I've always liked the word "penultimate," and I finally get to use it her..."/> I've always liked the word "penultimate," and I finally get to use it her..."/>

Arrow Review – Season 2, Episode 22: Streets Of Fire


I’ve always liked the word “penultimate,” and I finally get to use it here. Starling City is completely overrun by goons juiced on mirakuru and wearing Deathstroke masks, and things look bad for our heroes. Yet the fact that we have one more episode to go after this means they’ll pull it together to set up one last showdown. Let’s find out how, unless you want to wait and watch it yourself before diving into ridiculous amounts of spoilers.

Not So Quick Summary: We left just about everyone in trouble of some sort. Arrow and Laurel Lance are trying to dig themselves out from a self-inflicted cave-in, Diggle has the Ravager all up in his face, and Officer Lance is trying to avoid being killed by one of the Junior Deathstrokes at the police station. Arrow is separated from Laurel, but she’s got his bow on her side of the rubble — and an explosive arrow. With Oliver’s help, she’s able to blow a hole through the debris without blowing herself up.

Ravager asks where Felicity Smoak is, and she finds out the hard way when she runs Isabel over with her van. That doesn’t kill her, but it does allow our heroes to escape. Lance is also okay thanks to the power of grenades.

Mayor Blood turns down the governor’s offer of the National Guard. The DA seems a little less convinced that’s a good idea, but he assures her everything is under control.

Oh yeah, Thea Queen is also facing some danger. She gets bailed out by her real dad, Malcolm Merlyn, dressed in his Dark Archer garb. Elsewhere, Team Arrow unites, and Felicity informs her teammates that a courier is on his way from S.T.A.R. Labs with the mirakuru cure. One problem though: his vehicle was attacked and he’s stuck underneath it. They set off to find him, but Slade hears the call too (thanks to all those bugs he planted, one assumes) and sends one of the Junior Deathstrokes to find the courier first.

At the police precinct, Officer Lance is able to convince his usually skeptical superior that Mayor Blood is on the attacks and that the only person they can trust is the Arrow. Not only doesn’t he get fired, he gets promoted back to his old position as detective. Nice work! His other daughter is back in town, pulling Laurel to safety.

In the mayor’s office, one of the Junior Deathstrokes kills the DA right in front of Blood, perhaps finally convincing him he’s in over his head. Out on the streets, it looks like something out of Escape from New York. Arrow tells Detective Lance to buy them some time, but the Team Arrow van is attacked and flipped on its side. Felicity is pretty banged up but still breathing. Two Junior Deathstrokes are moving in, but Arrow manages to take both of them out with one explosive arrow — begging the question of why he doesn’t make all of them that way. And speaking of arrows, Malcolm is having trouble convincing Thea that he’s there to assure her safety.

As Slade and Isabel look out over the burning city, he wonders aloud how Shado would feel if she was here to see it. Apparently he didn’t tell Isabel about Shado though, judging by her reaction. Blood asks why Slade has gone back on their deal, as he wants to save the city. Unfortunately, Slade says there won’t be anything left of the city but rubble by tomorrow night.

The Lance sisters share a moment, and when Sara wonders why she even came back, Laurel slips back into her “Pep Talker in Chief” role to convince her sibling that she’s a hero. And if she was so far gone, why would her League of Assassins name be something beautiful like the Canary? The girls check in with their dad, who says he’s on his way to come get them.

Team Arrow arrives at the courier, but the Juniors got there first. The driver is dead, but even worse, the cure is gone … and in the hands of Slade. But you can almost hear the gears spinning in Blood’s head.

Despair hits Team Arrow, with Ollie blaming himself for everything that’s gone wrong for the millionth time. Oliver sends Diggle to get Roy since the Foundry is compromised, and Felicity once again reassures her boss that she believes in him and knows he’ll stop Slade (even though she’s not sure how).

As the Lance girls wait for their dad, it’s time for Canary’s “Big Moment.” She saves a kid from a burning building and looks like she actually feels good about it. Things aren’t so great at the train station, where Malcolm barely manages to beat one of the Junior Deathstrokes and is knocked out in the process.

Blood calls Oliver and offers to hand over the mirakuru cure. Naturally, Team Arrow suspects a trap. Felicity is told to stay with Roy, who will wake up in two hours since they’re out of venom. She says she’ll be pissed if Oliver and Diggle don’t come back alive. There turns out to be no trap, just a weird monologue by the Mayor about the meaning of his mask. He hands over the cure before revealing, incredibly, that he still thinks he’ll get a shot to be Mayor when this is all said and done. Blood tries blackmailing Ollie with the knowledge of his secret identity, but I don’t think that’s going to work.

As the Lance family enjoys stories of Sara’s bravery at the police station, Ravager pays Blood a visit. When Slade find out he gave the cure away, it’s curtains for the Mayor, as Ravager gives him the old double sword to the chest routine.

Ollie wants to test the cure on Roy before they use it on Slade and hs army, but Felicity has some qualms about that. Then the drama ramps up: military troops are taking positions on the outskirts of Starling City, but they’re not from the army. Once Oliver connects the dots, he gets on the horn with Amanda Waller. In classic Wall fashion, she informs Oliver that he has until dawn to stop Slade or she’s going to blow up the city, figuring tha 576,000 casualties are a small price to pay for keeping unstoppable mirakuru-enhanced criminals from getting away. As Rick James might say, that’s cold-blooded! It also convinces Oliver to throw caution to the wind and test the cure on Roy.

And yet that’s not even the “oh crap!” moment. That comes at the very end, when Malcolm allows Thea to pull a gun on him. He tries to convince his daughter that she’s all he has left, but we see and hear two shots as the episode draws to a close.

Meanwhile, on the Island: Oliver and the Russian devise a plan, or at least part of one. Ollie says he’ll swim to the Amazo, and if he’s not back with Sara in an hour, he wants the Russian to rig the last torpedo to go straight and sink the freighter.

The swim is successful, but even though Sara just wants to go home, Oliver can;t leave without at least trying to save his friend. That’s a noble sentiment, but there’s a showdown lurking, and Slade already has the cure in his possession.

Final Thought: The stage is set for an explosive finale, and the stakes got raised another notch thanks to Waller. In other words, there’s nothing like a time limit to make things more dramatic! Scenes from next week make it look like it’ll be Arrow, Canary and the League of Assassins against Slade and the Deathstrokes (that sounds like it should be a band), and while we know Ollie is going to make it out alive, one wonders if there’s another death or two in store. Our heroes have been put through the wringer in the second half of Season 2, so here’s hoping that even if some don’t survive, they all get their time to shine during the final battle. Just seven days until we find out!