Arrow: “Uprising” Season 3 Episode 12 Review

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Wow. What an episode! Arrow pulled off the climax to this small Brick arc with an episode that ranks among the show’s best.

“Uprising” was, plain and simple, a celebration of superheroes and how they inspire us to step up and do what’s right. The reach of Oliver Queen has never felt longer. The episode begins with this still-broken man starting his journey back to Starling City. There’s a new threat to the Glades, where Oliver’s journey initially started, in the form of Brick. In Oliver’s absence, the new heroes of Starling must use what they’ve learned to take down this threat.

But who would have thought that one of the city’s new heroes would be Malcolm Merlyn. In a classic bit of comic book melodrama, Merlyn discovers that Brick was the man that actually killed his wife 20 years ago. He approaches Team Arrow to work together to bring him down after getting Roy and Laurel out of a sticky situation.

A lot of “Uprising” is Merlyn’s journey to test himself to see if he’s truly a killer, or if cruel circumstances justifiably corrupted him all those years ago. The drama created here within Team Arrow and, more interestingly, Thea was well-played. The flashbacks to the night of his wife’s murder were also key in bringing back some humanity in Arrow’s arch-nemesis.

Meanwhile, in the Arrow Cave, the team knows they don’t have the numbers to stop Brick. But as Laurel puts it, to save a town, you need the town. She and Roy recruit the top fighters in the Glades, finally giving us the return of Sin, not to mention Wildcat in costume. Having these side-characters around truly made the battle feel like Starling City was fighting to save itself. Even down to the green arrow flying in to stop a man in his tracks. Guess whose back.

Merlyn manages to corner Brick, pointing a gun to his head, and that’s when we see Oliver back in costume for the first time. Arrow didn’t even have an on-screen action scene this week, instead displaying heroism through reason by convincing Merlyn to let Brick live.

Next thing we know, Arrow is giving a speech to the city thanking it for fighting for him in his time of absence. If I have one complaint about “Uprising”, it’s that for all the great work the episodes since the New Year did on Roy and Laurel, these two should have had a bigger hand in the fight.

But we’re at the halfway point of the season, so there will be plenty more fights for Arrow, Arsenal, and Canary to fight before they face the ultimate challenge of Ra’s al Ghul. Overall, this was one of the most tense and rewarding episodes Arrow has ever produced. With great character moments all-around and some seriously stunning action, this is the type of story we would expect toward the end of the season. That fact makes me only more excited for what’s coming. Grade: A-


Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– Young Oliver and Tommy in Merlyn’s flashbacks were so precious!

– So everyone else was reminded of The Dark Knight Rises when the hero and villain armies charged at each other, right?

– Emily Bett Rickards was on fire tonight as Felicity.

– Laurel: “Danny Brickwell.”
Roy: “You have failed this city.”
So many chills.


By Matt Dougherty


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