Arrow: “City of Blood” Season 2 Episode 21 Review

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Clearly last week’s mega-shock was just the beginning.

City of Blood was one of the most finely constructed episodes of the show yet. Giving just about every character their moment while building toward what is sure to be an epic finale, this episode ranks among Arrow‘s best. And Slade Wilson didn’t even appear.

We begin with the simultaneous event of Moira’s funeral and Sebastian Blood being sworn in as mayor of Starling City. Everyone shows up at the funeral, including Blood and Isabel, except for Oliver. With he and Sara missing, Diggle and Felicity enlist the help of Amanda Waller to find their fallen hero.

Meanwhile, Laurel is back on Blood’s case, doing everything she can to find a link between him and Moira’s death. Talking to her father, Laurel gets some strong character moments in the early parts of this episode. She and Thea appear to have switched places for “Most Annoying Character”.

Once Oliver shows up, carrying the guilt of his mother’s death, it seems he is ready to turn himself over the Slade. What a shock then that on his way, he gets hit with a sleeper dart and carried back to his lair only to find Laurel. I appreciate the writers for waiting until the right moment to show Oliver that Laurel knows his secret. This way it packed a serious punch. Laurel has some words for her friend too, which were not too different from what Oliver said to her when she was drinking.

Oliver does what a superhero is supposed to do: dusts himself off and puts the hood back on. Laurel has made him aware of Blood’s involvement, and he intends to go after him.

Unfortunately, Blood is wielding Slade’s super army. You know a superhero story is good when you remove yourself for a second and think “wait, just how the hell are they going to stop this?”. Based on the Arrow’s fight with just one of these men, his efforts aren’t going to be enough. Although Laurel had a nice moment in the fight.

But as Oliver realizes the gravity of the situation, Blood’s army moves in on Starling City. The train station, police headquarters, and just the streets in general are all compromised. This, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be epic.

Does it get better? Of course it does! Diggle has a lovely little run-in with Isabel. She’s in full Deathstroke garb and wielding two swords. The next two episodes are all about the showdown this entire season has been building toward.

The island flashbacks are heading their too, as Oliver and Sara prepare for their final assault on Slade’s ship. While the end here is pretty obvious, it’ll be interesting to see how well it ties into the present.

City of Blood felt like a set-up for a grand finale. The good news is that there are still two episodes left. With shocking twist and turns, gripping drama, and the best superheroics on TV, Arrow looks to be finishing its sophomore season stronger than ever before. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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