The Arrow Returns to Starling City for an “Uprising”

Photo: The CW
Photo: The CW

Oliver Queen is back in Starling in this week’s Arrow episode “Uprising”! Additionally, we learn more about Malcolm Merlyn’s past and see the Team defeat Danny Brickwell.

The Origins of the Magician
The flashbacks in this episode take us back to a time where Malcolm Merlyn was a different man, a faithful husband and a devoted father to his son, Tommy. The murder of his wife changed it all, as Malcolm wanted to get revenge. He killed the man he has been told to be his wife’s killer, and then took off for Nanda Parbat, where a young Nyssa al Ghul crowns him The Magician. He left little Tommy, who had just lost his mother, to fend for himself. Breaks my heart every time.

The Battle of Good vs Evil
When Team Arrow learns that it was actually Danny Brickwell who killed Malcolm’s wife more than 20 years ago, Malcolm offers his assistance in the fight against Brick’s army, but they reject him. The team continues to look for allies in the streets of Starling, Roy asks Sin and her group for help, while Laurel looks for support in Ted Grant. Along with their own army, and Malcolm who had been following them, Team Arrow face Brick and his group, and an epic battle ensues. Just before Malcolm is about to shoot Brick, Oliver returns and stops him. Thea is enough motivation for Merlyn to retreat.

The Arrow is back
But what about Oliver Queen? After Brick has been captured the Arrow delivers a grand speech, telling the citizens of Starling that he has returned and promises to never leave them to fend for themselves. Then he checks in with Thea and asks Malcolm to train him. Oliver’s goal is still defeating, and killing, Ra’s al Ghul to save his sister. He then returns to the foundry, where his team has been anxiously waiting to welcome him back. But when he tells them he is going to work with Merlyn, Felicity breaks. She accuses Oliver of leaving his morals and principles behind. She was the only one who had always kept up hope that he would be alive, that he would come back and finally see that life was too short to not be with her. But now that he has decided to team up with Merlyn, who has hurt so many people Oliver claims to love, Felicity refuses to be one of those people.

The Mystery of the Black Canary
The audience learns that Captain Lance knows Roy is Arsenal, which surprises literally no one. He tells him that the leather does not conceal his identity. Which also means Lance definitely knows who the Arrow is but consciously refuses to acknowledge it. At the end of the episode it is Sin who sets the events for next week’s episode “Canaries” in motion. She makes Quentin question the identity of the Black Canary, and that he should have noticed that it was not his daughter in that costume. Well, it is his daughter after all, but the other one.

MVP
Malcolm Merlyn, without a question. John Barrowman did such a fantastic job, transitioning from loving father and husband to desperate killer, who is in need of guidance. He joined the League of Assassins so he could deal with all the anger inside of him. But now Oliver has given him a new purpose: being a better father to Thea than he was to Tommy, especially when he needed him the most.

Highlights
Baby Tommy and Ollie – In a flashback we get a glimpse of the foundation of Tommy and Oliver’s friendship, as we see the young boys at Rebecca Merlyn’s funeral. Sweet but agonizing at the same time.

Team Arrow’s army – I am a sucker for guest stars, and having Bex Taylor-Klaus back as Sin and J.R. Ramirez as Ted Grant was great. And next week we are getting the fabulous Caity Lotz and, the week after that, Colin Donnel back for a few scenes. Is it Christmas already?

Wildcat lives!  – … but only for a second.  Ted Grant embraces his almost-super-hero-persona, just to die at the hand of Danny Brickwell. What a way to go. I did not like that at all…

Felicity tells Oliver they are done – don’t get me wrong, I want those two to be happy together as much as the next Arrow fan, but I like a well written arc better. And there are not enough hand-clapping emojis to express my feelings towards Emily Bett Rickards in this scene. Such a strong, liberating and fantastic performance. This show would only be half as good without her.

Favorite Quote
“There are many forms of death. To defeat a man like this Ra’s al Ghul you must be willing not just to die but to know what you have to sacrifice to beat him. […] I don’t know [what that would be], that is what you will have to discover. It will be whatever you hold the most precious.”
– Tatsu Yamashiro

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