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!

Darkness on the Edge of Town Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (132 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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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: 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.