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Arrow Review: Unwanted Exposure

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"Darkness on the Edge of Town?" That's putting it mildly. There was darkness everywhere in Starling City this week.

Getting to the edge might just be a relief! This was an information packed hour with Oliver tricking Moira into revealing her secrets, Oliver and Laurel making a move, Walter moving on and Malcolm learning a surprising truth. Let's break it down...

I can't imagine how much strength it must have taken for Oliver to tell a teary-eyed Laurel, who just realized she might still have feelings for him, that he hasn't changed and she shouldn't rethink anything based upon what she considers new information about him after his return.

But when even Quentin Lance saw that Oliver was different since he's been back, you knew the stage was being set for Laurel to follow through on her rekindled feelings for him. What I didn't expect was for Oliver to act on his. What was it that sent him into her arms, just after he told Tommy he couldn't be with her? It was the final nail in the Oliver/Tommy friendship, for sure.

Escaping with Felicity

Oliver has gotten so good at getting information from Moira. It was ingenious the way Diggle dressed up as The Hood and asked all of those questions. It not only got Oliver the information he needed, but it threw any suspicions that Moira might have about Oliver (not that she had any necessarily) off of Oliver being The Hood. 

Until Malcolm paid his uninvited and artificial visit to Walter to welcome him home, I hadn't realized he had been kidnapped for six months. Thea wondered why he didn't seem like himself. How could he possibly be alright after an ordeal like that? There was such a strong, emotional scene Walter delivered after he gave Moira divorce papers. It hit me really hard to hear Walter say it out loud, the pain in his voice, the realization that his life was not at all what he thought. 

Walter: You know, I read about people in forced captivity. Some of them said it was a simple thought that got them through the isolation and fear - returning to their loved ones. So I don't know really why I'm still alive, Moira, because I didn't have that.
Moira: Walter, please.
Walter: What do you think you could say to me to convince me that everything I knew, my whole life, hasn't just evaporated? | permalink

Thea had just started to feel safe again, having Walter back and now she has to go to her mother and ask why he left. She's so close to the problem as she and Roy investigate Merlyn and the Dark Archer, but she has no idea what it means to her family. Now that she has to deal with another loss. I kind of wish she did know, so she could do something positive to help Oliver stop the Undertaking. 

Did anybody imagine the skills Malcolm had being quite so incredible? I mean, he was freaking amazing. That fight scene was out of this world. Catching an arrow before it pierced his chest? Who does that? Was he taught to fight by Shado, as well? I know, I have a lot of questions after this episode, but I think that's natural.

Speaking of Shado, I was wondering what the island scenes were leading up to, but Yao Fei being shot between the eyes was a shock. I guess the moral of that story was never underestimate your opponent and stop smart mouthing them because you're likely to get someone killed. Well, probably not, but Island Ollie never seems to learn to keep his mouth shut. Those men are not frakking about.

My assumption is Oliver will wake up with the realization Malcolm himself is the Dark Archer because, really, who else would be able to do what he did? Malcolm's reaction to the discovery that the The Hood was Oliver was quite surprising. He definitely didn't know and I think it threw him to find out. As bad as he is, killing Moira's son and his own son's (former) best friend wouldn't make him happy. 

That they know about each other, and Oliver knows about Moira's involvement with Malcolm, should make the next chapter even more far out. The clock is ticking faster for Tommy to learn about his father now that he has another reason to hate Oliver, but will he team up with Malcolm? Or will Malcolm decide to protect him from the life, knowing he'd be sparring with with a friend? The reveal adds so much more to the canvas.

I cannot wait for next week's finale. As they do, producer Marc Guggenheim really gave away very little about what's to come in his interview. The death was Yao's, so we should have no other worries for next week.

What was your favorite part about this week? Oliver and Laurel? Oliver and Malcolm facing off or maybe Walter's speech to Moira? Felicity shined brightly as always. See you in the comments!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (131 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer and managing editor for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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me too, boring Laurel...I hope Fel and Oliv will get together in the next season...they are so cool!

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In Australia we r only up2 episode 10 :(
Can anyone tell me wen Oliver's "bitch face of a mother" get found out by Oli?? 1) She knew/did about the Boat sabotage of her own son & husband 
2) had her son kidnapd & tortured for info
3) had Walter kidnapped Can anyone tell me, in which episode karma catches up to her?????

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Mark my words... Oliver is Malcom's son. That's why he was so shocked and why he is not killing him. Disliked Oliver and Laurel too but too soon for Oliver and Felicity. They need to grow that relationship a lot more before they pair them up if ever.

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@Ryan Jones, of course Felicity had said she would help only until Walter is returned. But haven't you ever made a plan to stop a job and then fell in love with it? Besides, we don't even know if Walter is remaining with the company where Felicity was working. @Mrs Morgan I so agree with you. I also turned away during Oliver's and Laurel's love scene. I felt awkward watching it. I was not rooting for it. He was a cheater and hurt her and her sister, now Laurel is falling back into his arms. She is fickle. She should have tried to make it work with Tommy. Tommy was so right though but I still am disappointed that Laurel accepted back Oliver. And I'm annoyed that he didn't care enough about his friendship with Tommy and went back with Laurel.

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I liked everything in the episode except when Oliver got together with Laurel. I wanted to turn the channel. Will definitely fast fowardrd that section when I rewatch the episode. Love Felicity and her one liners. Wish she and Oliver would get together. They have more chemistry then Oliver with Laurel.

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That's why it's hard to watch her at times because she is soooooo serious it can be depressing. I admit I am a fan of Felicity. She was only supposed to be a one episode character but the actress whether or not it was intentionally shined in the role. So many fans were like "who is this girl?" There's a reason for that, if Laurel hadn't been so dull Felicty wouldn't have been so refreshing. The connection she has with Oliver is so much different. It's healthieer they aren't tied wallowing in the past, they laugh together. She too has very serious moments but she also is able to handle comedic moments too. This isn't a tall amazon of a woman but she demonstrates her strength of convictions & guts.

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Honestly I think there needs to be more depth & flexibility for her to maintain a relationship with Oliver. In the TV series Xena it started out as a very dark show, but the lead actress managed to pull in sensitivity & a warped sense of humor to the part. Her sidekicks could do both comedy & drama. The chemistry/companionship was evident. The actress playing Laurel doesn't seem to have that comedic timing nor the chemistry all fans would want to see. We all would have seen it in the pilot & first few episodes.

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I enjoyed the episode. There were a few nitpicks. The character (not the actress) is written in an unhealthy manner. There were problems before Oliver left there weren't perfect and now, it still isn't perfect. They are two complete strangers getting to know each other again. Sex & lust can only go so far. Not only to they have to be compatible to each other's lifestyles, they have to make it acceptable to the fans. This fan can't see how they can sustain this chemistry & be compatible. This character Laurel is what many would consider a co-dependent wimp. She has issues with handling a serious relationship. She wasn't in sync with Oliver back then, she didn't know him. She was in love with what she wanted him to be. Either she chose to ignore the cheating or she was completely innocent which is very bad. Because it was extremely blatant. Now? The way it's written is she is stuck. She is so boring & dull. Is she nice? Yes. But there is no fire or strength. Honestly I think there needs to be more depth & flexibility for her to maintain a relationship with Oliver. In the TV series Xena it started out as a very dark show, but the lead actress managed to pull in sensitivity & a warped sense of humor to the part. Her sidekicks could do both comedy & drama. The chemistry/companionship was evident. The actress playing Laurel doesn't seem to have that comedic timing nor the chemistry all fans would want to see. We all would have seen it in the pilot & first few episodes. That's why it's hard to watch her at times because she is soooooo serious it can be depressing. I admit I am a fan of Felicity. She was only supposed to be a episode character but the actress whether or not it was intentionally showed spunk and used the lines to show humor. The connection she has with Oliver is so much different. It's healthieer they aren't tied wallowing in the past, they laugh together. She too has very serious moments but she also is able to handle comedic moments too. This isn't a tall amazon of a woman but she demonstrates her strength of convictions & guts. Were they in a mature relationship prior to the shipwreck? No. "They" weren't deeply in love, they were in "puppy" love. She was the one that wanted to be in a serious relationship & was pretending in "playing" house. They were supposedly engaged but he still lived at home used his daddy's money. He hadn't even finished college partying all the time. Who was this person she fell in love with? A very shallow & self-conceited playboy, he was not serious, considerate, mature & resopectful of her. Yet, all of a sudden she is so much in love with him. If he had cheated on me, I wouldn't have taken him back so fast. In fact, I would seek out counseling to ensure I didn't fall back into the unhealthy patterns I was in when I dated him. The backstory on Oliver was that he had been cheating behind her back with other women. When he had to deal with life & death situations on the island he grew up. But, not the comic book characterization but how this is played on TV he fixated on her. He didn't interact with her but dreamed of her as a dream of hope & escape. These two don't talk, they don't communicate with each other besides talking about how they love each other. Okay, what next?

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I'm not a big fan of the Oliver/Laurel romance. I just don't feel anything between them. It's not often that I don't root for the main couple (the only other exception being my support of Elena/Damon in TVD, but I still understand the Elena/Stefan relationship and can see the chemistry between the two)so I feel like it says something about the show that I don't feel or understand it here. I could chalk it up to my love of Felicity but I just don't understand the Oliver/Laurel connection at all and see no chemistry between them. I love the way Oliver and Felicity interact and I just don't see the same thing with Oliver and Laurel. Maybe they can embark on a relationship and get the feelings they have for each other out of their system? I doubt it, so I'll just quietly continue loving Felicity and ignoring Laurel...

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I'm really tired of shows where everyone knows who the superhero is. Like Oliver and Laurel but I agree its too soon. Malcolm is a great villian and better than the Arrow any day.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 22 Quotes

The last time the vigilante paid your mom a visit you got shot and I got to play doctor with you. Oh - my brain thinks of the worst way to say things.

Felicity

Felicity: Are you okay?
Oliver: My mom and my best friend's dad are involved in a conspiracy that may have dire consequences for the city and I'm pretty sure they murdered my father. I'm not planning on using the word okay again any time soon.

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