Arrow Season 1 Episode 22: Darkness on the Edge of Town – TV Review

I review the penultimate episode in Arrow’s first season, entitled Darkness on the Edge of Town. Full Spoilers.

Arrow S1x22 “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

Arrow S1x22

Wow. What a journey it’s been so far for Arrow, and although it’s not always been perfect, the last few episodes of the show have really kicked into gear and major, major plot developments happen in this episode both in the present and on the island. Twists and turns are the goal of Darkness on the Edge of Town, delivering both endings that you won’t see coming.

At last, all the different storylines that the show has been throwing at us are coming to a conclusion. Whilst I haven’t been happy with all of them, the Love Triangle between Tommy, Ollie and Laurel and the Missing Lance Daughter is actually alive – but then not alive story, it seems that we’re now both gone of those two particularly given the conclusion of this episode, which saw Laurel and Ollie get back together again, and I loved the fact that they used an Imagine Dragons song, as they’re one of my favourite bands at the moment.

The episode itself is action packed right from the start, with early on it seems to revolve around Oliver digging into loose threads concerning his mother’s involvement with the Undertaking. The way that they used Diggle as a way to get information out of Moira without exposing Ollie seemed a genius way to not only see Diggle in the hood, but also clear any suspicions of Ollie being Arrow. (Of course, until the final brawl, which I’ll cover later in the review.)

Another major plot thread here deals with the island, in which we get very important flashback sequences. The killing of Yao Fei seemed pretty much inevitable at some point, but it still took me by surprise when it happened and the cold way in which Fyers executed him. It’ll be very interesting to see how Ollie, Slade and Shado can deal with Fyers’ Bond-Villain Plot to attack a commercial jet to ruin the Chinese Economy, and whether they can prevent it in the finale. With cliffhangers being promised for both the island and the present in the finale, it seems like a wise decision to end with Ollie in bitter peril in the penultimate episode, leaving the stakes very high for the finale, but at the same time still informing the audience that there will be some hopefully great twists to look forward to.

Back in Starling City, a lot of this episode also deals with Meryln’s return as the Dark Archer, and we witness him killing scientists that are later revealed to be part of the team that worked on the weapon that will carry out the Undertaking. It seems that Arrow is not content with delivering us just one Bond-esque villain, it also delivers us a second – for Meryln’s plan seems very far fetched, but it’s still nonetheless interesting to see whether or not they’ll be able to pull it off and of course, we’re talking about a show based on a comic book here.

The episode comes to a great conclusion after a Mission-Impossible style break in of the Meryln’s headquarters  with Felicity and Ollie getting a chance to show their stuff whilst Diggle watches from the sidelines. The resultant showdown between Meryln and Ollie, as Arrow – ends with Meryln exposing Oliver’s identity underneath the mask, which will be very interesting to see where that goes in the finale – and as Meryln appears to be the show’s main villain, he won’t go down as easily as the other bad guys that have found out his identity in the past, adding to that element of tension.

There’s only one let down of Darkness on the Edge of Town that I found, and that’s the Roy/Thea thread. It never really feels necessary, and just acts like it’s dragging out time when we’d rather see the spotlight on the main storyline and the flashbacks. Don’t get me wrong, they have good potential, but at the moment, they feel like wasted space.

I think it’s safe to say that Arrow is really starting to improve in quality now and has been since The Odyssey, and I really hope that this form continues throughout Season 2. The cliffhanger has me really looking forward to the season finale now, and I wish next week would hurry up. However, I know that once I get to the end of Arrow it’ll also mean that two of the currently ongoing shows that I watch will have concluded their seasons, with Doctor Who’s Seventh Season coming to a close next Saturday in Name of the Doctor, and Arrow coming to a conclusion in Sacrifice, which no doubt will contain, well – a sacrifice. Whose sacrifice though is anyone’s guess – could it refer to the ‘sacrifice’ of the Glades that Meryln blows up? Or one of the Arrow team? One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to find out.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

ARROW SEASON 1:  S1x01: Pilot, S1x02:  Honour Thy Father, S1x03: Lone Gunman, S1x04: An Innocent Man, S1x05: Damaged,  S1x06: Legacies, S1x07: Muse of Fire,  S1x08: Vendetta, S1x09: Year’s End, S1x10: Burned, S1x11: Trust But Verify, S1x12: Vertigo, S1x13: Betrayal, S1x14: The Odyssey, S1x15: Dodger, S1x16: Dead to RightsS1x17: The Huntress Returns, Sx18: Salvation, Sx19: Unfinished Business, S1x20: Home InvasionS1x21The Undertaking,  S1x22: Darkness on the Edge of Town, COMING SOON: S1x23: Sacrifice

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