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Arrow “The Undertaking”: From Blurry to Clear 

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera /The CW

A lot of things came in to focus this week. Not only for us, but for our characters as well. Ollie realized that his mother is trouble with a capital “T” now that it’s clear she is in cahoots with Malcolm. Laurel realized that OIlie still has feelings for her, as well as some other secrets he wasn’t willing to share. We learned that Oliver’s father was actually a good guy, trying to save the city from Malcolm’s murderous plan. We also learned that Frank is not the loyal associate that both Moira and Robert expected him to be. And we all learned that Walter is alive! Yay!

First and foremost, I actually really enjoyed seeing Robert Queen again and I was pleasantly shocked to learn that Malcolm & company started out as good guys who were hell-bent on saving the city. Hearing Malcolm’s story of ignoring his wife’s phone calls only to have to listen to her die again and again on his voice mail was not only unsettling, but also heartbreaking. It gave us a glimmer of insight in to what turned Malcolm “dark”. However, it was when that darkness blinded him to reality that things went awry. His desire to destroy the Glades (and all its inhabitants) in order to save it sent up a red flag on Robert’s radar and he turned to Frank (who is the same person Moira will ally herself with), which ultimately got him killed. I have to admit, I didn’t see that Frank twist coming. I’ve always seen him as weak, but that to me seemed like the exact reason he would have a fear of speaking up. That being said, maybe his current alliance with Moira to take down Malcolm is his guilty conscience’s feeble attempt at redemption.

One of the hardest scenes for me to watch this week was Oliver realizing and accepting that his mother was a “bad guy”. The look in his eyes of complete and utter betrayal was truly exceptional. And to see him carry that not only from his spot on the floor of the basement but to Walter’s hospital room and his interaction with Laurel and even his reunion with Diggle gave you  a real sense for the impact that this will have on him.
As heartbreaking as it was, I loved the scene with Ollie and Laurel in the hallway. I’m not sure how Laurel was so totally clueless to the fact that Ollie still had feelings for her, but his statement that he can’t deny to Tommy that he no longer has feelings for Laurel “because it would be a lie and {he} already has enough lies in his life” hit right to the core. I know that Oliver has a lot to deal with every week, but I really felt like this week, it all came tumbling down on him at once. And as much as I know that vengeance and inner turmoil are what drive him, I hate to see Oliver in pain. I like him more as a man with a mission and less as a man who has to climb over his conflicts to get to his mission. 
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Finally, I must acknowledge the return of Walter! It feels like ages since we’ve last seen him. And I loved the flashback interactions between him and Moira…that was such a great way to remind us of their chemistry and our fondness for him before his current reveal. Furthermore, I feel like most tv shows would portray step children as resentful of their dad’s former coworker who married their mom, so I love to see that Thea and Oliver are just as connected to Walter and enthusiastic about his return as everyone else. Including Felicity. Her loyalty to and concern for Walter were remarkable, especially considering that we’ve really only seen them together a handful of times. And although their reunion in the hospital room was brief, I look forward to seeing more of these two together. That being said, I can’t help but feel like Walter is going to HAVE to either become suspicious or be brought in to the loop on Felicity & Oliver’s secrets. Especially now that Oliver knows that Moira is working with the enemy, it seems to me that Walter’s knowledge and access would be invaluable.
Can’t wait to see how it plays out next week! And the return of the Diggle/Ollie bromance! I know they were only apart for one episode, but it still felt like too long!
Only two episodes left in Arrow season 1 — the hit series airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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