ARROW Season 1 rewatch, Ep. 22, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” / Ep. 23, “Sacrifice”

30 Sep

Welcome back to the rewatch, Arrowheads! We are finally at the end of season one, and we got lots to deal with. Ollie is patching things with Diggle while things are still icy with Tommy over Laurel (remember when that was still a thing?). Poor Walter has been recovered from captivity, Thea is still helping her boyfriend Roy track down the mysterious Hood, and oh yeah, there’s still Malcolm Merlyn’s plan to destroy part of Starling City, because, Malcolm Merlyn’s a psycho. So without further ado, let’s get to the end of this thing…

“Going up, huh?” “Not now, Felicity.”

“Darkness On The Edge Of Town”

In the flashbacks this time, our trio of Ollie, Shado, and Slade get brought back as prisoners to Fyers’ camp. It’s then we learn what was going on with that giant missile launcher system that was sabotaged earlier: it’s needed to bring down a commercial plane! Of course, the intent is destabilize the economy of China by shooting down any planes heading there, and Yao Fei happens to be set up to play the patsy for these acts of terrorism. So after making Yao do a little fake propaganda video to sell the alibi, Fyers kills him. Probably a good thing Yao hid a knife with his tied up daughter Shado before he died, but that’s for the next installment…

In the present, Malcolm has paid a visit to a lab and killed everyone there, potentially covering up something to do with The Undertaking. Quentin is investigating, and finds a loose connection between the scientist murdered and Malcolm Merlyn’s company. Meanwhile, Moira is welcoming Walter back from the hospital, and he seems surprisingly chill considering he spent six months imprisoned. As for her, Diggle has noted nothing unusual about her activities as of late, and Ollie’s attempt to offer his help is not working…and then they both get tranquilized! Mother and son wake up tied to chairs, and in the presence of…The Hood? Well, it’s Diggle in the outfit, and after making it look like Ollie’s life is threatened, Moira spills the beans on all she knows about Malcolm’s plans, which involve an earthquake device being used to destroy The Glades. Suffice to say, Ollie is not faking the contempt he has for his mom after they get released.

So after that, Ollie gets back to his lair and still think the evil archer is working for Malcolm (oh, how they don’t know…), so instead of taking both those problems on, they decide to find the earthquake device first, and that requires breaking into Merlyn’s company mainframe directly…at his office building. So they pull a little sneak in during business hours, and that runs into a few hurdles before they can get the job done. At the same time, Ollie arranges a meeting with Tommy about Laurel. That goes kind of okay, until after this little break in that Ollie sleeps with Laurel just as Tommy is arriving at her place to patch things up. Ah, dammit, Oliver. You almost fixed this problem.

Speaking of other relationships crashing and burning, Roy’s obsession to find The Hood finally sends Thea packing, and Walter gives Moira divorce papers, clearly putting together she is responsible for his imprisonment. While Quentin is still trying to wrap his head this whole business with Laurel, Ollie, and Tommy, he’s presented info that someone was looking into Malcolm’s company too: someone at Queen Consolidated named Felicity Smoak. The team finds the location of the device, and split up with Diggle going to grab the device, and Ollie to take in Malcolm. Both our heroes get surprises: Diggle’s is the device isn’t there, and Ollie’s is that the evil archer is Malcolm! Too bad for Ollie he gets knocked out by Malcolm, and that means Malcolm discovers who The Hood is! And Malcolm is…surprised to say the least. So onto the season finale!

“Try to aim for the head next time.”

–Comic book connections: Markov is a reference to a character known as Geo-Storm, who has the ability to move the earth, or say, cause earthquakes.

–A fun bit of improvisation on the job comes as Diggle collects Felicity from Malcolm’s security by making it seems she’s an obsessed stalker of Tommy.

–There’s a mystery woman Fyers talks to on the satellite phone, and it is sort of implied it might be future Arrow frenemy Amanda Waller from ARGUS.

–Ollie’s bow is broken by Malcolm, which has an origin revealed in season five.

–If you can’t guess from the title, it’s a song title of a Bruce Springsteen song, a pattern that would show up in the penultimate episodes of the show for some time.

–“Let me get you an ice pack for…everything.”

–“Who the hell is Felicity Smoak?”

–“Oh, no.”

“You call this exercise? Come to my lair and see if you can top the salmon ladder, loser!”


In our final round of flashbacks this season, our trio of heroes escapes and tries to stop Fyers’ plan to blow up that airline flight that’s minutes from passing by. They can’t stop the missile that gets sent off, but Ollie can re-direct it…towards Fyers’ camp! Ollie searches for his friends, and finds Slade still kicking, and Shado being held hostage by Fyers. Fyers offers to call a rescue boat for them if he’s allowed to escape. Ollie has his bow and arrow on him, and decides “no” to that offer by finally being successful in his archery practice, and killing Fyers with an arrow. And that’s where we leave that until season two, and we know where that goes…

We join up in the present as Ollie is being strung up by Malcolm, who tries to convince Ollie that losing his wife in a mugging in The Glades is a good excuse for murdering thousands of people there. Ollie doesn’t buy it, and Malcolm leaves him there. Good thing Ollie had a tracer in his boots, because Diggle arrives to save him. While this is happening, Felicity has been picked up by Quentin for all that suspicious hacking into the Merlyn company, when The Hood calls, informing Quentin about the plan to destroy The Glades. He’s all for saving lives here, but when he brings that questionable info to his superiors, he’s suspended. And Moira learns that timetable to The Undertaking has been moved up to the following night.

Tommy talks to Ollie about seeing he’s with Laurel again, only to hear about Malcolm’s plans to destroy The Glades. He returns to his father’s office to confirm any of this, and…he says all of it is true. At about the same time, Ollie gets home to tell Laurel he has a few things he has to tell her about his time missing. Also, reporters have arrived at the Queen house, as Moira has set up an impromptu press conference, where she reveals all she knows about Malcolm and the Undertaking, before putting herself into police custody! As Thea runs off to get Roy out of the area as it’s being evacuated, things at Merlyn Global go bad as the police sent to arrest Malcolm get killed by him. Ollie plans to go after Malcolm, only this time Diggle insists of helping him out. That leaves that earthquake device (put where Malcolm’s wife was killed in a note of poetic irony), so Quentin is asked by The Hood to help disarm it.

As Felicity helps Quentin talk through disarming the device, Ollie and Diggle arrive at Merlyn Global and confront Malcolm. That leads to an obligatory rooftop showdown between both archers, and Ollie finally turns the tables on his better opponent by stabbing Malcolm…through him! Hearing Quentin has managed to disarm the device, things look good…until Malcolm reveals before he passes out that he had an extra earthquake device made, just in case! That gets set off, and despite not being as horrifying as it would have been with both devices going off, there’s still damage, right around where Laurel’s law office is located! Laurel is trapped in the law center, until Tommy gets her out, then Ollie arrives to look for his friend in the building, only to find him impaled fatally. They both apologize to each other, but Ollie can’t save Tommy as he dies in his arms.

And that ends the first season of Arrow. Ouch.

Oh, Tommy. You are so missed.

–Comic book connections: the plane is a Ferris Air plane, Ferris Air being connected to one big league DCU superhero, the Green Lantern.

–I’m thinking there might have been some doubt as to whether or not to keep Malcolm alive after that stabbing that takes him down. It seems he is dead, and Ollie says he did kill him, but as we know, he does come back next season. And for better and for worse (more often worse), he’s been a constant presence on the show until recently.

–Thea has pretty good aim, beer bottles notwithstanding. We’ll see that ability play out over the show (also for better and for worse).

–Obviously Tommy dying would radically change things with Oliver and Laurel moving into next season, and I’m of mixed feelings on that. Yes, the whole Oliver/Felicity thing wouldn’t be much of a thing if it didn’t, but I’m not entirely convinced it was for the best. BUT, it is what it is.

(editors note: shut it, Stewart. #Olicity rules)

–Apparently in The Odyssey (the Greek tale), Odysseus does kill someone with an arrow through the throat, not unlike what Ollie does to Fyers. Just an odd bit of trivia to end this on.

–“You couldn’t save the day without making a mess.”

–“Thank you for teaching me what I’m fighting for. But my father taught me how.”

Soooooooo, better luck stopping city destroying events next season.

Well, that’s the end the rewatch of the first season of Arrow (and only a year behind schedule!). Obviously there’s my recaps of every other episode of Arrow here, and of course, I’ll be here when season seven starts up this October. Thanks for stopping by for this little rewatch, and I hope to see you in less than a month…

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