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Arrow season 5 episode 23 review: Lian Yu

by rushilkot3149 on May 25, 2017

For much of tonight’s episode, this felt like the end of Arrow. Sure, those damn flashbacks were often shackles for the show, forcing it to recite the next incremental step in Oliver’s five-year journey from playboy to the Hood that was far from consistently compelling. But even the blandest prequel—and the beginning and end of the flashback seasons were very good, even if the middle was soggy—can’t help but pick up steam as it rushes toward its inevitable, preordained conclusion: the beginning we saw five years ago. In watching Arrow come full circle, in watching it bring back Nyssa and Malcolm and Slade and, yes, even Moira, if only to close out the flashbacks in style, it’s not hard to feel a sense of completion. “Lian Yu” doesn’t just feel like the finale of this season, or even of the show’s first five years, but rather of an entire 10-year journey for Oliver. Watching all that, I wondered what story Arrow could possibly have left to tell after this hour was up.

What better way to kick things off than with an extended reunion scene between Ollie and Slade Wilson. Slade still and probably will always rank as Arrow's most compelling villain (though Adrian Chase made a really strong case for himself tonight), so I was thrilled to have the chance to reconnect with the character after a more than two year absence. This episode did not disappoint. Slade has clearly mellowed out since last time he clashed with Oliver. He no longer really qualifies as a villain. Freed of the effects of Mirakuru, Slade is free to rekindle that brotherly bond with Ollie that died along with Shado. One of this episode's greatest strengths was playing on that bond and reflecting the full, complicated history between the two characters.

The big Team Arrow/Team Prometheus showdown was certainly memorable. The choreography in the main fight scene was top-notch, with every major character pairing off and dozens of bodies in motion at once. The Black Siren/Black Canary and Nyssa/Talia fight scenes were also a lot of fun. The writers managed to find opportunities for pretty much every character to shine during this sequence, even if just for a moment or two. Again, even though there wasn't an entire city at stake in this conflict, the scope of the battle was truly epic.

This episode really needed that happy, emotional moment to offset the crushing darkness of Ollie's final confrontation with Chase. Ollie's victory this week was incredibly bittersweet. Yes, he proved once and for all that Chase can't goad him into killing again. Ollie has become whole again. But he never quite mastered the trick of out-thinking his foe. Chase remained several steps ahead till the very end, forcing Ollie into a real Sophie's Choice moment as he had to decide between his son and his friends. There was a great sense of tension to the final scene. Here, alone at the very end, Ollie became just a desperate father with a bow and arrow trying to reason with an insane, evil mastermind.

Our Score:

10/10

A Look Inside

Comments

While yes, the dialogue could be improved slightly, the humorous banter between the three leads definitely makes up for it. In an age where DC is dominated by heavyweights assignment assistance uk like Superman and Batman, it’s great to know DC hasn’t forgotten about these characters. I cannot wait to see where the Benson sisters