TV Recaps

‘Arrow’ Season Finale Review: Someone makes the ultimate ‘Sacrifice’

Last night’s Arrow season finale devastated me. I had a lot of theories of which character was going to meet his or her maker and this possibility never even crossed my mind. Judging by my Twitter feed, I was not the only one who was shocked and deeply saddened so despite my anger (SO MAD AT YOU), I have to give credit to the writers for pulling off one hell of a (mean, awful) surprise.

So let’s talk about “Sacrifice.” First, did anyone else want to start a drinking game each time a character used the word (Marc Guggenheim did!)? There were four references before the 20 minutes mark of the show. Needless to say, the episode was about sacrifices and how far one is willing to go for what matters to them. It was filled with action and secrets coming to light and heartfelt confessions and declarations. It also featured the death of my favorite character (and no, I am not getting over this anytime soon or ever).

I like to get the island stuff out of the way because I just do not care. As the bad dudes were about to hit the Ferris (Green Lantern reference!) jet with a missile, Oliver broke free from his ropes, stabbed a dude with a knife and then freed Shado and Slade so they could help too. Chaos ensued and there was a typical, over the top action scene that involved Oliver on a moving tank. But he stopped the missile, it crashed onto the island (really, no one from any country saw that on their satellites and came to investigate? That’s a big stretch, show).

Slade survived the explosion, but he seemed pretty angry at Oliver (Is Deathstroke rearing his head?). The men looked around for Shado and Fryers appeared with her as his captive. He offered Oliver a way off the island (Lost feelings!), but Oliver picked up Yao Fei’s bow and put an arrow through his head. Shado was relieved, but now the three are really alone on the island (or there is another criminal organization lying in wait. That seems more likely).

In the present day, Oliver begins the episode chained up and having to listen to Malcolm explaining why everyone in The Glades deserves to die. Mr. Merlyn had to give this speech a few times because after Oliver escaped (we all knew he would), he filled Tommy in on his dad’s misdeeds. Tommy did not believe him, but then he went to Malcolm’s office and his father confirmed it.

Malcolm also went a lot crazier and started screeching about why killing people is necessary. Oh, and let’s not forget the super gut-wrenching moment when he forced Tommy to listen to his mother’s last voicemail as she lie in the street bleeding to death (Malcolm conveniently left out the part where she called him a few times).

While this was going on, after a stern talking to from a disgusted Oliver, Moira decided to take action. She gathered the press (and the police) at the mansion and told everyone what a horrible person she was and how The Glades was about to get blown up. Thea was horrified and raced to save Roy while Moira was handcuffed and read her rights. Cops showed up to get Malcolm (Moira rightfully threw him under the bus), but he wasn’t going down without a fight.

Tommy was shocked as he watched his dad attacking cops and he grabbed a gun and held it on him, but Malcolm easily knocked him out. Oliver and Dig showed up a little while later and Malcolm took on both of them (again, I had a hard time with this scene. Yes, Malcolm is strong, but Oliver is strong too and have you seen Dig’s arms? No way Malcolm lasts five seconds against them together). But he did manage to stab Dig and then Oliver headed up to the roof so the two could have their showdown.

Malcolm bragged throughout the episode that Oliver couldn’t beat him, but he also gave the younger man a piece of advice that turned out to be his undoing. Malcolm told Oliver that in his heart, he didn’t know what he was fighting for and Oliver realized it was true. But then Malcolm made another tactical error. He promised to kill Moira and Thea when he was done with Oliver. That lit a spark in him and Oliver managed to stab him in the heart with an arrow. It seems like Malcolm is dead, but I have a feeling we will see the Dark Archer again.

Early in the episode, Detective Lance hauled Felicity in for questioning and everyone’s favorite sidekick had a talk with him about how good the vigilante has been for the city. It’s impossible to ignore Felicity’s awesomeness so that planted the seeds he needed to believe Oliver when he called him using his voice distorter and told him about the earthquake machine in The Glades. Oliver sent the detective to disarm it with Felicity guiding him.

As Detective Lance stepped into the role of Commissioner Gordon, I really thought he was going to be the one to die. I assumed he’d save the city, but it would be too late for him and maybe this would be what sends Laurel on the path to being Black Canary. At one point, Detective Lance called Laurel to say goodbye and I’m not ashamed to admit the scene made me cry. It was beautiful as he told her not to let the pain consume her because he didn’t want her to end up alone like he was (aw!).

But Felicity figured out how to disarm the machine at the last minute and Lance breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, before he may or may not have died, Malcolm choked out that a sign of a good business was redundancy and Oliver realized there was another machine set to go off and it did.

The Glades was already a mess, thanks to Moira’s announcement. Instead of running away, Roy stepped into his future hero role and tried to help people. He ended up with a gun pointed at him, but Thea showed up to save the day and threw a beer bottle at the guy’s head. She joked about her “wicked aim” and then she and Roy attempted to leave, but once more, he didn’t want to run while people were getting hurt. The two shared a kiss and then Thea left.

Laurel was at work and her office was right in the center of the blast. Earlier in the episode, Laurel went to see Oliver and had been a little uncertain about waking up alone, but he assured her that he wanted to be with her and being on the island made him realize the person he truly was and Laurel had been the only one to see the real him beforehand. The two shared a kiss and he warned her to stay out of The Glades, but she didn’t listen. As the building started to fall down, Laurel got trapped under the rubble.

Oliver was on his way, but it was Tommy who got there first. He rescued Laurel and told her that he loved her (aw). Laurel ran out and then Tommy ended up trapped. Oliver rushed in and found him in the rubble, but he was already mortally wounded (you guys!). The two made up and when Tommy asked Oliver if he’d killed his father, Oliver said no, but I still think he was just being a good friend and he assumes Malcolm is dead. Tommy was relieved and as he slipped away, Oliver cried that it should have been him.

Even now, nearly 12 hours since the finale aired, I am still distraught as I type this. Tommy was my favorite and it seemed like he was save because of the part he plays in the comics and we were all waiting for him to become the bad guy. But instead, he died a hero, which is awesome because Tommy was the best and if he had to die, it’s so much better to see him as the hero and ultimate good guy as opposed to meeting his fate at the pointy end of one of Oliver’s arrows.

But he’s still dead and I’m still devastated. The finale has opened a lot of doors and possibilities for Season 2. Oliver failed at his mission to stop Malcolm so will he continue as the vigilante? Laurel and Oliver are together, but how long will that last now that Tommy’s death is hanging over their heads? Will Moira spend the season in jail? How long before we know one way or the other if Malcolm survived? So many questions…

Did you guys like the finale? Will you miss Tommy as much as I will? Sound off in the comments below…

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.