Arrow "Uprising" (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Daniel Brickwell has complete control of the Glades, and in Oliver's absence Team Arrow has been barely staying afloat what with the "Hood-and-Mask" community acting as the only protectors the residents of the Glades can depend on. The biggest revelation falls on the Malcolm Merlyn side of the story; when digging up dirt on Brick, Team Arrow stumbles upon some evidence linking Brick's gun to a 21 year old murder... a murder involving one Rebecca Merlyn.
Over the last few episodes, it's felt like the show runners have been pushing Malcolm Merlyn's redemption pretty heavily, and this is clearly evident in "Uprising." Tasked with protecting the child he has left, Malcolm has undertaken (yes I just did that) a fatherly role with a side of hand-to-hand combat training; almost makes you forget that it was all his fault that Sara died in such a violent fashion at the hands of his doped up daughter.
Most of the episode led to a final rumble in the streets between Team Arrow with the residents of the Glades versus the combined might of Brick's gang. Laurel even gets Ted Grant to come out of vigilante retirement to go toe-to-toe some of Brick's rank-and-file.
Most of the episode was spent more-so Arrow-less. Ollie doesn't make his triumphant return till the final minutes of the episode. Leading up to the final brawl, Team Arrow courts the idea of an uneasy alliance with Malcolm Merlyn, he wants to take down Brick for what he did to his wife and of course Team Arrow benefits from pointing Merlyn at Brick like a loaded gun.
Instead of Oliver's time in Hong Kong, flashbacks in this episode are focused primarily on Malcolm Merlyn's descent from caring father to ruthless assassin, following up on a tip about the man who killed his wife, Malcolm confronts him and kills him, believing this is the one who killed Rebecca. Seeing this very different, pre-League of Assassins Malcolm Merlyn was a little unsettling, a part of me wanted him to go full on douche-bag dad on little Tommy... at least because it felt comfortable.
Oliver's return didn't hit me with as much fanfare as I was hoping it would, over the past two weeks I was hotly anticipating how Oliver would make his return, and while Ollie's "the hero Starling deserves" speech was all well and good, I was hoping for a bit for "pointy-arrowy" action aside from a showdown of words with Malcolm Merlyn.
The episode closes with a heartbreaking Olicity scene, and while a part of me still loves seeing Ollie with Felicity, this girl who I've adored since her very first scene has begun to grate on me. I know that being forced to deal with Oliver's possible death has weighed heavily on her; but the way Felicity responds to a plan Oliver cooks up in order to take out Ra's al Ghul once and for all feels like a massive over-reaction.
Though it's still a bit early, I'm still pulling for Laurel and Oliver to eventually get together... I mean Oliver Queen and Dinah Laurel Lance is my second favorite DC Comics OTP! Looks like Arrow back on track again, welcome back Oliver Queen...