Arrow S2 Ep22 – Streets of Fire

Arrow S2 Ep22 - Streets of Fire

“City of Blood”, last week’s episode of Arrow, ended on several cliffhangers. Detective Lance was in the middle of an assault on the Starling City Police Department. Diggle’s life was threatened by Isabel Rochev. Felicity received an urgent call from S.T.A.R. Labs. Ollie and Laurel were left trapped under rubble. Thea was held up at the train station while it was overrun by Slade’s soldiers. All of this occurred as Slade’s Mirakuru-infused army marched on to Starling City. “Street of Fire” picks up directly after, and as the title suggests, Starling City has never been in worse shape.

Arrow S2 Ep22 - Streets of Fire

Laurel wields Ollie’s bow

Thankfully, most of the dilemmas the characters faced by the end of “City of Blood” were solved almost immediately. With some grenades, Detective Lance is able to take out the one soldier ripping the police precinct to shreds. Diggle is able to fight off Rochev, but would’ve met his end if Felicity hadn’t driven her van into Rochev. Ollie and Laurel escape their predicament unscathed as Laurel fires an explosive arrow using Ollie’s bow. Lastly, Thea is rescued from Slade’s soldiers by none other than her own father, Malcolm Merlyn. More on that later.

This episode had a lot going on, but tied everything together very well. Team Arrow spends the majority of the episode fighting off Slade’s soldiers and trying to get the cure for the Mirakuru. The call Felicity received at the end of “City of Blood” was a call from S.T.A.R. Labs saying they completed the cure. Unfortunately, due to the chaos in the streets of Starling City, the man transporting the cure gets into a car accident. Slade’s soldiers get to him and the cure before Team Arrow even comes close. Meanwhile, Blood sits in his office waiting for the destruction to cease so his city can begin to pick up the pieces and come back stronger. He then realizes Slade doesn’t want a city to remain at all, which goes against Blood’s plans completely. Blood is then given a pinch of redemption as he steals the Mirakuru cure from Slade and returns it to Team Arrow. Still, even this single noble act isn’t enough for Blood to be redeemed, so no tears were shed for him when Rochev eventually kills him for betraying their cause.

Laurel, who ended up leaving Team Arrow so they may finish saving the city, comes across her sister Sara in full Canary attire. Sara hadn’t been seen since “Seeing Red”.  Where she was we never find out. It was a nice moment seeing Laurel say Sara’s name, revealing she knows the truth about Sara. Sara opens up to Laurel about how she’s not the person she once was, still feeling guilty about being an assassin. I enjoyed Laurel’s reassuring speech about the name the League of Assassins gave her, and was glad to see Sara finally consider herself a hero as she saves a child from a burning building. Even though those scenes were cliche at best I still found joy in them, and hope this leads to a less mean and vengeful Sara and a more heroic and hopeful one.

Back at the precinct, Detective Lance tells his superior about how he knows Sebastian Blood has been behind Starling City’s destruction all along, and the only person who can help them is The Arrow. I was happy to see the police finally give in and agree to work with the so-called vigilante, realizing he is trying to save the city. While this turn of events was well received it didn’t really lead up to much. We never actually see anything that resembles the two forces working together. We just know the police will try and help any way they can and will stay out of The Arrow’s way if need be. I was very glad to see Lance get promoted back to his old position as Detective. He’s been a beat cop for the whole season and was only referred to as Detective Lance by Team Arrow. Now they can say it and mean it.

Arrow S2 Ep22 - Streets of Fire

Malcolm Merlyn returns to Starling City

Now, I wish the big reveal that Malcolm Merlyn returned to Starling City was more of a surprise, but it was unfortunately spoiled in the promo for the episode. Still, Merlyn’s return was a great addition to “Streets on Fire”. Merlyn may have been last season’s diabolical villain that destroyed The Glades, but you can’t help but love him. Maybe that’s partially due to seeing John Barrowman (Doctor Who) in the role. Him returning to Starling City after Moira Queen’s death makes perfect sense. The last time he and Moira spoke, she had threatened him by basically saying she would inform Ra’s al Ghul of his return. Ra’s al Ghul, the leader of the League of Assassins who hasn’t actually been seen on screen yet, might have a grudge against Merlyn.

With Moira now out of the picture, Merlyn is able to get what he wants: his daughter, Thea. For the majority of their scenes together Merlyn is fighting off Slade’s soldiers while trying to convince Thea to come with him to safety. Unsurprisingly, Thea refuses. Their story ends with Thea firing a gun at Merlyn. Merlyn is left off screen when this happens so it’s easy to assume that she didn’t actually shoot him or she may have even shot an enemy behind him. We’ll have to wait until next week to see what happened to him, but personally, I really hope he doesn’t die. Merlyn is a worthy adversary for Ollie and an amazing villain that should continue to have recurring appearances as the show goes on.

Thanks to the season two episode “Suicide Squad”, we got an idea of just how ruthless Amanda Waller is when she was willing to destroy an entire house of civilians to get rid of one super weapon. In “Streets of Fire”, she does the same thing but on a much larger scale. She orders her A.R.G.U.S. soldiers to block off any exits leading out of Starling City and plans to level the entire city to make sure none of Slade’s soldiers make it out to wreak havoc on the rest of the country. Ollie convinces her to hold off, believing that he can still save the city with the Mirakuru cure. She gives him a time frame to get the job done, but if he doesn’t she has no gripes against destroying the city. The episode concludes with Ollie testing out the cure on an unconscious Roy to see if it works. We’ll find out in the next episode whether or not it did the trick. I’m pretty sure it will.

Overall, “Streets of Fire” was a highly enjoyable penultimate episode. There was plenty of action and all the characters had something to do, including Diggle and Felicity. Felicity even gives a great, inspirational speech to Ollie that allows him to keep on fighting. The addition of John Barrowman as Merlyn was refreshing and Cynthia Addai-Robinson continues to prove herself to be an amazing Amanda Waller. Not much went on in the island scenes in this episode, except for some nice exchanges between Ollie and his Russian friend, Anatoli. I’m still bothered that there’s no tension in the flashback scenes since we know both Ollie and Sara make it back to Starling City alive, so I was glad there weren’t too many of these scenes this time around.

The stakes have been raised higher than they ever were before. While last season’s finale had the threat of The Glades’ destruction hanging over the character’s heads, next week’s season finale we’ll see Team Arrow attempt to save the entire city. How will they ever defeat Slade and his army and get the city back to normal? SPOILER ALERT! Based on the promo for Arrow‘s upcoming season finale, “Unthinkable”, it seems that Nyssa al Ghul will return to Starling City along with the League of Assassins to assist Team Arrow in their battle against Slade’s army. Additionally, Roy will be up and ready to fight in full Arsenal attire. It looks like it’s going to be one epic final showdown. Check out the promo for “Unthinkable” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Streets of Fire” in the comments.


Watch “Streets of Fire” on Amazon Instant Video.

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