Arrowverse: 15 best Arrow moments of all-time

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Arrow — “Uprising” — Image AR312B_0194b — Pictured (L-R): Bex Taylor-Klaus as Sin, Katie Cassidy as Black Canary and Colton Haynes as Arsenal — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

8. The Battle For The Glades/The Arrow Returns

Episode: “Uprising” (Season 3, Episode 12)

While Arrow‘s third season was a lot more “miss” than “hit”, it still produced some real gems over the course of its 23-episode run. In fact, one of its more enjoyable aspects had nothing to do with the main storyline.

Instead, it revolved Brick’s rise to the top of the criminal underworld in The Arrow’s absence, as Laurel simultaneously rose up on the heroes’ side to become the Black Canary. And it all led to a compelling trilogy of episodes that produced one incredible payoff.

Three episodes in, this violent saga would conclude in an all-or-nothing battle for The Glades, as Black Canary and Arsenal brought out the area’s entire population to face off against Brick and his men. With a twisted grin, the mobster roared at his goons to attack. In an incredibly well-shot sequence, the two sides collided and beat the living daylights out of each other.

It was all capped off by the miraculous return of The Arrow, who convinced longtime rival Malcolm Merlyn not to kill Brick out of vengeance and, instead, use all of his past trauma to become a better man.

With that, he stood atop a police vehicle and spoke to the residents of The Glades, telling them that they did not “fail this city”, while vowing never to leave again. Oh Oliver, if only that were true.

What made this so special was that, in a time when Arrow had allowed itself to become corny and soapy after the introduction of both magic and the infamous Olicity, this returned the show to its dark roots as it brought back that up-close, invasive and violent aspect of crime-fighting that most of the season lacked.

It wasn’t worried about the bigger picture beyond Star City, and it wasn’t worried about Ra’s Al Ghul’s wishes. Instead, it was grounded and gritty. If only for a moment, it recaptured the only magic that mattered: the dark tone that the first two seasons thrived on.