Arrow Episode 23 “Sacrifice” Recap and Review


As we open on tonight’s first season finale, we flashback to the pilot with Oliver’s father asking him to right his wrongs before shooting the other life raft occupant and then himself.

Back to present, Oliver is chained up and hanging and be held captive by Malcolm. He thanks Oliver for saving him and then wants to explain his plans. Oliver isn’t listening as he yells at Malcolm for killing his father and sentencing him to a life of hell on the island. He also tells Malcolm that he isn’t honouring his wife’s and thereby Tommy’s mother by levelling the Glades. Malcolm throws back that is Oliver really honouring his father as Arrow. Malcolm tells Oliver that he misses his father, which Oliver says that he will see him soon enough. Malcolm says that while Oliver may be younger and faster, he was still able to beat and he lets Oliver know how. It is because he knows what he is fighting for while Oliver does not. Malcolm throws out the first mention of tonight’s episode, and says that Oliver doesn’t know what he is sacrificing while he does. He tells Oliver no one can stop what is to come, not even Arrow.

In our first island flashback, the Ferris Air jet is over the island and the missile is ready to launch and hit its target. We see Oliver escaping and he stabs the guy who he left in the cave. Chaos ensues as Slade and Shado also escape with Fyers all in panic and yelling for the missiles to be launched, which one does get launched as Oliver looks on.

Back to present to where Oliver is being kept, he manages to get himself free when he is descended upon by Malcolm’s henchmen, which he handily beats except for one who pulls a gun on him but Diggle comes to the rescue thanks to a tracking device in Oliver’s boot.

At the Arrow Cave, Diggle informs Oliver that Felicity is at Queen’s Consolidated looking over the information that she got from Merlyn’s computer and she found the design schematics of the earthquake device that would allow them to shut it down, provided that they find it. Felicity then calls Diggle to ensure that he has Oliver and is on her way to the Arrow Cave but is stopped by Detective Lance.

At the police station, Felicity is taken to an interrogation room where Lance talks about her hacking hobby. He lists all the things that Felicity did to help Arrow, which Lance calls her on. Before he can ask her a question, he is saved by a phone call from Arrow. Lance tells him that he has his sidekick. Arrow denies having one and tells him when he needs help he calls him. Arrow then goes on to tell Lance about Malcolm Merlyn’s plan on using a device made by Unidac Industries that would create an earthquake to level the Glades. Lance thinks he is joking. Arrow tells him that he doesn’t know the timeline of the plan and that he should evacuate the Glades despite his feelings towards him. For now, it seems that Lance has bigger fish to fry than Felicity and lets her go.

Before she leaves, Felicity tells Lance how she used to think like about Arrow but how can he be a bad man when he is willing to sacrifice a lot for Starling City. She calls Arrow a hero.

At Verdant, Tommy is drunk and confronts Oliver about how he went to Laurel’s to fight for her but instead sees them kissing. Oliver apologies but he won’t accept it. Oliver then tells Tommy that something is up with his father but again Tommy won’t hear it. Oliver explains that it involves both their fathers and how they aren’t the men they thought they were and tells him of their plans to destroy the Glades. Tommy thinks he is crazy but Oliver insists that Malcolm is going to do it to avenge the death of Tommy’s mother. Tommy is appalled that Oliver would mention his mom and goes to throw a punch that Oliver easily avoids. Oliver explains that the difference between them is that he didn’t find the truth about his dad until it was too late but Tommy has always known what his father is like. Tommy, with anger in his, tells Oliver that he wished that he died on the island.

Back on the island, the missiles are away and gun fire is being shot on both sides. Shado is going to re-program the missile launcher while Slade provides cover. But Fyers men has gotten on the missile launcher and Shado is battling these men so it is up to Oliver to re-program the launcher while also fighting off Fyers men but he is successful and actually blows up Fyers’ camp site.

At the precinct, Lance tells his boss about the Undertaking and says his source is Arrow and how he has been helpful in some cases. His boss is not happy that Lance seems to have changed his tune about Arrow since he was hell bent on catching him. But Lance says that he is willing to sacrifice his career if it means that they are going to save lives and begs his boss for help. Instead of help, Lance gets suspended. He either accepts that or go to jail.

At the Queen Mansion, Moira is packing Walter’s stuff. Oliver comes in and tells his mom that need to stop the Undertaking. Again, Moira re-iterates that everything she did was to protect him and Thea. Oliver asks what about the people of the Glades; Moira answers that she isn’t their mother. Oliver mentions that he has spoken to Malcolm, Moira is surprised to hear this and said that he could have killed him plus he killed his father. Oliver replies that Malcolm didn’t kill his father but recounts how Robert really died (as seen at the top of the episode). Oliver tells how his dad sacrificed himself so he would live and tells his mom that he can’t go on living if she is sacrificing thousands more in his name. He needs her help in stopping Malcolm and needs to know where the device is. And his ears must be burning because Malcolm calls and tells Moira that he has sped up the time table and the Undertaking is happening tonight. Oliver tells Moira that someone needs to stop this, no matter the cost.

Laurel arrives at the mansion, she worries that their history is repeating and he is scared again. Oliver says that is not. Laurel wants to know what is going. Oliver tells her that there are so many things that he wanted to tell her like his time on the island. Laurel tells him that he doesn’t have to that she knows it changed him. But Oliver said that the island didn’t change him but actually revealed who he really is and that is the person that Laurel has always seen him as and that she is the only person in his life is who he thinks they are. They share a tender kiss and Oliver asks Laurel to stay away from the Glades. He doesn’t explain why but it really looks like Laurel may suspect that Oliver is Arrow.

At Merlyn Global, Tommy is pissed that Laurel is back with Oliver and mentions to his dad how Oliver mentioned his plans to level the Glades. Malcolm tells him it is all true and the reason why closed his mother’s clinic was he couldn’t bear to see it level. Malcolm then proceeds to play for Tommy the message that his mother left the night that she died. He explains how she bled out on the street while people in the Glades just didn’t help. Malcolm gets really angry here that his wife opened the clinic to help people but they didn’t help her. Tommy asks his father if they deserve to have the Undertaking done to them and Malcolm really yells that yes. I have to say that John Barrowman was really good here. I was quite scared of Malcolm.

Meanwhile at the Arrow Cave, he tells his team that the Undertaking is happening tonight. Diggle informs Oliver that Felicity has discovered, using the symbol from the book, where the device is. It is in the subway tunnels above a fault line. Oliver tells them that he might know exactly where it is but before he can tell them, Thea calls him to tell him that their mother has called a press conference at the mansion. The Arrow Team watch it and sees Moira saying how she has failed this city and tells them about the Undertaking and how it will level the Glades. She then rats out Malcolm as the architect, which pisses him off. Moira further tells the press that Malcolm killed Adam Hunt, Frank Chen and her husband, Robert. Everyone watching is shocked at the news. Moira then begs the people of the Glades to leave. Thea is pissed at her mother for being part of a plan that will kill her boyfriend and she leaves. But before Moira can stop her, Det. Hilton arrests her for being part of Malcolm’s plan.

Back at Merlyn Global, Tommy asks his father if he really did kill those people and he tells his son that he did what he had to do and reveals that he is the Dark Archer, which Tommy can’t believe. The police come to arrest him but he kills them. Tommy tries to stop his dad by pulling a gun on him but Malcolm knocks out his son.

At the Arrow Cave, Felicity apologies to him about his mother but he says there is no need for apologies as his mother has given the people of the Glades a chance. Oliver then pulls out his backup bow. Felicity tells him how the device works and it could either be directly set off or by a transmitter. Diggle wants to track down the transmitter rather than the device but it is too big an if. Oliver wants Diggle to find the device while he takes on Merlyn, even knowing the risks. Diggle wants to come along to his fight and tells him he is not alone in this. Felicity then volunteers to track down and disarm the device despite Oliver’s protests.

Arrow then calls Lance to tell him where the device is. It is in the old subway tunnels near Papp Street, where Malcolm’s wife was murdered. He asks Lance to disarm it and Felicity will help him do it.

We are now in the Glades and people are running out of town. Roy then sees the news reports about Moira’s confession and the evacuation notice. Roy sees people fleeing and the ensuing chaos while Lance has arrived in the Glades and the old subway to tunnel.

Arrow and Diggle go to Merlyn Global and see that they’ve missed Malcolm. We then flashback to the island and see the resulting carnage of the missile hitting Fyers camp. Oliver is looking for Shado and Slade. As goes looking for them, Oliver comes across a bow and arrow then Slade appears both wondering where is Shado. She is with Fyers. Oliver points the bow and arrow to Fyers asking him to let Shado go. Fyers laughs at how a playboy ruined a two-year plan and says that he can help Oliver escape the island and go home but asks is he willing to sacrifice that for Shado. Oliver then proceeds to shoot and kill Fyers. His first kill using a bow and arrow.

Back at Malcolm’s office, Oliver finds Tommy who tells him that he was right about his father. Tommy asks if Oliver is going to kill his dad, he simply tells him to get to safety. At Malcolm’s office, they notice a false wall and it is the Dark Archer’s lair, where he has been waiting for them. Arrow wants to know where is the transmitter, Malcolm replies it is in a place that he can get to. Diggle laughs at that and a fight ensues between all three. Malcolm throws a knife and Diggle is hit and is out for the count. When Oliver goes to Diggle to tend to him, Dig just tells to go after Malcolm. And on the rooftop, Arrow and Dark Archer get set for round 3.

Elsewhere, Lance and Felicity are working together to find the device, which Lance does happen to find. She walks Lance through in how to disarm the device. Apparently, it is set to go off in 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, above ground in the Glades people are looting and Roy is running through the streets and stops a mugging. When one of the muggers goes to shoot Roy but Thea knocks him out. Thea was looking for him and that she came to rescue him

It is round 3. Green Arrow vs the Dark Archer, arrows are flying, and bodies being beaten. Arrow fires an arrow at the Dark Archer, who catches but it explodes in his hand briefly incapacitating him.

Felicity is still helping Lance disarm the device and just when we think we are successful, the timing advances to less than two minutes. Lance believes there isn’t enough time. Lance calls Laurel, knowing that she is at the CNRI, which is in the Glades. He begs his daughter to leave. She is scared for him as he tells her that he isn’t going to make it. He tells her to keep on living when he is gone and not to make the same mistakes that he did. She promises him that she will not. They say there I love you’s and he hangs up. Felicity then comes back on the line and wants him to listen to her carefully.

Roy and Thea are now in his car and is driving irradically while also texting. They are stopped by a stranger begging for help. Thea wants to leave but Roy can’t leave people behind. They share a kiss and they part ways.

Back on the rooftop, the battle between archers continues and Malcolm seems to be winning as he has Oliver in a pretty strong chokehold. Then his father’s words to survive come to him, and he grabs an arrow from the ground and stabs Malcolm in the chest. Oliver then knocks Malcolm out.

And thanks to new instructions from Felicity, Lance has disarmed the device but before they can celebrate, before he seemingly dies, Malcolm informs Oliver that there is another device and it becomes operational. An earthquake is rocking the Glades. We see the Arrow Cave shake, the CNRI shake and while on the roof top, Diggle and Oliver sees buildings collapse.

Lance is wondering what is happening since he turned the device off but Felicity informs him of a second device. Meanwhile at the CNRI, things are flying and Laurel is hit by a beam and knocked out. Here is my beef, don’t people know the first thing about earthquake safety. You don’t go running around, you get undercover for the love of Pete.

Anyways, Joanna has gotten out and she wonders where Laurel is. Felicity calls Oliver to tell him the damage is being contained to where the CNRI is, hence Laurel. Laurel is calling for help and Arrow is racing to get to her. Instead, it is Tommy who rescues her and professes his love. Laurel gets out and meets up with her father. The CNRI collapses with Tommy inside. Oliver goes in and comes across his friend and he has been stabbed by a piece of rebar. Oliver tells Tommy that he has saved Laurel. Tommy apologies to Oliver for being angry and jealous and how he is his father but Oliver says he isn’t and tells Tommy that he didn’t kill his dad. The friends reconcile and Tommy dies. Oliver is grief stricken and wished it were him. So season 1 ends with Tommy dead and part of the Glades destroyed.

I have to say it was a great first season. Some quibbles:  too many people found out about Oliver’s secret in such a short span of time, how annoying and useless Thea is and I wished that the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy were hotter like Tom Welling and Erica Durance hot. And no offence to Colin Donnell but I think I called that his character was expendable. I have to say I am not too sad that Tommy died. Going forward, his character really had little purpose unless Malcolm did die and as revenge against Oliver took up the mantle of the Dark Archer.

What is up for season 2? Now that Tommy is dead, what does that do to Oliver? Will he pull away from Laurel again? Will Laurel maybe pull away from him because maybe she feels some guilt over being with Oliver? Is Malcolm really dead? I don’t think so and if not, does it mean we haven’t seen the last of him? And what is going to happen to the Queen family now that Moira is off to jail? And how soon will Roy begin his transformation into Red Arrow.

So many questions and we have to wait 5 or 6 months for the answers. I want to thank everyone who has read all of my Arrow recaps throughout the year. It is the first time that I’ve recapped a show from its very first episode to its season finale while the show is airing and it has been fun doing so. Now I can’t wait to recap and review season 2

About Vanessa Ho (1060 Articles)
Pop culture addicts' view of the world of TV

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