Arrow: Darkness at the Edge of Town Review -

Arrow Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Episode: Darkness at the Edge of Town (Season 1, Episode 22)
  • Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards
  • Written By: Drew Z. Greenberg and Wendy Mericle
  • Directed By: John Behring
  • Network: THE CW
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Series:

Arrow: Darkness at the Edge of Town Review

Oliver and Merlyn Tangle!

By Tim Janson     May 09, 2013


Counting down to next week’s first season finale, this episode opens with Malcolm Merlyn, in his guise as the Dark Archer.  Merlyn is tying up any connections to his company by killing all of the scientists at Unidac Industries, the tech firm responsible for building the device that Merlyn intends to use to create an Earthquake in the Glades.  Oliver and Diggle concoct a plot to stage an abduction of both Oliver and Moira Queen with Diggle dressed as The Hood (sigh) in order to get her to reveal what she knows about Merlyn’s plans.  Thea and Roy Harper are continuing their quest to try and find The Hood even after Oliver warns them off.

Oliver goes to see Tommy at Merlyn headquarters while Felicity sneaks off to try and hack the company’s mainframe to locate the earthquake device.  She is successful but Merlyn is alerted to the computer breach and moves the weapon before Diggle can disable it.  The Hood confronts Malcolm in his office, leading to an episode-ending battle where once again, Malcom gets the better of Oliver.  Back on the Island, Fyers finally reveals his master plan…he intends to use his surface-to-air missile system to shoot down commercial aircraft out of China, blaming the terrorist act on Yao Fei as a renegade Miliary officer, in order to cripple China’s economy.

Well that was grand wasn’t it?  You almost forget that this is a show based upon a comic book until you have one villain planning to destroy several blocks of a city with an earthquake-making device, and another villain planning to shoot down passenger jets to make a profit off tanking the Chinese economy.  I’m going out on a not so fragile limb here and say that with what happened in the final moments of the episode that Malcolm is going to get deep-sixed in the finale leaving Tommy to inherit the Dark Archer mantle.  As enjoyable as the first year of Arrow has been, I think this season-long plot needs to be wrapped up to progress the show and the characters.  I know some of you hate when I compare Arrow to Smallville but I’m going to do it again, anyway.  

Smallville tried to ignore its comic book roots for a long time, instead concentrating on the meteorite mutant of the week for the first few seasons.  Arrow thankfully has introduced more of these elements early on.  Oliver thinks he will be able to hang up his costume once he takes Merlyn down but obviously we know different.  I think a natural progression to more comic book-style villains as opposed to taking down evil businessmen is the way the show has to go.  

It’s nice to see Oliver and Diggle back on the same page although it will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out when and IF Roy Harper becomes Ollie’s sidekick.  Emily Bett Rickards continues to sparkle as Felicity.  Week in and week out she delivers some of the funniest moments and lines and this week was no different as she had to pretend to be a stalker when she’s caught in the Merlyn building. It even made you overlook the implausibility of her sneaking in there in the first place.  Back next week with the season finale!  


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dojen1 5/9/2013 2:43:06 PM

I'm enjoying the show, despite its "soap opera-like" moments...but DANG!  If they don't start calling him Green Arrow...or at least "The Arrow"..soon.....(veins at temples bulging)

Also: when might Laurel Dinah Lance discover she can make the sonic Canary Cry? I think the actress would look good in fishnets, a merrywidow and a bolero jacket.

lusiphur 5/10/2013 6:12:48 AM

 Thank you for that visual, dojen1.  I'll be in my bunk.

I agree wholeheartedly with the review.  Tricking Moira into revealing the plan was great.  I think my lone complaint happened before the opening.  The Dark Archer goes on his slaughter spree then speeds away from the scene in ... his own car?  If this were any police procedural, they'd already have arrested him just from traffic cam footage.  Maybe he stole it.  Who knows.  Minor detail, really.  Next week looks to be intense.  Eagerly awaiting it.  This has become one of those rare shows I will start watching while it's still recording on the DVR.  I find myself doing that with this, NCIS, Castle, Elementary and Person of Interest.

Chopsaki 5/10/2013 2:01:51 PM

My favorite part was really minor but it made me laugh when Oliver knocked the papers out of the guys hand in the elevator.

lracors 5/10/2013 11:16:52 PM

Awesome setup for the season finale, i want me some Emily oh yum.

littlemikey979 5/11/2013 10:16:41 AM

I hope they go into how Merlyn got his arrow catching skills. He is one of my favorite characters and I am crossing my fingers they don't kill him off. Although something does happen because it was obvious that Tommy was in the Dark Archer outfit in the preview, hopefully he just raids his dad's stash and runs off with the costume to go after Oliver.

Moz72 5/11/2013 12:12:23 PM

Well, so far we know that Fyer's employer is a woman, but do the events on the  island have any connection to the Undertaking? Will Slade show up in Starling city as Deathstroke? How did Merlyn learn his archery skills and become the Dark Archer?? Will Roy Harper become Red Arrow/Arsenal? TOO MANY QUESTIONS!!

jd25u 5/11/2013 6:05:07 PM

This "Hood" show is turning out pretty good.

I have a theory that they will eventually start calling the guy "Green Arrow" in order to differentiate between the two Archers (as, you know, one uses black arrows, and the other green) ... maybe I'm wrong though.  I also could see Tommy taking over his father's mantra, and continuing on as the "Black Arrow", if Malcolm buys it (I don't know the comic book story).  But for the love of Blur, PLEASE get on with calling him "Green Arrow", or at least "Arrow".

One more thing, and this may be a Spoiler ....

Isn't Slade supposed to be Deathstroke?  I know we saw a copycat Deathstroke earlier that was too easily dispatched, but will Slade eventually come back as Arrow's enemy, in the guise of Deathstroke?  I guess we won't see that for a while though, if so.

jd25u 5/11/2013 6:08:32 PM

 ... Oh, am I alone in thinking that Felicity steals every scene she is in?  She is becoming quickly my favorite character ... and is easy on the eyes as well.



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