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Arrow - Lian Yu - Review - "Re-Cap and Ready for the New Season!"

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Arrow returns this week, so I thought it a good time to re-cap last season’s finale – hiatus isn’t getting any shorter! “Lian Yu” was written by the team of Wency Mericle and Marc Guggenheim, who are also writing the season premiere “Fallout.” Jesse Warn directed the finale, but look for James Bamford behind the camera for “Fallout.” Season 5 was not my favorite season, so I was happy to see this storyline mostly wrap up.

The episode begins with Oliver (Stephen Amell) breaking Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) out of his prison on the Island to help him rescue the others being held by Chase (Josh Segarra). We learn that Slade’s in possession of all his marbles now that the Mira Kuru has worn off. He owns what he’s done, even if it feels like a bad dream. It was wonderful to have Bennett back on the show. Oliver offers to help Slade find his son, even though Slade is willing to help if only to make up for killing Moira.

It was fun having so many of the old crew back. It was pretty hilarious having Malcolm (John Barrowman) tell Harkness (Nick E Tarabay) that he’s not Nyssa’s (Katrina Law) type! I also loved Malcolm and Nyssa snarking at each other. The fact that Deathstroke is in his full mask made me wonder if Bennett was there.

The group find Thea (Willa Holland), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), Curtis (Echo Kellum), and Samantha (Anna Hopkins) in cages – but of course, it’s a trap. Harkness is, of course, on Talia’s (Lexa Doig) side and she also has Evelyn (Madison McLaughlin) with her. They give Slade the option to switch sides and he pretends to do it. Talia uses a smoke bomb to get away with Harkness when Nyssa and Malcolm show up.

Evelyn tells them that leaving her might have been part of the plan. Felicity is not happy to see Slade, and Thea isn’t happy to see Slade or Malcolm – and gives Oliver a piece of her mind. Oliver sends Thea and Curtis with Felicity and Samantha to protect them, and Malcolm says he can fly them off the Island. Felicity kisses Oliver and tells him she regrets… a lot. They promise to talk when it’s all over.

Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) has Diggle (David Ramsey), Quentin (Paul Blackthorne), Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy). They are using a sonic dampener on Dinah – which should disarm Black Siren too, right? Quentin isn’t too convinced that Oliver is going to be able to find them.

Nyssa tracks the others and goes ahead, leaving Slade and Oliver to catch up. Slade points out that Oliver’s past coming back to haunt him is a recurring theme – because he’s never gotten over his father’s death. Slade tells him the only way to get over it is to forgive himself for his father’s death and his sins.

Samantha tells Felicity that she’s not going to get on the plane – she’s not leaving her son. Felicity tells her that she wasn’t in favor of sending William (Jack Moore) away. Meanwhile, Thea snipes at Malcolm and doesn’t watch where she’s going, so she steps on a landmine. Malcolm pushes Thea off the mine and takes her place. Barrowman gets a nice moment with Thea, and Malcolm gets to die a hero. Or possibly become even more bionic?

Once again, we find yet another new, gigantic building on the seemingly uninhabited Lian Yu. Once the split up, Slade takes out Oliver and tells Black Siren that he has a gift for Chase. Oliver is chained with the rest. The others don’t know anything about William.

Thea suddenly misses Malcolm – she thinks it’s crazy – and frankly, so do I – not because she shouldn’t be missing him, but because too late now and how can she never figure anything out. However, Felicity commiserates over terrible fathers. Curtis’s lame interruption of “the plane” is as not funny as usual. They find that explosives are hidden all over the Island and are networked to explode.

Dinah uses Curtis’s gadget to get the others free – and Quentin tells them she’s now Black Canary. Meanwhile Nyssa and Talia square off. Doig is even worse than Law, but we do get a great fight scene. And we find out that Slade didn’t betray Oliver – he was looking for William, who wasn’t there.

Just as they try to leave, Chase finally shows up. On the list of people I really didn’t want to see make it out of this episode, Chase was right at the top of the list because Segarra failed to impress me all season. Oliver vows never to kill Chase, and we get a terrific Battle Royal between the two sides.

In the flashback storyline, Oliver escapes from Konstantin (Dolph Lundgren). It was a nice parallel to the current action on the Island. Oliver makes it to his trunk – time is running out. Oliver takes out the guards who find him. Oliver manages to shoot down a helicopter – without getting shot himself. Konstantin manages not to die in the crash, leaving us with a final fight with Lundgren – which we’d been waiting for all season. It’s nicely intercut with the Battle Royal.

Having the two Canaries scream each other silly was… silly. Quentin saves Dinah by taking out Black Siren. Cassidy does look great in the black leather, but I won’t ever not want her back as Laurel.

Oliver kills Konstantin in order to make his rendez vous with the boat – and this is nicely intercut with Oliver’s refusal to kill Chase. It does nicely underscore that that is who Oliver was and Oliver tells Chase that he’s done blaming himself. Chase tells Oliver that William is dead, but Oliver refuses to believe him. He’s a liar and a manipulator. Felicity contacts Oliver to tell him not to kill Chase because the detonator is in Chase – if he dies, the Island explodes.

Chase, of course, takes the distraction to escape. Oliver goes after him alone. There’s a nice stunt of Oliver running down the dock and jumping on Chase’s boat. And a fabulous parkour sequence as Oliver runs to catch the boat in the past. And we are right back at the first scene of the series. It was a nice way to bring the five seasons full circle. We get a nice surprise cameo by Susanna Thompson as Moira as Oliver calls her in the past from the boat to tell her that he’s alive.

The team on the Island have no way off when they find the plane sabotaged. Oliver tries to send them to the Argus boat on the other side of the Island – but there isn’t time. Chase has William and Oliver must choose between saving his son and saving everyone else. Oliver wings him and grabs William. Oliver ridiculously doesn’t secure Chase, who kills himself, blowing up the entire Island. Or so it seems…

We’ve had lots of spoilers on Michael Emerson and Kirk Acevedo joining the cast. Do you think anyone will die on the Island? What are you hoping to see in season six? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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