This week’s episode of Arrow, “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” is the second last episode of the season and was written by Drew Z. Greenberg and Wendy Mericle and directed by John Behring. It had everything we’ve come to expect of an episode: humor, drama, romance, and action – all tightly woven together. I want to make a quick mention of the lighting which contributes so much to the atmosphere on the show. Scenes on the Island are always starkly lit while interiors in Starling City are rich and soft. Oliver’s lair has a distinctly green tint to the lighting – each carefully chosen to reflect the action. This second last episode ratchets up the tension going into the season finale. A lot of balls have been thrown up in the air, and I can’t wait to see how many of them the archer pins to the wall, and how many are left up in the air.
The episode opens with the return of the Dark Archer (John Barrowman) massacring the employees at Unidac. In an ironic twist on the Hood’s admonishment to criminals that they “have failed this city,” the Dark Archer thanks Dr Markoff (Eric Floyd) for his service before killing him. Merlyn not only creates a diversion for the Undertaking but also covers his tracks.
The biggest gasp of this episode for me was when Fyers kills Yao Fei. I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed because I really wanted to see Oliver learning more from him. It’s always possible that he’s not dead, given the genre, but it seems unlikely that he could have survived.
Thea (Willa Holland) helps Roy (Colton Haynes) in his quest for the Hood. She even goes undercover for him in the police station to get information for him. It’s a great comic sequence when Oliver is trying to rescue Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and he gets sidetracked by Malcolm and then by Thea and Roy as they stake out Merlyn Industries. I’ve felt like Holland, in particular, has been underused this season, and I have high hopes for next season for her storyline with Roy. Although by the end of this episode, it seems like she is going to chose Oliver over Roy and heed Oliver’s warning that the Hood is a psychopath, is dangerous, and everyone who gets near him ends up dead. I laughed when Roy scoffed that Oliver was a wimp after he’d obviously crushed Roy’s hand when he shook it! I also laughed when Thea told Roy he wasn’t going to meet the Hood any time soon... Even though Thea gives Roy the ultimatum to give up searching for the Hood or lose her, I get the feeling that he’s not going to give up and they still won’t be apart for long.
Walter (Colin Salmon) and Moira, however, seem to have come to the end of the road. He is clearly distant and bitter on returning home from the hospital. I was surprised when he served Moira with divorce papers, however much she deserved it. I was also a bit surprised that she didn’t fight him harder on it. I will miss Salmon if he won’t be back next year.
It was great to see that Felicity is still as focused on helping Oliver as she was before Walter disappeared. Part of me was worried that she might want to go back to the comfort of her old job and leave the crime fighting to others, so I was particularly pleased that there was never even any discussion of that. Naturally, as Emily Bett Rickards is a regular next season, it was pretty unlikely. Now that CSU Tech Kelton (Lee Vincent) has detected that Felicity also tried to hack into Merlyn Industries, it’s possible that Felicity may have to go underground to avoid prosecution. Although it should also be easy for Walter or even Oliver to step in and protect her by saying that Queen Industries was trying to hack the competition – after all, what’s a little cyber-crime between competitors? It’s not the sort of thread that the show will leave dangling.
Oliver acts in this episode without knowing the complete story. He’s convinced himself that he has been “treating the symptoms while the disease festers” by going after the names in the book instead of the Undertaking itself. Diggle is concerned that Oliver is going to hang up the hood after stopping the Undertaking because Diggle sees there is still a bigger problem, as he has before when he’s asked Oliver to look outside the list.
|This was yet another gasp-worthy moment in the episode.|
I can’t wait for the season finale next week! I’m already anticipating that it is going to be a long summer waiting for season two. What did you think of the episode? Are you happy to see Laurel and Oliver together? Is Roy in over his head? Is Tommy going dark? Will Oliver be able to escape? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to tune in next week for the season finale!