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? 

More Posts You May Like:

Arrow Season 1, Episode 19, “Unfinished Business” (vs The Count/Doctor)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 20, “Home Invasion” (vs Mr. Blank)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 21, “The Undertaking” (vs The Flashbacks)

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Posted on May 13, 2013, in Arrow, Comics, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Yao Fei!!!

    Didn’t see that coming but it was good stuff :(

    Haha when Malcolm caught the arrow and threw it back I nearly cried of laughter xD

    Haha why is Felicity so damn funny? Love it and can’t wait for the finale :D

    • Looks like Yao Fei became expendable since Shado can train Oliver?

      You laughed at the arrow catching? haha. So far, 3 arrow catches this season, … hope it doesn’t become a trend.

      The actress is great at delivering her lines. Yup, looking forward to the finale!!

  2. Good episode. The only problem I had was that I watched On Demand and they left out the part between when they said they’d be infiltrating the building and when Felicity was hacking the computer… haha. It was a bit jarring and I was quite confused. All of the sudden she was just inside Merlin’s building hacking away. Way to go Comcast! I went and caught it on the CW’s site though and see that there was some really good bits in there. The parts with Felicity’s comment to Oliver about holding him and Oliver knocking out the papers from that one guy’s hands cracked me up. The fight scene was sweet too.

    Should be an exciting finale! And I think I may actually be able to DVR it tomorrow and watch it that night. With shows ending I have a lot less DVR conflicts. Hooray!

    • Glad you caught the missing bits on CW’s site, the infiltration part was really well done in my opinion. What I liked about the infiltration is that it had a lot of suspense in trying to anticipate how the character would get out of their predicament. The solutions ended up being straight forward and non-lethal which was great to see.

      Ooh it’s should be sweet watching it on your DVR. I can’t imagine waiting an extra day for the finale. :) There are a lot of season finales this time of year. Aside from GOT and a couple of other shows wrapping up soon, the next one I’m watching is Breaking Bad, I think it returns in August.

  3. First off, let me say I love your summation of Oliver’s journey so far. You nailed it here!

    “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.”
    She sure moved on fast from Tommy. Like Flash speed quick. He was in the right to break up with her but it was all the more heartbreaking to have Oliver convince him to get her back only to do just that and see the two of them making love. No wonder the guy turns evil.

    “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.”
    Agreed! The Undertaking is a major force to be reckoned with but they didn’t create Vertigo, they didn’t create Firefly, they didn’t create…you get my point. They are just a cog in the gears of crime (a large cog, but only a cog). There are people worse than them out there…

    “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.”
    Why was that I wonder? Why would that reaction escape from him?

    “Because Malcolm knows Oliver is the Hood, does that seal his fate in the finale?”
    Sadly…I think the answer is yes. I’ll find out later tonight.

    “Back on the island, I’m pretty shocked Yao Fei took a bullet to the head.”
    Shocker! What a sad way for this character to go out.

    “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?”
    I’m going to go with…Chesire. She’s the biggest Green Arrow female villain that comes to mind and she would be an excellent addition to the cast next year.

    “From beginning to end, the caper inside the Merlyn’s headquarters is incredibly entertaining.”
    Yes, this was simply great. Felicity is golden whenever she is on screen.

    “Is there anything the Surface tablet can’t hack?”
    It’s the ultimate product-placement crime fighting tool!

    “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.”
    Season 1 cliffhanger! Felicity is arrested. I’m placing my bets now.

    “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.”
    Too early in my opinion for that revelation. I think Thea will learn his secret first over Roy. The way they are going, by the mid-point of Season 2 the only person that won’t know he is Green Arrow is Detective Lance! :)

    Season1 Finale, here I come!

    • “Like Flash speed quick” lol. :)
      Laurel can assume the mantle of “Heartbreaker”, just joking haha. I do feel for Tommy at this point because he knows Laurel’s heart will always belong to Oliver and he is “betrayed”, perhaps too harsh of a word, by his childhood friend.

      “Why was that I wonder? Why would that reaction escape from him?”
      I’m not sure if this is explicitly answered in the finale either, other than perhaps he felt responsible for his old friend Robert Queen and his family, even after sabotaging the yacht. Or had he known the Hood’s true identity earlier he would have tried to convince Oliver to join him?

      “Shocker! What a sad way for this character to go out.”
      I totally agree, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that feels the same way.

      “I’m going to go with…Chesire.”
      I like ideas in your Comic Connection feature. There’s a lot of exciting possibilities I’m sure the producers will toy with. The show has a way of leading the viewer in one direction and then yanking the rug below our feet. Haha.

      “It’s the ultimate product-placement crime fighting tool!”
      That’s so funny! I noticed they also push this product in other CW shows too like the Vampire Diaries.

      “Too early in my opinion for that revelation. I think Thea will learn his secret first over Roy. The way they are going, by the mid-point of Season 2 the only person that won’t know he is Green Arrow is Detective Lance.”
      Because the show goes at such a fast pace I thought there was a strong possibility they weren’t going to wait any longer. A part of me wants them to draw it out especially since several people already know who the Hood is, but I also feel Roy’s story line would be ten times better if he teamed up Oliver already.

      Sorry for my extremely late reply. I always enjoy reading your comments and discussing with you. I just needed a break from my blog. :)

  4. Love the show. One of my favourites of current shows. You’re right about all the characters and has been great to see how they have been developed, as well as the new ones coming in.

    • I enjoy the show too and get excited for each new episode. It’s interesting to compare where the characters are now with how they started out. There are many interesting characters and they keep adding more.

      By the way, welcome to the blog! Please feel free anytime to share your thoughts and opinions whether you agree or disagree.

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