Arrow: “Darkness on the Edge of Town” Season 1 Episode 22 Review

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Merlyn’s plans to destroy the Glades with an earthquake device began to take shape, and just about every major character is involved.

The episode started with Merlyn acting as the Dark Archer and killing the scientists responsible for his device. Quentin is hot on his trail, while Roy and Thea investigate the copycat to get closer to the real vigilante.


Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity are investigating Moira after Walter’s return home. In a brilliant twist, Diggle captures Oliver and his mother, posing as Arrow to get information out of Moira. He succeeds and she tells him, and consequently Oliver, everything.

So what does Team Arrow do next? Infiltrate Merlyn’s company. This unexpectedly led to a brief confrontation between Oliver and Tommy. “Why so serious?” Tommy asks in a clear reference to The Dark Knight. But is it just a reference, or could Tommy become Arrow’s Joker?

On his way out, Oliver gets distracted by Merlyn, right when Felicity gets in trouble. Diggle comes to her rescue in a hilarious scene that once again showed why Felicity was such a good addition to the team. Too bad her hacking abilities are traceable, and Detective Lance figured out who she is.

In the closing minutes, Arrow confronted Merlyn as Diggle tried to find the device. But Malcolm his it somewhere else, and then reveals his identity to Arrow, and once again, defeats him in combat. It’s another excellent fight, and it really helped build the tension for next week.

The only character not directly tied to the Undertaking at the moment is Laurel. But she did get all tied up with Oliver this week. Yes, the show’s star couple is back together, and it will hopefully all work out. Although Tommy is definitely becoming evil sooner rather than later.

The last little tidbit is Walter divorcing Moira, which is fine, they were kind of a boring subplot anyway.

Meanwhile, the island is reaching a bit of a climax as well. Fyers is going to use the missiles to destroy a Chinese plane, decimating the country’s economy. No, it doesn’t make sense, but at least we’re getting somewhere here. I am conflicted, however, that time is being spent on this rather than the excellent present day climax. The divide in attention feels odd. But the mystery villain certainly has me intrigued. Could she be a season two baddie?

There was also the shocking death of Yao Fei, Oliver’s island guide since the beginning. But I suppose these island characters have to go somewhere.

The wait for next week is going to be difficult. A lesser show would have put this as the finale with an extra five minutes of wrap-up. But Arrow built tension in a startling new way in this fun, action-packed episode. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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