Finally, a step up for Arrow. For me this season had been completely fantastic up until the the break, where from there, I thought it’s been really flat, especially last weeks episode. There was early rumours that we would see the death for the grave so I was really looking forward to this episode.
The episode did start really flat for me. I thought the acting by Andy Diggel wasn’t at all the best. It seemed very forces and there was no really emotion in it, which there should have been. I thought from the start, Andy was always with Darhk. I’m not completely sure if they plotted it this way, but they really wrote it so that we all knew which way Andy was going to go and have a lot of the drama to revolve around Oliver and Diggel and their difference of opinion. I thought that drama was fantastic. It was a bit ironic how usually Diggel is very much the voice of reason for Oliver but in this situation it is the other way around. I thought that was really cool how they flipped that.
I think everything in the prison was really well done. Darhk was back to his evil best after a few weeks down. I really liked how they went with that sort of henchmen route with Darhk having complete control over them. It was like a mini HIVE and I thought it was done really well.
Now to Laurel. This is that moment where I sigh. First of all, the thing that really discredits her death is the mystery around it. To me I think she’s dead, but there is always that unsureness. So many times have we seen someone die and then they are alive again. If there is a twist and she indeed is not dead, then it’s going to take away so much from what was a really emotional moment. Away from that though, I think something the episode didn’t do that well is the set up for the death. Looking back at it, it was spelled out to us. She was going to give up being the Black Canary to be a DA, a position which I think she would of been much suited. Only the other week did we see her be a lawyer again and lawyer Laurel is by far the best Laurel there is. Which leads me to a problem I’ve always had with Laurel but this week it really worried me. How can she fight so good? I always thought it was unrealistic that she could in the space of a few months and some gym lessons be able to fight as well as she does. For the most part of the series, it only bothered me a little but this episode really blew it out of the water. She fought the League of Assassins. If the early seasons taught us anything, it’s that just not anyone fight the League of Assassins. To say she could fight them is to say she could fight and beat Sara. While Sara was the absolute top of the League and there is no way Laurel could actually beat her, this episode managed to either demote the deadliness of the League or pay credited to the gym instructor Laurel had. On the death itself, I really loved the hospital scenes. I really never liked the character of Laurel, ever since day one, she was never the top of my list, but what they did during the hospital scenes brought emotion and a connection to Laurel I thought I wouldn’t have. They actually made me care about the character and I think the main reason I did was because of the reactions by the other characters. These scenes, although a bit of a drama soap opera like, were excellently written and acted even better. I must say however, if she does end up being alive, it simple undoes the ending that we just had.
On a side note, credit when credit is due. Every week David Ramsey pulls a performance that for me I often say are those ‘Diggel Moments’. But in this episode, he had more than a good pep talk or the voice of reason. Ramsey was by far my favourite part of this episode. I thought he took it to another level this week and he really got to show off his drama acting chops.
Overall this was a pretty solid episode.It started a bit flat and had to work its way back and I thought it had a decent recovery. For me if this episode had been placed after a few other solid episodes that had built up to it, it would of been much better. But that’s on this season. If this had been a stand out season, this would of been a stand out episode.