Arrow, S3 Ep12 – Uprising

“Uprising” aims to conclude Arrow‘s current Brick-centric storyline, while shining a huge spotlight on Malcolm Merlyn and continuing to showcase Team Arrow well while Ollie still recovers from his battle with Ra’s al Ghul. Judging from the promos released prior, “Uprising” seemed to promise an epic final showdown between the citizens of The Glades and Brick’s army of criminals, but the climax didn’t really hit the mark. Still, there was a decent chunk of good ideas and progressions to come out of “Uprising” regardless of its lackluster conclusion.


Merlyn Seeks Revenge

The revelation that Brick was the true murderer of Malcolm Merlyn’s wife is way too convenient for the plot, but the story allowed for some interesting scenes involving Merlyn. Rather than taking us back to Hong Kong, Arrow brings us 21 years into the past to show us Merlyn’s secret origin. Overall, his origin was pretty straightforward and by the books, but actor John Barrowman does a decent job portraying a father/husband hellbent on revenge for the death of his wife. If Merlyn didn’t already murder hundreds of Starling City citizens during his undertaking and didn’t force Thea into murdering Sara, he may be considered a sympathetic character. Still, those past actions loom over him and as much as Arrow tries to redeem Merlyn I’m not sure if his redemption will ever feel welcomed.

Merlyn’s vendetta against Brick makes for a good reason for him and Team Arrow to cooperate together in order to take him down, but considering how much a team-up would weigh down on the team’s morality I’m glad to see it never came to be. Out of the four, Felicity brings up the best argument for not working with him. Yes, Merlyn saved Thea during Deathstroke’s attack on the city and yes, all of Merlyn’s actions have evolved from the love of his family for the most part, but he is still a murderer who caused the death of hundreds, including Sara.

While Ollie didn’t make it to Starling City until the very end of the episode, prior to his reemergence he shared some decent scenes with Tatsu. I love seeing actress Rila Fukushima deliver more dialogue and seeing the character progress, but I really want Arrow to bring Tatsu more into the forefront, especially since she is an amazing and pivotal character in Green Arrow’s comic book history. Unfortunately, judging from their final scene together and the fact that she doesn’t tag along with Arrow in Starling City to fight beside him, we won’t be seeing her suiting up and fighting criminals any time soon. The reason for her becoming a hermit and her husband becoming a member of the League of Assassins have not been revealed, but at this point I think it’s pretty obvious their son was killed back in Hong Kong. I kind of wish Arrow would just tell us what happened already.

The conclusion of Arrow sees Team Arrow team up with the citizen’s of The Glades against Brick and his army. Even Ted Grant makes an appearance in his Wildcat get-up. As stated previously, the climax wasn’t as thrilling as I expected it to be and the stakes didn’t seem that high as Brick’s henchmen weren’t even using the guns they were holding.

Overall, Team Arrow manages well during the fight without Ollie’s assistance, but Ollie still manages to make an appearance towards the end. He doesn’t contribute much to the fight, but he does convince Merlyn to not murder Brick when he has the drop on him. Afterwards, he just delivers a cheesy inspiring speech to the citizens of The Glades and then zip-lines away.


Team Arrow starts an “Uprising”

My major issue with “Uprising” concerns Ollie’s final decision to take Merlyn on as his Mentor, so he will be able to take down Ra’s al Ghul. I realize Ollie is desperate to take down Ra’s and this act is a direct result to the advice Tatsu gave him, but aligning himself with Merlyn, the man who murdered his former and teammate lover Sara Lance, just seems wrong. I just hope this isn’t another step in the redemption of Merlyn as he is truly irredemable.

While I disagreed with Ollie’s decision, it made for an intense and heartbreaking discussion between him and Felicity. I really enjoyed seeing Felicity tell him off and tell him she didn’t want to be a woman he loves, since the man he’s allying himself with has hurt/killed two of the women he’s loved. Felicity deserves better than Ollie. At this point I can’t see her teaming up with him going forth.

Overall, “uprising” was a fine episode. While I enjoyed the Merlyn scenes and seeing more of Laurel and Roy suiting up together and taking down criminals, the conclusion that these three episodes were leading up to was a bit anti-climatic. I’m looking forward to seeing how much Ollie’s decision strains his relationship with his cohorts and I’m concerned for the relationship between Laurel and her father. In “Uprising” Sin makes a reappearance and after seeing the new Canary firsthand she gives Lance confirmation that that isn’t Sara under the mask. The moment I’ve been dreading since early in the season may be finally upon us as Detective Lance may finally learn the truth.

Next week Count Vertigo is back and he’s setting his sights on Laurel. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Canaries” and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Uprising” in the comments.

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