Arrow: Year’s End Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, 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.
Mania Grade: A
Episode: Year’s End (Season 1, Episode 9)