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Arrow Season 2 Episode #22 – Streets Of Fire Review

7 min read
Arrow Season 2 Episode 22
Arrow Season 2 Episode 22

Just before the end of the season, everything goes through fire and not all of it will make it to the other side.

What They Say:
Streets of Fire – As Slade’s soldiers target the city, Oliver rallies his team; Felicity receives some game-changing news from STAR Labs; Thea and her father come face to face.

Content:
The fallout from Moira’s death was most pronounced in the previous episode for obvious reasons as Oliver dealt with it, but it’s going to be something that will go on for awhile with how it will reverberate. While a lot of people didn’t care for the character – or Thea – there are things that they brought to the table that will be changed because of it. With Oliver now quite focused in what he’s going to do though, it’s all put him in the right position to do the best he can with the core group that the show really needs to stand by. I definitely like some of the other characters – particularly Sara – but I’m glad it’s back to the core three for the moment as they have to deal with Slade’s army of enhanced soldiers that are now moving out into the city to rain chaos down on everything. Slade has played big and long with this and the fruits of it are paying off.

Particularly since we get some fun moments such as Isabel having been brought back and taking on a “Lady Deathstroke” approach that’s rather fun to watch since she just chews the scenery nicely with it. While she and Diggle are going at it, Isabel’s treating it as a sidebar fight really since she wants to take out Felicity after what transpired between the two of them. Which makes Felicity’s arrival all the sweeter since she just plots right into her with a truck. not that it does much good at all when you consider the way Slade’s soldiers are powered up at this point and capable of a lot. But it makes for some good fun, especially with the way that Felicity quips about it while Diggle is just nicely suggesting they get out of there quickly.

The chaos across the city covers a lot of things here and it is pretty fun overall but it does take some time to get going with certain aspects of it, particularly for Laurel and Oliver as they’re stuck underground for a bit. They do manage to work together to make it topside amid the chaos, but there’s a great reveal moment alongside that as Thea, about to get cut up good, is saved by Malcolm as he simply appears out of nowhere to save his daughter. It’s a beautiful comic book moment to be sure, one that hits a great note for both Malcolm and Thea’s expressions. With some of the teases that we’ve gotten previously with this, it’s great to have Barrowman back for a bit as it changes things nicely for the bigger picture. And changing things is part of the focus here, first as we get the STAR Labs cure on its way, but sidetracks, and the cops themselves realizing just how outclassed they are once again and breaking their own rules in order to try and do what’s right. Which works out nicely since it puts Quentin back on the force as a detective.

Also fun here is that Sebastian Blood begins to realize that while he got what he wanted from Slade, it isn’t going to protect him from what his soldiers are doing. That’s made clear when Kate is killed right before his eyes in a brutal way and that makes his own larger plan for saving and controlling the city in a lot more doubt. But doubt abounds in this episode because there’s just so much chaos going on with the mini army out there. The sets are more expansive, we’re getting more street level action and the explosions and damage is definitely out there. It is all controlled enough that you can see how they’re not destroying sets, but it works in a good way to show that there is real damage going on to the city and they’re facing significant challenges.

Some of the other character fallout that’s nicely done has Laurel coming across Sara, who is in costume, but she knows who it is at this point and just makes it clear that she does. They get into a fairly decent little conversation overall since they have significant issues to deal with, but there are some wide chasms to deal with because of what Sara has seen and done since the accident six years ago. As sisters, it works well enough since you get Laurel trying to be the strong sister and to draw her back in while Sara is having a hard time admitting that a good part of who she used to be still exists. Sara has gone through so much and become so much in those years that it’s hard to admit these things. And while she doesn’t just turn on a dime here, there’s that crack in the door that opens which ends up making both of them a lot mor elikable overall since you understand where they’re each coming from.

While the city continues to fall, we do have that somewhat predictable moment where Oliver basically takes it all on himself. All the blame. There’s a weary aspect to him as he rattles off those losses, but it’s Felicity that pushes back the hardest against him with those that he’s fought against that were going to destroy the city. It’s nicely impassioned as she makes it clear that she has the right kind of almost innocent faith in him to do what he needs doing. Oliver does tend to fall in this direction a little more often than some might care for, but with the scale of events like they are and his own inability to stop the Undertaking in the first season, it’s understandable that it’s all feeling bigger than he can handle. Which is why you know he’ll stand up for it in the end and do what’s necessary for the greater good. Such is what we see with Sara as well as it furthers her doing what must be done, what’s right, and to let people know that there are heroes in the city.

Of course, sometimes you have to work with the devil to do right and we see that with Oliver as it’s Blood who is looking for Oliver’s help in order to save the city. Blood isn’t a good guy by any stretch of the imagination since he took such an awful route in order to provide the help that he wanted to, but there’s something to be said for working with someone when the chips are done. The tension is pretty nicely done but there’s also a bit of delusion on Blood’s part but he’s managed to protect himself well enough in the end to try and achieve his larger goal – providing the city survives. Blood, however, does not, which is one of the best scenes of the season simply because of the kind of power and intensity that Summer Glau brings to it. While she’s a big pigeonholed because of the roles she ends up getting, she definitely brings something very fun to them.

In Summary:
This episode goes big with the action and general chaos of what’s going on in Starling City and that makes for some very good moments throughout. I enjoyed Malcom’s return, the bonding between sisters and Felicity’s impassioned plea with oliver. There’s also some great moments when it comes to Sara’s overall evolution and the way the city is starting to view at least some of those wearing masks as heroes rather than dangers. Isabel makes for a great couple of scenes here and Sebastian Blood definitely has his moments as well. There’s a lot going on in this episode and a little something for everyone which certainly makes it enjoyable as a whole. But it also sets things to go even bigger for the finale next week and that certainly gets you eager to see exactly what it is that’s going to land next.

Grade: A-

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