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Arrow “Darkness on the Edge of Town” 

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Holy showdown, Batman! The final scene in last night’s Arrow was not just good, not just great, it was exceptional! But before I get there, I have to give honorable mention to a handful of other scenes that helped make the episode. First and foremost, Diggle hooding-up to “kidnap” Moira and Oliver…such a great and unexpected idea…I really didn’t see that coming.  And I loved seeing Diggle step in to the Arrow “shoes”…let’s just say if Ollie ever needs a vacation, I would trust this man to be his stand in.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Second, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I thoroughly enjoy seeing Felicity get in on the action. She can go from chic computer geek to stunning poker player to burger delivery girl, but it’s seeing her anxiety when she’s out in the field (in contrast to her steely confidence in front of the computer) that makes her more relatable and gives us a person to identify with (because let’s be honest, elevator hopping would scare the bajeezus out of me!!). However, the part of her undercover op that I enjoyed most was when Diggle came to her rescue at the last minute, calling her a Tommy Merlyn fanatic…these two are just adorable together.

And of course, Ollie and Laurel. We’ve known it was coming, but the way that Oliver approached it and his honesty and openness (such a change from pre-island Oliver) was perfect…although a bit premature in my mind considering that he hasn’t exactly completed his goal yet, which will undoubtedly lead to problems in the relationship.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Okay, now on to the final showdown. Wow! I suppose I should have anticipated it since the season finale airs next week but I hardly imagined the showdown to take place this way. Rather than Arrow against the Dark Archer, we got Arrow again Malcolm Merlyn. Granted, we know that’s the exact same thing, but poor Ollie, it came as a shock to him. After storming Merlyn’s office in a multi-pronged attack to take down The Undertaking, Oliver found himself in a compromising position. I loved nothing more than the utter disbelief on his face when Malcolm caught the arrow between his hands mere inches before it pierced his chest. But can you blame him?! What crooked business man has those kind of reflexes?! It was only when Malcolm pondered “Ironic, isn’t it? Last Christmas, I almost killed you. A few months ago, you saved my life. And now you’re here trying to kill me. You should make up your mind” that Oliver put two and two together.

And thus, the fighting began. While I hate to see Oliver get hurt, I find it fascinating to see him face a worthy adversary…and in this case, one who may just even be better. The hand-to-hand combat and constant switching of the upper-hand kept the scene full of suspense. But it was the ending, when Malcolm knocked out Oliver that had me holding my breath. Malcolm pulls back the hood and simply utters “oh no.” I don’t know why that “oh no” struck me, but it did. He genuinely seemed shocked and upset. Not in a “oh drat, now I have to deal with this” kind of way, but rather in a “this is my son’s best friend, a kid I’ve watched grow up” kind of way.

Granted, I don’t think this will stop him from taking vengeance and I don’t expect him to go easy on Oliver, but it was nice to see that brief flash of genuine emotion in his face. And according to the promo and promo photos from next week, it looks like Oliver has definitely seen better days. But that being said, can and will he take down the Dark Archer? And if so, what does that mean for season two? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week, and next season, to see!

The season 1 finale for the CW’s Arrow — called “Sacrifice” — airs May 15 @ 8/7c.

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