After last week’s epic return (see: I gave it a 5/5), it was up to “Midnight City” to keep the momentum going in a big way. Boy, did it ever.
This episode managed to balance four to five full fledged stories with little to no slip-ups. That’s impressive, and it shows how far this show has come when it comes to focus on its characters. You wouldn’t have seen this in season 1, as there wasn’t so many people to care about.
Truly, this episode was about Team Arrow trying make it on their own without Ollie. This became especially true for Roy and Laurel. The former who is still trying to prove himself, and the later who only last episode became Black Canary. If “Midnight City” did one thing absolutely perfectly, it was showing that Roy and Laurel still have a ways to go before being unstoppable crimefighters, which is good. Especially for Laurel. Who at best has been training for a few months to be a crimefighter.
For me, the showstopper scene was the rescue attempt about halfway into the episode. Not only did they fail, they essentially got one of the Alderman’s killed. The look on Roy and Laurel’s face when they failed showed just how human they were, and that you don’t win every battle, and there will be consequences when you don’t. A lesson Ollie knew all to well…
That being said, I am glad they were able to get their act back together and become Team Arrow again, complete with a helicopter courtesy of Ray Palmer! Wait, so they DO have keys? Huh…
Another big chunk of this episode was the growing tension between Ray and Felicity. Ray got to show just how much he wanted to help people by not only fighting off Brick’s goons, but by standing up to him in the “Parley” meeting. Anyone else feel he pulled a Bruce Wayne with the “I have a lot of money” line? I did.
Back on track, it was good to see both him and Felicity grow from their previous notions about what Ray was doing. Ray truly wants to protect people, especially those closest to him. And Felicity, through a great scene with Laurel, got to see why Ollie does what he does. It’s not to avenge the dead, it’s to protect the living. Oh, and the Atom suit is now one step closer to completion! Love it.
An unexpected gem from this episode was the conversations between Merlyn and Thea. After last weeks abrupt “we need to leave town” declaration, it was actually great to see a defiant Thea declare back that she wasn’t uprooting her life because of Ra’s al Ghul. You could tell that Merlyn really is concerned for Thea, but his old habits (aka telling the truth!) die hard. It was great to see Roy be the honest logical one and tell Merlyn that his lies would catch up to him.
This of course led to the VERY unexpected twist that Thea’s DJ “boyfriend” (did we get a name?) is a member of the League of Assassins! I doubt ANYONE saw that coming! This is going to get good!!!!
And then of course, there was Oliver. Who was still healing from his sword wound, and was under the watchful eye of Maseo and Tatsu. These scenes were very interesting, as it continued to foreshadow what happened in Hong Kong five years ago. My personal theories are that either his son gets killed (for me that’s the most logical). Or somehow the bioweapon him and Oliver got gets used and Maseo blames himself because of it.
I’m hesitating though cause of Tatsu, at first, you might have she was cold to Maseo, and yet it’s clear she still loves him. As she said, “the line between grief and guilt is a thin one”. The flashbacks seem to indicate that the bioweapon is out of play…and yet something still doesn’t feel right. I did love how Tatsu and Maseo worked together to kill the assassins, as it further showed Maseo’s loyalty to Oliver and love for Tatsu, and yet he still refused to come with them to Starling City. What is the truth here?
I really wanted to give this a perfect score, but two things really weighed it down (it would’ve been three if the DJ twist didn’t happen, just saying). One, I don’t like the explanation for how Ollie survived. While true, that the cold can sometimes prevent certain wounds from expanding their severity, I felt that was a cop out. Again, he was stabbed in the chest, by Ra’s al Ghul. You’re really trying to tell me Ra’s missed all the vital organs?
Second, was Detective Lance. Not him himself exactly, but what happened to him. The ruse of Sara being alive was expanded upon, with Laurel (thanks to Felicity) literally using Sara’s voice to talk to him. This is sad to me, because he needs to know, and the more they don’t do it, the more I wonder why he doesn’t suspect something bad has happened. Also, if there was footage of Laurel as Black Canary, how did Lance not notice the different fighting styles? Or body type for that matter. I really hope he finds out soon, cause it’s becoming slightly unbelievable.
I want to give two special props out before I wrap up. First off, Vinnie Jones is a great villain. He’s playing Brick perfectly, and he’s fun to watch. Second, shoutout to the writers, for having perfect spots of humor in a largely depressing episode. There were numerous one-liners that you couldn’t help but smile at, so thank you for that!
In the end though, “Midnight City” did a fantastic job of building upon what “Left Behind” did last week. With the return of Oliver next week, things seem to be on track for another fantastic season.