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Arrow: Year’s End Review

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  • Episode: Year’s End (Season 1, Episode 9)
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Arrow: Year’s End Review

The midseason finale!

By Tim Janson     December 14, 2012



After last week’s episode of arrow turned into the “Young and the Restless” the midseason finale did a complete 180 and sent the show off into its month long hiatus on a high note with the best episode of the season so far.  And damn it this really rankles me!  We’ve seen with this and a handful of other episodes how good Arrow can be when it concentrates on strong action and characters and not relationship drama.

This week’s episode had it all…action, suspense, numerous secrets revealed, and Katie Cassidy in a hot red dress and there’s nothing wrong with that.  An apparent copycat archer is on the loose and going after the same crooked businessmen that Oliver has already encountered.  Only this archer is killing them with an arrow through the heart.  Oliver needs to be able to keep his name clear and contacts Detective Lance with an offer to work together to catch the murderer.

For the first time in several weeks Oliver has flashbacks to the island where his mysterious Asian archer friend Yao Fei returns with the mercenary who interrogated him back in episode five “Damaged”.  From the captive, Oliver learns that that island was used by the Chinese government as a prison for their most dangerous criminals.  They had the mercenaries kill all of the prisoners by two managed to survive…Yao Fei and Deathstroke.

Meanwhile Oliver is trying to organize a good old fashioned family Christmas but getting little cheer from his family.  We finally begin to discover the schemes of Moira and Malcolm Merlyn and that Walter Steele’s life may be in great danger.

The reveal of the murdering archer (hinted at in a recent episode if you were paying attention) does tie in somewhat with Green Arrow’s comic continuity, at least to a partial degree and Its probably safe to say that this villain might become Arrow’s version of Lex Luthor.  While Moira Queen may have been complicit in her husband’s death and Oliver’s torture on the island, it’s also clear that she is in way over her head and fully under Merlyn’s thumb.

Arrow is at a crossroads with this episode.  “Year’s End” is an episode that can send the show off down a strong road of continuity with a new major, recurring villain who has great potential.  Not only that but Oliver himself seemed changed at the end, more determined and resolute.  Not that he ever thought his mission was a game but he knows things just got far more intense.  But if Arrow continues to slide back into the romantic entanglements the consistency of the show will continue to be a major issue.  But for this week, it could not get much better. 


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millean 12/14/2012 8:30:35 AM

Yep, this was a good episode.  I'm looking forward to more DeathStroke, and we all know they are setting up a (hopefully) massive post-island confrontation that should be fun to watch.  Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

As for all of the young relationship angst, this show is on the CW, so we are going to have to put up with that for the duration of the show's run.  Sad but true.

ObiWannaJones 12/15/2012 7:25:48 AM

 Hoping they eventually bring DeathStroke in as  present day recurring character, bent on evening a score with Ollie and Merlyn. I really want them to flesh in his background so he becomes more of the Slade Wilson anti-hero of the comics. 

HudsonTaco 12/15/2012 2:58:11 PM

 Good review. One thing Moira Queen did not know anything about his torture on the island, they were referring to when he was kidnapped in the 1st episode after he got back.

mikemc2 12/15/2012 6:05:39 PM

 Good episode and great review.  Although it still bothers me alittle how little respect they give to the comic book in trying to be "real".  He thinks being called Green Arrow is lame??  But that is the character's name.  Really wish to see some meta-humans (actual super-villians) or maybe a Cadmus referance.

BunyonSnipe 12/17/2012 4:42:11 AM

I am really hoping Deathstroke comes in a Slade Wilson, with the white goatee and eyepatch, etc...

Hopefully he won't just be some one-note henchman, but more of an anti-hero, not in town to take Ollie down, but to make up for past sins.

BunyonSnipe 12/17/2012 4:48:53 AM

Sorry Obi-Wan for repeating what you already stated...

Massively hungover!


Well actually I think he just said the name was lame, because he has to stay in 'character' as Ollie...

Actually with the whole Meta-Human thing, I would LOVE to see how they get around that.

rogue188 12/17/2012 2:18:39 PM

This was a good episode, definitely one of the better of the season. Good pacing, excellent action and relationship drama was kept minimally to one of two scenes. I also enjoyed the flashback to the island. If the writers could keep that format, then this show could move from middling to good.

Eric770 12/18/2012 11:55:33 AM

I am really wanting to like the show and as long as they stick with the action I am on board. Is it just me or does anyone else cringe when Laurel and Tommy's characters hit the screen? I just hate that all shows feel the need to cut-copy-paste love triangles into every storyline, but in this case I just don't really feel any interest in why I should care for Tommy or Laurel's relationship, which to me seems just too conveniently constructed into the story. Can either or both of them be storyline casualties? I'm just saying, I'm not feeling thier relationship/screen time. I'd be more interested in Diggle and his sister in-law, or Oliver's sister and her character development than the Laurel/Tommy we exist merely to torment Oliver scenario. 

Iridan 12/20/2012 6:16:35 AM

I think the whole point of the Tommy/Laurel storyline is that Tommy is ultimately going to turn and be a villain. I could be wrong, but we'll see. So far, I'm enjoying the show.

BunyonSnipe 12/23/2012 1:52:26 AM

I have a terrible feeling Tommy is not going to make it to the end of the season...



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