Now that’s more like it!
Though not a perfect episode, “Streets of Fire” truly picked up the momentum from last weeks episode and truly made next weeks finale something to look forward to. And in true Arrow fashion, all the pieces are in place for a truly epic finish to the season.
Slade’s army went into full rampage mode and began tearing the city apart piece by piece, and in some cases person by person. I’d actually wager that the Mirakuru army might be more dangerous than Slade, simply because they don’t have his restraint. Something Oliver noted about other “vigilantes” in season 1. And true to form no one was safe from their wrath.
With the city on fire, it was up to Ollie and the rest of the crew to try and stop it…easier said than done. Even with the madness happening all around them, Slade continued to prove why he’s a master chess player. Just when you thought they had things well in hand, things got worse, and worse.
Thankfully, not everyone had given up hope. Chief among them being the Lance family. Season 2 could honestly have been all about Quentin, Laurel, and Sara, because there’s so much do to with them. And all of them shined in this episode, albeit with a few cheesy moments.
Save for Quentin of course! Who easily had some of the best moments of the episode. From rallying the troops to help The Arrow, to blowing up one of Slade’s guys to kingdom come, he proved why he deserves to be on the show. I’m not the only one who thought that in some way, as he got promoted on the spot. Welcome back Detective!
Laurel and Sara got to bond again as the latter returned just in the nick of time. Laurel got to bring yet another character back from the depths of self-doubt, which is great cause of where she was just a few episodes ago.
That being said, there was some comic book cheesiness to it. Sara not knowing why she came back to Starling City cause there was “nothing left for her there” didn’t feel right. She was happy to be living a “normal” life with her family, and with Ollie. Yet here she was total isolationist, it just didn’t jive. Also Laurel’s “Then why would they know you by such a beautiful name?” thing was also cheesy. As it was Sara who picked that name, not the League. Oh well.
Another curious plot point was the return of Malcolm Merlyn. First off, by no means am I insulting his return, it was epic in so many ways. Yet it felt stunted because of Thea, especially with the “cliffhanger” which you know isn’t what you think it is. Certain previews made you think she was going to openly accept Merlyn’s invitation, this proved otherwise. Although, John Barrowman’s performance was just as great as his moments with Tommy in Season 1. Malcolm Merlyn really is a great character, hopefully something will happen that’ll guarantee a longer return in Season 3. SO DON’T KILL HIM OFF!!!
Then there was the return of Amanda Waller. Having Argus arrive wasn’t terrible, but we honestly didn’t need a ticking clock to hasten things along. We already had reason to ends this as soon as possible, it
just felt a little forced. Amanda herself came off well, better than her appearance in “Suicide Squad”, but the plot point itself felt unnecessary.
But the MVP goes to Sebastian Blood. All season we’ve wondered just what his angle was. Was he good? Was he evil? Did he REALLY care about the city? Or was it just a play? Well we found out our answer and it resonated. We also got his origin of sorts and found out how it related to his present. And despite his “change of heart” we still saw that glimpse of the madness he had within him. Very well done.
The action sequences were again top notch. From the battles in the streets, to Diggle vs. Ravager (only to be ended with Felicity hitting Isabel with the van!!!!, to the numerous battles with the Mirakuru thugs, it was all nicely done. And credit for variety on how to kill the bad guys.
And then there’s the island. Unlike recent episodes where one tiny plotpoint was told, here we got furthering of the plot for this season on the island, AND got a glimpse of what might be happening in Season 3. Time will tell what all happens in what order though.
Despite some minor flaws, “Streets of Fire” delivered on setting up the finale. Almost everyone is on the board now, time is running out, and the mission is clear. Let’s go save the city!
4 out of 5 Nerds