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Arrow

Arrow Review: The Dark Archer

by at . Comments

The holidays are often a time for reflections, realizations and, of course, resolutions.

Oliver set out to make things right with his family on "Year's End" by re-starting the annual Queen Christmas party that Moira and Thea stopped having five years earlier.

However, there was somebody out there who was not happy with The Hood and set out to make his holiday a little less merry.

Oliver's Christmas Party

However, let's face it, things were far from perfect before the guests even arrived for the party. The episode opened with one of Oliver's very first victim from the list, Adam Hunt. This time, Hunt faced a harsher fate than having $40 million taken from his bank account. The copycat archer killed Hunt with a couple of very fancy and intense arrows to the chest. Serrated teflon-coated titanium blades are more than just fancy, they're meant to make a statement. 

It's interesting that Laurel and Quentin both automatically knew that the person going around killing people wasn't the real vigilante. Even though Quentin obviously has the advantage of seeing the weapons, the way the victims were taken down, and other details only the police would be privy to, it was obvious that they both just had a sixth sense about this. As much as Quentin hates The Hood, he isn't too proud to reject his help and work with him. 

When Diggle and Oliver discussed the copycat, Diggle posed an interesting question.

Is this guy trying to frame you or call you out? | permalink

It was more like he was trying to lure Oliver out. Since we now know the copycat is the person who made the list, why would he be trying to kill people off of it? As Merlyn said to Moira, things were only getting worse and it was time to send in their "associate." Well... before I could ask who that associate was, Meryln was pulling off his mask.

For all the comic book fans, there was clear foreshadowing to this, but for the rest of us it was obviously slightly shocking. Just how much does Mr. Merlyn control? And how did he become some skilled with a bow and arrow? 

The dinner party scene was a little creepy the first time around, just because you know half the people at that table were criminals and had dark secrets. But once the episode finished and the Dark Archer was revealed, it was even more chilling to go back and watch. What do you think of Mr. Merlyn's coining of the term "Green Arrow" as The Hood's new nickname? Does he know that it's Oliver?

In the end, Oliver felt more defeated than ever despite having saved the five hostages. He has a new nemesis who - unbeknownst to him - is his best friend's father. Only time will tell when Oliver connects the Dark Archer with the list. Also time will tell us exactly how Oliver, pre-Arrow, was able to help his friend on the island. After all, wasn't that what he was alluding to when he told Diggle he'd faced much harder things on the island than in Starling City?

What did you all think of the mid-season finale of Arrow? Did it live up to your expectations? Where is Walter? Will you be tuning in in 2013?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (166 Votes)

Leigh Raines is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Ilkvomit

I missed it Oh well

Marissa

Good episode. It was nice Oliver wanted to reconnect with his family on Christmas. I'm interested in the new archer I'm wondering were he became so good and why he's killing people on the list. Can't wait till the show returns.

Aries93

Though not the best episode of Arrow, especially one serving as a mid-season finale, it still managed to get the job done and show us more twists. I'm excited for January!

Avatar

Agreed Sa'ad702. That would be a poor direction for Arrow to go down. I'm sure (and I hope) there is more to come from Well Dressed Man - and we're seeing different layers peeled back with each appearance, so even if he does meet his ultimate fate, I get the sense it won't be for a while yet. I see what you mean about Moira, but I think the her changing face is actually a sign of the conflict she's under - and even when we saw the cold and calculating aspect in episode 1, seeing Oliver back, and the impact of the choices she is making is playing a part in the conflict.

Saad702

Twas a good episode but I felt that they are doing a disservice to Moira's character. In the premiere she was made to be this cold calculating woman who clearly was up to no good but then they tried to gain sympathy by making her out to be this woman who had to what was necessary for her family. Its a bit of a cop out. I would have been impressed if she was more involved in this master plan to re shape Starling City. That would have made more sense for me.
I also just hope they don't go the original spider man movie route where when Oliver kills The Dark Archer, Tommy witnesses it and then goes all dark to avenge his father. That would be just the worst!!!

Avatar

Huge cast of characters, each getting their little snippets. Great to see island flashbacks, having taken a 2 episode break - wouldn't want to see them every week anyway. Wonder if we'll get a entire flashback episode to see some more of the historic events play out a little more. Deathstroke is one scary guy! But Yao Fei seems to be his match. Looking forward to the momentum being maintained for the second half of the season. Not really a poor episode since it started. Even Legacies, which was the probably one of the 'weaker' episodes showed some great development of Oliver's personality.

Avatar

Hope more is done with Tommy and Laurel - it seems to be a bit of filler at the moment. Let's get that nightclub opened and see more of Tommy as a character central to Oliver's development. On the subject of Laurel - her dad. Hope Det Lance isn't mellowing! The scene where he turns to The Hood for help felt like it was played just right - not overly dramatic, and on the right side of Lance's desparation to do the greater good. I hope it doesn't become formulaic - detective who follows the rules turning to the vigilante to do the things he can't. All in all a top class episode and sets us up for the second half.

Avatar

Very good episode. For me, best one since the Deadshot episode. Getting to see more to Oliver's personality as he tries to bridge his two worlds. Don't want to see Digg become just the voice of reason for Oliver - let's see him move in from the periphery. Would definitely like to see an episode exploring his background, relationship with his brother and Carly. Seeing Well-Dressed Man as the Dark Archer didn't come as a huge surprise. But great to see the reveal nonetheless, and it bodes well for more encounters between the two archers. Looking forward to Dark Archer "getting his" to use Digg's words. Genuinely thought that Walter would be 'off-ed', but glad to see he wasn't. Good to see Felicity on-screen again. Wonder if she'll be brought into Oliver's Scooby Gang. I think doing so would take away one of the good character interactions, but coming up with more and more original/creative reasons for Oliver to enlist Felicity's help may soon stretch the bounds of believability. Hope more is done with Tommy and Laurel - it seems to be a bit of filler at the moment. Let's get that nightclub opened and see more of Tommy as a character central to Oliver's development. On the subject of Laurel - her dad. Hope Det Lance isn't mellowing! The scene where he turns to The Hood for help felt like it was played just right - not overly dramatic, and on the right side of Lance's desparation to do the greater good. I hope it doesn't become formulaic - detective who follows the rules turning to the vigilante to do the things he can't. All in all a top class episode and sets us up for the second half.

Fortyseven

Disappointing