Arrow Season V- Ep. 23- Season Finale “Lian You”: A Review

Posted: 05/28/2017 in Uncategorized


Well, if “the Flash” was a study in imbalance and ultimately failure, Arrow assuredly was not. Wow. Berlanti & Co deliver one of the best season finales this show has ever presented. Season 5 now stands in the echelons of the first two season and assures its position as one of the best superhero genre shows on tv. My florid open volley proffered, on to my review.

So, so, so very much got done with this run. At the risk of repeating myself, which I really don’t mind, what made this season great was consistency throughout. The show reached this season but always stayed on point. It allowed itself a few social experiments, ranging from a heart felt discussion of gun control, an open forum of dealing with alcoholism/recidivist behavior after a deep trauma, the dissolution of relationships, and so on. The show did this while balancing new characters/team members, multiple sub story arcs all the while uniting past and present for the titular denouement which fired on all cylinders.

We knew it would come down between Oliver/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Adrian Chase/Prometheus (Josh Segerra)  we knew the locale where it would occur… but we had no real idea how far it would go, how it would all play out. The answer to both is – epically. Recruiting his own team to meet with Prometheus’ crew, Oliver digs deep, approaching the man who killed his mother, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Manu Bennett). This arc annihilated. The depiction of a “mirakuru” free Deathstroke willing to work with GA toward his own redemption was superior, up to and including advice on how his former protege should move forward, forgiving himself. The shared moment as fathers seeking their sons was duly earnest. The team up of Merlyn (John Barrowman), Deathstroke, Nyssa (Katrina Law) and GA was ripped from the comic source material in its on screen depiction. Seeing Wilson in full Deathstroke regalia was just awesome,  as Oliver’s new assembly tracks Team Arrow and of course the main piece in Chase’s end game, William (Jack Moore), Oliver’s son.

Not everything was perfect. Malcolm’s swan song moment could easily be undone as he is after all “the magician”. The moment between he and Thea (Willa Holland) lacked earnestness and due gravitas. MM’s fighting skill however delivers, along with Nyssa’s. The face to face battle between the daughters of the demon lacked a bit as well with a bit too decisive a victory considering the focus and zealousness of Talia Al Ghul (Alexa Doig). These however are minor complaints. The battle of the Canaries delivered and even allowed for comedic line of the night and a superior moment for Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). When he ‘intercedes’ in the battle between the women, Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) tells him “you didn’t need to do that…”, his response is perfection, “Oh yes I did, for so many reasons.” Equally good was Quentin, really the only man who could, passing on the mantle of Black Canary to a new appropriate heir. The fight sequences had a heightened level of excitement. The switching alliances played well, allowing for the inclusion of “Boomerang”/Digger Harkness (Nick E. Tarabay).

There was much build up to this season finale and the flash back arc assisted magnificently with linking the past and present. Oliver’s decimating Kovar’s (Dolph Lundgren) men was a perfect precursor to the skilled and effortlessly capable performance demonstrated in season 1. The one on one between both men also had proper oomph. This plot line’s conclusion came with a surprising end sequence along with an unexpected cameo, one of the few kept under wraps.

Prometheus is easily Green Arrow’s most nefarious villain. There is still a slight ‘gap’ as to why and how someone as clearly unstable as he could come up with such masterful strategies to outwit and foil GA and his team at every turn. I had hoped for a stronger explanation than “Talia backs him up with all her resources….” umbrella. This too is a minor complaint. Chase pushes Oliver further than any foe including the Demon/Ra’s Al Ghul (Matt Nable) himself. The discovery by Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) as to how inescapable his final trap is was tour de force.

To the very last note of this episode in which Chase threatens Oliver’s son and forces him to make an unwinnable choice, the set and scope of the season is redefined in one brutal cliff hanger moment. Season 6 will assuredly hit the ground running. Arrow restores its position as a legacy show by assuring it is simply outstanding and well worth your time.


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