Arrow Season 2 Review “Streets of Fire”

Talk about a great set-up for the season finale! This was the last episode of Arrow before the season ender, and it barely gave us a minute to breathe. I can’t imagine what the finale is going to be like. There is all-out warfare going on in the streets, chaos everywhere, and Starling City is literally burning to the ground. Team Arrow has their work cut out for them, but at least it looks like they’re finally getting some help.

Slade’s soldiers are wreaking havoc all over the city, and the emergency services personnel are ill-equipped to fight them. Det. Lance immediately recognized that this was a job for The Arrow, and he once again put his neck on the line and stood up for him. I smiled when the lieutenant called him The Vigilante and Det. Lance sternly corrected him The Arrow. You tell him, Det. Lance! Just as an aside, that lieutenant has to be one of the stupidest people known to mankind. I get that The Arrow wasn’t exactly working inside the law. At the same time though, it’s pretty clear that he’s not one of the bad guys. The Arrow is the primary reason that crime is down in Starling City and the prisons are overflowing. I’m not exactly sure why the lieutenant refuses to see that, but circumstances forced his hand. He gave Det. Lance his shield back and put him in charge of the task force. The first thing Lance did was call The Arrow and let him know that whatever help he needed from Starling City PD, he would have it. I know that this is a partnership born out of necessity, but I truly hope that it will continue. With Det. Lance getting his position back, I think maybe it’ll be easier on The Arrow to do his job. In the here and now, The Arrow and the police are definitely going to have to work together to get rid of Slade and his soldiers though.

This situation also gave Team Arrow a chance to get back to their roots. When Oliver started his campaign to save Starling City, he was going at it alone. Then he met Diggle and brought him in. Then he met Felicity and brought her in. That was Team Arrow, and those are the two people who Oliver has always been able to depend on. We should all be so lucky to have friends like Dig and Felicity. I have to say I just absolutely LOVE Felicity. I laughed harder than I probably should have when Felicity ran over Isabel with the van, but it was the only prudent thing to do. I also loved everything she said to Oliver as they were in the Canary’s nest watching Starling City burn and trying to figure out their next move. Oliver’s guilt over the whole Slade Wilson situation has caused him to fold into himself and try to carry all the weight alone. Felicity reminded Oliver that he is not alone, and Slade’s choices are not Oliver’s fault. She also reminded Oliver about all of the good that he’s done, and most importantly, that she believes in him. It’s kind of easy to lose faith in ourselves sometimes, so it’s important to keep people around us who have faith in us even we don’t have it in ourselves.

As if dealing with Slade’s soldiers wasn’t enough, ARGO sent troops to contain Starling City while a bomber is inbound to wipe out the city. When Oliver demanded that Amanda call off the attack, she essentially said that the lives of just over half a million people were an acceptable loss to prevent the mirakuru from spreading. On the one hand, I understand her argument. She can’t see any other way to stop the mirakuru from infecting a larger population, so she’s decided to sacrifice everyone there to stop it. That’s the kind of decision I hope I’m never forced to make. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem like she’s particularly interested in finding a solution that does not involve the deaths of thousands of innocent people. Her solution to everything seems to be to blow it off the map, but that’s not the only way. Oliver told her he had an alternative and he needed her help, but she refused to give Oliver the kind of help he requires. I am not an Amanda fan. She is very cavalier when it comes to people’s lives, and I don’t care that she claims it’s all for the greater good. Death and destruction should be the last resort after all other avenues have been exhausted. Especially when you’re talking about the lives of half a million innocent people.

It looks like Slade’s shenanigans have drawn Malcolm Merlyn out of hiding. I really wish The CW hadn’t spoiled his return in the previews for this episode, but oh well. Malcolm returned to save Thea from Slade’s soldiers attacking the train station, and he arrived just in the nick of time. Of course, Thea was none too happy to see him even though he had just saved her life. I can understand why she was upset, but the guy did just save your life Thea. At least hear him out. Malcolm’s return sets up an interesting angle for the show. First of all, everyone thinks Malcolm is dead so Oliver is probably going to freak out when he finds out that Malcolm survived. Second, I don’t think that Malcolm’s time in hiding has done anything to cure him of his insanity. And make no mistake about it, his grief drove him insane. Now that he’s got nothing left, that actually makes him more dangerous than he was before. Prior to The Undertaking, Malcolm worried about his name, his business, his son, etc. Now, he doesn’t have any of those things to worry about, and I don’t think the possibility of developing a relationship with Thea is going to be enough to keep Malcolm in line. He might be useful to help Team Arrow contain Slade’s soldiers, but I wouldn’t trust Malcolm over the long haul.

Vaya con dios, Sebastian Blood. Honestly, I can’t say that I’m sorry to see him go. Sebastian was under the impression that “his” soldiers answered to him, but he was never in control. Oliver tried to tell him that he was just a pawn in Slade’s game, but Sebastian honestly believed that he was saving the city. I wish I could say I feel sorry for him, but I really don’t. Not even a little bit. He had ample opportunity to see that the path he’d chosen was the wrong one, yet he continued to walk that path and many innocent people died because of his choices. He tried to redeem himself by giving Oliver the mirakuru cure, but by that point it was too late. He was beyond redemption as far as I’m concerned. But at least he did finally do the right thing, so I’ll give him that.

I enjoyed this episode, and I think it did a wonderful job of setting up the season finale. Team Arrow and their allies are going to have to face off against Team Slade, and it looks like it’s going to be one heck of a fight. At least Team Arrow has the mirakuru cure in their arsenal now, so they at least have a fighting chance. Slade Wilson has gone over the deep end, and Oliver needs to put a couple of arrows in his other eye. It’s pretty clear that Slade is too far gone when he said that Shado would’ve loved to watch Starling City burn. Given what we know of Shado, I think Slade is dead wrong about that. Shado would’ve been horrified to see what Slade has become, and she most certainly would not have been happy to witness the death and destruction Slade has caused. I’m excited to see what the season finale has in store because I expect it’s going to be pretty explosive. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?