Okay, so officially us people in the UK don't get to see the latest episodes of Arrow until weeks or months after their original air dates. However, as a reviewer there are official and unofficial ways and means of seeing the program. Even before it airs in the US of A.
Such was not the case this week, as I caught the latest episode at the same time as you guys do. I was both pleased and disappointed.
- The episode concludes the long running story arc that has been the focal point of this season.
- Speedy is finally a masked hero.
- The Atom gets blown up, but doesn't (see DC Legends of Tomorrow trailer).
- Oliver gets to be a normal guy at the end of it all.
- Nobody we really like gets killed.
- The Flash - nuff said.
- We get to see more of The Atom.
- Oliver does not become leader of the league of assassins.
- We don't see the White Canary, which would have made a really kick ass final scene... shame on you CW.
- Malcolm becomes the Demon's Head. Would much have prefered Nyssa.
- Diggle lets Oliver off way too easily, but at the same time should never have been pissed in the first place.
Okay, I won't go into the story because most of the readers will have already seen this episode by now, and those that haven't will shout spoilers, (if they haven't already). What I will say is that it mixes in well with the Flash, has some great writing and clears up a lot of issues with characters that have been falling off the wagon recently. What I didn't like and never have liked is the way that Stephen Amell seems to have trouble delivering his lines. It's almost like he's trying too hard. Don't get me wrong, I think he is a great actor and plays both aspects of the character well. I think it's more of a scripting issue.
What we also see, which has not been mentioned above, is our second look at the real Katana character. The character had been teased at in previous episodes but it was good to see her first official appearance on live DC TV shows in the previous episode. Katana has always been a fan favourite and first appeared in the DC comics series the Brave and the Bold (#200) and was a member of the team called the Outsiders. A point of note is that Arsenal has also at one time been a member of the Outsiders. Another DC spin off maybe?
Nice to see Thea finally get her hero name. Speedy suits her, and is more in keeping with her character arc. Good to see that she is using a different type of bow too. Whilst Olivers bow is a compound bow, hers is a recurve take-down bow. Less tech, more traditional style and easy to collapse down. Shame her technique is a little lacking. I'm sure the production team will sort that out.
Finally, we also get to see Oliver and his on / off romantic lead Felicity Smoak ride off into a new life. We all know that this won't be for long because of the new series of Arrow and the Legends of Tomorrow mini series that is due next year. However, it was good to see Miss Smoak finally get what she wanted. To be honest, I couldn't stand to see her attempts at being emotional. Emily Bett Rickards does well with the lines she has, and I like her as an actress, but sometimes it was overdone. Her character does much better as a positive kick ass tech savvy role model. Especially without those glasses. Contacts anyone?
Anyway, all moans aside this has been a good series. I don't think it has been as consistent as the last series and there has been less to shock us, but it has been entertaining nonetheless. Now all we need to see is Diggle with a mask and a hero character, the return of Sara and with it that awkward meeting of Speedy and the White Canary. Now that will be worth waiting for.