Set a few weeks after Brick and his ruffians take over the Glades, Team Arrow take a stand this week in order to unite the people and take back the city. Meanwhile, Lance suspects a secret is being hidden, and Oliver makes his slow return home…
As suggested in the title, an uprising takes place as Laurel, Roy, Diggle and Felicity unite the Glades in order to fight against Brick and his criminal gang. It’s clear that Laurel is improving week by week, and now takes down just as many baddies as Roy; I always love a good team-up, so seeing the people of the Glades – including Sin – unite to reclaim their city was pretty awesome. The Arrow himself makes a welcome appearance, as he swoops in just in time to stop a very angry and distraught Merlyn standing over Brick with a gun.
Love him or hate him, Merlyn makes an excellent anti-hero/righteous villain. This week the spotlight shines on his backstory as we see a younger Merlyn spiralling into a rage after the murder of his wife, Rebecca. We also get flashbacks of a young Tommy who is, as always, charming. A small scene shows Tommy and Oliver speaking at Rebecca’s funeral and it’s enough to melt your heart. Can we petition for an episode of just baby Tommy and baby Oliver running around mischievously and playing superheroes? It’d be perfect.
After finding out in the present that it was in fact Brick who murdered his wife, Merlyn attempts to kill the crime lord, only hesitating when Oliver demands he think of Thea, who swears he is a changed man. Thankfully, Merlyn listens to reason and shows the first signs of true remorse and guilt for his actions. He even promises to train Oliver in fighting against Ra’s al Ghul. Oliver is also warned by Tasu that he will have to sacrifice the things that are precious to him if he is to become someone who can take on Ra’s al Ghul and win. Surely he’s given up enough already though?
My heart breaks for our wounded, green vigilante in this episode. The poor guy’s been stabbed with a sword, kicked off a cliff, and now he has to deal with making tough choices and receiving only verbal slaps in return. Yes, Oliver does indeed return to Starling City, and makes an epic hero speech to the people before returning to his friends in the Arrow cave. But what occurs afterwards left most viewers shocked, sad or angry; or all of the above.
When Oliver returns and unites with his friends, he announces his plans to train with Merlyn until he can take on Ra’s al Ghul. He’s met with silence. And more silence. And eventually harsh words and protests, especially from Felicity, whose anger seems to erupt out of nowhere. We soon learn that her anger goes a bit deeper, as she had hoped that Oliver would want things between them to change should he return alive.
A little mystery arises with Lance, who thanks to Sin’s observations during the fight, notices that Sara wasn’t the one dressed up in the Canary outfit. I don’t think I can handle the idea of Lance finding out alone, and then realising he has been lied to and kept in the dark for so long.
In conclusion: the second half of season three is breaking my heart.