Arrow – The Sacrifice – Season 1, Episode 23
Synopsis: Diggle, The Dark Archer sets off his earthquake device to destroy The Glades but – oh no! – he actually has two devices! One for The Glades and one for Starling City! Gasp!
Details: For the season finale, we pick up where we left off last week as the Dark Archer [aka Malcolm Merlyn and Eddie Haskell, Sr.] has Arrow/Oliver hanging by chains in his interrogation warehouse. He informs Arrow/Oliver that he’s 2-0 against him in their mano-a-mano showdowns so far this season because Arrow/Oliver failed to sign LeBron James in the off-season and…oh wait, that’s not it. It’s because, according to the writers of the series, Arrow/Oliver doesn’t have the proper deluded vendetta genetics required for motivation in staged televised fights on a production set in Vancouver. That’s why he’s 2-0. Or maybe a gun – because scientific research has repeatedly shown that it is much more difficult to catch bullets in mid-air than arrows.
Flashback #1 gracefully intervenes showing Oliver, Slade and Shado escaping their flimsy rope manacles but failing to stop Fyers from launching at least one missile at a commercial airliner. [At that point, we would have liked to have seen a clip from “Airplane!” interspersed into the episode, showing the blow-up doll emergency pilot flying the plane].
Oliver shows off a nifty escape maneuver he learned on the island [to use whenever you find yourself hanging from a pair of chains attached to the ceiling of a warehouse] and with help from Diggle [and, surely, the Dark Archer pretending to look the other way while he loses a couple of stooges in the process] escapes from the Dark Archer’s interrogation warehouse.
Felicity is picked up by the stalking – possibly profiling – Angry Police Chief Wiggum Detective Lance, who accuses her of computer hacking and brings her in for questioning at the still moodlit police station, only to be rudely interrupted [kids these days – have they no manners?] by Arrow/Oliver with a phone call warning him of impending doom in The Glades via the evil plot from Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer.
Whiny Eddie Haskell, Jr./Tommy Merlyn confronts Oliver about seeing him and Laurel k-i-s-s-i-n-g and Oliver comes back with some bad news about his dad being the Dark Archer and wanting to take out The Glades for a long walk on a short pier. Eddie, Jr./Tommy takes a swing –and a miss – at him and then sniffs that he wishes he had died on the island.
Flashback #2 commences with Oliver and Shado re-programming Fyers’ missile launcher toy to avoid the airplane in a near-miss that veered away from the airliner and should have had the missile return and chase Fyers around the island for a few seconds in classic cartoon fashion but, alas, instead hits the camp and explodes, killing just about every one of the bad guys except Fyers – what are the odds?
Before Team Arrow [that would be Diggle, Felicity and Oliver] get to going after Dark Archer/Malcolm Merlyn, a little secondary subplot housecleaning is done. To wit: Laurel plays kissy face with Oliver, Malcolm fesses up and reveals his dastardly plan to Tommy [and blaming it on the death of his wife], Moira holds a press conference and lets everybody in Starling City and the tri-state area in on the plan and that Malcolm is behind everything [except for her daughter’s lame lines and storyline]. Done, done and done.
Malcolm goes berserk upon seeing Moira’s press conference and Team Arrow springs into action…by Oliver telling Angry Police Chief Wiggum Detective Lance where he thinks the earthquake-starting device is located in the abandoned subway system tunnel.
Flashback #3 gives its flashback season finale with Oliver facing off against Fyers whilst Fyers is holding Shado hostage and threatening that killing him will prevent him from getting off the island – but we know that’s not true because, well, here’s Oliver in the here and now about to tussle with Dark Archer in Starling City. So he does the 100% predictable thing and shoots him dead with the arrow. So, no drama there.
Felicity directs Angry Police Chief Wiggum Detective Lance to disarm the earthquake device which he successfully does – but not before placing an inane suicide call to Laurel telling her he didn’t think he was “gonna make it”. Nice.
For his Round Three fight against Dark Archer, Oliver/Arrow reluctantly brings along Diggle for backup but Dark Arcehr quickly dispatches him with a ninja star – injuring but not killing him, and thus preventing him from assisting Arrow. So now it’s on,…with a Michael Buffer master of ceremonies introduction…Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s get ready to ruuuuuummmmmbbbllleeee!!!! Round Three of the Celebrity Archer DeathMatch with the 2-0 “Dark And Disturbed” Archer going up against the 0-2 “Third Time’s A Charm” Arrow!
Arrow comes out swinging and grabs the initial momentum, tossing the Dark Archer around a few times before Dark Archer rebounds and tosses Arrow around for a bit. After a brief few moments where each Archer gets a good move in, the Dark Archer succeeds in putting Arrow in the infamous but obscure [especially for battling archers] sleeper hold and appears to be on the verge of going 3-0 when suddenly, Arrow scrapes up enough strength to not only grab an errant arrow lying on the ground but also put enough force into stabbing it clean through the protective armor of the Dark Archer currently embedded on his back. A brilliant move and one which results in an upset win for Arrow except – uh-oh – in his dying breath, Dark Archer says he has another earthquake device planted in Starling City…bwhahahahahahahahaha
In the ensuing chaos of the second earthquake device going off, Laurel shoos everybody out of her collapsing legal office only to become trapped under a chunk of concrete, Oliver sets off to rescue Laurel but Tommy shows up first and beats him to it – only to have the building collapse on him instead. Oliver, arriving to save Laurel, instead finds Tommy and sets about taking concrete blocks off him only to find Tommy has a rod of rebar stuck in his chest. At this point, naturally, it would have been perfect to have a Cheech Marin-style death scene from “Yellowbeard” but we got the boring, standard garden variety death scene with Tommy asking if Laurel was saved and Oliver/Arrow crying that he should have been the one with rebar through his chest. Chew on that piece of gristle for the next few months.
The Poop and Skinny: Flashback #1 produces yet another of many glaring inconsistencies in the series as Oliver, Slade and Shado are being held hostage with rope manacles in a tent while Fyers plots his evil plan. Ropes, really? Fyers has enough savvy to acquire a missile launcher but he can only get ropes for tying up his guests? Besides, don’t they teach proper hostage containment in evil bad guy school anymore?
Here we are at the season finale and the police department still hasn’t paid their light bill.
As doomsday scenarios go, a pair of twin earthquake devices is pretty tame. Seems like a game of lawn darts between Starling City and The Glades would have been more dangerous than that scenario.
The Unofficial Sacrifice Scorecard:
Oliver/Arrow – Dad/Tommy
Malcolm Merlyn [aka Dark Archer and Eddie Haskell, Sr.] – wife
Moira – Husband #1 [Robert] and Husband #2 [Walter]
Tommy Merlyn [aka Eddie Haskell, Jr.] – Laurel/Mom/Dad/Oliver
Diggle – brother
Laurel – Tommy/Sarah
Shado – Dad/Naming rights apparently sold to writers
Fyers – His devious plot
Starling City – The Glades
Series writers – credibility
Burning question for the next season of “Arrow” – With so many dead people strewn about the season, who is most likely to get a mystery-shrouded second life, soap opera-style dream sequence or sprout a twin brother or sister in Season Two?
As always – it is important to remember that, at any juncture where the situation appears to be dire for Arrow/Oliver and his very life may be in danger – there would be no more show [and therefore no more money to be made] if he were to die. You continue to be welcome.