Arrow TV Reviews

Arrow Brings Everything Full Circle in “Missing”

Shit just got real.

Forget about “Missing”’s endless hand-wringing over whether or not Oliver will finally accept the power/responsibility of maintaining close relationships and not pushing people away. Blah, blah, blah…that’s kind of Arrow’s bag, but don’t we all get it by now?

Forget about the increasing improbability of Adrian always being a million steps ahead of Oliver, this time pulling a Dark Knight/Skyfall the-villain-gets-caught-on-purpose-and-then-escapes-in-an-epic-action-scene move. He’s a Joker-in-The-Dark-Knight-level schemer and manipulator, but man does Oliver never seem to learn.

Forget about Curtis being knocked out. Again. After actually saying “I know karate” as if that means anything with him anymore.

Forget about Felicity having to buy a Green Arrow birthday cake meant for a 5-year-old because no Star City bakery would understand a request to make one for a grown man in his 30s.

Forget about Quentin and Black Siren’s conflict, or how it turns out not only had no one actually told him about Black Siren they hadn’t even explained the whole multiverse concept to him. Poor Quentin.

Forget about the tease of Oliver and Felicity maybe getting back together, or Curtis zinging her for wearing that cocktail dress to look nice for the birthday boy.

Forget about ARGUS again just being the worst at everything.

Forget about Yao Fei’s cameo, or the “time to start wrapping up this whole island flashback thing” device of forcing past-Oliver to remember all the bad things that happened to him on the island.

Forget about…how many times I’ve said “forget about” in this review so far. Yeah, sorry about that. I’m almost to my point, which is this:

Just ignore “Missing.” Not necessarily because it was all bad or forgettable. In fact, it was a perfectly solid table-setting penultimate episode of a season, albeit one dragged down by some groanworthy “let’s just spell everything out for the audience” dialogue. But, hey, that birthday cake joke was hilarious.

No, ignore the majority “Missing” because the only thing that truly matters at this very moment is the ending:

Slade Wilson is back!

Yeah, we already knew that from the trailer they released a couple of weeks ago.

Thank you, Barney. Yes, can we just please pretend like we didn’t already know Oliver was going to recruit Slade Wilson to join his a mini-Suicide Squad consisting of Malcolm and Nyssa. Because if you didn’t know this was coming Oliver’s desperation move of trying to enlist his greatest enemy to help defeat his current enemy is a solid way for Arrow to bring things full circle and tee up a must-watch season finale which suddenly has the feel of a series finale (even though we know it’s not since season 6 has long since been confirmed). Almost everyone is on the island now. Rene, Dinah and even William’s exact whereabouts remain a mystery, but everyone else is there, including season 1’s villain (Malcolm) and season 2’s (Slade). This will be a classic case of “it all ends where it began,” and for once Star City is completely out of the crosshairs. It all ends tonight.

Well, not tonight. That just seems like something someone would say in a situation like this. No, it all ends next Wednesday. What do you think is going to happen? Are you unswayed by Slade Wilson’s return considering how long it’s been since we’ve seen an actually compelling version of him? Or are you a bit more concerned at the moment with “Missing”‘s various strengths and weaknesses since I’ve largely ignored discussing it as an episode in favor of geeking out over what’s to come? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Scheduling update: The CW has announced Arrow season 6 will be moving to Thursday nights where it will air after Supernatural. It will be airing opposite Scandal (ABC), The Orville (Fox), Mom/Life in Pieces (CBS) and, pause for dramatic effect, This Is Us (NBC).
  2. “Hello, husband” – Oh, Nyssa. I’ve missed you.
  3. Of course Oliver didn’t tell Nyssa everything.
  4. We know of one person who won’t be back next season and probably won’t make it off that island alive.
  5. Oddly, there have been several Isabel Rochev references in the past two episodes. Setting something up? Simply tieing into the “let’s wrap up this 5-season journey” theme? Total coincidence? Isabel’s super dead, right? Chase didn’t somehow revive her for a season finale surprise. Right?
  6. What if when Oliver held that gun to Adrian’s head he had just shot him? What would have happened? Probably nothing good, but it would have least been one moment of Oliver doing something neither Adrian nor Talia saw coming. Adrian would have likely gone to his grave content in having broken Oliver, but, hey, his big evil plan hadn’t quite come together yet. He didn’t get to stick around and gloat.
  7. Nothing in the finale will likely make up for season 5’s criminal underutilization of Lexa Doig as Talia. When you’re lucky enough to cast Lexa Doig you should remember to use her, especially when her character is the secret mastermind behind everything.
  8. My theory is Black Siren lost her version of Quentin much as this Quentin lost his version of Laurel, thus her “you think this is easy for me.”


  1. –> “My theory is Black Siren lost her version of Quentin much as this Quentin lost his version of Laurel, thus her “you think this is easy for me.””

    Good call. I agree with you. In fact, I suspect HER Quentin did NOT love her on Earth 2. And her emotion in this ep was because she coveted how much THIS Quentin loved his Laura.

    I guess she’s going to be a series regular, so this will probably be the turning point for her to join Team Arrow.

    1. I couldn’t quite remember how much of Black Siren’s origin story was discussed earlier this season when she fought Oliver. I remember her talking to him about what happened to her Oliver, but I don’t recall her mentioning anything about her family. So, I wasn’t sure if I was forgetting something there, but my theory still stands that Siren’s path to the light side will be through some kind of relationsip with the man who looks like the father she lost on Earth-2. It just makes sense given her reactions to him in “Missing” as well as the sheer amount of dead parents lying behind superheroes and supervillains.

      And, yes, Katie Cassidy will be a full-blown series regular next season as will the actors who play Rene and Dinah. Don’t know how it’s going to work having two characters with the exact same powerset, but season 6 will have two Canaries. Well, probably still just the one since Earth-2 Laurel will likely still go with being called Black Siren. But you get my point.

    2. You’re kidding right? Earth-1 LAUREL’s Father treated her like trash the majority of the time, and ultimately got her killed, it’s the other way around.

  2. Was Dinah Drake chained up with the rest of Team Arrow? How about Mad Dog? I don’t recall seeing them?

    1. Neither Dinah nor Rene were in this episode. They were not chained up with the rest of the team. An extended trailer for the finale has revealed their whereabouts, but as for “Missing” they were two characters who were in fact completely MIA.

  3. I posted a rather long comment about how much I hated this episode, but it’s not showing up and it says it’s a duplicate if I try it again.

    I wonder if copying it here with extra commentary will work.

    Oh, my gosh! I’ve never HATED an Arrow episode before. This was the first — and for many of the reasons you stated. But mostly because it was so annoyingly repetitive!

    How many times do we have to watch Oliver confront his demons? While WE saw this most recent one after Oliver’s torture by Chase, it actually happened to Oliver long before the Chase incident. So for him, Chase’s event was essentially a repeat — thus not an earth shattering admission.

    Having us watch essentially the same thing, today, was pointless and extremely annoying.

    As you said, I don’t want to hear for the hundredth time that Chase is always 50 moves ahead.

    I’m also tired of the good guys stupidly transferring a prisoner, creating a perfect vulnerability for things to go wrong. Why not just leave a bad guy where he’s already secure?

    I don’t care that Oliver and Merlin weren’t KILLING the Argus guys, Arrows in the legs and shoulders isn’t something you can just say, “bygones” about. In any sane reality, Argus would be forced to punish Oliver for attacking so many of it’s army and for letting Chase go. And, “but he had my son!” is not an argument they would, should, or could accept.

    There was more I hated about this episode, but I can’t remember it all. I’d just as soon forget the entire thing.

    I did find it odd that Oliver seemed to only recruit Nissa. Shouldn’t she have brought her whole army? Maybe we’ll see them next week?

    Did this one show up?

    1. I’m sorry you had to re-post, but rest assured that this time it came through.

      Part of the reason I reviewed “Missing” the way I did is after doing this for 4 years now (I started reviewing at the start of season 2) I’ve just lost complete interest in Oliver having the same old debates over and over again, and “Missing” was especially awful and overly repetitive about that. So, for me with “Missing” I chose to celebrate the return of Slade and set-up of an epic-looking finale in favor of digging too deep into the script’s annoying heavy-handedness. At one point, Malcolm even joked about how stupid Oliver is for still having not learned how important it is to have loved ones in his life, and I wanted to applaud someone saying that to Oliver while also scolding the writers for putting Oliver into that situation in the first place.

      You’re not wrong about the prison transfer gone wrong – it’s a cliche which has reached a “it’s time to find a better way of doing this” breaking point.

      Really, Lyla has ample reason to seek out and imprison both Team Arrow and Team Flash at this point.

      I don’t think Nyssa has an army anymore. If I remember correctly, she disbanded the League. I get the impression that she’s on her own now, but didn’t realize how many of her former Assassins would join her sister because, really, where else are they going to go with those specific job skills.

  4. Dang Chase is just reeeally evil isn’t he? I like that he hasn’t gone down so easily but things are set up for a pretty exciting finale, ironically I’m pumped to see Slade bakc in action again, it’s been a while!

    1. To borrow a Mike Meyers joke, Chase is so evil you have to pronounce it “ev-el.” With him and the finale, the question now becomes whether or not he’ll have seen this Slade move coming. Chase has been a million steps ahead all season, but we’re in the finale now. Surely there’s something Oliver can do that Chase finally will not see coming.

      1. haha yeah the show could easily veer into making him a bit too cunning which sort of loses realism, makes him seem like an evil genius. I think Slade might be the one thing he didn’t see coming and he’ll be stumped, should be an exciting finale whatever happens.

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