Arrow: Season 1 Episode 22 – ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ Review

Arrow Season 1 Episode 22 Darkness On The Edge of Town Oliver and Felicity

Hello Arrow fans! Everything that is fun to watch about Arrow is encapsulated in Season One’s penultimate episode. What could have felt like another hour of set up, turned out to be a thrilling season finale part one. The episode’s climatic quality is the result of the entire cast having significant scenes, a death of an important character, the exciting caper in the Merlyn building and finally a rematch between the Hood & the Dark Archer.

Continue reading Arrow Season 1 Episode 22 titled Darkness On The Edge of Town review.

Before I discuss my reaction to the key scenes and major developments of the episode, I want to briefly touch on Oliver’s journey this season. Since returning from the island, Oliver is at the center of a tug-of-war over the lost parts of his humanity. In accessing his character progression, the question I ask is what can he do now, either personally or as the vigilante, which he couldn’t at the beginning of the season.

The first thing that comes to mind is how Oliver has opened himself up to his crime-fighting partners. The developing trust and bond between Oliver, Diggle and Felicity has been tested over the course of the season. The trio infiltrating Merlyn Global is a fun escapade. At the same time it’s an earned moment watching them work together. Oliver told Diggle last episode he couldn’t stop the The Undertaking alone; a point that is effectively illustrated through out Darkness.

After learning Diggle’s been right all along about Moira’s dishonesty, including her knowledge of Walter’s abduction, Oliver sets up a cunning trick interrogation which works as a plot device in more than one way. In the first interrogation in The Odyssey, Moira used her genuine love of her children to play on the emotions of the Hood/Oliver to buy enough time to grab a gun. This time, her family that she’s been protecting is put in jeopardy when Oliver takes a beating from Diggle in the guise of the Hood, motivating her to spill the beans about the Undertaking.

To change the dynamic between Oliver and Moira moving forward it’s important to have her secrets out in the open between the two without revealing that Oliver is the Hood. Now that Moira’s motivations are clear, Oliver can begin to trust her again. This break through opens up some possibilities on how Moira can be utilized next season when the Undertaking story arc, which has been central to her involvement in the show, wraps up next episode. Assuming she survives, I hope to see Moira and the family drama continue to play a role in the new season, which is more compelling than Oliver’s romantic life.

I’m not opposed to Oliver and Laurel reigniting their romance which has been brewing over the last few episodes, I just don’t feel now is the right time. The chemistry between the characters requires significant development to make their relationship convincing.  Also, the dialogue requires improvement such as less explaining about what’s been keeping them apart and more engaging conversation or spark that’ll make viewers want to see them get together.  As quickly as Oliver decided to get back with Laurel, I do want to see how it plays out in the season finale because I’m learning to expect the unexpected when it comes to these star-crossed lovers.

I’m curious what other fans think about Oliver’s belief that stopping the Undertaking would absolve his father’s sin; therefore, he could give up his secret life as the Hood and renew his relationship with Laurel. From my point of view, his feelings for Laurel are so strong that he impulsively believes in that fallacy in order to be with her, now that she’s unattached to Tommy. In Legacies, Diggle instilled in Oliver the notion that his mission is more than crossing off a list of names in his father’s book. I believe Oliver will quickly realize his purpose is the on-going fight for the greater good and giving up Laurel is a difficult sacrifice he will need to make. I would be surprised if there’s a mini story arc where Oliver hangs up the hood to be with Laurel at the beginning of Season 2.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 22 Darkness On The Edge of Town Merlyn

The fight between Oliver and Malcolm builds my anticipation for the season finale.  There’s a mixture of surprise, regret and genuine concern in the way Malcolm delivers “oh no” in discovering Oliver is the Hood. Malcolm has planned The Undertaking for years, tying up loose ends, but what he could not have predicted was the emergence of the vigilante and Oliver’s secret identity. Because Malcolm knows Oliver is the Hood, does that seal his fate in the finale?

Back on the island, I’m pretty shocked Yao Fei took a bullet to the head. It’s too bad my last memory of him is in that uniform, delivering that speech. Yao made the video confession to protect his daughter but I would have liked a more heroic sendoff. It does show Fyers to be utterly ruthless. So if Yao Fei is killed because he’s no longer of use to Fyers, what wicked purpose does he have in store for Oliver, Shado and Slade in the greater plan to destroy China’s economy? As one character exits, a new intriguing one is introduced; Fyer’s mysterious boss is a revealed, or least her shapely legs. Any predictions on her identity?

Other Quick Observations:

» From beginning to end, the caper inside the Merlyn’s headquarters is incredibly entertaining. I burst out laughing when Oliver knocks the papers out of the guys hand to get him off the elevator. I was thinking he was going to do a sleeper hold or something dramatic. Felicity has an adorable moment saying she’s always thought of Oliver telling to her to hold him.

» Is there anything the Surface tablet can’t hack? Detective Lance has discovered that Felicity has been trying to hack into Merlyn’s databases which should be interesting to watch how she gets out of that predicament.

» It’s amusing that while Roy idolizes the Hood, he thinks so little of Oliver. I’m guessing he’s going to find out they are one in the same in the season finale.

» I liked the reveal of the cave prisoner that Oliver left to die was actually working for Fyers.

» Peeping Tommy got an eyeful in Laurel’s window. Can’t help but feel for the guy after Oliver told him to go for Laurel and sees Oliver do the very thing he previously promised Tommy he wouldn’t.

What did you like or didn’t like about this episode? What do you think of Yao Fei’s death? 

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