At the start of Arrow season 5 episode 22, there was something that felt altogether strange and foreign for the CW show — peace. Oliver Queen celebrated his birthday, he and Felicity were getting closer romantically, and Adrian Chase was behind bars, incapable of causing trouble to anyone.
Unfortunately, here’s the bad news: This is not the finale! Chase has famously been ten steps ahead of Oliver over the entirety of the season so far, and nothing changed during this episode as the criminal mastermind at the heart of the story still found some ways to pull strings. Specifically, members of Team Arrow started to disappear. First, it was Wild Dog. After that, Dinah Drake. Then, Curtis Holt, and eventually both Diggle and Felicity to boot. Technically, Oliver’s son William happened before many of these did, but he started to understand what happened by the end of the episode as Chase’s plan started to really unfold. He was desperate either to have his own team inflict damage on Oliver and his team, or for Oliver to kill him himself.
Right when it seemed like Adrian was going to be transferred over to federal prison, Oliver did largely the unthinkable: He intentionally took out many of his guards so he could go free. Why? His son was the key more so than every other team member, and this was the only way to ensure his safety. As if this wasn’t strange enough, the idea of him working together with Malcolm Merlyn was. (One of the odd things about the CW universe this year is that Malcolm had this big arc on Legends of Tomorrow, but doesn’t remember any of it. What is that like to play?)
After all of this fiasco went down, Oliver had to regroup and find some new allies — this included Nyssa al Ghul of all people. As if the idea of Malcolm and Oliver working together wasn’t strange enough, the former Head of the Demon had to team up with the person responsible for destroying the League of Assassins. This unlikely trio discovered that Adrian was heading to Liam Yu, and this sets the stage for the battle that is going to be coming in the finale.
Oh, and in the closing minutes, Oliver paid a visit to … Slade Wilson! Could they work together?
Quentin Lance’s unhappy reunion
With Thea at his side, Quentin had his first meeting with Black Siren, and with that, learned about some of the unfortunate, terrible things about the multiverse. This was not the Laurel Lance he remembered.
These were largely brief, and focused mostly on how Oliver could overcome his suffering on the island. He was seeing ghosts from his past, and did not think that he could stop Kovar. It was seemingly thoughts of Laurel who kept him going. He used the gun to shoot his way out of his cell.
It’s certainly clear at this point that Arrow season 5 is the best season of the show in years. This episode was further proof of that. “Missing” was incredibly dark, incredibly entertaining, and it set the stage for a hell of a crazy showdown next week for the finale. Grade: A-.
What’s coming up on Arrow?
Next week, the big finale is coming on The CW. If you want to get some other news in terms of everything that is ahead, be sure to click here. (Photo: The CW.)