In this installment of Arrow, we get to pick things up in the aftermath of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) having made her return from the grave common knowledge. With Sara’s return comes certain elements of tension and awkwardness. To start things off, when Oliver (Stephen Amell), Diggle (David Ramsey) and Sara are comparing war wounds in a Jaws-esque fashion, poor tech-whiz Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) feels a tad left inadequate. This sense of inadequacy is only heightened further when William Tockman (Robert Knepper), aka DC’s Clock King, manages to mastermind a heist and corrupt the computer system of the Arrow-cave. Poor IT tekkers, Felicity.
Whilst the Arrow team are doing their best to track down Clock King and rid him of the skeleton key now in his possession – which just so happens to be able to open any bank in the world – away from the hoods and masks, we find the Lance family looking to deal with Sara’s return. In recent weeks, it seemed as if Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance was starting to develop nicely again, particularly when her character was given some meat on its bones during her interactions with Kevin Alejandro’s Sebastian Blood. Don’t get your hopes up too much, though, as Laurel falls back into the habit of being an unlikeable, bland dick again in Time of Death. Is anyone else tired of seeing Laurel’s half-arsed fall into alcoholism and drug use? By no means are we championing alcoholism and drug use, but having one glass of red wine and an expensive martini does not make one a raging Oliver Reed. Laurel constantly being depicted as being at rock-bottom purely because of a glass of red wine and a paracetemol wore thin several episodes ago.
Away from Starling City, this week’s flashback to Oliver’s time on the island sees Ollie, Sara and Slade (Manu Bennett) working out ways to attack the ship that Dr. Ivo (Dylan Neal) has stationed nearby. Just to interrupt their thought process, a small plane is shot down and crashes near the group. With his dying wish, the pilot makes a tie to Sara Lance that is linked to where we find the modern-day Canary.
A big theme throughout this episode is that of dirty little secrets. It appears that Ollie has some (clearly), as does Sara, and as does Dinah Lance (Alex Kingston). It makes for interesting viewing, although the biggest secret is left until the last few seconds of Time of Death. Whilst not particularly a secret as such, it most definitely is a big reveal. Let’s just say, Oliver becomes acquainted with an old friend.
Overall, Time of Death delivers another stellar episode of Arrow. We get to see a different side to Felicity Smoak, as she battles to prove her worth to the Arrow team, and we get introduced to yet-another DC villain. The Clock King proves entertaining and interesting, with plenty of potential, although he doesn’t reach the creepy heights of the Dollmaker from earlier in the season.
Even though Time of Death has a clear villain at the centre of it, it’s with the very human characters that the episode thrives. Dirty secrets are revealed, in various ways, and this episode of Arrow clearly shifts the focus back to the real-life personalities on show rather than the masked vigilantes. And whilst the episode may have one or two slight plot holes, the finale will have you, yet again, gasping with intrigue and excitement.
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