Arrow 1.18, “Salvation” Review

Rating: As abrupt as Helena’s return was in last weeks episode, just as quickly did her character disappear without a...

Edan Nissen

Contributor

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Rating: ★★★★☆

As abrupt as Helena’s return was in last weeks episode, just as quickly did her character disappear without a trace again. This week, the show went back to it’s usual juggled format which suits the multiple story line layout much better than the single story line domination of last weeks episode. This week’s episode had a mix of story lines in different levels of development. The main plot line for the episode was the rise of a vigilante calling himself the “Savior” who was coming from the Glades, this overlapped with a continuation of the plot between Roy and Thea, whose relationship continues to blossom as the back and forth as Thea tries to “reform” Roy. Meanwhile, there is a continuation of the Lance family quest to track down Sarah, who they believe also survived the accident aboard the Queen’s Gambit. This episode also reveals more of what happened with Oliver on the Island, taking the standoff between Fyres and Oliver to a new level. Finally, there was a continuation of Oliver’s mother, Moira, and the attempted assassination of Malcolm Merlyn.

In this episode, Oliver faces a “bad guy” that is not dissimilar to the vigilante, as a matter of fact. the first target of the “Saviour” was on Oliver’s list as well. Kidnapping a landlord, named John Nickel, who had been responsible for shoddy buildings, just before Oliver was about to have a conversation with the land lord. The disappearance of Nickel, worries Oliver, as he explains to Felicity that others don’t show “the same restraint that I do”. Oliver’s fears are proven after Felicity finds the kidnapper has posted a video online to every screen with an IP address from the Glades. Next, “The Savior” targets an associate DA, and starts to reveal personal information about his crusade. Oliver becomes frustrated as the team lets him down, unable to save the DA, despite tracking the feed. These events mark a distinct return back to Oliver as the Green Arrow, as a stark contrast from the last few episodes in which he seems to have had other priorities. Oliver’s role as the Green Arrow and his fathers list seems to link everything that the show has going well for it. The list connects Oliver to his main goal, the whole point of his survival on the Island and the main reason he is trying to redeem Starling City from a fate destined to it. The return of the true Green Arrow is a welcome return, and the story line benefits from it.

At the same time, Thea continues her crusade with Roy, attempting to reform the “bad boy” into a functioning member of society. However, after Thea finds out that Roy plans to rob a liquor store, using a gun, Thea storms out on Roy, upset that despite her best efforts he continues to go back to his life of crime and theft. Thea has a change of heart, and decides to return to Roy, after some uninspiring council from Laurel. Only for him to be kidnapped just as they reunite, taken by “The Savior”. Thea rushes to the club and finds Tommy and Oliver, begging them to help her find Roy. Tommy recognizes Roy and Thea’s appearance with Roy’s face on the screen petrifies her. Oliver finally manages to track down the alternative vigilante, after they discover that he is using the subway line, discovering Roy and saving him. Confronting the vigilante, who professes that they are both trying to save the Glades, by punishing those who are doing wrong. Oliver kills the vigilante, as he prepares to kill Roy. As Thea is distressed at the club, Roy texts her, and they re-unite at the club, seemingly finalizing their relationship to being officially together, much to Oliver’s chagrin.

In the Lance family story line, Laurel’s parents re-unite in their determination to find Laurel’s sister Sarah. Laurel seems disappointed that her parents have such high hopes of finding her sister. Laurel confesses to hoping that her father would damped her mothers spirits. However, seemingly with the renewed spirit of her parents, Laurel chases down the girl in the photo to find out that she has come back to America. After following a lead, and getting the contact details from a friend that works in the agency, Laurel managed to contact the girl in the photo. However, it turns out that it isn’t Sarah and Quenten loses the faith that he regained. Then, when it seems like the story line is over, it delivers another twist for the episode, in that Laurel’s mother Dinah admitted to seeing Sarah packing before going on the Queen’s Gambit and advised her to leave, following her heart. The story line was fantastic, and the addition of Dinah to the Lance family cast in the show was a nod to the fans of the comic book series. It’s almost a shame they seemed to burst the bubble of Sarah’s return so soon, but I feel like that won’t be the last we hear from the Lance family and the possibility Sarah survived the accident only to return to Starling city later in either the season, or in future seasons.

On the Island, Oliver, Slade and Fyres are set for their trade of the chip for the missile launcher in exchange for free passage off the Island. However, Fyres double crosses Oliver and Slade, saying that he is changing the deal, the chip in exchange for Yao Fei’s daughter, Shado, whom Fyres had kidnapped to compel Yao Fei to do his bidding for him, unbeknownst to Oliver, who had been unsure of why Yao Fei had sold Oliver out to Fyres earlier. Slade and Oliver refuse the change of the deal, and before Fyre’s men can kill Shado, she beats up one of the soldiers, before assaulting Fyres. The group escapes, but not before Yao Fei is shot. After they escape once again from Fyres, they return to where they hid the chip, only to discover that it was missing, deducing that Fyre’s had men combing the island for it. Then Shado reveals to Oliver and Slade that she knows what Fyres has planned for the rocket launchers, and why he doesn’t want people on the mainland to find out. This promises an exciting build up to the end of the first season.

Finally, the episode had a connection to the plot of Moira to have Malcolm Merlyn, who had put Moire in charge of the investigation to find which member of the group had betrayed Merlyn. Seemingly unbeknownst to Merlyn, it was actually Moira who betrayed him. However, knowing Merlyn’s character would say that he knows pretty well that Moira was the one who tried to have him assassinated and is now torturing her. However, the plot allowed for the Black Archer, who is actually Merlyn to return and kill Moira’s accomplice. With the build up towards the season finale, the return of the Black Arrow, begs for an exciting run to the finale.