Arrow Round Table: "Streets of Fire"

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The table has ben set by Arrow Season 2 Episode 22.

How will Arrow Season 2 come to an end?

Below, staff writers Kate Brooks, Nick McHatton, Carla Day, Hank Otero and Carissa Pavlica discuss Malcom's return, who Oliver loves and share their thoughts heading into this week's finale.

Gather around the Arrow Round Table now!

Arrow RT Logo

What did you think about Malcolm's return?

Kate: Underwhelming. I mean, his first scene was pretty awesome.. "I'm her father" - so I really enjoyed that. I thought Malcom came on REALLY strong to Thea, I mean creepily strong. I would have shot him too. With that said, I look forward to seeing what else he brings to the table, that is if Thea didn't kill him or hurt him too bad.

Nick: I loved it! Thea really needs some adult in her corner. Moira is gone, and she's still not willing to go back to Oliver at this point. No matter which side Malcolm ultimately chooses at least Thea having someone she can confide in gives her a sense of stability. We're not privy to exactly how much Malcolm knows about Thea, but if he does not know much about her, then he has the opportunity to listen to her and understand her from a different perspective.

Carla: Loved it! I love Malcolm's character and how John Barrowman encompasses the character. He's returned to save his daughter and that opens an entirely new avenue to explore. He lost his wife, Tommy, and now Moira too. I can't wait to see how he's able to bond with Thea. In the long run, he probably won't be good for her, but it's gonna be a fun ride!

Hank: I agree with Kate, I was a bit underwhelmed. I love John Barrowman though and I'm sure his presence in the finale will make up for his few scenes this season. There's just so much ground to cover, a story arc or two is bound to take a back seat.

Carissa: I'm in the "love it" group. I was never a Malcom fan, but everything he did made me emotional. I wondered if it was perhaps because Thea was so alone, but nope -- it was all Malcolm.

Laurel, Sara, Felicity... Some say Starling City is Oliver's love. What say you?

Kate: The shipper in me says Felicity but I feel as if it has always been Laurel. That doesn't mean it is Laurel right now or has been Laurel recently. I want to believe that Felicity is his light and keeps him as good as he can be. Either way, I think it'll come down to Felicity and Laurel in the finale. #teamolicity

Nick: I believe Oliver loves all three women, but when it comes down to it I think Sara is Oliver's first love. Oliver and Sara have a history the other two cannot match, and they share a bond and experience that unites them and brings them together; these emotions give them purpose, and gives them understanding in what drives them to do what they do. Slade, also, has the most experience with Sara and what Oliver does for her on the island.

Carla: This is a complicated question. If you're talking about who Slade believes is Oliver's love that's a different question than who really is Oliver's love. I'll give the best non-answer to the question that I can ... each of them has a piece of his heart. He loves Starling City no doubt and he's sacrificed to save it time and time again. The three women all share his heart as well. Laurel is his past, Sara is his present, and Felicity is his family.

Hank: I'm with Nick, he loves all three women just differently. However, I think though he loves Sara because of what they've been through together, he's been "in love" with Laurel from the start. She's his past sure, but I think Laurel is also his future. You can go all the way back to our earliest round tables and I've always thought #Olicity is more of a brother/sister relationship. Sorry #TeamOlicity... (ducks and runs for cover LOL). Love Felicity though you guys!

Carissa: I pretty much agree with Hank on this one. Oliver loves all of the women, but each differently. While I think there may come a time when he and Felicity have a moment, I don't think it will be a forever thing. If Laurel lives, she could be that woman. Sara is too broken and their love based on so much trauma that it could never be a bright light. Some people thought Slade meant to kill Starling, but I still think his goal is in the flesh.

Whose performance most impressed you?

Kate: Felicity! Her speech about Oliver needing to continue to fight and how he has always honored the dead. This was Emily Bett's most impressive scene to-date. Emily is good at the funny but has struggled with the dramatic in the past so her performance in his scene definitely impressed me the most.

Nick: This is a tie for me: Felicity and Malcolm. Felicity is really coming into her own, and she's able to bring Oliver out of his dark thoughts more so than Laurel can at this point; she's really invested in the team, and uses her skills to their advantage. Felicity's even willing to mow down Rochev with the van to save Dig. Malcolm, meanwhile, is mostly because I just love John Barrowman. The man can deliver on Malcolm. He did not have much to do in this episode, but he's done a few subtle changes to Malcolm. He's not quite as ruthless as before, and I think the discovery of being Thea's biological father is giving him a chance to reexamine himself and his choices. (Not that that means he'll be welcomed back by the city).

Carla: Felicity was all-around awesome. Blood's sacrifice was noble and unexpected. He truly had a good heart. Misguided, but good. And, Oliver really stepped up. Slade may be destroying the city to punish him, but Oliver has proven his value. The police even realized the Arrow helps the city. Oliver made the tough decisions with the most notable being calling out Waller and giving Roy the injection.

Hank: Felicity was this episode's MVP for sure. Not that Emily Bett Rickards ever fails to impress me. It's just that Felicity was given plenty of great material this week. Emily nailed every single line, she really moved me with her speech.

Carissa: Having never been a Malcolm fan and being turned so completely by John Barrowman's performance, even as brief as he was on screen, he gets the nod. Emily Bett Rickards came in a close second, but she's always there and making me smile as Felicity, so Malcolm wins.

What was the best development pre finale?

Kate: I'm not 100% sure on what you mean here but I'll go with what I think... The serum finally getting into the right hands and being tested on Roy. The best part about the serum was that it came from Blood. He made the ultimate sacrifice to help save the city. I really want to see how the serum works and if the cure will save Starling.

Nick: Like I mentioned on last week's round table: Blood. In the end, the man sticks to his roots and defies Slade to do one final act of good to save the city by handing over the cure. Perhaps being the catalyst to getting Team Arrow over the finish line against Slade's near unstoppable destruction.

Carla: Detective Lance is back! I only hope that doesn't mean he's going to die in the finale. Thea pulling a gun on her father was awesome. She showed her strength and determination in that moment. I don't think she shot him though. Either someone else fired or she shot someone behind him to protect her father.

Hank: Personally I just love every time S.T.A.R. Labs is mentioned, makes me excited for The Flash this fall! I was glad Caitlin and Cisco came through with the cure, they've now proven their worth in the larger Arrow/Flash universe. Blood turning against Slade last minute was necessary, but it seemed a bit out of character for me. I mean, this is a bad dude... he killed his mother for Pete's sake. All of a sudden he grows a conscience?

Carissa: For me it was Lance making detective again. Finally someone listened to him and put him in charge, acknowledging that he knew what he was talking about. That he can stand proud beside his daughters and fight now really feels right.

Final thoughts on what to expect from Arrow Season 2 Episode 23?

Kate: As grim as this is going to sound... Death. I expect much more sadness and loss. It isn't likely that Team Arrow will all make it out alive and I am preparing myself for the last death to be Sara. I also expect a war and some crazy intense action sequences. The final Slade and Oliver showdown has my anticipation level peaked.

Nick: Explosions! I really haven't a clue to be honest. So many variables are happening. I'm really just looking forward to the fight to take back the city and what Slade's final move will end up being.

Carla: I am so very very ... very excited to see Team Arrow, including Roy, work with the League of Assassins to save the city. EPIC! It's going to be amazing. And I hope that Oliver when given the choice to kill or cure Slade decides to hold on to vow against killing. I want to see Slade given the opportunity to redeem himself without the mirakuru.

Hank: Carla hit the nail on the head, that shot in the finale trailer of Team Arrow, Roy, The League of Assassins + Dark Archer is INSANE! I agree that Oliver should hold off killing Slade not only to stick to his vow, but so Deathstroke returns in the future. The guy is too amazing a villain to get killed off this early in the show's run. As I've mentioned many times before, I expect we'll lose Sara so Laurel can become the Canary. I'm hoping the scene is handled well and that it packs the emotional punch Tommy's death did last season.

Carissa: I'm going to expect the unexpected. I was so off in my predictions last year that I can only imagine any I attempt to make will make me look foolish. There will be action, emotion, sorrow and, I hope, at least some joy as at least some of Starling City is saved. That's going to have to do!

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


at least kate has the guts to admit that she ships olicity, hank always said he does not ship olicity its time for u carissa to admit that u ship laurel n oliver..spare us the diplomacy..

@ aunni

I don't ship Oliver and Laurel. I like Laurel, but I don't think she belongs with Oliver. They make better friends. In the future? Who knows. I like Felicity and definitely see what's between them, but I don't know that they will be forever. Why do I have to ship anyone? It's not a romance, it's an action adventure series.


Q1 — Well, we knew it was coming. It was well-done, always a treat to see Barrowman on screen. Q2 — It doesn't matter who Oliver's greatest love actually is. What matters is who Slade perceives Oliver's greatest love is. Second, it doesn't have to be a romantic love, as Moira's fate and the assault on Starling City proves. Felicity always was Slade's target for the final death. Laurel wasn't even a consideration. Back when he was still sane in Season 1, Slade correctly accessed that Oliver would not rekindle a romantic relationship with Laurel after sleeping with her sister. So in his mind, Laurel was never a target. Q3 — Emily Bett Rickards gets the gold star, with Paul Blackthorne #2 and Kevin Alejandro #3. Q4 — Lance getting his shield back, and Sara's return. Q5 — Prediction: No additional regular or recurring cast members will die (other than possibly Isabel, but since Sara has caught the "hero" bug, she may spare Isabel). The cast already will be down two regulars next year, with Moira dead and Slade imprisoned (most likely in the Suicide Squad). If Caity Lotz is promoted to the regular cast next year, that allows at least a season of Sara grooming Laurel so that when the inevitable happens, it will be more plausible that Laurel can step into the Canary's boots.

Smoak and arrow

Q1: I'm always happy to see Malcolm Merlyn returned. So I loved how they re-introduced him. I knew he'd be back once he heard Moira was murdered. How could he stay away when he wants his daughter in his life? That said? Creepy! He's still the insane guy who tried to level an entire section of the city in order to "save it." He has a long way to go before Thea should start sending him Father's Day Hallmark's, that's for sure. Q2: Oliver loves all of the, I think. But I agree with Carissa, if the question is who does *Slade* think... that's a whole other thing. I'm still rooting for Felicity to get in on the danger/action and some great Oliver/Felicity stuff. They're the pair I'm rooting for. Q3: Felicity definitely was the standout in that ep. That speech to Oliver was amazing and powerful and amazingly delivered. Emily Bett Rickards was outstanding. Then there were other parts like hitting Isabel with the van and just being all the way around strong, kick-butt and heroic. Q4: Wow, tough question. I think the best development was being on the brink of finding out if the cure will work now that they injected a "lab rat." I mean, we know (or at least assume) it'll work but it'll be interesting to see how, how much, for who, etc. Q5: Lots and lots of injuries, death, near deaths, standoffs and stand-up moments. I expect every single character in the finale to have a moment where they've hit the line in the sand and just can't retreat anymore, even if that means they die fighting for what they believe in.


I'm an only child, but do people generally look at their siblings like how Oliver looks at Felicity? lol

@ A

Here, here. They remind be of Beckett and Castle with the body language and looks. I have never seen Laurel and Oliver look at each other with that intensity

@ A

This. I get if you don't ship it. But brother/sister? No, unless this is Game of Thrones.


Q1. I loved Malcolm Merlyn's return. Barrowman never fails to chew scenery with the best of them. I just love him! Q2. Oliver has a long way to go before he can truly love anyone. His relationship with Laurel is toxic. I think he wants to love her, but her standards for him are ones he can never reach. I agree that his relationship with Sara is filled with guilt. I do think, however, Sara understands him better than anyone else. She knows the past and present Oliver like no one else can. Felicity is the future he could have but only if he gets his head on straight and lets go of his past with the Lance sisters. That said, I'd rather see Felicity find someone who truly loves her than someone who bounces back and forth between the Lance sisters.
Q3. Emily Bett Rickards. She was awesome. I loved every scene she was in, but she was perfect in her speech to Oliver.
Q4. So hard to choose, but I'm going with ARGUS attacks. The Wall changed the playing field and not for the better.
Q5. I think Isabel will be the only death in the finale. I think Sara will go back to the League of Assassins. I think the writers are going down the Olicity road, but I don't expect that to go very well -- between Laurel, Oliver's relationship history, and Felicity's mysterious past, there's not much hope for them as a couple - at least not yet.


I loved Malcolm Merlyn's entrance and the back and forth between him and Thea. It's not going to be easy for these two and I'm looking forward to what the show will do to them. As for the Laurel, Sara or Felicity question, well, I agree with Carla here. This is more about who Slade thinks is Oliver's love. And it's certainly difficult to figure out what his Mirakuru-damaged brain tells him. As for the future, I honestly cannot see one with Oliver and either of the Lance sisters. How much can Oliver really love Laurel when he cheated on her repeatedly in the past and the prospect of moving in with her drove him to invite her sister on a boat trip? Just too much toxic backstory then. I get the deeper connection between Sara and Oliver because of what they've been through together, but I feel that relationship had always been tinged more by guilt because Sara's life would have been entirely different if Oliver hadn't brought her aboard the Queen's Gambit. With Felicity and Oliver, I see trust, respect, pride, desire, humor, understanding — real foundations for love and a strong relationship. Speaking of Felicity, I loved her speech to Oliver. Emily Bett Rickards really sold that scene. My runner-up would be Kevin Alejandro. I thought the show could have done more with his character throughout the season. But his revelation to Oliver about the origin of his mask was rather heartbreaking. Goodbye, Mayor Blood. I'm glad Team Arrow now has the cure. Curious to see the actual effects. Does it mean Roy is no longer super strong? Why bring him in the fight then when just three weeks ago he couldn't aim an arrow? Loved the heroes' walk, although I'm not sure that's Merlyn on the left. Looks like an LOA minion to me. Can't even imagine what they're going to do with the finale. I just hope the EPs don't pull surprises just for the sake of pulling one. I really don't think Sara is going to die. But I've this nagging feeling Laurel might.

@ Kate

I agree with what you said , laurel is his past he cheats on he cheated on her twice and with his sister, it is toxic, Sara knows him as the Ollie from the island and she def know the feeling of everything he went thru but I believe felicty like Sara said is that light he needs, she truly believe in him and sees the good in him and he def relays on her for advice and much more then he knows! I can't wait for the showdown when slade has felicity and I agree Emily bett is awesome in this role! I don t see a brother sister relationship at all with these to, if anyone I see that with Ollie and laurel! I'm def rooting for another great Olicity moment in finale , plus all,the other good stuff!


I would not be surprised if Sara dies and Laurel takes up the wig and mask to fight crime in her stead. Of course, Laurel'd need to make up some serious hand-to-hand combat training, but look at the guys around her! Regarding Oliver's love - the biggest problem with trying to figure out who Slade would target is that Slade is insane, nuts, crazy, three-fries-short-of-a-Happy-Meal-WHACKO. How about this? Slade will target Laurel but accidentally hits Felicity instead, critically injuring her just in time for the Cut To Black, See You Next Season!


1) Malcolm's return was fantastic! So glad they brought him back and agree that Thea needs someone in her corner right now. I find her character a little annoying so this might make her more interesting.
2). Oliver's love? I don't really think it's Laurel or Sara (though I know Laurel is "supposed" to be his true love). I'm thinking it's Felicity from what Slade has to go on and they just haven't explored that as much. They did a lot of camera zoom-in's on moments between Oliver and Felicity lately not to do anything with them. Oliver and Laurel aren't like Superman & Lois so they have some liberty with this character (based on chemistry) to go in another direction.
3) Best performance was Felicity and her speech. Talk about rallying the troops! EBR has always done the lighter moments well but I thought this showed a real depth to her character. Malcolm was a close second.
4) Best development would have to be the Arrow team getting the cure and Blood sacrificing himself to get it to them.
5) I think someone, likely Sara, would die. I see her as a somewhat disposable character that would have a big impact on the show/Laurel/Oliver.

Spindae 2o

1.Malcolm's return?
First off I must say Malcolm is a pure psycho, that man hasn't a normal thought in his head and I just love the way Josh is playing him so believable. Amazing. I didn't expect to much so I'm fine, it's just one episode I hope these 2 will get many many more.
2.Oliver's love?
Honestly neither. I think that deep #OUAT True Love Oliver isn't currently capable to feel. He hasn't the time for it to let his emotions just lay low. Sara is an escape from the past that haunts him. His heart is with Thea & all the people he wants to save.
3.Best performance?
Lance family! Sara's & Laurel's moment was great, they have a clear slate once more I'm eager to see what will happen to these 2 girls.
4. Best development?
Amanda Waller! I want to get to know this women. She has so many secrets , just perfect. her story must continue throughout season 3, especially if she is on the island with Ollie.
I don't know Vd thought me this season to lay my expectations low.The thing I look forward to is the Green Lantern/Ferris connection & there was a plane shown in the extended promo, And Arrow vs Slade should be amazing.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 22 Quotes

I don't need you right now. Everyone else does. So go; go save the city.


Ravager: Do you want to save me some time and energy and tell me where I can find Felicity Smoak? I have been aching to put a bullet in her smug little face ever since the day...
Felicity: Oh. I really thought the air bags were gonna go off.