The trio of Brick episodes reaches its conclusion on this week’s Arrow as The Glades erupts into war.
After last week’s insanely good episode, Uprising feels comparatively weaker. That is not to say that it’s a bad episode, far from it. I suppose it simply had too much going on and a few odd character motivation choices to make it as strong as last week.
Laurel and Roy are attempting to keep order in the Glades. No small task, given that Danny Brickwell has a small army of thugs in his employ and enough leverage to keep police out. That doesn’t stop Detective Lance from trying to help out though. It’s rather fun to see that he can easily tell it’s Roy under the red hood (ha), but apparently hasn’t sussed that Oliver is Arrow. Incidentally, one of Brick’s men confuses Roy for the red streak, a nice little nod to sister show The Flash. Though you would think the fastest man alive could spare a few moments to help out.
Team Arrow finds an odd ally in the form of Malcolm Merlyn. This episode gives us much greater insight into the mind of Merlyn. Through flashbacks, we see a little bit of how he became the man he is today. It offers some strong moments where you see that before he was driven over the edge he was a caring father and husband.
Having said that, he still had Thea kill Sara, so there’s still an immense amount of awkward no matter how many more dimensions we get to him.
Oliver decides he can’t wait until he’s fully healed and makes for Starling City. There’s quite a few similarities with Dark Knight Rises here, I’m sure a dub trailer could be created to express as much. Ultimately Oliver has very little presence this week, despite his triumphant return at the end. Somehow it feels hollow, probably because he doesn’t wind up contributing to the battle in any way.
Meanwhile doubt begins to grow for Detective Lance. The return of Cin has him already wondering if it’s really Sara who’s been running around in a blonde wig. The truth is going to have to come out sooner or later, as you can already see him piecing it together.
Brick doesn’t feel as intimidating this time around. The genius bruiser we’ve seen for the past two episodes falls into traditional villainy, relying on his henchmen to do his dirty work whilst he spends too much time gloating while holding a gun to someone’s head. The big crowd fight scenes are woefully brief. We get some nice action moments from our main heroes, but ultimately the fighting takes a back seat to Malcolm confronting Brick for murdering his wife 21 years ago. While it’s a good scene, it makes the battle for the Glades seem less important as a result, arguably the main focus of the episode.
Felicity seems to be in an emotional state of limbo. She won’t entertain the idea of working with Merlyn, and doesn’t react well when Oliver later announces his intention to train with him in the hopes of learning the best way to defeat Ra’s al Ghul. Thea is relegated to a few scenes, but ultimately her only purpose in this episode is to provide someone willing to voice the idea that Merlyn isn’t completely a lost cause (consider that Merlyn thinks of himself as a killer).
Still, Oliver is back. Team Arrow has managed to keep things together until he returns. Starling City stands.
Did Oliver’s return have less impact than it should have? Is he really ready to re-join the fight for Starling City? Let us know what you think in the comments below…