Arrow “Streets of Fire” — TV EPISODE REVIEW


John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow

Arrow has just been kicking ass this season. I was hesitant when they started the season, because I knew they were going to be setting up the Oliver versus Slade showdown. I was worried because I didn’t know if they had it in them to do it right. But, I didn’t need to be hesitant because they have just killed it all season. That is mostly due to the very good performances by Stephen Amell and Manu Bennett. Tonight’s penultimate episode, “Streets of Fire,” really sets things up for an explosive finale.

Lots of things happened this week. We continue right off where the last episode ended. Oliver and Laurel are under rubble, Diggle is fighting Ravager/Isabelle, and the Slade army is kicking everyone’s asses. We move from that pretty easily. The big thing this week was the return of John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn. Captain Jack Harkness himself was back to save his daughter’s life. It’s kind of funny. He was really only in two or three scenes and he still looks like he’s a better fighter than Oliver. Ollie needs to step his game up. Sara returns this week to save Laurel (again!), except this time Laurel knows she’s…Black Canary I guess. The big part of this episode was centered around Ollie, Diggle, and Felicity trying to get their hands on the Mirakuru cure. Not as easy as they would think.

This is probably going to be a shorter review because not a whole lot stood out about this episode. Although I will say that I liked seeing Isabelle in her little mask get-up but she looks way more badass without the mask at all. Kevin Alejandro really shined this week as well, as he realized just how much of a pawn he really was. He even goes to lengths to help Oliver. His scene with Stephen Amell was really well done, as was the one with Summer Glau.

There wasn’t any time for any romance or Felicity’s always-appreciated wit, because it was pretty much all action. The flashbacks were a little slow, but only because the present stuff was more action packed. Slade really sat behind his desk all episode, but seeing him is preferable over hearing his voice on a phone. Officer Lance finally got his badge back and it was nice to see guy who’s been a dick to him all season come to him for help.

And I can’t be the only one who thinks it is going to be super difficult to inject all these super soldiers with the cure. Couldn’t they have made into an airborne mist or something? So they don’t have to get all up close and personal. As much as I love John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn…or any character really; I didn’t find myself caring about him and Thea. They were an afterthought. Emily Bett-Rickards did some pretty good acting in this episode and Colton Haynes did his best acting yet as he was unconcious the whole episode. I kid, I kid.

But the two little bits at the end weren’t very smart in my eyes. First they have the Thea shooting the gun part, which everyone knows wasn’t aimed at Malcolm. You don’t bring back Captain Jack to get shot by Thea Queen. That would just be dumb. And the whole part about ARGUS coming into the city was pretty cool. What wasn’t cool was Amanda Waller giving Oliver till dawn to deal with Slade. Really guys? Slade and his army are difficult enough, but now you have to go and give them a time limit? That’s cold. But I feel like both of these un-needed events were thrown in just to add extra drama. I wasn’t a huge fan, but it does set up the finale rather well.

I am excited for the season finale next week. I want the showdown I’ve been waiting all season for, and to hopefully see Slade lose his eye in the flashbacks. The commercials made it look like one big battle next week and I’m perfectly okay with that. The only issue I’m going to have is waiting several months for the next season to start.

WHAT I LIKED:

+: For a CW show, their CGI looks really good. They probably saved up all their money for the final episodes, but damn the destruction of the city looked pretty damn good. Limited budget, my ass.

+: Kevin Alejandro and Stephen Amell did some pretty good acting this week. Alejandro deserves most of the credit; his story was predictable but still really well executed, mostly due to Alejandro’s performance.

+: Felicity getting all emotional and stuff…Pretty good acting. I want her sarcasm back though.

+: Action scenes were awesome.

+: Sets up the season finale really well.

+: JOHN BARROWMAN IS BACK BABY!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

-: Didn’t care too much about Malcolm and Thea’s story. You can blame Thea for that. Because Malcolm is the shit.

-: The island flashbacks could have used a little more substance.

-: The bullshit “Canary” lines just had to be thrown in, didn’t they? Corny as hell.

-: The ending felt thrown in just for added drama.

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