Well, I thought a Merlyn was going to die, but I thought it would be Malcolm and not Tommy. It wasn’t until Tommy rushed into the building to save Laurel that I knew Tommy would be a goner. While I’m a little disappointed because I was hoping they would go down the road of Oliver killing Malcolm and Tommy taking over his father’s cause and therefore putting the once BFF’s as mortal enemies, it also makes sense that they did it this way. Tommy became a pretty disposable character later in the season. There were times it seemed he was on-screen just because the writers felt like they had to. Not to pull out the whole crossroads speech but the character of Tommy did come to a crossroad (especially once he found out about Oliver being the Hood.) He could align with Oliver and fight the “bad guys” of Starling City or align with his father and fight the revenge fight with his dad and become one of the “bad guys.” Neither one of these were going to happen. Oliver already has his band of trusted side kicks in Diggle and Felicity so he really doesn’t need someone else at this point. And Tommy always struggled with his feelings about his father only recently being on good terms with him. It really wouldn’t have made sense if all of a sudden Tommy was taking up his father’s cause..especially after we saw his reaction to his father’s plan. So even though you could argue Tommy’s death was a “shock” due to Colin Donnell being a series regular, when you look at the progression (or lack there of) of his character over the course of the season, it wasn’t a shock at all.
Overall, I loved this first season of Arrow. I like how the superhero element was absolutely present but not in a way that was unbelievable. Oliver being able to do what he does was well explained over the season. Are there still questions, sure. But at least, for my edification, I’m convinced Oliver is the “superhero” we have come to know and love! And the writers did a very good job with this. I know some of my friends who watch the show always got bored when the island story line was on-screen but not me. I wanted to see the transformation of Oliver from spoiled playboy to focused vigilante. In my opinion, I thought the timing and transition was perfectly handled. Oliver didn’t transition overnight, but certain things would happen on the island that would force him to jump into a different side of himself I think was there all along but wasn’t awakened until it had to…fight or flight as they say. And while I still want to know how he gets off and why he is there for 5 years if it appears the main person keeping him there is now dead, I at least am comfortable with the explanation of how Oliver gets to this point, so far.
In addition to Tommy dying, a lot of big things happened. We learn that Roy Harper wants to meet the Hood so badly not because he wants to thank him for saving his life, but because he wants him to train him to do what he does. To be Robin to Oliver’s Batman. But what about Thea? I don’t think the scene of Roy getting attacked and Thea saving him by throwing that bottle and Roy commenting on her aim was for nothing. I think it was a mention of things to come with Thea but I’m not sure what. But I love these two together.
I’m still trying to figure out if I feel bad for Moira or not. All signs indicate she didn’t have a choice in this because she felt her family was threatened but this is coming from her so we have to take her word on it. I don’t remember seeing Malcolm actually threaten her family. If I missed that, please let me know but I don’t remember that. So I don’t know if I can 100% believe Moira. Do I believe she loves her family and would do anything to protect them? Yes I do. But has she crossed a line she might never recover from? Absolutely. Has she shown herself to be duplicitous and cagey? Most definitely. So I really don’t know how to feel towards her. But Walter sure made his feeling known. In the end we see Walter has left her, again, and she was taken in handcuffs to jail. Not looking good for the matriarch of the Queen family.
Let’s talk about the Lance family. At first, I hated Quentin. He was an ass. But as the season evolved, my views on him softened. This is a man with a ton of loss in his life and really all he has left is Laurel. So I can understand him being irrational when it comes to her because he just wants to protect her. I think his character started to go a bit off course when they had him set Laurel up as a trap to get the Hood. But he was course corrected and now he’s just a cop, who loves his daughter very much, trying to do the right thing. I can deal with that. Watching his opinion of the Hood change over the arc of the season has been interesting to watch. Here was a cop who was so black and white about the Hood…civilians don’t take matters of law into their own hands. So in his mind, the Hood was just as bad as the criminals he was trying to catch. But then, that opinion slowly started to go away as the Hood started giving him tips on criminal activity and would let the police handle it (to some degree.) Quentin was able to notice that while he doesn’t agree with how the Hood handles his business, he does see he has the people of Starling City’s best interest at heart. He is trying to do right…even thought it’s a way Quentin doesn’t really approve of. And I think because the Hood has taken a special interest in protecting Laurel, that has helped soften Quentin a little bit. So I’m curious to see where his character goes next season in relation to the Hood.
As for Laurel herself, I love Katie Cassidy, but I need more. Laurel has been a slightly boring character this season. There are times you see a toughness in her and other layers start to shine through but these moments are fleeting. Too many times we’re seeing Laurel being the woman two men are fighting over and she has no idea what to do. And that’s it. I want to see more from her. I want to see her fight and be strong, and kick ass in her own right without someone having to do it for her. With Tommy’s death and her finally choosing to try again with Oliver, at least that is over. But when we come back next season, I want to see Laurel dust herself off and pick herself back up without someone having to do it for her. And let’s give her a story where she doesn’t have to be saved or rescued or watched over. It’s fine to have that every once in a while, but not all the time and for me, it was too many times too often for my liking.
What did you think of Arrow’s freshman season and the finale? I loved both and I’m already excited for next season!