Friday, May 17, 2013

Arrow 1.22: "The Darkness on the Edge of Town"

“It’s the Undertaking. I promised myself that when I crossed off all the names on this list I’d be done. But taking down these people, it doesn’t honor him. I was just treating the symptoms while the disease festered. I stop the Undertaking. I wipe out the disease. Merlyn’s plan is what I returned from the island to stop.”
- Oliver

This week begins with about as much bloodshed as last week ended. Malcolm slaughters everyone involved with building the device that’s going to level the Glades. He burns all the research to eliminate any possibility that it can be linked back to him. Meanwhile, Oli and company are coming up empty on tracking Moira. So he’s going to have a talk with her mother-son (no arrows involved). He doesn’t get the chance though. First, he runs into Laurel at the club and she suggests that maybe they both still have feelings for each other. But he’s not ready to handle that conversation. Besides, Walter is coming home. Oli is about to ask Moira what’s going on when she runs off after seeing news of the Unidec massacre.

Back on the island, the Big Bad gives a bit of an Evil Speech of Evil. He explains he’s going to use the missiles to take down a commercial airliner headed for China. He wants to destabilize the Chinese economy, or at least his employer does. So there’s another layer of mystery about what he’s up to. He forces the Archer to be the spokesman for the campaign, dressing him up in uniform and making him look all spiffy. He injures Shadow and Slade to force the Archer to cooperate. And once the message is recorded, the Archer gets a bullet to the head. I guess he doesn’t teach Oli anything else about being a badass with a bow. Things are not going to end well on the island,. But we have to wait until the finale next week to find out what is going to happen. And it looks like whomever the Big Bad reports to is a woman. Intrigue continues!

That afternoon, Thea and Roy follow the cops to Unidec and snap photos from a distance. The cops don’t know anything but Roy says they don’t actually know what the cops do or don’t know. Thea is getting a little frustrated with her boyfriend’s new obsession. But she lets him talk her into using her job at the legal clinic to get information on all of the cases from the last few years to see what they can dig up. Thea overhears Detective Lance and his partner talking about the copycat and the link to Merlyn Global. So she relays it to Roy and they plan to just show up at Merlyn Global and hope the vigilante does too.

Oli finally confronts Moira but she says she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. She does Beg Oli to back off and then they both get drugged with darts. Moira sees the shadow of a hooded figure before she blacks out. The first time I watched this, I was sure it was Malcolm trying to shut them both up. But it’s Oli’s plan to get the truth out of his mom. Diggle dons the hood and throws a few punches Oliver’s way to get Moira to admit everything, including Robert’s involvement before his death. She doesn’t know where the device is but she did what she had to do to protect her children after Robert died. Oliver is clearly upset by his mother’s admissions and he leaves her to find her own way home. Felicity starts to work her techno-magic by trying to hack into Merlyn Global to see if she can find where the device is being stored. Unfortunately, she’s not having much luck getting into the system. So they’re going to try the more direct approach. Time to break into Merlyn Global.

Meanwhile, Moira gets home to find Walter and Malcolm in conversation. Moira shows Malcolm out and learns that if Walter had known anything, Malcolm would have gone back on the deal and killed Walter. Malcolm really is kind of maniacal. And things aren’t going so hot for Moira and Walter either. He knows something is up with Moira and so he drop divorce papers on her. I can’t say I’m that surprised. I mean she did help orchestrate his abduction. Or at least she was aware of it. I wouldn’t want to be married to her either. But I do feel bad for Thea. She’s losing another father all over again.

SCPD are on to Merlyn Global’s link to Unidec too. Of course, Merlyn sends down Tommy who knows nothing (probably a smart move on Malcolm’s part). There’s an awkward bit between him and laurel and Laurel finally tells her dad she still has feelings for Oli. He isn’t thrilled but he can see that Oliver has changed.

The big plan to break in to Merlyn Global is underway. Felicity slips Diggle a burger that’s been drugged so he can have run of the security office and Oli has a meeting with Tommy (to give a legit reason why he’s there). We get a fun bit in the elevator where Oli and Felicity use a grappling hook to get to the twenty-fifth floor so she can access the mainframe. Oli and Tommy have a strained conversation about Laurel. If I were Oli, I’d really be worried that Tommy would blurt out his secret to Papa Merlyn and shit would hit the fan faster than he could draw an arrow. Things hit a snag when security starts their round early. Oli says he’s on the way but gets sidetracked by Malcolm. Diggle ends up rescuing Felicity once the download is complete and Oliver runs into Thea and Roy in the lobby. Thea gives her bro the skinny on what they’ve been doing and Oliver tells Roy to keep the hell away from the Vigilante. He doesn’t want his baby sister in danger. This leads to another break-up. Thea is done with Roy since he’s being so obsessed and crazy.

Felicity is quite pleased with herself for getting all the data and planting a Trojan so they can track Malcolm. Unfortunately, the SCPD’s tech guru noticed her entry and exit during her first attempt and knows exactly who she is. And now Detective Lance is going to be looking for her. That is in no way good. And in the man cave, Oliver realizes that taking out the names on his father’s list isn’t helping. He needs to stop Malcolm from using the device and that will really help right his father’s wrongs. But he has a stop to make first. He pays Laurel a visit. Confident that soon he’ll be free of the hood, they hook up. I still say I’d prefer Oliver and Felicity together. The amount of inappropriate and awkward comments she’s made lately, there’s totally something between them.

That night, though, Felicity finds the location of the device. Diggle goes to find it while Oliver goes to have a chat with Malcolm. Too bad the device has already been moved somewhere safe. Malcolm taunts Oliver that they’ve been doing this dance the last few months and this time, he’s going to kill the vigilante. He and Oliver get into yet another knock down drag out and this time Malcolm finds out Oliver’s identity. The expression on his face as the episode ends is kind of hard to read. Its’ definitely shock (he says “oh no” when he realizes whose ass he just kicked) but there’s something else there. Resolve that he needs to take this guy out to complete his mission. I mean he slaughtered a group of innocent scientists. He kidnapped Walter. He had Robert killed. Something tells me he won’t be too heartbroken over having to take out Oliver, too. I guess we’ll find out how it all shakes out next week in the finale.

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