TV - Arrow Season 3, Episode 12

Arrow

Steve Taylor-Bryant watches the explosion of rage as the fighting gets out of hand in The Glades in Uprising…

"Arsenal? What, are you guys just picking names out of a hat now?"

Uprising sees Brick complete his takeover of The Glades. The police have gone and only masked heroes can stop him now. After gaining some information from Captain Lance, possibly the only man in law enforcement that wanted to stay in The Glades, Felicity finds a link between Brick now and an event 21 years ago that changed the face of Starling City forever. The ballistics report showed that the weapon that Brick favours is the same gun that killed Rebecca Merlyn and set Malcolm on the devastating course he has been on for the past two decades.

TeamArrow are vastly outnumbered and about to meet their end at Brick’s hand when Malcolm, as the Dark Archer, steps in and rescues them. He comes to the ArrowCave and offers to team up with Diggle, Felicity, Arsenal and Black Canary and after, Roy passionately puts his case forward for including Merlyn, it is decided that they will find another way.

That other way is pretty much a full scale riot. Roy drags in Sin and her friends, Laurel returns to Ted Grant/Wildcat and tasks him with helping, and a huge face-off occurs on the streets on Starling City. Brick is confronted in an alleyway by Malcolm Merlyn in full Archer garb and taunts the dark one with comments about how weak his wife was and how she begged for mercy. Just as Merlyn is about to do what Merlyn does best, Arrow is back and talks him out of it, leaving Brick at the mercy of Captain Lance as the police come back into the district.

Not all is good though, as Oliver explains to his friends that he is teaming up with Merlyn to be trained in the ways of The League of Assassins so, when the time comes, he can defeat Ra’s Al Ghul, a fact not welcomed by Felicity.

The episode also showed Oliver as he left his hiding spot and made his way back to Starling, and we got great insight into how Malcolm Merlyn went from successful businessman to cold-blooded killer through some flashbacks of his own. The look back at Merlyn’s life showed a young Tommy and Merlyn, before he could even throw a punch, going after the hoodlum he believed was responsible for Rebecca’s murder, THIS is the fact he got wrong that changed the whole course of his life and everything that occurred in the city afterwards.

I don’t normally mention directors when I write about television shows, as they tend to all be similar in style to not distract across such a long season but this week Jesse Warn seemed to add something a little extra to the show. There was a big screen feel to the action and the darkness of the storyline seemed to be reflected on the screen, which all added a tension normally reserved for the writers’ room. John Barrowman as Malcolm also had a lot more to do and, as he showed us all sides of his character, he stole the screen, a hard task considering Arrow’s return but he did. Every move and twist in Malcolm’s tale became essential and was played out by an actor that really needs to have his own show.

Spot on story, superb action, great emotions and twists. It’s been a while since Arrow was this good.

Image - IMDb.