Tonight's episode of Arrow was simply fantastic. In "Missing," Prometheus called in his team to make his final play against Oliver. Talia al Ghul, Artemis and Black Siren were able to kidnap Thea, Quentin, Rene, Dinah, Curtis, Felicity, Diggle and Oliver's son William in an attempt to free Prometheus. They were taken to the island, of course, because everything has been leading back there this season. In the flashbacks, Kovar threw Oliver in Lian Yu's prison and tortured him with a mind-altering drug. The drug forced Oliver to relive all of the pain he experienced during his "five years in hell." Oliver relived every death, every kill, every painful moment until Kovar gave Oliver a gun loaded with one bullet, to kill himself. This episode set up next week's finale perfectly and brought numerous story lines from both Oliver's past and present to the forefront. Quentin also learned about the existence of Earth-2 Laurel Lance/Black Canary, which will tee up her presence as a series regular in Season 6. Three surprise guests also returned this week -- Malcolm Merlyn, Nyssa al Ghul, and everyone's favorite baddie Slade Wilson. Oliver will need all of their help if he is to save his friends next week.
Old Friends Reunited
Tonight's episode kicked off with a surprise birthday party for Oliver. Everyone was in attendance, except for Rene, whom Quentin thought was running from his court case. The team boasted in their ability to actually have a summer vacation, since they finally apprehended Chase the week prior. Everything seemed safe and normal, until Curtis noticed that Dinah was missing. When Curtis was kidnapped at Dinah's apartment, Oliver and Quentin realized that Rene wasn't hiding, he was missing as well. Wanting to keep Thea and Quentin safe, Oliver sent them to an A.R.G.U.S. safe house. Unfortunately an escaped Black Siren caught up to them and used her position as Laurel Lance to get Quentin to lower his guard. Up to this point, Quentin didn't know about Earth-2 Laurel and was surprised and stunned to learn that she existed. Then Oliver sent Felicity and Diggle away to keep them safe, which put them right in Talia's crosshairs. Talia kidnapped them, which left Oliver completely alone in the Arrow Cave. Thankfully Malcolm Merlyn showed up and the two began the pursuit of their friends.
Oliver's Full Circle Journey
Oliver's journey this season has been one of great self-reflection. Whether by Chase or himself, a mirror has been held up to Oliver to show him the truth of who he is. Chase would have Oliver believe that he is a killer and that everyone close to him will suffer. Instead of letting this "truth" play out, Chase puts Oliver's friends and family directly in harm's way, making them pay for Oliver's sins. Oliver, on the other hand, believes that he is a good man and a hero and that his friends and family choose to enter the fight with him. That was put to the ultimate test tonight on both the island (in the flashbacks) and in present day Star City. Chase held all of Oliver's friends and family captive, including his son William. While Malcolm urged Oliver to give into Chase's hostage demands, Oliver believed he could find another way, until Chase revealed he was holding William. Teaming up together as friends and fathers, Oliver and Malcolm set Chase free.
Back to Lian Yu
With Chase gone, Oliver called in another friend for help, Nyssa al Ghul. Since Nyssa and Malcolm were sworn enemies they were reluctant to work together, but Malcolm agreed because Thea's life was at stake. Oliver also told Nyssa about the return of Talia, Nyssa's sister whom she had not seen since Talia's exile many years prior. With all of Team Arrow kidnapped, Oliver needed to find Chase who escaped on a plane. When Oliver tracked the plane, he tracked it to the least likely place imaginable: Lian Yu. It makes sense that both the flashbacks and the current day storyline would send Oliver back to the island because this season of Arrow promised to conclude the island timeline. In the flashbacks, as Oliver's mental strength was running out, Laurel Lance appeared to him in a vision. She urged him to come home, to make sure Robert and Sara's sacrifices were not for nothing. Using his last bullet, Oliver broke out of his prison cell.
The episode concluded with Black Siren, Chase, Artemis, and Talia holding Curtis, Thea, Quentin, Dinah, Diggle, and Felicity in custody on the island. Knowing that Oliver would follow him, Chase was ready for their final showdown. While Chase may have learned about the island from Talia, he did not know about the island's prison, which is currently holding one Slade Wilson in captivity. The final moments of the episode concluded with Oliver descending into the Lian Yu prison and asking Slade for help. Looks like the "kid" will need help from the man, just like he did all those years ago.
Next week's episode, aptly titled "Lian Yu," will most likely be Arrow's most epic episode yet. It will be Oliver versus Chase. It will be Nyssa versus Talia. It will be Slade and Malcolm versus Black Siren and Artemis. It will be the hero in Oliver versus the monster Chase believes him to be. In a feat rarely achieved on television, "Lian Yu" will conclude both five seasons and ten years of narrative -- Oliver's complete journey from shipwreck survivor to full-blown superhero. It will be an incredible, can't-miss episode. Hopefully everyone will make it out alive.
DEATHSTROKE, NYSSA AL GHUL, MERLYN AND DIGGER HARKNESS JOIN OLIVER’S BATTLE AGAINST PROMETHEUS – The battle between Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) culminates in a final epic battle on Lian Yu. After recent events, Oliver decides to recruit a group of unlikely allies – Slade (guest star Manu Bennett), Nyssa (guest star Katrina Law), Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Digger Harkness (guest star Nick. E. Tarabay) – to defeat Chase. However, Chase has his own army – Black Siren (guest star Katie Cassidy), Evelyn Sharp (guest star Madison McLaughlin) and Talia al Ghul (guest star Lexa Doig) – and the forces collide in an explosive season finale. Jesse Warn directed the episode written by Wendy Mericle & Marc Guggenheim. Original airdate 5/24/2017.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.