ARROW Season 3×12, “Uprising” recap

5 Feb

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Welcome back, Arrowheads! So, Mr. Brickwell has managed to force the cops of Starling out of the Glades, despite the Black Canary/Laurel Lance helped Team Arrow trying their best to prevent that. Malcolm wants to skip town, but Thea is willing to stay and maybe face Ra’s and his League with dear old double-crossing dad. And Ollie has survived his duel with Ra’s with the help of Maseo and a seemingly estranged Tatsu. Well, here’s hoping he gets back soon, because Starling City is getting pummeled in bad news…

How To Make A Killer. 20 odd years ago, Malcolm Merlyn was happily living a life with his wife and son, Tommy. One night, the police arrived with some shocking news: his wife was murdered. At her funeral, a friend of his lets him know the police found the killer, but can’t prosecute him on flimsy evidence. So later, Malcolm confronts the killer in a dark alley with a gun, and being this is pre-League of Assassins Malcolm Merlyn, he gets his ass kicked. But he does muster enough strength to shoot the guy dead. As a result, he decides to go on the run, and learn how to protect his family from further harm. That of course leads him to a League lair where he befriends a young Nyssa, and well, we saw how that turned out.

The Long Walk Home. Ollie is wanting to leave the cabin and head home, but Tatsu tells him he needs to rest or he could die on the journey. He knows he has to head home, and leaves anyway. Along the way he seems to falter a bit, and surprisingly Tatsu appears, following him to help. After a night of rest, Ollie finds a truck heading into the nearest town, where Tatsu lets Ollie know how to save Thea from Ra’s al Ghul. Ollie must be willing to be as ruthless as Ra’s, and that’s something Ollie can’t really be. On the other hand, there is someone who can be.

A Week of Chaos. It’s been a week since Brick forced the cops out of the Glades, and unlike what normal elected officials would do in this case (like call in the Army), he’s had free reign of the place. He’s been having problems though in Team Arrow (Arsenal, Black Canary, Diggle, Felicity) busting up his guys. Quentin offers a helping hand in stopping Brick by handing over whatever files are on him to the Team, and wondering why Sara hasn’t checked in with him. Well, Felicity looks through and finds an unusual connection: Brick’s gun was connected to one noteworthy killing: Malcolm Merlyn’s wife. And guess who happens to be overhearing this discovery over a bug they planted in the Arrow HQ? Okay, it’s a long list, so I’ll say it: it’s Malcolm.

Malcolm has been trying to train Thea for Ra’s eventual return, and she thinks she’s not ready to fight a League of Assassins. He does not mention the fact he endangered her in the first place, and lets her know that he’s doing what she wanted him to do: train her to protect himself. Before she can ponder how easier it would have been to just hire a self-defense coach instead, Malcolm has to go out to hunt the man he believes murdered his wife. Thea suggests murder might not be the answer, obviously forgetting he’s killed 600% more people than she has.

Malcolm: "I'm just as confused why you aren't trying to kill me too.  I mean, I totally betrayed and killed people you love!"

Malcolm: “I’m just as confused why you aren’t trying to kill me too. I mean, I totally betrayed and killed people you love!”

Assault On The Precinct. Team Arrow tables any Merlyn talk to figure out where Brick is, but thanks to him cutting off any tech in the Glades, Felicity is having trouble finding him. But since Brick’s men are communicating through walkie-talkies, she can find out where all the signal traffic is going: the precinct house. As Brick is busy disciplining some goons, Arsenal and Black Canary bust in and start taking down baddies. They almost get taken out by Brick, but Malcolm appears to save them, and Brick flees. Malcolm would like to talk to Team Arrow about something.

Weighing Your Options. At HQ, Malcolm suggests they team up to take Brick out. Not surprisingly, Felicity is all, “uh, NO!” to this offer of help, but the Team is given time to consider the offer. During this, Roy hears from Thea about Malcolm came to help her during the siege last season, and tells the Team about it as they reconvene. Everyone but Felicity seems to reluctantly think they need Malcolm’s help, but Felicity makes the case, “um, this guy brought all this crap on us, so why do we want to work with him again?”. And so, Diggle delivers the news that they refuse Malcolm’s offer, and he’s surprised they would. Clearly, he’s never self-reflected on what a self-serving pile of crap he is until now.

"Hey, Sin, how have you been since season two?"

“Hey, Sin, how have you been since season two?”

Strength In Numbers. Team Arrow’s backup plan is to gather up people in the Glades to fight Brick. Laurel recruits Ted Grant (who surprise, pieced together who the Black Canary is) and Roy recruits Sin (who’s also wondering why Sara hasn’t kept in touch), and they all plan to meet up for a West Side Story-esque throw down. Brick and his boys are surprised to see Arsenal and Black Canary waiting for them, and then really surprised to see Sin, Ted (with the Wildcat mask on), Diggle, and a lot of pissed off Glades residents ready to rumble. FIGHT!

A Return. Everyone is getting into it as Wildcat fights Brick, and just barely survives Brick’s subsequent beating. Laurel comes to help Ted, and its here Sin notices that this Canary doesn’t seem to acknowledge her. Brick escapes after getting an arrow from Arsenal, only to be cornered by an enraged Malcolm. Before Malcolm can kill the remorseless Brick, he’s interrupted…by the Arrow!

Ollie talks Malcolm down, who is just enraged that all of these last two decades of murder have been based on a lie. But Ollie says he can repair what he’s done to all of them if he tries to do the right thing. Oh, Ollie. Quentin arrives at the scene to see Brick and his men rounded up, and the Arrow vows to not leave this city without a hero again. After things have quieted down, Quentin runs into Sin, who’s wondering who that non-Sara Canary is to daddy Lance. Um…

"No time to imitate that flaming arrow thing from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves!  Gotta go & heal from a life-ending injury!"

“No time to imitate that flaming arrow thing from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves! Gotta go & heal from a life-ending injury!”

Bedfellows. Malcolm returns to Thea’s place to let her know he didn’t kill Brick, and then she gets surprised as Ollie enters, saying he got into a tussle that left him imprisoned for a few weeks. After the reunion, Ollie talks to Malcolm about needing his help to train to fight Ra’s. He heads back to Arrow HQ to properly thank them for holding the fort (except Laurel, who is not there, and who knows what his response to her crime fighting is going to be), and let’s them know about his deal with Malcolm. Felicity is really not cool with this arrangement, even with Ollie being alive and all, feeling her argument that Ollie would never work with Malcolm in the first place has been laid to waste, and storms out.

Ollie catches up to her and talks to her about needing Malcolm’s help, which seems unfathomable to her that this near-death experience has made him double-down on the being overprotective stuff that turned Malcolm into the nut he is now. He thinks she’s overreacting based on her feelings for him. She counters with a vicious burn, and I’m paraphrasing: “you’re aligning yourself with the man who murdered someone you love and betrayed another person you love. I don’t want to be one of those women you love.” Ouch. She’s got a point there, dude.

–Comic book connections: Merlyn was a mentor to the comic book Oliver Queen until, surprise, he turned really evil. Foreshadowing, anyone?

–Another Flash reference in Arsenal being mistaken for the scarlet speedster.

–Malcolm’s 90’s hair. That’s all that needs to be said.

–Wait, where did Ollie get the extra costume from? And he got back into town that fast? That’s some Dark Knight Rises level plot gaps there.

–Quentin letting Arsenal know who he really is was a fun moment. Too bad he can’t tell his daughters apart the same way.

–Felicity discusses her feelings on Malcolm versus Brick: “They both end up in hell. I don’t believe in hell, but I hope he (Malcolm) ends up there.”

–“Arsenal? What, are you guys just pulling names out of a hat now?”

–“Is this crazy?” “I’ve learned never to ask that question while wearing a mask.”

Well, that’s it for now, but come back next week for “Canaries”…

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