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Arrow S02E22: "Streets of Fire"

If there's one question I keep returning to with superhero narratives, it's why people even bother to stick around their respective cities. Like, in the Marvel Universe, I have no idea why you would continue to live in New York after everything that's happened there, between the Fantastic Four opening up wormholes and Spider-Man battling the Sinister Six. In the DC Universe, staying in Gotham City or Metropolis just seems like you're begging to be caught in a cloud of fear gas from the Scarecrow or suffer through an alien invasion that involves Superman punching another guy through every skyscraper in sight.

The citizens of Starling City, all 576,000 of them, are likely mulling this quandary as well. Last year it was an artificial earthquake; this year, it's a platoon of unstoppable and superpowered masked men flipping cars, killing municipal officials, and apparently setting fire to everything in sight. All I'm saying is, if you've got the means, moving might not be a bad idea. At the very least, insurance rates have to be lower elsewhere.

But of course, if all the citizens left, there'd be no reason to protect the city and there'd be no macro-level justification for superhero stories, so this is really just one of those genre conventions that we take at face value and don't question, along the lines of "Why do these people keep breaking into song, and how do they all know the choreography?" in a musical. 


In Arrow's case, I don't so much wonder "Why don't people leave?" as "Why is it so important to save Starling City?" It's a silly question, I know, since the answer is "Because otherwise there'd be no show, you dummy." But I thought about this during "Streets of Fire," an episode filled with solid action and some nice character moments, because I don't know that I've ever felt like Starling City is a place. What we see of it is so often alleyways, warehouses, scaffolding, and plastic tarps. We had the Glades for a nice chunk of this season in the wake of its partial destruction in Season 1, but we don't have a great sense of the city as a whole.

What does the town have to offer? Well, there are incompetent district attorneys, apparently corrupt mayors and business leaders, generally decent police, a prison, a local news channel, and Big Belly Burger. No one ever mentions a great park, museum, or landmark, or whether there's a regional theater company or even a third-rate orchestra (I feel like a zoo was mentioned once). You know, things a character can point to and say, "This is Starling City."


Maybe the lack of specificity is purposeful. Starling City is a blank canvas upon which Arrow's characters often paint their needs. Oliver sees redemption in protecting its citizens and honoring the memories of those close to him who have died. Blood sees an opportunity to make sure no other child is "plagued by nightmares" like he was as a boy. Malcolm saw a city that needed punishing, to atone for a personal loss. Slade sees a way to hurt the man who, to his warped and grief-stricken psyche, has dealt him an incredible pain. Sara, finally, has found the slightest glimmer of hope that she can be something other than an assassin. Starling City, then, is whatever the characters need it to be. It's not a place with a history and roots, but a catalyst for character and narrative development—and, of course, pyrotechnics. 

So the rush to save or destroy Starling City isn't so much about the city as an actual place; it's more about preserving (or destroying) what the city could mean and represent to any given character. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, but when you toss out a specific population number like Amanda Waller did in this episode, it puts a different perspective on things. All of a sudden, there are quantifiable lives at risk that don't always feel like they exist when the show talks about its own setting.

So that's a broader response to "Streets of Fire," perhaps broader than many of you really care about, but you all should be used this sort of thing from me by now, I would think. On a more "Here's what happened in the episode" level, I enjoyed "Streets Of Fire" a great deal. Arrow clearly saved its budget for this episode (and likely next week's, if the promo was any indication). Even though not much actually happened—"Get to the the cure!" was essentially the driving force of the episode, and it mostly involved moving from Point A to Point B to Point C—I almost didn't notice because there was a very consistent chain of action sequences to propel things forward, from Malcolm fighting a mirakuru "jackboot" to Sara saving a girl from a building that exploded not once but twice to Quentin blowing up a mirakuru thug with a few grenades to Felicity hitting Isabel with that van ("What do you think? Hit her again?"). The episode never really flagged, despite the rather simple premise for its action.

Character-wise, we got the bit with Sebastian Blood that I mentioned last week I wanted to see. Blood's belief in Slade's arrangement was indeed rattled last week. The murder of D.A. Spencer (awww, who is Laurel going to blackma— oh, dammit, she's going to be the District Attorney next year, isn't she?) and Slade revealing that he never intended to leave anything of Starling City to rebuild gave Blood the moral clarity he needed to feel his tiny bit of redemption for the city he thought he was saving... before Isabel ran him through with two swords at the same time. That small speech to Oliver was exactly the right note for the character to end on, even if I'm sad to see him go.


In closing, let's hear it for the ladies this week. Laurel was more put together than she's been all season, as if discovering Oliver's identity and then learning Sara's made her own sense of self suddenly click into place after spending so many episodes adrift. Her little pep talk to Sara worked a bit better than the pep talk she gave Oliver last week, even if it was in response to more of Sara's "I'm not worth anything"/"I'm a monster" attitude. Hopefully, between Laurel believing in Sara and that random cop lady thinking she's a hero, Sara will finally feel more comfortable with her new place in the world and everything will come to a head in the finale.

Felicity, meanwhile, was back to her regular strong-willed and awesome self. Compare her "I believe in you speech" to Oliver this week to Laurel's from last week, and there's a very clear difference in either how we're supposed to view Felicity and Laurel's respective grasps on Oliver's psychological self, or the writers just have a much better understanding of Felicity's perspective than they have of Laurel's. Probably both. It was a very strong scene for Emily Bett Rickards, especially as she hit caring and tough love, and the decision to have her go for the hug was far superior than to have her go in for a kiss.

Finally, there's Thea, who had to deal with Malcolm showing up to protect her at the train station. If there's one thing I wanted this episode to have more of, it was that sequence. Arrow quietly rehabilitated the character of Thea from a whiny, entitled, and self-centric teen into a confident and emotionally aware young woman; that way, her anger toward Roy, Moira, and Oliver wasn't motivated by a "Why is everyone so horrible to me?" attitude, but was instead spurred by a truthful "If you all were more open, we wouldn't be having these issues in the first place" point of view. So Thea shooting Malcolm—this horrible secret—wasn't shocking to me; rather, it was the obvious result of the wringer that the last few episodes have put her through. She's experienced so much that she's willing to take aim at the last apparent connection to her old life. Of course, that last connection is going to shrug off the bullets, so what happens next is going to be very interesting indeed.



FROM THE QUIVER

– Lian Yu flashbacks were mostly just "Get us to the point where Oliver decides not to cure Slade in the finale." Nothing else of note beyond the fact that David Nykl is dead set on making sure his scenes are, at least, fun.

– Not only did taking over Queen Consolidated deprive Oliver of his fortune, it gave Slade a great place from which to view the destruction of the city. I'm sure that was the main reason he took over the company. I mean, what good is burning a city to the ground if you don't get to watch and bask in the glow?

– "Why does every secret formula have to be a color? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned clear?"

– "You're out of arrows!" "You're not!" Stabbity-stab!


What did you think of "Streets of Fire"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 4 : Episode 23

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-felicity is awesome!!!!!
-why did thea shot merlin?? come on, he came to save you
-can't wait for the next episode but what am i going to do without arrow??? T.T
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So, just a general pondering to put out there. I know we have all assumed Laurel will eventually become the Black Canary, but we also kind of thought that Tommy was eventually going to take up the mantle of the Dark Archer and he didn't. First, I like Sara and like the role she represents so this might be entirely justification to keep her around. But, what if Laurel doesn't become the Black Canary, but with Kate Dawson's death, takes over the role of Manhunter, but one totally grounded in reality (so no aliens). But, instead of just being like the fourth or fifth incarnation of the role, she creates it. Like, just the experience of Malcolm and now Slade and then she will start to learn about, well, everyone Felicity lists off. And then maybe learns about Barry Allen and his story. And then maybe she asks Diggle to teach her how to fight (and Diggle uses it to work on Felicity's fighting techniques) and then some other supervillain makes his or her prescence known. She sees Team Arrow in their villain of the week mode and how they have to move outside of the law, but that they do try really hard to stay within spitting distance of it. And she starts to realize as a prosecutor, she has access to a lot more criminals who might slip through the cracks that might not seem important enough to bring to Team Arrow's attention. So...she decides to do something herself.
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One has to admire Japanese engineering and manufacturing. 60 years under water and everything on a submarine still functions perfectly. :)
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It's a submarine, not a Casio watch. :)
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quite. In submarine there is a higher chance of seam or weld giving way and flooding it, instruments failing due to lack of maintenance, corrosion, rust etc.
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I know. :D If you can't make stupid jokes on the internet, then what's the point of having it at all?
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Porn and cat pics?
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It was good to see Dark Archer back even if it was for a few minutes.
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There are so many things I don't like about this show now... It's entertaining, but it's also very irritating.

1. Oliver is so unlikable, egosentric, whiny and full of guilt all the time to the point where it is super annoying + he's a slut with poor decisionmaking. Every problem is thanks to him it seems.
2. Sarah is a portrayed by a poor actress, her lines are dumb and she's trying too hard to be the badass girl character, her actions are irritating, she's murderous and a cunt, she's also whiny and full of guilt, she's a slut they turned bi for no good reason other than to have the obligatory "gayness" in a show, she is super annoying and I HATE that she is the canary which means we might be stuck with her for a while.
3. Laurel is the better character, but she doesn't get that many good lines or that much relevance on the show, she forgave Oliver and Sarah too easily IMO.
4. The exaggeration when they are supposed to be human and not superheroes.
5. That no one recognize(d) Oliver and Sarah when they wore their small masks, make-up or wigs... It was so silly.
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The last scene was great. I didn't believe they would actually go through with it, but they did and it was great.

Laurel's character is better-written in these last few episodes, but the rest of the season was a mess.

And I just love Felicity. The hug was the perfect reaction for her, she is strong and at the same time she is the only character in the show that is not somehow morally compromised. Part of the greatness is the writing and part the way the actress delivers it. No surprise here, she is everyone's favorite.
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I actually shrieked in a girlish voice, "She did it! She killed him!"
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"The fire rises"... This famous quote of Bane fits perfectly in this season finale. Sure it'll be a hell of a night, and in the morning we'll see the birth of a city of heroes.
Starting with Oliver when he goes one on one against Wilson. For starters how did he know that the men surrounding the city was ARGUS? Does he have a crystal ball in the tip of one of his arrows? Anyway, I think he'll end up in the same position he once was in the island. Specially after what Blood told him it's obvious that Wilson is going to force Oliver to choose between Laurel and Sarah, as he was forced to choose between Sarah and Shado. The question is: will he choose someone else this time or he'll choose her again? On the other hand I can't wait to see the mix of fights between them, their flashback fight in the freighter and their actual fight in the present. It'll be so cool!
As for Sarah somehow (made because they're both connected to the League) she is going to be used as bait by Wilson, specially given that he's already used to be one step ahead of Oliver all the time and Oliver still doesn't know she got back. The million dollar question is where she was, my guess: she tried to get back to the League and was rejected by Ras Al Ghul and Nyssa. That's why she came back feeling even more worthless and beyond repair than before. But saving that child from that burning building made her feel like she can still do something good with her life. Maybe we'll see her becoming a hero from now one.
I'm wondering what will happen to Roy. Will he wake up cured? Better? Even worst? The only thing Olver doesn't need right now is another mirakuru monster in his hands.
Well, I think next season will be a season of journeys. The journey of the hero for Oliver, Roy and Sarah, a journey of self discovering for Thea and ajourney of rebirth for Starling City. Although I still have the feeling that the League of Assassins is coming to town, which means that peace is still a distant dream.
In that direction I think it would be cool if Bruce Wayne appeared in Arrow, since he was trained by the League as Sarah was. Anyone else thinks a meeting between Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne (not Batman, Bruce Wayne) would be the coolest thing?
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A) Not the season finale
B) Like the penultimate episode of season one, the title is a Bruce Springsteen reference
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Great episode ,I don't think Thea shot Merlin, she probably shot the masked freak that he was fighting and was coming from behind Merlin maybe . And as I said before in the comments about Sarah leaving to get help from the League of Assassin's ,the promo for the finale confirmed my thoughts and the credits puts Caity Lotz as a guest star so Sarah probably will leave with the LOA and may be appear in a couple of episodes in the next season or she will fake her death to disappear as Merlin did
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It's better to focus on what actually is presented in an episode rather than waste too many syllables dissecting what's lacking or what appears to make little sense. The episode was fairly exceptional and that much relatively irrelative criticism detracts from what viewers received by watching.
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:) what a great episode I loved when felicity ran over bitchface that was brilliant. Overall great episode I'm so glad Sarah's back and Merlin :) :) :) I hope Thea didn't shot him.
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"What do you think? Hit her again?" Felicity is either my number two or three favorite thing about this show with the overall mythology my number one.
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:) funniest thing ever.
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* First off, I want to say that the music is terrible in this episode.

* Again, Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, etc. must not exist in this world or were otherwise busy.

- This wasn't an alien invasion or a world-ending danger. The idea that A.R.G.U.S. would 'nuke' Starling City is beyond laughable especially given there is news footage of the military being there.

* Other than bad writing, I don't see how Diggle put up such a fight with Isabel Rochev.

* Clearly, Slade didn't want to kill Oliver given it seems he easily could have had a helicopter simply shoot up or missile that moving van.

* Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity would have been killed by those two masked men. Instead, they slow walk to the van and are taken out with some sparks and a minor shock-wave.

* Given Thea's supposedly currently poor, given her mother died, I'm not sure I buy that Thea would be so against Malcolm. Malcolm twice saved her life in this episode and he managed to kill two of the superpowered masked men. Thea would rather risk almost certain death -- from her perspective -- than have Malcolm save her and inherit a multi-billion fortune?

* Um, Sara's wig would have fallen off during her fighting if it was that loose on her head.

* Why are Sara and Laurel having these emotional scenes when at any moment some masked superman could be killing them?

* I continue to find Felicity rather annoying when she's outside of her computer skills. Oliver's ridiculous self-pity and self-flagellation while the city burns seems only there for Felicity to give him an ego boost.

* There's clearly zero chance Slade would let Blood take the cure.

* Sara Lance, saving one kid doesn't make up for being an assassin for years. And why would doing that make Sara feel better than all the other help she's been to Starling City?

* I don't know why the Thea-Malcolm thing was spread out over the episode -- at most, those events happened within minutes.

* Malcolm clearly would be wearing body armor; therefore, unless Thea shot Malcolm in the head, he's likely still alive.

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Now that Robbie Amell's show has been cancelled, what character do you think he could play on his cousin's? He himself suggested a cameo as a well-to-do friend of Oliver's only referred to as "Bruce" (Wayne). Now that he has the time for a more complex role he could play either Ed Raymond (the man Felicity married in the DCU) or perhaps Prometheus...
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You realize that the Felicity Smoak on Arrow is UTTERLY alien to the Felicity Smoak in the comic...to the point, all they have in common is a name. Much the way Laurel Lance is ALIEN to Dinah Lance as BC in the comic. I only see the push of Ed Raymond, when the writers can barely handle the characters they have, is from the camp that doesn't want Felicity with Oliver. Sad to say...Felicity has the most emotionally impacting scenes with Oliver.
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Sarah: "I'm engulfed in a cloud of gloom and negativity - there is absolutely nothing that will lift me out of this"
Laurel: "Yeah, but your name is cool..."
Sarah: "Holy shit, you're right - my name is cool! Ok, false alarm, i'm all good."

Hmmm, for some reason I'm not buying it...

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To me it meant that the people who saw Sarah at her worst (a killer for the League) still saw the light in her. Canaries are not known for being vicious killers is all, and her new name was probably supposed to capture her essence, a beautiful creature in flight.
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Amen. Amen. Amen. Ugh... All of Laurel's pep talks fall flat.
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I haven't read all the comments but did you notice something weird with the girl Sara saves? First it's a girl in pjs, then covered with a blanket, then no blanket and then blanket again.. It was so obvious it made me laugh. Otherwise great ep
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I'll be overjoyed when this ridiculous Mirakuru plot finally comes to its overdue end. Unfortunately for me, most of the season was mired in it.

And so we went from super soldiers that were so invincible and deadly in close quarters combat to semi super-powered masks who actually can be taken out with some mild explosions (along with other means). Nothing like consistency, eh. Just what the hell is Argus doing with that over-the-top stance of theirs, then, couldn't Oliver have passed the memo?! Although I guess the stakes wouldn't have been high enough for the writers then.

I also feel like my eyes are still rolling at the choice of a hero-defining moment for Sara (at least she came back to the city...). Cue one of the most cliched and phoned in scenes in the universe, where a poor mother laments leaving one child behind to the flames (while succesfully managing to make it outside with the other) only to have an imprevious fire walker brave the danger and make it outside with a timely rescue. Later on the pathos exploded when a cop conveniently praised The Canary for performing the bravest deed ever achieved on the face of the earth. That's made everything right for the character, and all is well in the world again. Uff... deep breath.

Thea was just being a brat again, no surprise there (hate the guy, but be smart enough to realize when someone saves your ass nonetheless), but I am not convinced that she actually shot Merlyn. It would've been interesting if she had, but could've just as easily aimed at someone behind him. Still, this episode didn't utilize Barrowman properly.

Colton Haynes' acting was top notch once again, and I think that Roy has finally found his place on the show over the latest couple of episodes. Sadly this status quo may not hold up through the finale.
Blood went out in a good way, me thinks. Or at least as good as it could've been at that point. Not fully redeemed because he's suddenly saw the error of his ways, but still doing the right thing while staying true to his naive beliefs. That was fitting.
Laurel and Quentin had some good moments (and if she doesn't become D.A., that will be the biggest shock of all), but of course it's Felicity and her driving skill that take the top prize home.
Meanwhile, the flashbacks are worth watching for David Nykl alone. I could totally follow Oliver & Anatoli's adventures (plus the promised Russian lessons) throughout the entire next season.

Not expecting much from the finale, but it should be entertaining at the very least. Probably in a more or less dumbed down way.

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Yeah they needed a scene where Quentin is with those cops that were discussing the "hero" afterwards

Quentin "Here's the $20"
Female Officer "Trying to solve your daughters self-loathing with some fake overheard praise? No wonder your other daughter is in AA Lance"
Quentin "You want the 20 or not?"
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Oh, Lord...cynicism aside, that's pretty funny.
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I don't think she actually shot Malcom, or did I miss something. I just remember the gun going off but you don't see him getting shot.
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You do hear a body drop. It might not be him (it was probably ambiguous on purpose), but the fact that it COULD be was pretty gutsy.
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Generic City is much smaller than I expected. Less than 600 thousand? It has too many skyscrapers seen from above to be that small.

For a moment I thought Thea was going to shout: "Daddy! You came!" She has already broken up with Oliver and Moira, so she could go to the dark side altogether just as well.

FINALLY Laurel recognized Sara. I mean, she couldn't take forever to recognize her sister's own boobs and body shape? But i superhero universe a little mask makes the whole difference.

Will Oliver have much of a company left to get back (if he ever will)? I imagine all the sorts of damages Slade can do, liquidating assets and making bad investments Slade can do while in control.

I wonder if there'll be anything to tell in flashbacks next season. It seems we're getting to the point Oliver leaves the Island.
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Vancouver (probably the basis for the cityscape shots in Arrow) had only 578,000 as of 2006.
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The skyline is hodgpodge of lots of different cities, though I think they rely mostly on Frankfurt, Germany.
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Really? I live nearby, so to speak, and I didn't recognise the skyline of Franktfurt. I've just compared some shots and it could really been Frankfurt. It's the fifth biggest city of Germany and has about 690.000 inhabitants and surely has the most Skyscrapers in this country. And there would be an Opera, a Zoo, a historic City Hall (14th century, so not suitable for Starling ^^) and Goethe's residence (again not for Starling), the Stock Exchange and so on. But I'm not really bothered, that Arrow never took us on a sightseeing tour around Starling City. I don't even remember, if the City was properly described in the comics I read. If compared to Metropolis, the only thing I know about Superman's hometown is the Daily Planet building. ^^
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I did not know that. Pretty cool. I saw a nighttime shot of Vancouver on Google and thought it looked like Starling.
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You're spot on about Thea and Laurel. They have been in dire need for some character development, and they finally got it. I believe that "Sara will finally feel more comfortable with her new place in the world" only for a brief moment; she'll likely die in the finale.
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I enjoyed this episode, and finally go to see some "River Tam" come out in Isobel, we all know Summer Glau can kick ass why did it take 22 episode for it to happen!!!
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Although i don't know who is Slade taking next week, something just occurred to me. It would be such a shame if Manu and Emily Bett didn't share any screen time this season. That would be a great scene.
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Am I the only one who thinks that Felicity is not well? With the car "accident" and her rubbing her head before giving the pep talk to Oliver, I'm afraid that she was brain bleeding or something that they only going to say in the last 2 minutes of next week.
That being said, I loved the episode. And, I'm sorry, but I was totally surprise when Thea shot Malcolm. I know that she wants a different life for her, away from all the secrets and just to start fresh, but for her to shoot her biological father?! Don't get me wrong, it was a nice twist and whatever, but surprised me a lot.
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Comic and action based media tend to shake off life threatening concussions as just a really bad headache for some dumb reason.
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It was a solid episode overall with great action & character developments. It was good to see Thea standing up for herself but clumsy since he is her only hope of surviving the chaos, The finale setup the who will complete the one person to die from the promise Slade made to Oliver & it looks likely to between Laurel & Sara ( I'm betting on the former), the only negative from the episode is i find it unrealistic how Slade will let go got the cure so easily knowing itis his only weakness.
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Very dissapointed with this episode. Bunch of (cheesy) scenes cut together in a fast pace and nothing done properly.

Like, I would have loved to watch a whole episode about Malcolm coming back... there would have been a lot of stuff there to explore. But no... Malcolm came back just to say some super cheesy lines to Thea in the middle of a huge Starling City crisis. And Thea crying the whole time.

I would have loved to watch Sara turning to this nice save-the-day-gal. Oh yeah, sorry, that DID happen. She saved a kid from a burning building and now she is a hero. Umm.. if that's the case maybe u should've done that sooner and save yourself from all that grief u struggled with for the whole damn season..? It wasn't that hard was it? The whole thing took about 5 minutes including the happy Lance family cheesy-scene?

The only things I liked were the Blood-storyline (amazing how some actors can deliver those super-cheesy lines without sounding a bit cheesy... This show definitely needs more of that... RIP Sebastian Blood. I voted you!) and the Island-flasbacks (which I usually hate for a number of reasons).

I do understand that cheesyness is a part of the superhero genre the same way as people waking from the dead or everybody living in those made-up cities that get destroyed by the aliens or whatever from time to time... (and lets not forget the one man piloted submarines... because that sounds crazy... grow a head you people! If there's a super-serum making people crazy there can be one man piloted submarines!) but in a show like this with us fairly normal peolpe watching it (nothing wrong with you comic book people don't get me wrong!), it's a fine line when there's just too much cheese topping and alien-stuff.

This season I've had a bit too much of those are-you-for-real-moments. Like Malcolm being Theas daddy, Isabel being Roberts lover, the damn SECOND WORLD WAR JAPANESE mirakuru... yeah, people invented that stuff back in the days.. what I'm trying to say is, that the quality of all the stotylines and arcs and stuff would have been more believable with a little less fancy stuff.

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excellent write-up NOELRK - and you're right - this ep was the budget buster - a lotta money up on the screen.
And how about some props for the stunt crew?!? - that body roll for Summer Glau hit by the van was freakin perfect - and a whole lot of very cool 'splosions too.
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This is show is what you watch after you've been up all night and you need good laugh...
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Felicity Smoak. Is there a more perfect character anywhere on TV? Next week looks amazing! Please don't kill Sara, and please can we have Katrina Law in lots more episodes next year?
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I know I am probably the only one but as much as I love Felicity, I can't take any more of her teary, "I believe in you, Oliver" moments. I like her sassy, funny, awkward but episode after episode of her assuring Oliver of how heroic he really is gets tiring. But loved her hitting Isobel with a car though. It'll be too much too soon if the writers decide that Felicity is the one he loves most. It is between the three women but none of them work for me. If it's Laurel then it's like, what the heck is he doing with Sara and if it's Sara, there goes the "epic" Laurel-Oliver love story. The one he really loves most is Thea but she clearly isn't the target.

Promo looks ridiculously awesome. I am going to enjoy watching Isobel having her ass handed to her by Nyssa.
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It kind of makes me laugh that at some point last season they were thinking of not making Felicity a permanent part of the show. Felicity is the show. The center, the soul and if she wasn't there this would be a different show. And likely something that I wouldn't watch.

That being said, Felicity was hilarious when she hit Isabel. The action with Diggle was pretty great. Kudos on the fight coordination.

The stuff with Laurel and Sarah is concerning. I don't really want Sarah to not survive but it looks like they are building to that. Having Laurel shoot the bow, have her be active in all of this. Having Sarah question herself. Which in my opinion feels kind of off. I know that it is a crisis of conscience for anyone that has had a job that involves taking the lives of other human beings. But at the end of the day there are worse things than being a killer. I don't know, it just seems off and forced a bit on her. I hope they keep her, she doesn't need to stay and become a permanent part of the show, but making her a character that comes in and out as the story dictates would seem better.

Overall the action was great, the death of Blood was great and I can't wait to see what happens in the finale.
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It was a good episode filled with good action and things moving along. I really looked forward to the finale.

I really hope Slade and the lady sick sidekick Isabel would be dead. Too many Villains from other shows were brought forward to the next season, I really hope Arrow do not do it again like they did with Merlyn last year.

I am so glad Sara is back and I hope she will be in season three. I am loving her as much as Felicity too. I would not even mind if Felicity goes to Flash if she stays.
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Did you see the stunt double in the opening scenes for Diggle? Apparently Diggle's hair grows considerably when he's in danger. Worst superpower ever.


When was the last time we saw Ollie save a normal person, or stop a normal crime? When was the last time The Arrow a hero to the people rather than a lens for insanity?

This episode had one moment with saving regular folks, it was when Sara pulled a Spider-Man 2 and rescued someone from a burning building, thus proving she is a hero inside, even when she doesn't see it. It was very phony and bereft of real danger or even a real cause, since there's only 50 Sladettes and somehow they're rampaging everywhere else but here, at the site of the fire they started.

I liked this episode, but it had a few storytelling issues that held it back to being campy junkfood. Quentin defeating a Sladette with a few grenades leaves one to wonder why this isn't just SOP for dealing with them. The whole driving plot of Sebastian Blood came to very little, and was voiced stupidly with talk of nightmares and masks that felt like pretense but led nowhere. The pacing of the Malcolm storyline didn't match up with the rest of the episode. The rescue of the cure was a bit cliche and stale. Sara just pops back up. And the early escape from the underground explosion was a pointless exercise.

Oh god, please don't make Laurel the DA. :-(

How did they pilot the sub in the flashbacks? That takes a team of people, and it's an ancient, decrepit sub, but there's only 2 of them. And that ticking clock was too short, an hour isn't believable, I wonder if Ollie had something else in mind or if the writers are planning something or if they're just bad at these things.

I was disappointed that Slade wasn't saying the final death was the city itself.
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Yeah the grenade thing demonstrated there was an alternative to the cure, while ordering some colored glowing cure from star labs, Oliver should of been ordering up some highly explosive arrow from wherever, just motorcycle around the city blowing up henchman with the van following full of surplus arrows :-) No problems exist that a bomb can't solve.
alien portal - bomb
giant asteroid - bomb
restarting earths core - bomb/s
small town zombie virus - bomb

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Cross-cutting between action, re: Malcolm and Thea versus everything else, is an issue the show has as a whole, but I also feel like it's become a symptom of CW shows in general. Reign (shut up) had a similar cross-cutting issue in last week's episode as it seemed like the A-plot took place across a day ( at least), but the B-plot, in another location, was basically half a day? It was very unclear, and drove me nuts as action in the A-plot was happening at night, it was still day time in the B-plot.

I want to say Tomorrow People has done it as well, but in that show's case it doesn't matter since it was just axed.
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Heh heh, you are right to think I would bust your chops for watching Reign.

I suppose it's a symptom of being made on the cheap and fast for a younger audience (and too often, folks mistake youth for stupidity), there isn't as much concern over pacing so they sacrifice it for a feeling of "moar dramas!"
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I would say it's an example of post-continuity impulses, but frankly, I just think it's bad editing.
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I just had the weirdest thing happen in that article, I hit F3 to search and didn't realize I had a previous search chambered, it actually found the phrase, "Transformers". I suppose that makes this comment a post-continuity impulse.

On Arrow, I don't even think it was bad editing, the problem started in the writers room, they wrote this much Thea story for last night:
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but wanted to stretch it intercut with this much episode:
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so that the audience wouldn't feel like last week's cliffhanger didn't pay off, but this week's Thea story could still end on another cliffhanger.

As for Bay and post-continuity editing, and the audience not noticing, I think that's wrong, the audience DOES notice - ticket prices are skyrocketing to make up for lower turnout. So they are building a stupider audience who will consume their garbage, but driving away the mainstream audience who won't. Cinema is still a balance of story and visual/auditory content, and the majority of cinema right now is devaluing story, the audience may not be in touch enough to notice the problems at first, but they still affect the audience none the less, they still lead to lower tickets and lower home market sales and lower merchandising sales.
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Let me clarify, this episode worked because of its interpersonal relationships and some watchable action (for once). The storytelling issues kept it in McDonalds territory, but the character stuff kept it from being in the toilet.
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I really don't think Malcolm Merlyn is dead after Thea shot him (if she actually shot him). That in the picture seems a lot like some kind of Lazarus Pit related pendant: the Dark Archer is gonna be very difficult to kill with that on him!
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Yeah but as it's green, if we use Felicity's colour code chart for potions and chemicals it means Malcolm is carrying roun mirakuru ;)
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Does everybody really think that Thea shot Malcolm? I really don't think so. A lot of other shows have used this exact cliffhanger before (so I actually disliked that Arrow decided to use it). Thea is probably shooting at someone behind Malcolm. The double tap also convinces me more of this.
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They did the same thing with Breaking Bad, making people wonder if Gail was really dead only to find out in the first two minutes that yup, he sings karaoke to the angels.
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Great episode, loved the cliffhanger. One tiny thing bothered me: unless Laurel has been secretly injected with mirakuru, she shouldn't have been capable to pull on Oliver's bowstring. Other than that, I hope nobody dies next week.
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My favorite was not just her wimpy little arms drawing the bow enough to fire a nose-heavy arrow accurately, but the pointless 3-count before firing - is that meant to build character or something?
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Have you ever used a compound bow before? It's really not that hard. Oliver even mentioned in the episode that even Laurel can do it because of the bow.
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Actually they are. Most bows have to be measured to the arms of the user. It is not one-two-three. For instance, when most people start with archery the guy providing you with the bow will take an idea of your height and have you test out a few bows, whether it's compound or olympic. There is no way that you can tell me this is realistic.
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I have, actually. Even if they're not as strong as longbows, they can still be pretty strong. Oliver probably uses at least a 50 lb compound, so Laurel should have had at least more difficulty than shown pulling it.
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Remember when she beat up the guys who came to her apartment with the intent to kidnap her? She dispatched those fools. Sure, the taser took her down but my point is she definitely works out in self-defense classes that go beyond kicking your assailant in the groin and blowing a rape whistle.
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Why wouldn't Felicity have run her over, again? Seems the smartest thing to do. (I GET that it's not in her character to do that -- especially as an instant reaction.) Certainly, Diggle should have insisted.

And, once she was down, it seems Diggle should have finished her off -- maybe cut of her head with her own sword, rather than run away and give her a chance to get up and wreak more havoc.

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I agree that Felicity should have hit Ravager, again.

Maybe Diggle figured that Green Arrow must be in trouble since he didn't contact Diggle, and so they should go help Green Arrow right away.
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I think Ollie needs to get her to sign something first that returns Queen Consolidated back over to the family - then they can throw da bitch off da balcony
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How certain are you that it was Malcolm that Thea shot? It looked to me that we only had a close up of a man's midsection when the bullets hit. Isn't it possible a bad guy was sneaking up behind Merlin and it was HIM that she shot? Or, did I miss the obvious?
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I thought the same thing. But somehow I hope she did shoot Malcolm (not deadly of course), if only this would really be a surprise for me and not something we already have seen dozens of times in tv)
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Bare in mind i am not confident about this at all, its just an interesting thought that popped into my head. Is anyone else thinking that Slade might die and Isabel might get away and be this unknown element that could come back at anytime?
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Again, I question why they need a cure for Mirakuru???? And this Argus business with destroying the entire city? Do we need GBU-43 Bombs (aka the MOAB) which by the way cannot be delivered by a drone since it weighs in at over 22,000lbs. A Predator Drone has a max take off weight of less 2,500lbs... It was amazing to hear this sort of dialogue... Why didn't they rent a C-130H Hercules from the USMC and make the scenario believable at least? But nope... Still I have to question why Argus needs to destroy the entire city of Starling with Massive Ordnance Air Blast type weapons to kill 50 guys??? I think we have several other options at hand...

How about a good old fashioned M2HB on a couple of hummers? I mean it has worked in the past ( 1921-2014 or 93 years of service from The Sands Of Iwo Jima to the streets of Kabul) the M2HB rips people apart... Last time I checked it is pretty hard to keep fighting when you are cut in two by one.... I had one the turret of my M1A1 Tank.... I figure a couple of tanks, a few well armed hummers and Slade's army of Mirakuru junkies would be finished with in an afternoon.





Put a little maiden on in the intercom system and go to work...

Also we all know Malcolm is not dead.

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The governor offered to send in the National Guard, and so apparently he thought that they could handle the mirakuru-criminals situation.

Amanda Waller's plan to kill everyone in Starling City as a way to kill 50 mirakuru-criminals suggests that she's gone crazy.
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Yeah, she's gone crazy... Now, I could see if Slade had turned literally 75% of the population into Mirakuru crazed puppet soldiers. That would require a different approach but we're talking 50 guys. And they are strong --- but if they don't have a brain stem any more then they are dead. And the good ol' M2HB is a good way to remove a target's head from his or her shoulders.
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what about snipers and head shots - that is NOT survivable and much less collateral damage
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Snipers are good. But I was a tanker so I love my tanks...
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I agree head shots, hell with the 50cal you could hit Mr. Mirakuru assailant in the torso and you would rip him apart. Especially if you used MK211 ammo even if Mr. Mirakuru had a steel plate on his chest 12mm RHA on his chest it would blowup and rip him apart.

To me it is just laughable that 50 guys justifies the destruction of an entire city. There are so many better options to use before a MOAB...
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I'll tell you what Starling City DOESN'T have: a community swimming pool! DAMN YOU, SLADE! YOU TOOK OUR POOL!!!

I think it does go with that comic suspension of belief that it's just the way it is. People have to live somewhere, and that's where they live. Superheroes protecting vast swaths of nothing would be funny for a while, then just sad. Superman didn't stay in Kansas for a reason.

SO....no Kate Spencer spin off, clearly. May be another Brother Blood later, as that mask may find it way into some else's hands.
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Holy mother, father, sister, brother, Darth Vader... those 40 minutes were one of the best I have seen in my life...
I was like, I swear to God, just like that...


I do this thing om MAOS, so I think to do it here too...

I haven't been more happier in my life than the way I felt watching Isabel getting run over by the one and only Female lead in Arrow- Queen B***H WIFI FELICITY SMOAK...





When I saw Malcolm...



Sarah is THE CANNARY... Great Laurel in this episode... Proud mama Lance...



THE SPEECH, PEOPLE, THE SPEECH!!! WHY ARE SO PERFECT, FELICITY, HOW ARE SO PERFECT!!!





"Who you love the most"...




Oh, the Slade and Isabel scenes

gave me chills...

The end of the episode...




Some other thing.
The music. Masterpiece.
The next episode promo...





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And it was more like this to me.


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how can malcolm just "shrug off the bullets?" The Lazarus pit doesnt make a person immune to bullets, it just restores them back to their prime after going into the pit again. so the only way malcolm can survive is if he is put back into the pit. thats assuming thats how he survived from season 1 in the first place. i legit thought malcolm was dead before i saw the promo to next weeks episode and clearly his not dead
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Malcolm Merlyn can't shrug off bullets. I think he's confident when talking to Thea that she won't shoot him. And maybe she shot a mirakuru-criminal near him.
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Thea just a really bad shot, or just shoot someone or thing in the back. Or justa wanted to waste bullet in a dire situation
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Malcom came back to save Thea, Blood stole the antidote and gave it to Oliver. Bad guys doing good things. Next up Oliver will have to do the wrong thing for the right reason. At last the girls finally got an episode that showed their strengths. I even liked Laurel in this episode. Her character finally got some redeeming qualities.
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Excellent episode! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! Loved Felicity as always! I'm glad she ran Isabel over (Yay!). Plus I'm really loving the new and improved Laurel, her scene with Sara was touching.

Finale next week! OMG. League of Assassins plus Team Arrow...Bring it on!
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I wish Oliver would stop blaming himself for Shado's death. Ivo killed Shado. I get that Slade blames Oliver because he's not exactly sane, but for Oliver to blame himself just doesn't make sense. Ivo had the gun, Oliver was willing to take the bullet, but he couldn't be in two places at one time.

Felicity is awesome. I loved it when she hit Isabel with the van.
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I scream that everytime he does that...
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Oliie has a fairly bad Messiah complex. He tends to blame any failure squarely on himself.
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The main thing Oliver Queen is guilty about is that he tried to kill Slade Wilson instead of curing him of the mirakuru.
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I don't know why,but I feel like season 3(yes,I wrote it right...season 3) finale will also have Starling City in peril :D...well,season 1 had Glades,season 2 has Straling City,so maybe season 3 has country? :D:D
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The final countdown...

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Definitely paused my own screen on this shot. SUCH a good image.

Curious about Roy though - either the cure didn't work, or they're just asking for him to be killed.
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Roy Harper without super-strength but with a bow-and-arrow (including trick arrows) has a better chance against mirakuru-criminals than The Black Canary with a metal stick.
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Dont under rate canary, If it was weapon dependent , arrows vs metal stick , i would give them bazookas, grenades or sniper rifles to improve their chances . Its about training . and canary is trained by Academy of THE RA'S Al GHUL. She is in league of assassins .
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may be the cure cured mental side effects of the mirakuru
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I AM DONE PLAYING YOUR GAMES.
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THE MOMENT MALCOM GAVE ME #GOOSEBUMPS


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My friend said this scene reminded him of Star Wars xD hahaha!
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I don't think the DAs of Starling City are "incompetent." Moira Queen was acquitted because Malcolm Merlyn bribed the jurors, not because prosecutor Laurel Lance did a bad job of presenting a case.
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Except that Laurel should've never been on the case in the first place?
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The lead prosecutor was poisoned with vertigo. It wasn't his fault that he was poisoned.
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Yes, but it was Spencer's decision to put Laurel, a person with a potential conflict of interest, on to the case instead of trying it herself. Pile on Donner's botched attempt to lure in Helena back, and I think incompetence is an issue in that office.
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BEST PART OF THE EPISODE


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Also the worst part in that we had to suffer through that horrendously oversized mask. Worse than the one used in The Dark Knight Rises, even. Friggin' bobblehead.
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Summer Glau has an oversized forehead.
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In that mask, she has hydrocephalus.
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That and the "What'd you think...hit her again?"
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It was a cool moment,but it's also weird...like she can't see headlights or HEAR van...
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the ugly mask blocks her hearing - that is a great stunt roll.
lotta love for the stunt people in this episode
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A traditional penultimate episode of putting everybody where they need to be, with mostly the people they need to be with so that the appropriate pep talks can be given in advance of the big battle to come.

I'm going to bite my tongue on Oli's, "I choose you over Shado" admission cause that horse is dead. Even if I hate it, I need to accept it and move on. What I'm a little less willing to accept is Malcolm and Sara's Magic Hour. If this whole villain/hero thing doesn't work out, these two have a future on the main stage at Caesar’s Palace entertaining audience with their disappearing and reappearing magic tricks.

Malcolm: Shows up to save Thea...in the nick of time of course. Except, what the hell was he doing at the bus station (or maybe airport) in the first place? He certainly had no reason to believe that Thea, who conceptually didn't understand coach, would be there. And there was only one Jackboot thug there so it wasn't the spot most in need of his help. If one presumes that he's been keeping tabs on Thea since the funeral and knew exactly where she was, "What the f*ck, Malcolm?!? Me, other people and security guards have been taking an ass kicking going on 10 minutes now. If you were here this whole time, why not help out sooner?"

Sara: Even more egregious than Malcolm. She's been out of town for the past few days, all hell breaks loose, and while her boyfriend is running towards the problem, Laurel (rightly and FINALLY) is going in the opposite direction towards the safety of the police station. That is until, ruh roh...she's faced with into another jackboot and runs away. Like all damsels in distress, the best place to go is down a dark alley, but it's fenced off. What to do? Have no fear, Sara's here...da da da daaa!

You know, I could handle one of these "don't ask too many questions" type appearances. But two in such quick succession under circumstances that pulls any level of plausibility beyond it's tensile strength.

This is just adding to foundational aspects main story arcs which drive me nuts. While I'm not optimistic, I can only hope that Slade and Isobel are killed in the finale, Roy is cured and I can put everything about this in my rear view and start fresh in season 3, with Oli back at the helm of Queen Consolidated and fighting "rational" super villains like Ras al Ghul and Solomon Grundy. Since Arrow doesn't have the collection of villains Smallville did, I don't expect Slade to die. Just of the love of God, cure him, partially fix his brain and have him STFU about Shado. PLEASE!

"No one ever mentions a great park, museum, or landmark, or whether there's a regional theater company or even a third-rate orchestra. You know, things a character can point to and say, "This is Starling City." Maybe the lack of specificity is purposeful."

You better believe the lack of specificity is on purpose, otherwise, all the viewers would saying, "Hey! Wait a minute! That's not Sterling city..it's Metropolis! Hey Oli, maybe you should swing by the Planet and get Clark up to speed. I'm sure he could help out."

"Arrow clearly saved its budget for this episode (and likely next week's, if the promo was any indication)."

Right up until that moment, I thought that last night was the finale and I was about to come in here and rip Arrow up one side and down the other. LOL...oops, my bad.

"The decision to have [Felicity] go for the hug was far superior than to have her go in for a kiss."

I thought for sure Felicity was going in for an "it's the end of the world" and "I don't know if I'll ever see you again" kiss and I panicked. "NOOOOOO!!!!!". While I think there will be a one off moment of weakness/vulnerability where these two get together, I really want these two to stay platonic. Well, platonic with a crush, cause inapppriate thinking out loud Felicity is the BEST!
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Maybe Malcolm Merlyn tracked Thea with her cellphone, and The Black Canary tracked Laurel with her cellphone.
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Oh, of course they did...silly me.

Even if that's presumed to be true, based on no information given by the show, that they showed up at the exact moment they did I think lends more weight to lazy writing for dramatic effect.

I found it far less dramatic than I did eye rolling and borderline insulting from a show that I expect better from.
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Totally agree that Oliver and Felicity need to stay platonic. I LOVE their relationship how it is, and really don't want to see it spoiled!
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I haven't really dwelled on the why the people live there is fantasy series a lot since questioning the wisdom of people not only living in Sunnydale but also continually going to the night club they frequented. But, yeah, next season they may want to have a couple background sequences that show a pleasant city (at least Sunnydale was in a fairly pleasant Southern California area) or at least have someone, though I'm not sure who at this point, get invited to events.

I honestly never realized that apparently that was the first time that any one called Sara, "Canary." But as we have heard it referenced before and it is clearly simply Canary that they use (of course this could be the same as we don't call Oliver the Green Arrow, just Arrow), I sort of wonder if Sara does die (which I hope she doesn't) the path that Laurel takes to specifically be the Black Canary is a little different.

I sort of started wondering last night, when I was sure they were telling us it was Felicity who was getting kidnapped, that maybe Slade is a confused as us about which amongst the women Oliver loves the best and he decides to go after Oliver's best remaining male friend? It would be kind of ironic...
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Did you really ask why they are trying to save the city? Because innocent people are dying due to an army of thugs pumped up on a miracle drug. That's why. I can't believe you asked such an idiotic question.
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Good ol' "innocent people" of the city to save. Disregard the fact that they only exist in dialogue and thus have no weight in the audience's mind, that without seeing our heroes save them our heroes have no value as heroes at all. That's what the producers of this show would like you to do, anyway.
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Well,you got mother yelling for help,when she herself could...well,you know..GO IN AND SAVE HER DAUGHTER :D That's the thing that bugs me the most sometimes..of course shows/comics/etc portray 3/4 of people as helpless victims,when they could actually do something themselves. I'd buy that fire building more,if kid was yelling for help,saying his sister was in it and mother went in to save her,but neither came out yet.
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Always happy to provide you with your weekly dose of annoyance at a person, thaobserver6160. It's what I live for.
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