I'm just a girl sitting in front of her TV asking it to entertain her.

Arrow - 1.23 -Sacrifice - A to Z Challenge - Day 1


'It's so hard to say goodbye.'


'And I'll take with me the memories, to be my sunshine after the rain.'
- BoyzIIMen, It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday - Cooleyhighharmony (1991)



Prologue
Today's episode technically falls into two categories: Favorites AND Finales. For today's writing exercise, let's just file this under firmly under 'Favorites', OK?

I’m a comic book geek. I’m a lifelong resident of the DC Nation. Green Arrow is my personal top 5 favorite superheroes. I stuck by Smallville for all 10 seasons, mainly for Justin Hartley and his portrayal of Green Arrow after season 6, OK? When Arrow came along and they said it was going to be outside of the Smallville universe I was both annoyed and relieved. I love Justin Hartley to pieces but at the same time, Smallville didn’t allow the character of Green Arrow to be a true representation of the comic book character that I love so much. Green Arrow was a Batman substitute and they never really tried beyond that material wise. Arrow is an origin story that isn’t afraid to both simultaneously take it’s time with background information in the form of island flashbacks as well as plow through a rooster of episodic villains week after week while letting the season long arc simmer in the background.

About the Show
Seasons: 2| No. of Episodes: 40 |Premiere Date: October 10, 2012| End Date: N/A |Status: On-Air
Genre(s): Action, Drama, Fantasy

Story in a nutshell: Arrow is a modern retelling of the DC Comics series Green Arrow. After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for 5 years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he has become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance.

As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow, a vigilante archer, to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree, and careless philanderer he used to be flanked by his devoted chauffeur and bodyguard, John Diggle, while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under the cover of darkness. However, Laurel's father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest Arrow operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver's own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

Best Reason to Watch: If you are looking for a show that is jam packed with action and full of eye candy then this is the show for you. The side characters of Felicity and Diggle are really great as well. If you are a shipper, there are plenty of couples to root for. Even you are a comic book fan this show will still keep you guessing as they turn a lot of things on their head and go in directions you wouldn’t expect. If you are watching or tried Agents of SHIELD and it was a tad bit to shiny and campy, give Arrow a try. I have to say, it only gets better during season 2. For me personally, the pilot had me hooked and left me on pins and needles with anticipation. My two most favorite things about the show are the stunt coordinator, James Bamford and the composer, Blake Neely because the action and the scoring of the show really adds that ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the show.

Best Thing about This Episode: The writers went out of the way to make sure every single actor got a moment to shine. They also gave every single character some great character development and plenty to build on for the next season. They also managed to craft a bittersweet ending with a shock that most of the fans did not see coming. It was one of the best season finales of the 2012-2013 TV season in my personal opinion. It had it all, highs, lows, triumph, defeat, gains and losses. The episode managed to leave every single character in a place where you were absolutely dying to know what would come next. It generated a lot of buzz and set up season 2 to start off in a strong place with plenty of new viewers.
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Story by: Greg Berlanti/Teleplay:Marc Guggenheim & Andrew Kreisberg|Director: David Barrett

Episode Summary: Malcolm imprisons Oliver and leaves him to die, but he manages to escape and return home with Diggle's help, due to a tracker in his boot. In a flashback, Edward fires a missile at an approaching airliner, but Oliver and Shado manage to override the coordinates and destroy the missile. Afterward, Oliver kills Edward. In the present, Oliver confronts his mother about the Undertaking, which prompts her to hold a press conference and reveal to the city her involvement with Malcolm and the plan to destroy the Glades. When Tommy confronts Oliver about his night with Laurel, Oliver tries to explain what's going on with his father and the Glades. Tommy doesn't believe him and tells his father, who reveals it's all true. Tommy sees the press conference, and Malcolm reveals that he is The Dark Archer, to the dismay of his son. Meanwhile, Felicity has been brought in for questioning because of the all of the tasks Oliver asked her to do before he revealed he was the vigilante. She hadn't covered her tracks because she didn't realize (at the time) what she was doing was aiding and abetting. Detective Lance starts to question her, but Oliver calls as the vigilante to explain about the Undertaking and how it's going to happen tonight. Felicity hears the call and asks the Detective, if he really wants her there since it sounds like he's got something a lot bigger on his plate. Lance releases her with a warning not to leave town. Before she leaves (even though it will almost certainly confirm to Lance that she's helping the Hood) she tells him that she thought the vigilante was a bad person too, but then she realized all he was sacrificing to help the city. She posits the question, "Doesn't that make him kind of a hero?"

Lance tries to go to his boss to tell him what's going on, but it's revealed that he's had almost constant contact with the vigilante, so he's suspended. It isn't until Moira's press conference that the police get involved.

Oliver decides to go after Malcolm again, even though he knows it means he'll probably die, because he hasn't beaten him once. Diggle offers to go with him and Felicity says that leaves the bomb dismantling to her. Oliver refuses and she points out, he doesn't have any other option. He then calls Detective Lance again as a compromise. Felicity will work from the Foundry, staying in the Glades but in better shelter, Lance will deactivate the device with her help and Oliver and Diggle will go after Malcolm.

Detective Lance, with help from Felicity, is able to dismantle the earthquake device. John and Oliver (Oliver sticks an arrow through his shoulder to hit Malcolm's heart) disable Malcolm, who gloats that there is a second device shortly before he loses consciousness. The device activates and begins to level the east side of the Glades. Thea goes into the Glades to save Roy, who works to help others who are trying to escape the earthquake. He refuses to leave the Glades when he sees a busload of people stuck because of a car accident and sends Thea away because he can't help those people if he's worried about her being caught in the Undertaking. Laurel who went to CNRI despite warnings from both Oliver and her father, is trapped in her office when the quake starts and gets stuck under a slab of concrete but Tommy arrives to rescue her. Laurel escapes, but Tommy is caught by falling debris. Oliver arrives too late to help him, Tommy is fatally wounded and dies after apologizing and making amends to Oliver for fighting and being angry and jealous. Tommy asks if Oliver killed his father and Oliver lies to him, spending Tommy's last moments holding his hand, insisting it should have been him who died instead of Tommy.
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Awards

Character of the Night
• Oliver

Best Character Interactions
•Oliver and Tommy

Best Line
•Malcolm Merlyn: You can’t beat me Oliver. Yes, you’re younger. You’re faster. Yet, you always seem to come up short against me. Want to know why? Because you don’t know in your heart what you’re fighting for. What you’re willing to sacrifice and I do.

Best Scene
•Tommy dies in arms Oliver’s arms.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when another show that comes on right after you decides to name their season finale ‘Sacrifice’ as well. Supernatural’s season 8 finale episode was also titled ‘Sacrifice. During the 2012-2013 TV, Arrow was Supernatural’s lead-in on The CW.

The ‘Gone but Not Forgotten’ Award
• Tommy Merlyn, beloved son and friend. He made Laurel softer and dropped truth bombs on Oliver when he needed them most. It was only right that the second season has pretty much been dedicated to the character.
• Colin Donnell who played Tommy Merlyn. He was a joy and delight to watch every week.

Highlights


Memorable Moments
• Oliver climbs up a chain to escape.
• Diggle and Oliver begin making plans together to save the city.
• Tommy tries to punch Oliver and ends falling to the ground

Notable & Quotable

•Quentin: You’re not exactly a hardened criminal are you?
Felicity: I’m not any kind of criminal.
Quentin: Then what do you call computer hacking?
Felicity: A hobby… that I do not engage in.

•Felicity: I use to think that the vigilante was a criminal too but it seems to me whoever he is, he is willing to sacrifice to help the people of this city. That kind of makes him a hero… doesn’t it?

•Tommy: I wished you would have died on that island.

•Quentin’s Boss: What?! You swore to me you would catch him. You swore you would bring him (the vigilante) in.
Quentin: I know. I swore to uphold the law. The laws are steady. The law is unchanging. The law needed to be protected. But what are laws, rules if they don’t protect people? Now listen, I know I’m throwing away my career by telling you this but I’m willing to sacrifice catching this guy if it means saving people’s lives. Please.
Quentin’s Boss: You’re suspended.

Superb Scenes
• Malcolm Merlyn monologues about the differences between himself and Oliver.
• Quentin interrogates Felicity about hacking into
• A drunken Tommy confronts Oliver about sleeping with Laurel.
• Quentin goes to his boss to ask for help based on the information
• Oliver confronts his mother about ‘the undertaking’.

Lowlights

• The Oliver and Laurel scenes really sapped the momentum out of the episode.
• I could have done without the flashback scenes during this episode; they cut the momentum of the episode as well. But I will say they were the source of most of the action, tons of explosions and fight scenes and a shocking character development for Oliver.

Miscellaneous


WTF Moments
1. Tommy is the one who dies.
2. Yao Fei dies.
3. Moira holds a press conference and announces that she was in cohoots with Malcolm Merlyn to blow up The Glades.

Burning Questions
1. Who is the lady in the red shoes?
2. Is Malcolm Merlyn really dead?
3. What’s next for the character of Moira?

Fun Fact: Originally the episode was titled "52 Wells Street".

Tasty Tidbit: The abandoned subway Detective Quentin enters, Puckett Station, is a reference to Kelley Puckett, one of the co-creators of Connor Hawke, who in the comics is Oliver's son and the second Green Arrow.

Side Notes: Ferris can be seen written on the side of the airliner that Fyers is planning to shoot down. This is a reference to Ferris Airfield in the DC Comics where Hal Jordan, the alter ego of Green Lantern works.
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Grade: A+
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Comparable Shows
If you like shows based on the superhero genre, I suggest that you check out one, some or all of the following TV shows: Smallville, The Flash (1990) and/or Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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Up Next: If you are looking for a new show about werewolves, be sure to check out my blog tomorrow because I will be writing about Bitten.

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