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ARROW “Missing” Review

By on May 19, 2017

Arrow -- "Missing" Pictured: Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW

By Justin Carter


This season of Arrow has had whiffs of “final season” over it. Clearly, this isn’t the case, but when you take everything into consideration — flashbacks coming full circle, the series’ most personal villain since Slade Wilson, a more optimistic Oliver, and the 100th episode being 45 minutes of self reflection for its lead and supporting characters — you could definitely think that after the episode last week, Oliver and company would bow out and have future adventures offscreen. Things come full circle next week with a finale sure to be set entirely on Lian Yu, and there’s even a surprisingly large number of guest stars from seasons past, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Point is, if there was anything signifying this was Team Arrow’s last adventure on the CW, “Missing” would be it.

Driving the feeling home even further is the episode opening with a rarely mentioned event — Oliver’s birthday! — which the present members of the Team celebrate, and come together to discuss their “summer vacation” plans now that Chase is locked up. But of course, nothing is ever simple for these guys, as Evelyn, Talia al Ghul, and Black Siren are making their rounds in kidnapping members of the team one by one. Naturally, the only way that Oliver can ensure his friends live is if he breaks Chase out of his ARGUS prison, but that clearly isn’t on the table (at least, at first), and the clock is ticking on a solution.

Chase’s obvious plan of logic is that since Oliver’s friends make him strong, all he has to do is take that strength away from him, and the Emerald Archer will be weak enough to do whatever he wants. Now, that is admittedly a solid plan, and Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle wisely catch on almost right away (Oliver’s also aware that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that Chase will really keep up his end of things). Whether or not you want to argue that he’s ridiculously overpowered, it can’t be denied that Chase has really thought everything out, and his smugness as he gloats to Oliver that there’s only one way this can end makes him appropriately hateable. (Admitting that he brought Oliver’s son William into this as payback for doing the same with Chase’s wife is both petty and completely Chase.)  What also makes his plan work is that it manages to mirror the flashbacks and in doing so, the two play off of each other really well.

Having been captured by Kovar on Lian Yu, Past Oliver is injected with a drug that drives him mad and forces him to remember old injuries. It gives the show an excuse to remind us that our hero has really been through some rough stuff in the past years with brief glimpses of him getting tortured, suffering, or killing. Making matters worse is Kovar pontificating about how everything Oliver does touches and poisons everyone he loves, with an illusion of Yao Fei driving home the fact and reminding him that both he and his daughter Shado are dead because of him. So, yeah, it’s not going well for our hero, in either the present or the past.

But, as returning guest Malcolm Merlyn snarkily reminds Oliver: the connections that he’s had with everyone is just a part of life, and those around him have come to accept his baggage. In a lot of ways, they’ve shouldered that along with him and inspired him to keep going when he couldn’t, and he’s done the same for them for the better. It’s been repeated ad nauseum this season, either directly or through subtext, but it still bears repeating because Oliver is an incredibly thick person who also looks for any solution to solve his problems.

This season of Arrow has been more relationship focused than most, both in terms of the romantic and familial varieties, and it looks like all of it’s going to be coming to a head next week in the finale. Black Siren’s return understandably creates tensions between her and Lance, and he’s rightly pissed that she thinks Chase won’t harm him when all is said and done. Talia and Nyssa will definitely work through their issues with swords, and we’ll likely see Malcolm and Thea kick ass side by side as well. Now, I’m down for all of that, especially because it also gives us the return of Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson, just to add to all the crazy. But at the end of it all, all of this boils down to the final fight between Chase and Oliver, and after all the time spent moving the pieces into place, this is clearly going to be a helluva fighter where neither is holding back.

And I can’t wait. As I said above, everything about this season has like the showrunners are content at closing the show down after next week. Unless the finale completely botches everything, I would be content with this being the closing season of the series, which is a true testament to the strength of this season overall.

Additional Notes

  • With Siren’s doubts about Chase being hinted at, I can’t see a way for her to become a hero on Team Arrow that doesn’t also involve Lance dying or getting seriously injured.
  • Nyssa’s arrival was perfect, if only because she immediately took the opportunity to throw shade at Malcolm upon laying eyes on him.
  • Credit to Lance for not trying to question the whole “alternate Earths” thing. He just took Thea at her word and slotted it alongside aliens and magic as part of the things way above his pay grade that he just keeps getting sucked into.
  • See you next week!

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