In what’s been dubbed the second of a three-part finale to Arrow’s Season 2, everything is aligned here to give the show a send-off worthy of a fantastic year. We open with the Arrow (Stephen Amell) in a similar position to how he found himself in the Season 1 finale; covered in rubble and searching for somebody close to him. Elsewhere, Diggle (David Ramsey) faces off against the back-from-the-dead Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau), as Starling City is being brought to its knees by the mirakuru-enhanced army of Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett).
As Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) comes to Diggle’s aid, Oliver has to give a crash course in archery to the trapped Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). With seemingly no end in sight for the destruction being caused by Slade’s army of Jason Voorhees-esque bodies, there is one chance at saving the day: a mirakuru cure that has been devised by S.T.A.R. Labs. The only problem is, will the cure reach Team Arrow or will it be intercepted by one of Wilson’s roided-up soldiers.
Keeping us up to speed with the other notable names of the show, we see Thea’s (Willa Holland) daddy issues come to a head, Mayor Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro) use his charms and powers of manipulation on those working above him and alongside him, and we get the return of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) as the Canary. And all of these happenings are going on whilst Starling City is in ruins.
When his superior realises that Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorn) may not have been totally wrong in his belief that the Arrow isn’t a completely bad egg, Lance is given his balls and badge back. Enter Detective Lance, once more. As Det. Lance quips, “We’ve got masks tearing apart our city, and we’re gonna need a mask to stop ‘em.” Yep, it seems like, left with no other alternative, the law is seeking assistance from the once-hunted vigilante now known as the Arrow.
In Streets of Fire, Starling City is just as effective and important as any of its inhabitants. Giving off a vibe of an almost No Man’s Land-era Batman tale, death and destruction are the order of the day for Starling City, and man does it make for entertaining TV. In amongst the carnage and larger-than-life characters, there is also Felicity Smoak. Here she is more key than ever, largely for her inspiration, charm and innocence. When Oliver Queen feels like there is truly no way to stop the carnage that is in front of him, Felicity offers him hope and belief… and all from the standpoint of a mere normal (alright, tech geek) civilian in this world littered with extra-special beings.
As well as finding inspiration from Felicity, Oliver also finds an unlikely ally in the vein of the old “keep your friends close and your enemies even closer” adage. Unfortunately for Ollie et al, though, Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is now back on the scene, and her thoughts on saving Starling City are not in line with what Team Arrow has in mind. Then there’s Slade. Bennett again huskily devours every line of dialogue thrown his way, and his role here is relatively minimal ahead of what is sure to be an explosive confrontation with Oliver Queen in next week’s season finale. It’s also got to the point where it’s a little odd to see Slade with two eyes when we’re taken back to the island via the form of the show’s flashback scenes. And we’ve got a feeling that maybe, just maybe, those two eyes aren’t going to be kept intact for too much longer.
So here we have it, the finale’s scene has been set. Starling City is going to the dogs, Slade Wilson has an unstoppable army and wants to kill the person who Oliver loves the most, the Arrow needs the help and numbers of any assistance available to him (trust us, help is coming in a big way), and the very same promise that the Arrow made at the start of Season 2 may just have to be broken at the end of the same season. Yes, as the tagline for the season finale reads, “Kill or be killed.”
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