Arrow Season 1 Review “Salvation”

Arrow Episode 18 Salvation (8)

You’ll have to forgive me for spending a disproportionate amount of time discussing Moira Queen after this week’s episode of Arrow, “Salvation.” Although her screen-time was brief, her behavior frustrated me to the point that by the end of the episode, I had lost all sympathy for her.

Moira’s meetings with her friend and Malcolm-assassination accomplice, Frank, showed off Moira’s ego and I got the sense that in her head, the wheels were already in motion to use Frank as the fall guy if things went wrong. When Frank suggested that Moira find a way to protect her family, she threw out some line about how there was nothing she wouldn’t do to protect her children. Well, apparently she’s not willing to live an honest, moral life, or give up the Queen fortune and move herself and her family out of Starling City and away from Malcolm and The Glades Undertaking project.

From the start of Arrow, it’s been difficult to determine if Moira is legitimately a good person who got in over her head in a bad situation. She seems to imagine herself that way, but the more we’ve seen of her, the more I’m convinced she’s just as bad as Malcolm and the rest of the scummy white collar criminals on Ollie’s list. She set Frank up to take the fall for their failed assassination attempt knowing that if she were in Frank’s position, there would be no way that Malcolm would have mercy on her or her family. Yes, Malcolm is a terrifying man, and yes, she’s wrapped up in a really crazy, messed up scenario, but it’s become clear that she’s not simply a victim so I feel no pity for her anymore. In my book, Moira Queen is officially an Arrow villain.

The actual villain-of-the-week in this episode of Arrow was a man named Joseph Falk who was kidnapping the Starling City residents that he believed were responsible for the failure of the city and taking them down into the abandoned subway to act as judge, jury, and executioner. From the beginning, Ollie was determined to track Falk down, but it eventually got personal when Roy was kidnapped and Thea became an emotional wreck.

I found Falk, “The Savior” to be a particularly disturbing villain because he was much more realistic than many of the previous comic-book-like villains. Falk’s hostage situation could have been the center of a plot on any number of crime procedurals or detective series and there was something more threatening about the Arrow facing a villain like that.

Unlike most of Ollie’s previous targets, had he captured Falk instead of killing him, Falk would have probably gone through the justice system, be found guilty of his crimes, and spent the rest of his life in an institution or in prison. Unlike Ollie’s wealthy targets, Falk did not have the financial means to pay his way out of his crimes, so it was rather devastating to see that Ollie had killed him. I suppose that has a lot to do with why Ollie seemed so emotionally wrecked after returning with Roy to the club. I’m sure Falk’s questions got to him, and talking to Tommy, Thea, and Laurel also made him reevaluate his relationships, but I’d like to think a big part of him was affected by the fact that he had just killed a man who could have actually been appropriately handled by the justice system that was already in place.

Laurel and her parents spent most of the episode searching for Sarah only to end up right where they started – with nothing. Laurel’s research revealed that the girl in the photos wasn’t Sarah, but another girl with the same hat as Sarah. Maybe it’s just me, but something smells a little fishy about this wrap up, and I can’t help but suspect that this isn’t exactly the end of Sarah’s story.

Ollie’s island flashbacks got intense after Ollie stole a circuit board from Fyers’ camp and tried to leverage it to get a boat off the island. The trade quickly went sour when Fyers brought Yao Fei’s daughter into the equation and threatened to kill her if Ollie didn’t return the circuit board. Turns out, Yao Fei’s daughter is pretty badass and had been playing the part of a sobbing captive all along. When the moment came, she turned on her captors and kicked all their butts. Among her many surprises was the reveal that she spoke English, and knew all about Fyers’ plan and why they would never be allowed to return to the mainland.

The island flashbacks are leading into a major reveal about what Fyers is doing on the island and how Ollie will become even more involved in that conflict. In the present, Ollie, Felicity, and Digg discovered that the symbol in all their mystery books matched the old subway line system and realized that “the undertaking” was all related to the Glades. It seems like a lot of the stories that have been set up on Arrow this season are coming to a head and I can’t wait to see how Ollie handles the situations both in his past and in the present.