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.
- 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).
- “Hello, husband” – Oh, Nyssa. I’ve missed you.
- Of course Oliver didn’t tell Nyssa everything.
- We know of one person who won’t be back next season and probably won’t make it off that island alive.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”