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Last episode we saw Thea learn the truth about Oliver and under the guidance of Merlyn agree to train to fight Ras' Al Ghul. To do this they decide to go to the place where Oliver learned how to survive. Lian Yu. This seems the wisest decision. All it is that you decide to train on the island where your greatest enemy is on, after it was suggested by your other enemy who is convinced you need to be a killer to fight Ras'....wait a minute. Joke aside, this episode marked the return of Slade Wilson...for about 30% of the episode. Now to me thats just criminal, underusing the character in any way. That being said, the title is not the returning of Slade Wilson...but the return of Oliver to Starling in the flashbacks. Oh yeah, its a flashback heavy episode. Lets check it out!
There were parts of this episode that bugged me, mainly due to the fact it pulled the wool over our eyes. That being said, this episodes flashbacks were actually its savior from the trick. They were pulled off very well, and I truly enjoyed seeing Team Arrow in the flashback. It was kind of nice seeing what old characters were doing in the wake of Oliver's "death". Druggy Thea, Diggle and his brother, even Tommy Merlyn are in these flashbacks and I enjoyed every moment. I think the sad part of the flashbacks however comes in when you realize that some of the characters were coming back around to their pasts. Quentin was a drunken cop in his flashback due to his daughter dying, and in the present he has stepped back into that mould. The only difference this time around, his rock is the cause of the drinking. I pointed it out in my last review, but it is hard to see one of the toughest civilian characters we had go through this again, but this time alone.
Time to talk about what I wasn't a fan of. Of all the flashbacks, I thought the parts with China White felt out of place. I know that was the main reason they were in Starling in the first place, but the episode had plenty of the return of Oliver Queen it felt forced. Maybe its because I have just grown bored of White, or maybe the villain just kept reminding me we had a better villain present time to deal with. SPEAKING OF WHICH! For WEEKS we were teased with Slade Wilson's return and though we do get him, it's only for 30% of the episode. This bothered me so much, mainly due to the fact of it being one of, if not, the greatest villain in the Flarrowverse. Besides that there is just one part that really confused me. At the end of the flashbacks, we meet one General Shrieve...will this mean the Creature Commandos are coming to Arrow? The monsterous Creature Commandos? I might be nitpicking, especially in a world where there is Metahumans, but that seems a bit of a stretch to me.
Though I enjoyed the flashbacks of the Pre-Arrow team and revelations this episode had, the rest of the episode was...disappointing. Maybe I was too pumped for Slade's return, the Hong Kong story ended in a anticlimatic note, but in the end this episodes good parts try to balance it out leaving it failing...Well maybe next episode will be better.
NOTE:YES, i know this is a week late, a lot of stuff happened in my normal life, but I was typing this on my spare time. Join me next week for the episode Nanda Parbat