Arrow: Season 1 Episode 18 – ‘Salvation’ Review

Arrow Season 1 Episode 18 Salvation Roy Harper

In Arrow Season 1 Episode 18 titled Salvation, a new vigilante inspired by the Hood, broadcasts online killings of criminals that have wronged The Glades.

Oliver’s character arc through out season one is the gradual process of regaining parts of the humanity he lost while on the island of Purgatory. Since returning to Starling City, Oliver opened himself up in his relationships to Helena Bertinelli and McKenna Hall, only to have the door slammed in his face. Fresh off McKenna’s abrupt break up, Oliver is a little colder, reverting back to an emotionally isolated man driven to rid the city of criminals.

This week’s nemesis nicknamed The Savior, served as a fractured mirror image of the Hood’s vigilantism, forcing Oliver to reexamine his actions and where his current path will lead if he doesn’t change course. Though the Savior doesn’t appear on-screen until the final scene, the lack of the villain’s depth didn’t hurt the episode because he’s only a device for Oliver to realize the importance of a close circle of friends and family.

To tie in the B-plot with the main story line, it was fairly evident that the Savior’s final victim would be someone connected to Oliver. Fortunately, Laurel was passed over as a damsel in distress and since she’s neither corrupt or a criminal she wouldn’t fit the profile of the Savior’s victims.

Instead the petty thief Roy Harper became the target which led to a revealing character moment. Beneath Roy’s self-reliant and suave demeanor is a young man who doesn’t believe his life is of any worth; yelling at the Savior to kill him because no one would care as Thea watches online.

The one oversight after this climatic moment is there is no acknowledgement or exchange of words between Roy and his rescuer, the Hood. However, Oliver as Roy’s personal savior is a fitting introduction to what should eventually evolve into an enduring partnership. It would be interesting if in future episodes, Roy makes the most of his second chance and obsesses over the mysterious vigilante that saved him, perhaps igniting his crime-fighting origins.

Mirroring Roy’s emotional breakdown this episode is Dinah Lance (Alex Kingston) who blames herself for letting Sara go on the ill-fated yacht. Laurel has comes to terms with Sara’s death long ago and it’s her understated strength of character that gets to the core of Dinah’s grief which has been stuck in the denial stage. However, in order to truly sympathize with Dinah, more scenes over the last few episodes should have focused on the mother-daughter relationship and addressing questions like how they became estranged.

Other Quick Observations:

» Pretty predictable that Moira would rat on Frank. Her blood covered hands that she tried to wipe clean is very Lady Macbeth. The Dark Archer’s brief cameo makes me anticipate a rematch with Oliver.

» Tommy said that he recognized Roy. Did this mean that Roy applied for the valet job or something else? Is Roy a well-known criminal in the glades that the Savior decided to make an example of him or just convenient story writing?

» I think Yao Fei will make it out okay. Meanwhile, the superhero team up in the making (Shado, Deathstroke, & Oliver) is gathering steam. What is Fyers up to and more importantly when is the next all island flashback episode?

» Oliver jumping from rooftop to rooftop in daylight was pretty cool and a refreshing change of pace from the night scenes.

» I found it funny when Felicity kept on explaining that the Savior was in the subway as Oliver walks away … yes we got that like a half hour ago. 🙂

» “I’ll be back in Central City in a flash”. Nice line, I didn’t even have to know The Flash resides in Central City to get the inside joke because of the well-timed delivery.

» I liked how the end of the episode tied back into the on-going arc of the undertaking involving the Glades. Also, we finally learn what the mysterious symbol on the book means.

What did you like or didn’t like about this episode? What did you think of the first meeting between Roy and Oliver? Did the Dinah Lance story arc work for you?

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