Arrow Season 1: ‘Year’s End’ Review
After five years without a Christmas, Oliver decides it time to revive the old Queen tradition of throwing a holiday bash for all the rich folks of Starling City. Willa resists because things will never be the same again (I’m getting sick of that old song), Moira resists because she has so many secrets she can hardly keep the lies straight in her head and Walter’s not gung-ho because he knows his wife has been lying to him.
Then there’s Tommy who wants to bring Laurel as his plus 1 to the party but since she’s still a little in love with Oliver, it’s bound to be awkward.
Oliver still delivers a delightful bash but he can’t stay for the fun because a hooded, marauder is killing people with arrows.
What the hey? Is this Oliver’s steely-eyed and silent pal from the island come to exact revenge?
INSERT FUZZY FLASHBACK
Yao-Fei captures one of the men who kidnapped Oliver in an earlier flashback and says he can lead them to a plane. As they trek through the jungle, Oliver learns that the island was once a prison for the worst of the worst and Yao-Fei is one of two convicts who escaped. The other is a man named Deathstroke (nice, huh?) and oh, by the way, he’s the guy who tortured Oliver in that same flashback.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
As things escalate, Oliver recruits Detective Lance to help him find out the identity of the false Arrow. He gets an address with the help of Queen Industries resident nerd Felicity Smoak, but almost goes up in smoke when he triggers a booby-trap. Oliver escapes, forcing the imposter to take hostages. The Green Arrow must turn himself in to the police or innocent people will die.
Yeah, right. Not on Oliver’s watch. He frees the hostages but ends up getting a few arrows in the back. The other hood may be an imposter but he’s darn good with a bow. Oliver struggles away and manages to call Diggle for help.
So Oliver ends up in the hospital thanks to a “bike accident” and the family gathers at his bedside just glad that he’s alright.
Sweet. But wait, this is the mid-season finale, so where’s the cliffhanger?
How about this? The imposter Green Arrow was none other than Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Realizing that Walter now knows too much, he has the man kidnapped then forces Moira to take a hard look at herself. She’s not only part of the Organization’s big, evil plans, she was the one who had Oliver kidnapped and tortured, just to prove he didn’t know anything.
What? That’s crazy, woman. What the heck have you gotten yourself into and how many people are going to die before all is revealed? And does all of this mean that Merlyn is actually Deathstroke?
“Year’s End” was another slam dunk for Arrow. Nice action sequences, good character development and plenty of twists and reveals. The only thing I could do without are these island flashbacks. I know we need them to flesh out the story, but I wish they’d jump ahead some. Oliver was on that island for five years and we’re still only a few weeks in, aren’t we?
What did you think of “Year’s End?”