The last two episodes of this season of Arrow were much hyped by series creator Marc Guggenheim. The executive producer talked about how they were saving the budget for the final two at the recent Upfronts. This installment unfortunately was not creatively astonishing, but still really showed off some of the more interesting facets of the show. Revealing some of the mysteries that the writers had kept to themselves for such an extended period of time was exciting, however in most aspects the creators of the show did not go far enough to satisfy fans of the series. If diehards that are committed to the show adjust their expectations way down, there are some satisfactory moments within this episode.
Focus in this installment was cut in half, the first half being Oliver’s attempt to uncover the truth behind Walters kidnapping. Fans of the show will know exactly who the perpetrator was. Oliver pieced together what exactly had happened fairly quick, which is a breath of fresh air for Arrow. After connecting many leads Oliver ended up finding out the right information from his own mother. The storyline culminated in an interesting fashion, yet in the end all of the payoff for this storyline is dependent on how this situation is handled in next week’s episode. If the next hour is capable of delivering some good payoff, this season might very well be worth the trouble of watching many boring episodes. On the bright side, Felicity stumbling through a casino was nothing short of endearing.
The other half of the episode involved The Undertaking in the past and present. Revelations and mysteries that have been looming in the background presented themselves in an interesting fashion here. Malcolm Merlyn had some truly fascinating scenes this week, as actor John Barrowman plays a wonderful villain. A scene where Robert mentions to Malcolm that he has a god complex will make fans laugh and reflect at the character at the same time. Watching the lead up to the island was interesting as Ollie is painted in a very negative light in the eyes of the viewer. The other attempt at fleshing out an awful human being was the focus on Merlyn. Often times it is difficult to gauge whether the character is having a truly emotional moment due to the fact that he lies excessively to others. His monologue contained here shows that something he was saying was in fact genuine.
Even though Arrow was still disappointing this week, there is still a lot to talk about in this hour of screen time. That being said there is a ton of pressure on the final episode to flesh out some of the bigger mysteries of the show. The honest truth is that if next season bares any resemblance to this one, Arrow is not worth watching week to week. Twenty two hours is an incredible amount of time to invest in something and the show really needs to hammer out quality control issues. There has always been potential in this show and it is passed time to see that potential fully utilized.