Oliver (Stephen Amell) discovers that he’s not the only vigilante in town when a man calling himself The Saviour begins kidnapping and executing perceived wrong-doers. But the real revelation for our masked crusader is that The Glades will play an instrumental role in the upcoming conflict.
Let’s bitch it out…
The fact that The Glades is significant in Malcolm (John Barrowman) and Moira’s (Susanna Thompson) plans has been known for quite some time. Even if it hadn’t been said aloud, however, consider how the plot of the series revolves around the area. We’ve seen Vertigo come and go out of it, and the majority of the organized crime seems to either originate from or target The Glades. In this way, the portrayal of this portion of the city influences the narrative and serves to construct the world of the show in ways that Starling City has yet to do. Take a moment to think about what he know of the city proper compared to our knowledge of this crime-infested suburb – The Glades is much more fully developed (Side Note: this once again aligns Arrow with Christopher Nolan’s depiction of the Narrows vs Gotham City in his Batman trilogy)
Although Joseph Falk, aka The Saviour, isn’t much of a memorable villain (he remains unknown until late in the hour and even then never overcomes the moniker of ‘grief stricken husband’), he serves a useful purpose. The reveal that there is not only an abandoned rail line underneath Starling City, but that the formation aligns with the diagram from the book Oliver inherited from his father is a key development as the series heads into the tail end of its inaugural season.
What exactly Malcolm and Moira intend to do with The Glades (if memory serves they wish to destroy it) and how will likely come to the forefront in the remaining episodes. For now, however, Malcolm and Moira need to survive each other’s duplicity. The fall-out from Moira’s plan to eliminate Malcolm is less than surprising – Frank (Chin Han) takes the fall (and a few arrows in the back) – but it’s Moira who is left with blood on her hands (literally and figuratively). My favourite “blink and you’ll miss it” moment of the episode is when Malcolm calls to inform her that he’s captured a member of the Triad who will reveal the identity of the person who ordered the hit and we see a close-up of Moira’s high-heeled foot as she stumbles. The shot literally demonstrates how thrown-off she is by Malcolm’s news – a simple, but effective visual cue that, when combined with her conversation with Frank about removing family “just in case”, nicely foreshadows the outcome. She may end the episode crying in her car to the mournful tune of Rhianna’s “Stay”, but make no mistake, Moira is one tough, cold-blooded bitch.
- Just in case you’d forgotten how much chemistry Amell and Katie Cassidy have together, look no further than that final scene outside of Verdant. Poor Tommy (Colin Donnell) just doesn’t stand a chance when these two interact. Love that final over-the-shoulder flirtatious look Laurel throws Oliver after he tells her that he no longer wants to be an island. Very cheeky and sexy
- I’m happy that the “Sarah is alive” storyline with Laurel and her parents has been put to bed. While I won’t be surprised if/when Sarah actually does show up in the future, there’s enough going on that we don’t need this additional family drama. Also, it produces too many ridiculous moments. Case in point: how crazy is it that Laurel is able to call in Jen, the girl in Dinah’s (Alex Kingston) photo? She’s just miraculously hanging around Starling City and interested in stopping by for a few minutes to disprove Dinah’s theory? How convenient!
- On the flip side, the scene when Dinah accepts the “truth” and cries on Quentin’s (Paul Blacthorne) shoulder because she feels responsible for allowing Sarah to accompany Oliver on the doomed ship is cathartic. Here’s hoping we’ll see more of Alex Kingston on the show in the future
- Oh right, Ray (Colton Haynes) is in the episode, too! Considering he’s just recently been promoted to series regular next season, I wasn’t too worried that he would die in that train car. I think that putting him in danger to highlight his apathy and Thea’s (Willa Holland) connection to him, but this feels too early. After all, she’s only known him for a few episodes!
- Finally, kudos to Amell for his emotionally charged scenes at the end of the episode. Between the spicy/sad scene with Cassidy’s Laurel and his comforting of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), he’s on the verge of pulling out emotional stops worthy of the Winchester brothers on Supernatural!
- Ray (when Thea asks why he has a gun): “I’m no good with knives.”
- Oliver (when Diggle asks why he’s been wearing the Hood so much): “It keeps my ears warm”
- Felicity (when Oliver asks where Diggle has gone): “I asked him to leave me alone, in my loud voice”
What are your thoughts on the episode? Are you intrigued on what will happen in The Glades? Were you worried about Roy? How will Shado (Celina Jade), Yao Fei’s daughter, factor into Island Oliver’s storyline? And how many more people are going to die at Moira’s hand?! Sound off below
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW