Arrow Review: Unwanted Exposure

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"Darkness on the Edge of Town?" That's putting it mildly. There was darkness everywhere in Starling City this week.

Getting to the edge might just be a relief! This was an information packed hour with Oliver tricking Moira into revealing her secrets, Oliver and Laurel making a move, Walter moving on and Malcolm learning a surprising truth. Let's break it down...

I can't imagine how much strength it must have taken for Oliver to tell a teary-eyed Laurel, who just realized she might still have feelings for him, that he hasn't changed and she shouldn't rethink anything based upon what she considers new information about him after his return.

But when even Quentin Lance saw that Oliver was different since he's been back, you knew the stage was being set for Laurel to follow through on her rekindled feelings for him. What I didn't expect was for Oliver to act on his. What was it that sent him into her arms, just after he told Tommy he couldn't be with her? It was the final nail in the Oliver/Tommy friendship, for sure.

Escaping with Felicity

Oliver has gotten so good at getting information from Moira. It was ingenious the way Diggle dressed up as The Hood and asked all of those questions. It not only got Oliver the information he needed, but it threw any suspicions that Moira might have about Oliver (not that she had any necessarily) off of Oliver being The Hood. 

Until Malcolm paid his uninvited and artificial visit to Walter to welcome him home, I hadn't realized he had been kidnapped for six months. Thea wondered why he didn't seem like himself. How could he possibly be alright after an ordeal like that? There was such a strong, emotional scene Walter delivered after he gave Moira divorce papers. It hit me really hard to hear Walter say it out loud, the pain in his voice, the realization that his life was not at all what he thought. 

Walter: You know, I read about people in forced captivity. Some of them said it was a simple thought that got them through the isolation and fear - returning to their loved ones. So I don't know really why I'm still alive, Moira, because I didn't have that.
Moira: Walter, please.
Walter: What do you think you could say to me to convince me that everything I knew, my whole life, hasn't just evaporated? | permalink

Thea had just started to feel safe again, having Walter back and now she has to go to her mother and ask why he left. She's so close to the problem as she and Roy investigate Merlyn and the Dark Archer, but she has no idea what it means to her family. Now that she has to deal with another loss. I kind of wish she did know, so she could do something positive to help Oliver stop the Undertaking. 

Did anybody imagine the skills Malcolm had being quite so incredible? I mean, he was freaking amazing. That fight scene was out of this world. Catching an arrow before it pierced his chest? Who does that? Was he taught to fight by Shado, as well? I know, I have a lot of questions after this episode, but I think that's natural.

Speaking of Shado, I was wondering what the island scenes were leading up to, but Yao Fei being shot between the eyes was a shock. I guess the moral of that story was never underestimate your opponent and stop smart mouthing them because you're likely to get someone killed. Well, probably not, but Island Ollie never seems to learn to keep his mouth shut. Those men are not frakking about.

My assumption is Oliver will wake up with the realization Malcolm himself is the Dark Archer because, really, who else would be able to do what he did? Malcolm's reaction to the discovery that the The Hood was Oliver was quite surprising. He definitely didn't know and I think it threw him to find out. As bad as he is, killing Moira's son and his own son's (former) best friend wouldn't make him happy. 

That they know about each other, and Oliver knows about Moira's involvement with Malcolm, should make the next chapter even more far out. The clock is ticking faster for Tommy to learn about his father now that he has another reason to hate Oliver, but will he team up with Malcolm? Or will Malcolm decide to protect him from the life, knowing he'd be sparring with with a friend? The reveal adds so much more to the canvas.

I cannot wait for next week's finale. As they do, producer Marc Guggenheim really gave away very little about what's to come in his interview. The death was Yao's, so we should have no other worries for next week.

What was your favorite part about this week? Oliver and Laurel? Oliver and Malcolm facing off or maybe Walter's speech to Moira? Felicity shined brightly as always. See you in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (132 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I'm sorry Oliver went with Laurel, and so soon. He had just told Tommy that Tommy and Laurel should be together, then he goes around and sleeps with Laurel, and Tommy sees? Not good. Not good at all. Plus I can't believe Laurel is still so forgiving. I don't think I could be if my boyfriend slept with my sister and got her killed. I was surprised at Laurel, and she had recently broken off with Tommy too. It just shows that Tommy was right, and that once she knew something different about Oliver she would go running back to him. Tommy sure called it. I'm kind of disappointed.


don't you dare compare the writing of this show,too the far superior Nikita


Does anyone here have any thoughts about the Legs - as in whose legs ordered the downing of the commercial flight when Oliver was on the island, and evidently has Edward Fyers at her beck & call? I know everyone's first thought must have been "Moira!" But, if not her, who else would we recognize at this late juncture? There aren't very many other female characters with influence & gravitas on this show who fit the timeline (as in, they weren't in college at the time) except...Dinah Lance. Speculation is most welcome!


Favorite line: "Hi, Roy. I'm the disapproving older brother." If anything will kill Thea's love life, it's Roy finding out the Vigilante is Oliver. LOL!


@ Tom
@ Grimmfan#10
..... I agree with both of you on the Oliver/Laurel pairing. The 2 together are okay but they just don't have the chemistry that Oliver/Felicity have. I put this down to the Actresses though.... it's unfortunate that we couldn't switch them so that they are playing the others part..... Poor Tommy....his end scene last night was sooo well acted I hope we get to see Shado and Slade in Sterling City next season...(didn't see the Yao Fei death Diggle does a great Hood! Moria/Walter....Moria got what she deserved WOW I could go on and on ...... this show just keeps getting better and better and BETTER!!!!!


This show never disappoints. My burning question is about the writing staff. How is it that some shows get the gift of fantastic writing and other shows like The Following, Revolution, Body of Proof and Nikita (at times) to name a few get the half baked idiots in the writers pool? Lots of surprises. RIP Yao Fei. FINALLY Laurel and Oliver finally together. However, that being said, I'd really like to see Oliver and Felicity hook up. She's smokin hot! Now each hood knows who the other is ... hmmmm .... me thinks that this will prove to be vehreeeee Interesting.


To everyone asking the question about why Oliver went to Laurel, refer to his prior scene with Diggle. Oliver, in another episode, had made it clear that as long as he was "The Hood", he and Laurel could not be together for her own protection. In this episode, just before he went to Laurel, he came to the realization that his father's mission was not to take down the names on the list one by one, but to stop the Undertaking itself. He implied to Diggle (which Diggle picked up on) that he was finished with his alter ego. To affirm that inference that he was done with the 'Arrow' part of his plan, he felt free to be with Laurel so he went over to her apartment to seal the deal.


Felicity and Ollie have way more chemistry than Ollie and Laurel. They where so cute in the elevator together. Love Digs he looks just as good in the leather as Ollie! Arrow and POI have the best fight scenes on tv by far. Malcolm and Ollie are great together. I would rather see more of them than the island stuff. Ollie needs to train more! Next week looks really good.


@TMT - It would take a looong time, and possibly some chemical alterations, for Tommy Merlyn to become the Dark Archer even within 2 years IMO. The guy has NO fighting skills. Laurel Lance is more lethal than he is. You would have thought his father would have insisted he train in martial arts to defend himself because of what happened to his mother. But, he has shown zero ability in that area. This brings me to a slight nitpick: Malcolm Merlyn should not be able to take down the Vigilante. I don't care how long he's trained. Oliver is younger than him by 20+ years, has quicker reflexes, & 20% less body fat. Oliver brought down Merlyn's entire security force by himself to free Walter last week mostly in hand-to-hand combat. Does not compute. But, I understand the need to make it seem like he could for dramatic purposes.


One hour is not enough for this show! I always come to the end of an episode, and think, "NO! I want more!" EXCELLENT episode! The only part that was unclear to me was why Oliver even went to Laurel mere hours after he encouraged Tommy to not end his relationship with her. What changed? Still, I don't feel that sorry for Tommy. He *did* dump her with the flimsiest of reasons. Agree w/DJ below that Laurel needs better window coverings. You'd think a daughter of a cop with a pump shotgun in her bedroom would know better. To the reviewer: Shado is too young to have trained Malcolm Merlyn. He went overseas after his wife was murdered, when Oliver & Tommy were kids. It's possible Yao Fei might have trained him, which would be ironic. But, did you catch the possibility that Roy might be the son of Oliver's island companion, Slade Wilson? That's the impression I got.

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Arrow Season 1 Episode 22 Quotes

The last time the vigilante paid your mom a visit you got shot and I got to play doctor with you. Oh - my brain thinks of the worst way to say things.


Felicity: Are you okay?
Oliver: My mom and my best friend's dad are involved in a conspiracy that may have dire consequences for the city and I'm pretty sure they murdered my father. I'm not planning on using the word okay again any time soon.