Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 Review: Lian Yu

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That was an explosive turn of events, amirite?

Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 got us up to speed with how Oliver wound up on the boat way back on Arrow Season 1 Episode 1 while wiping the island from existence in the present. 

An Epic Battle - Arrow

Let's talk about Oliver grabbing Anatoly's goody bag and getting on the boat. That phone call between Oliver and Moira was just heartbreaking. Poor Moira initially thought it was a prank call and had a glimmer of hope that Robert was also still in the land of the living. 

Even after all these years, Arrow can still pack an emotional punch, and there were loads of them peppered throughout the Arrow Season 5 closer. 

Thea was so against Malcolm and rightfully so. He did so many shitty things to her over the years, and she pointed out all of that. She's had so much hate for him, but witnessing him make the ultimate sacrifice changed her stance.

Somehow, I don't think he's dead, but Thea sure does. She had the sudden realization that all of her parents are now dead, and the only person she has left is Oliver. Assuming Thea makes it out of the big Lian Yu explosion, I don't see her moving on from this quickly. 

I have to give credit where credit's due, and I liked Oliver's decisions a lot. He was backed against a wall. He had nobody else he could turn to, and that's why he went to Slade. I did not think for one minute that Slade had double-crossed Oliver. 

It was somewhat surprising when the $hit hit the fan, and Slade was adamant he was not leaving the island without Oliver and William. Slade felt badly about everything he did to Oliver, and it seems like he might be sticking around for Arrow Season 6. 

Black Siren is Ready for a Fight - Arrow Season 5 Episode 23

Oliver being put on the spot and forced to choose between Team Arrow, Samantha, Nyssa, and William was downright awful. As soon as Felicity and Curtis figured out the island was rigged with explosives, it was evident the episode was going to end on a cliffhanger. 

I'm all for cliffhangers, but not when they're predictable. I found the conclusion frustrating because it's not like any of the key players are really going to die. Could you imagine if everyone on the island died and things were changed up dramatically for Arrow Season 6?

I hope there isn't a huge time jump and that the flashbacks aren't going to be about how some of them escaped. That would just suck. 

I'm going to be pissed if Artemis is dead, and we did not get to see her die. Seriously, she has been so smug and deserves to have the most horrible death. Her mind games with Oliver when she was chanting about it all being part of the plan were tedious. 

Nyssa Is Back - Arrow Season 5 Episode 23

The fight between Nyssa and Talia was a highlight. I kind of expected Nyssa to turn on Oliver at her sister's commands, but I was pleasantly surprised she won the fight. I just want to know what happened between the sisters after that.

I was thrilled that Felicity let Oliver know how much he meant to her by having that potential final kiss. It showed how far they have come since all of their awkward exchanges. 

Their time in the bunker really did wonders for their relationship. 

"Lian Yu" was a decent ending to the season.

It felt a bit rushed, and I would have much preferred a 90-minute episode. However, there is a lot for us to ponder over the next few months as we wait for Arrow Season 6. 

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Quentin smacking Black Siren was everything. I also liked that he came around to the idea of Dinah being Black Canary. 
  • Samantha got, like, two lines of dialog the whole episode. And most of that was wasted on her shipping Olicity. 
  • Thea was pissed about everything tonight. Hopefully, she finds happiness soon. 
  • The special effects when Oliver shot down Kovar's helicopter were atrocious. 

Over to you, Arrow Fanatics. What did you think of the finale? Who do you think will die? Sound off below. 

Remember you can watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic. Get caught up on all the drama now. 

Lian Yu Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (167 Votes)

Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 Quotes

You and me, kid, like old times.

Slade

Oliver: Slade, are you going to help me, or not?
Slade: I think I'm stating the obvious when I say I killed your mother and for that, you should kill me now.