couldn’t make because she couldn’t stomach it. The problem is, Ra’s Al Ghul is coming for all of them, and only Malcolm knows how to fight him. As we learned from the shirtless showdown on the mountain, Oliver sucks at sword fighting. Despite his feelings about Malcolm, he does have Thea’s best interests at heart and Oliver needs him to help protect her. This is where he and Malcolm are so alike it’s scary. John Barrowman told us at Comic Con that Malcolm sees Oliver as the son Tommy didn’t turn out to be.
Felicity’s tantrum left me really cold. Why so angry with Oliver? He has good justification for working with Malcolm and she didn’t even want to hear it. She even used that as an excuse for choosing not to love him. Is this Felicity running scared? This is the side of Felicity I hate. I get her outburst was for the sake of the will-they-won’t-they drama, but it paints her as an emotionally unstable bitch. She’s too awesome for that. She already had her tantrum two episodes ago only to come to her senses and rise to the occasion in the next episode. Now she’s back to this? Make up your mind writers.
The ONLY thing left that must happen is Detective Lance must get a tour of the Arrow cave now. Come on, of course he knows Oliver is the Arrow. Calling out Roy as Arsenal (he even made fun of the name!) was pure genius. He wasn’t in the mood for the cloak and dagger s***. Oh, and Sin telling him that The Canary wasn’t Sarah? The jig is up. It’s about time he found out what’s going on.
Now what that Oliver is back in town? Not sure, but Laurel wasn’t there when he went back to the Arrow cave, right? Because he would have given her the riot act, right? That’s what I’m looking forward to next. Otherwise, Felicity needs to chill and go work for Ray some more for a breather, and Malcolm needs to run with this “new chance” that he’s gotten from Oliver and continue to be more awesome than ever. I hope the flashback continues too. I want to see what happened in Nanda Parbat.
See you Wednesday!