Tonight’s Arrow review is going to be short and to the point, mostly because “Salvation” just wasn’t that interesting of an episode (And while we’re on the subject, I can’t help being nitpicky and pointing out that Smallville did an episode called “Salvation” and it was one of the show’s best, but that is neither here nor there…but I wanted to say it anyway).
Moving back to the show at hand, tonight’s episode centered on The Glades (aka the bad part of Starling City). There was a man who called himself ‘The Savior’ and made it his mission to round up the neighborhood’s bad guys, put them on trial via webcam and then assassinate them. Now, obviously Oliver didn’t like that because this was one of those episodes where he believes killing is wrong (it’s hard to keep up).
Felicity retained her status as best character on the show with her hilarious delivery of her interpretation of what Oliver does (“Grrr…”). She also had a line that was probably supposed to be funny, but was way too close to something Chloe said to Oliver on Smallville once and I think I’ve already made my distaste of this show stealing abundantly clear. It’s bad enough when it’s constantly from Nolan’s Batman movies, but the Smallville rip-off lines bug me even more.
Anyway, Felicity was doing her computer hacker thing and trying to get Oliver the locations the videos were being shot before The Savior could kill the victims. She failed the first time and Oliver was not exactly polite about it. But he did try to make her feel better later so I stopped glaring at him a little bit. Seriously though, dial down the anger when you’re speaking to Felicity, Oliver. She’s the best and you are not worthy.
Meanwhile, Thea was starting to get hot and heavy with Roy until she found a gun and he told her about his plans to rob a liquor store. She walked away, but a talk with Laurel didn’t do much to dissuade her from her bad boy. She went back to try and change his mind about the whole being a criminal thing, but The Savior showed up and kidnapped Roy first.
Tommy (who didn’t show up until very late in the episode and only got like half a scene – boo) recognized Roy on the video and started to tell Oliver, but Thea showed up crying before he had a chance. Oliver left Thea with Tommy (bonus points for the 2 second hugging scene, show) and went to the Arrow Cave to get help.
Luckily, Dig is all kinds of awesome and recognized the background noise Felicity isolated as a subway. Apparently, one used to run through Starling City and has since been shut down, but The Savior had made it operational again (of course no one noticed the extra electricity or any other technicalities, right?). Felicity realized that was the reason she was losing the feed because it was constantly moving. So Oliver suited up and went to the next subway stop.
Roy refused to fight for his life or try and plead his case. He admitted that he was a waste (that’s what Thea called him earlier) and he should just kill him. Arrow showed up and tried to talk some sense into The Savior (who correctly pointed out that he’s killed people too). Roy broke free from his chains and The Savior still tried to kill him, but Oliver shot him with an arrow first (I’m not sure if he died, but we can’t really call this one murder since he would have killed Roy).
Thea was relieved when Roy showed up at the club and Oliver wasn’t exactly thrilled with his sister’s choice of boyfriends, but he let it go for the time being. He did take a walk outside and ran into Laurel, who had spent the episode proving to her parents that it wasn’t Sara in the picture after all. Laurel also found out that her mother not only knew about Sara and Oliver, but she gave them her blessing. This poor girl has the worst family. Anyway, Oliver and Laurel had a moment and he admitted that he doesn’t really want to be alone anymore and asked her to have dinner or coffee with him. Laurel agreed.
While all of this was going on, we were treated to the standard island flashbacks. Again, I wish I cared enough to pay attention and not check my cell phone during these scenes, but it is what it is. All that really matters is Fryers set them up and while they were rescuing Shado from the bad guys (and Yao Fei got hurt!), Fryers’ men took their circuit board and now he can activate his missile launcher…what? He’s got a missile launcher? Maybe I should pay more attention…
Finally, Moira was nervous because Malcolm was close to finding out that she was the one behind his shooting. Frank assured her that he had taken the money from holding companies and offshore accounts and it would never be traced back to them. But then Moira set him up to take the fall and Dark Archer killed him. He wanted to kill his daughter too, but Moira managed to talk him out of that before she slipped into her car and started crying at the literal blood on her hands.
In the last scene, Oliver, Felicity and Dig were back in the Arrow Cave and Felicity had found a map of the subway lines. As Oliver looked at it, he recognized it as the same symbol in the journal (or so he said. My sister and I did not see the similarities). Oliver had an epiphany that the Dark Archer, the Undertaking and all of his father’s journal entries were connected to The Glades.
So here are my takeaways from the episode: Felicity is fantastic and I felt bad for her when she was talking about it being better to be alone since she wouldn’t know where to begin to tell someone about her day. Oliver offered to be there for her, which was sweet. I know a lot of people ship them and I cannot deny the chemistry, but I just see the relationship ending badly for Felicity and I’m not okay with that.
Despite the fact that his character is a little too cliché, I’m very much enjoying Colton Haynes as Roy. He’s got great presence, he can do the physical stuff and he doesn’t overact. Plus, he’s got chemistry with Thea and since we know Tommy and Thea are never going to happen because I can’t have nice things, I’m on board with this pairing. I also liked the last scene of him looking at the arrow, which is hit-you-over-the-head foreshadowing to the fact that someday he’s going to be Oliver’s sidekick. I’m good with that too.
I’m going to be heading for broken record territory soon, but please give Laurel more to do. It was nice seeing her interact with her family and I’m glad that she and Oliver had a moment, but she’s a lawyer and a future superhero. Let her get involved in the cases; she doesn’t need to find out about Oliver yet, but we can do the whole suspended disbelief thing where she talks to The Hood and doesn’t recognize the guy she slept with for years (whatever, it’s TV).
Next week’s episode brings the return of Vertigo and the Count and it is also written by Bryan Q. Miller, who was one of the best Smallville writers and he’s also currently writing the comic version of the show. I’m very interested to see him put his spin on this version of Oliver and company. Until next week…