Sunday, December 30, 2012

Arrow 1.09: "Year's End"

“This guy, the other archer. He’ll get his. And you’ll give it to him.”
- Diggle

We’ve reached the fall finale of Arrow. We begin with the baddie of the week from the pilot, Adam Hunt. He’s stressing about wanting to get back into the game when a figure shows up and shoots him three times in the chest with arrow. We get a vague outline of a hood and a bow. I’m guessing it’s not Oliver. Speaking of, he and Dig are doing some more training down in the man cave when Diggle mentions having to take his nephew to see Santa. Oli realizes it’s Christmas and that he forgot about the holiday. No holidays on the island after all. We cut back to the island and Oliver is sitting in the cave. His sort of captor/rescuer comes back with food and water after being gone for days and brings the military guy who was torturing Oliver for information. The archer basically tells Oli that the guy has a way for him to get off the island and that Oli has to kill him.

Oliver gets back to the Queen mansion to find Moira and Walter entertaining high ups in the political world, including the police commissioner and Tommy’s dad (aka the Well Dressed man). They’re discussing the drop in crime and whether the vigilante has had any effect on the crime rate. Oliver says they need a better name for the vigilante and Mr. Merlyn suggests “Green Arrow”. Oliver declares it lame. Right in the middle of dinner, Walter gets a call from Ms. Smoke about the list of names they discovered last week. Not surprising, a chunk of Oliver’s victims are on it. And so is a member of the Queen Consolidated staff. Dinner is interrupted by the news of Adam Hunt’s murder. We jump back to the scene where Detective Lance is skeptical about whether the vigilante actually did it. It didn’t make sense for the vigilante to take $40 million and then come back several months later and kill him. Plus the arrows are different. Oli overhears all of this and after a brief conversation with Diggle in the man cave, sends our dear Detective a burner phone. Oliver wants the chance to find this poser for himself.

Meanwhile, Walter is following up on the staff member Ms. Smoke ID’d on the list. It doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as nothing seems off about this guy (other than maybe he’s a little jumpy). Later that night, Oliver and Thea are out at the diner and Oliver is bemoaning the fact that they aren’t having the annual Christmas party. Thea says that after the boat went down, they just weren’t in the spirit. Oliver is going to remedy that by throwing one this year. We get another flashback where we learn about the purpose of the island (and no it’s not some uncharted place full of plane crash victims with a cork in the middle keeping all the light in). It was a Chinese penitentiary for the worst criminals. The guy who ordered Oli’s torture explains that his unit was ordered to go in and kill all the prisoners. They missed two: Death Stroke and Oli’s archer buddy.

Malcolm is not happy with Moira. They’re having a little clandestine meeting about the guy Walter talked to earlier. Moira says she’ll handle it but Malcolm is skeptical about her abilities to keep her family in line. Meanwhile, another baddie whom Oliver dealt with only a week before gets an arrow through the chest. Detective Lance still thinks it is the work of the copycat but his superior says to blame it on the vigilante. When Lance refuses to do so, he gets taken off the case and gives Oli a call with information he needs to track down the guy giving the vigilante an even worse name. Only problem is Oli’s got until Christmas before Lance comes after him again.

Oliver’s gotten his hands on the arrows used in the murders and he’s managed to discern they are a custom job. So of course, he goes to our resident IT guru and she uses her Google fu to find the shipment and address. Oliver heads out to check it out and barely escapes before the place blows up. Meanwhile, Detective Lance is moping around Laurel’s apartment. Sarah’s birthday was around Christmas so they’re spending the holiday together. Tommy shows up briefly to give her a present and it turns out to be an old picture of her, Sarah and Detective lance. Tommy is trying to be sweet I suppose.

Oliver’s Christmas party is in full swing and he’s trying to enjoy himself. He snaps a family photo before Tommy and Laurel show up. Things are a little awkward and Laurel confesses to Liver in private that he’s been holding her back from a real relationship with Tommy. She was emotionally numb for five years and then Oliver returned and she started to feel again. Guess that’s confusing. They aren’t the only ones having little private conversations. Walter and Moira are having a talk of their own where Moira sort of confesses to getting the Queen’s Gambit salvaged as leverage against her own bad people. I have to say these two scenes were well done and I liked how the Christmas music was used to move the scenes along. Oliver’s mood darkens however when he finds Thea with his buddy Shane in her bedroom getting it on. Thea claims she never wanted the party because things will never be the same as they were. And the copycat has taken hostages. Oliver is determined to stop this guy before more people die. We get another flashback where Death Stroke and some of the other goons show up. Oliver manages to get away but they get the archer. I keep wondering how much longer this guy is going to be around to teach Oliver the skills he needs.

Oliver heads off to the hostage situation and manages to get the hostages out without being caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately, Oliver gets into it with the other archer and gets the crap beaten out of him. Oli does get a knife in the other archer before crawling off and calling Diggle for back up. Oliver wakes up in the hospital with Walter, Moira and Thea at his bedside. Dig’s taken care of everything (telling them Oliver was riding his motorcycle and got cut off by a semi). As Oliver is starting to recuperate, we learn the identity of the other archer; Malcolm Merlyn. Which makes me wonder who made the list and why. Things aren’t going well for Walter though. Malcolm has deemed Moira’s attempt to keep Walter in line and so he’s taking Walter for six months until whatever the plan to take over Starling City is realized. Oliver vows to get the top gun after he recovers. And thus ends the fall run of Arrow.

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