Arrow – S05E23 Lian Yu

At this point before the finale, I couldn’t really care what they gave us because everything up until this point has redeemed Arrow for me. This has been the most perfect, well put together season of all of the CW superhero shows, and sure I would love a great finale to finish it off, but it has done enough to prove Arrow is back. But it decided to give me a fantastic finale anyway.

From the first second the episode started to the last, this finale had me absolutely hooked. There is so much positives I have about this episode that I know I am going to skim over so many of them. To start, I loved the return of the old Arrow title. This in itself said so much about this season and how it is linking back to where this show first started.

I need to talk about Slade for a moment. Slade was my favourite thing about the first 2 seasons so it was always going to be great having him back, but I never thought he was going to be this fantastic. He was written like the old Slade, Manu Bennett nailed the portrayal perfectly like he did the first 2 seasons, every time he called Oliver Kid I got a smile on my face because it was so great hearing it again. While there is a massive question that is posed at the end of the episode on so many of our main character, he is someone I want more of. Unfortunately with everything happening in the DCEU, I don’t think Slade is coming back to this show, which is a massive shame.

Moving on to the flash backs, they were again great this week. While they were pretty shallow in story content, they were all worth it when we see the moment Oliver is collected from the island. I really loved the phone call scene we got because we had never really got to see that first contact when Oliver first told his mother he was alive. I also really loved how the flash backs were edited throughout this episode, especially during the action sequences. In the past, the flash backs have just been there, so it is always great when they feel woven into the present day story.

Something that really made this episode stand out was the one on one moments this episode had. This was both in dialog and action, but there was so many good pair ups that it is hard to dive deep into them. A few that really stood out to me was Oliver and Slade at the start, the Canary showdown with Black Siren and now Black Canary, and Thea and Merlyn which a relationship I have loved the dynamic over over the season.

While still on Malcolm Merlyn, again there is many questions about the ending, but I don’t see our Earth 1 Merlyn coming back next season, which is a shame because he has been that consistent character that you always love to see. Whether it was on Arrow or as the villain in this season of Legends, Barrowman brought it every single scene and his is a character I am really going to miss having around.

Now onto Chase. I never thought I would say this after having Deathstroke but Prometheus has been my favourite Arrow villain. I loved how not only was he able to match Oliver physically, he beat Oliver in the mind games every single time up without fail. Yes it is a shame that he is no longer going to be with us, but I don’t mind because his death showed that he was ahead 10 steps at all times and even when the finale was over, Oliver still had no idea what game he was playing. I think from many Arrow fans, I have to give a massive thank you to Josh Segarra. While when the reveal first happened that he wasn’t Vigilante, I was a little let down because I enjoy having him around, the pay off of him being Prometheus was amazing and Segarra acted the crap out of every scene he was in. There is no other way to say it but he was unbelievable this season, and he is someone I am going to look out for in any other shows or movies he is in.

Now to the ending. I loved how Chase won. It’s not often we see the villain win, and as I mentioned just before, it’s not often that we see our hero have barely any wins throughout the season. Regardless of what happens next season, which I will talk about soon, Chase proved he was right and because of that Oliver is now alone and his son is the only thing he has.

Looking towards next season, I’m not sure where they will go from here. I don’t think that our other character got off the island but I don’t think many of them died. As mentioned before, I think Slade will be a casualty of this ending but I think most of the others will be fine. With the age of the internet, it’s not hard to see who has what contracts in upcoming season and I know that Katie Cassidy, Rick Gonzalez and Juliana Harkavy have all been promoted to series regulars for next season. I don’t see them killing off Felicity, Thea, Diggle and Lance so I think they will come back into the fold. However, as it it now, this sets us up for a massive season 6 premier, and I’m excited.

10/10

Average Episode Rating: 9.2/10 – Arrow is my highest rated season of the CW superhero shows and it deserves it’s spot at the top. This season was amazing. I might have to go back and watch the first 2 seasons again because their one definitely rivals them in every way possible. It’s been a long time since I’ve said this because I am so pumped for the next season of Arrow.

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