Arrow “City of Blood” — TV EPISODE REVIEW

“Hey guys, check it out. I’m relevant again!” –Sebastian Blood

Coming off of last week’s shocking death, I was curious to see the tone of the newest episode of Arrow. You get the tone right away, as it starts with a funeral. With only 2 episodes to go, this episode really needed to set a tone for the final two. But did it succeed?

As I said, the episode started with the funeral so we have to cope with all of the sadness right off the bat. Which, by the way, yay for the return of Walter. I always liked his character, mostly because of his awesome voice; but that is besides the point. He is back for now and it was nice to see him. But we don’t get Oliver until about fifteen minutes into the episode. This worked for the most part, but I’m not one who is a fan of his coping mechanisms. Depression and guilt is expected in his position, but walking into sure death is a great way to hurt even more people.

This episode must have fell short of Manu Bennett’s contracted episode total because we only got his voice in a phone call. Episodes are always better when Manu Bennett is in them. Which kind of makes me worry for next season. We have no idea what role he will play, if any.

So this week dealt with the fallout of Moira’s death, as Oliver was in a depression (also leave it to Felicity to still be funny at a funeral/reception), Thea wants to leave, and Laurel wants to investigate Sebastian Blood. I have definitely been on the “Hate Laurel” train this season. But that is mostly because her character has been shit all year. From the alcohol and drugs to just being flat-out annoying. But I will say that she was one of the better parts of this episode. Some of her emotional scenes were a tad forced, but I don’t really expect high caliber acting from Katie Cassidy.

But we also got to see Kevin Alejandro back in an important plot thread as he is the new Mayor of Starling City. Sebastian Blood also got to lead his Deathstroke Army, which was pretty cool at first. I almost feel like this episode would have been served better if it was a two parter, or an extended episode. The ending just felt really abrupt and rushed to me. Like, action stuff was happening then boom; there’s the ending. And as far as cliffhangers go, it could have been better.

But once Oliver got back into his groove, it was all good again. I wonder how he lost his limp so quickly though. Perhaps the “magic knee brace” Bruce Wayne used in The Dark Knight Rises? No? Just a thought. Anyways, it was also to see Isabelle in costume form. Her line was kind of funky but she looked badass. That was one of the main problems I had with this episode. It just felt off, writing-wise. Some of the dialogue just seemed so unnatural from what I’ve come to expect from Arrow. It wasn’t bad at all but it still was off a little bit. Some of the lines were just plain bad though.

Oh yeah, also credit goes to the actors who did good this week. Stephen Amell, Kevin Alejandro, and Emily Bett Rickards all did good work this week. But, they have been good all year.

This really doesn’t affect this episode but the previews for next week’s episode look insane. Also, I’ve been waiting for the return of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and next week, we finally get it. That deserves to be a talking point in itself. I am interested to see the capacity in which he comes back and what stems from it. But there was a decent amount of buildup in this one. The next two are probably going to be extremely good and it looks like we are in store for one epic finale two weeks from now. I, for one, am excited and can’t wait to see how this season concludes.

WHAT I LIKED:

+: Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood back to the forefront is a welcome change. I didn’t like how he was relegated to Slade’s bitch weeks back. But now, he is being used in a much better capacity. I usually hate all of the actor’s characters but I especially like Sebastian.

+: Slade’s army is badass

+: The action in the last fifteen minutes or so had an urgency to them. The music, along with the direction made it feel intense. That was well done along with the rise of Slade’s army.

+: Laurel finally getting good material. For once, I don’t hate her. But seriously, don’t become the Kate from Lost. When someone tells you to stay behind, you need to fucking listen. At least she didn’t end up with a bag over her head, surrounded by men with torches.

+: Walter!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

-: The episode had some below average writing throughout. I’ve come to expect better, especially with three episodes to go.

-: The ending was really rushed and felt abrupt. It could have benefited from more time or maybe a two part episode. Didn’t leave me hanging as much as I would have liked. As far as cliffhangers go, it left a good amount to be desired.

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