Welcome to the latest edition of the Arrow Round Table!
This week TV Fanatic staffers Kate Brooks, Carissa Pavlica and Nick McHatton are joined by Arrow fan Henry Otero of Hanko9.com to discuss "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and all of the wild happenings that unfolded, leading up to this Wednesday's Arrow Season 1 finale.
Sit back and enjoy and join in with your own take in the comments!
Were you surprised at Walter's reaction after the kidnapping and rescue?
Kate: Not really. I think he wasn't dramatic enough. I'm glad Moira is having all of this negative response from her actions.
Henry: Actually, I was expecting him to be even more upset upon seeing Moira again. The guy is no fool, the second he came to in that small cell, I'm sure he realized Moira was involved with his kidnapping.
Nick: To be honest, up until the rescue, I had basically forgotten all about Walter. I always felt his character had ran its course, and to have him back all of sudden - to continue the honesty - I really didn't care. I do like the conflict he's setting up for Moira. She's brutal and savage to save her own skin (and her family's), but those actions come at a great personal cost.
Carissa: I thought it was kind of cool that he let her think things were alright, staying at the house and playing along until the divorce papers were ready. He knows he can't trust her and to lay his cards on the table any sooner could have gotten him killed. I really like Walter and I hope he continues to be involved with Oliver and Thea. They could use some goodness in their lives.
How good is Team Arrow getting at scoring information? What was your favorite way they went about it in the episode?
Kate: Including Felicity! I love her more and more! Anytime you put her in the field, I'll enjoy it.
Henry: Those three sure do work well together! I especially loved the way they infiltrated the Merlyn building. I'm assuming Dig used his "contacts" to gain access to a security position. The way Oliver pushes that guy's folder out of his hands to get him off the elevator, was a trip. That whole scene in the elevator shaft rocked, as well as the awkward lines Felicity manages to come up with.
Nick: The three prong infiltration into Merlyn HQ is my favorite. It allowed Dig and Felicity to really shine once Oliver was distracted by Merlyn and Thea. Plus, Ollie knocking that guy's folder out of his hand was an awesome injection of humor that is usually reserved for Felicity.
Carissa: I was equally impressed by Dig in the Arrow costume and the Merlyn infiltration. Dig as Arrow because of how Oliver mistrusts Moira. I don't know why that makes me happy, but it does. The Merlyn escapade because of Felicity. I kept thinking of her at her desk at the beginning of the season and now she's swinging through elevator shafts on the back of Oliver Queen. What must she think about before she falls asleep at night?
Oliver and Laurel. Wax on!
Kate: Now that they've hooked up I find myself not really caring because I so love Oliver and Felicity!
Henry: Last week's pre-island flashback, made me feel something for Ollie and Laurel as a couple for the first time. What a jerk he was before the island, she sure is forgiving. As we know from the comics, these two are destined to be together. I hope that in Season 2, the writing team really focuses on Laurel more. Season 1 has given us a pretty clear idea who Oliver Queen is. Now, we need to fall in love with Laurel Lance, not only to enjoy the two of them as a couple, but to root for her "alter ego" as well.
Nick: I love both of them together, and the softness she brings out in Oliver. I enjoyed their hookup, and although I do like them together I'm also not ready for them to jump into something (if that's where things are headed). There's still plenty of secrets between them, and they both need to fill in emotional gaps before jumping into a relationship. As for Tommy, I loved his reaction as he witnessed Oliver and Laurel in the bedroom. Whatever friendship or trust left between Ollie and Tommy in that moment sank away to be replaced with sadness and hatred.
Carissa: It was inevitable, but I'm worried. A comment posted noted that Oliver went to her because he realized he didn't have to be The Hood any longer and therefore was free to be with her. After everything else that happened, he'll know he needs to continue being The Hood. If that leads to his betrayal of her again, I'll be disappointed. It's time he faces things like a man. If he loves her as he says he does, he'll have to tell her who he is. She, of all people, has been accepting of the vigilante. She will understand.
Should Malcolm have been able to overtake Oliver so easily? Talk about their fight and Ollie's exposure.
Kate: No! It's really starting to piss me off! I think Oliver was unprepared for Malcolm to kick his ass so he was caught off guard. I'm surprised by Malcoms reaction to discovering it was Oliver.
Henry: Let's face it, Oliver is not Superman and I like the fact that he's met his match in Malcolm. When Nanda Parbat was mentioned in Episode 16 "Dead to Rights" by Malcolm, and knowing Bruce Wayne also trained there, we realize this guy is not messing around. If "the man" Malcolm talked about that helped him find a purpose in life was Ra's al Ghul (as I imagine the writers wanted us to assume), I'd go so far as to say Malcolm Merlyn received much better training than Oliver on the island.
I agree with Kate, I can't imagine Oliver was expecting Malcolm to be as tough as he turned out. He definitely caught him off guard. The way he catches Oliver's arrow with his bare hand and the reveal that last Christmas he almost killed him, was awesome! By the way, the statues and interior design of the Merlyn offices is a nice touch. It gives us a real "feel" for who this guy is.
Nick: Absolutely, Oliver needs a real adversary. The season has been mostly comprised of bad guys that Oliver can chew out instantly. Look at the hallway rescue of Walter as an example. I agree with Kate here, Oliver is definitely taken by surprise by his abilities, but Oliver isn't poorly trained; he held his own for quite some time. It's just an experience gap between them. Malcolm discovering Oliver is the bigger reveal, and really brings the season full circle. Oliver has taken up his father's mission, and his fate once again rests in Malcolm's hands.
Carissa: Oh, good one Nick. I didn't even think of that last thought you had. Oliver's fate once again rests in Malcolm's hands. I don't think Oliver should have been overtaken so easily. Maybe he was spent from his sexual romp with Laurel. Something was just off there. They should have been better matched. The look on Malcolm's face as he realized it was Oliver was brilliantly played by John Barrowman. A perfect ending.
What one thing do you expect from the finale? Any predictions?
Kate: Malcom to die, I'm tired of him. I predict that someone close to Oliver is going to kick it, someone who really isn't that pivotal to the story. I say Thea.
Henry: Unfortunately, it seems like only one of these guys is going to make it out alive. Which is a shame, because more Barrowman in Season 2 is a definite plus in my book. If the plan is for Tommy to take his father's place, he's going to have to do some serious training. I mean, he's pretty useless at this point with his scowling and bad attitude.
Personally, I'm hoping Malcolm Merlyn survives but somehow Oliver thinks he's dead. Unless, Ra's al Ghul makes an appearance in Season 2 as a mentor to Tommy. The writers have a ton of work to do, if they plan on making Tommy the Arrow's archenemy. As of right now, I can't even imagine that working or being believable in the same way its been with Malcolm.
Nick: As much as I love John Barrowman, I can't imagine Malcolm is going to survive the season. There's too much going on from his hands to really survive, and it gives Tommy more ammunition as the rift between him and Oliver grows deeper.
Carissa: God. I hope Malcolm doesn't die. I've avoided spoilers to enjoy the ending. It appears I may be saddened. I was hoping maybe he'd be maimed or crippled in some way, not killed. Other than that, I really have no expectations. It's going to kick ass and leave us with our jaws agape. That's my prediction!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.