‘Arrow’ 1.18 Episode Recap and Review: Salvation

Someone new is trying their hand at vigilantism in the Glades on this week’s Arrow!

Let me go ahead and knock out the island flashback, as the scenes were very brief, but important. Fyres agrees to a parlay in which he will exchange a boat for the circuit board of the missile launcher. At least that’s the theory. What he does instead is offer the life of Yao Fei’s daughter for the tech. During the fight that follows, Yao Fei is shot and the circuit board is lost. All hope is not gone, however, as Yao Fei’s daughter knows Fyres’s ultimate plan.

Back in present-day Starling City, there’s a new vigilante in town. Someone calling himself The Savior is snagging bad guys from the streets of the Glades and filming their “trials” to be shown to anyone in the area with a smartphone. Ollie, Digg, and Felicity are able to find his name, Joseph Falk, but can’t quite find his hideout before he takes out first a slumlord and then the DA who let him walk.

Meanwhile, things are heating up between Thea and Roy Harper. At least they are until one of Roy’s buddies drops by and hands him equipment for their next “job.” Thea gets angry that Roy’s still a criminal. Roy gets angry that Thea wants to keep wearing her rose-colored glasses and throwing her money at his problems. They take the argument out into the street, where Roy gets caught by the Savior and tossed into an unmarked van.

Thea runs to Tommy and Oliver to tell them what happened, but they’re already watching Roy on the big screen in Verdant. Fortunately, Felicity has analyzed the sounds coming from Falk’s transmissions. He’s hiding in an old subway car in Starling City’s defunct metro system. The Hood springs into action, jumping aboard the moving subway car and trying to talk Falk down. The talks are to no avail, and Ollie is forced to take out Falk before he can shoot Roy. Roy is happily reunited with Thea, but not before we see the glimmer of hero-worship being born in his eyes. That boy has “new sidekick” written all over his grungy hoodie.

In the B plot, Dinah and Quentin are both convinced that the woman in Dinah’s pictures is Sarah, and they’ve turned Laurel’s apartment into their HQ. Laurel does some digging of her own and discovers that the woman in the picture is a resident of Starling City, but she isn’t Sarah. Laurel tracks her down and introduces her to Dinah and Quentin, bringing the search to a painful halt. There’s one twist that Laurel hasn’t figured out, though. Dinah recognized the woman’s hat. Dinah confesses that she saw Sarah packing for the trip and decided not to stop her from going. The search has been fueled mostly by her own guilt at letting Sarah go on the trip where she died. Dinah packs it in and heads back home, but not before reconciling with Laurel for not telling her that Oliver and Sarah were together.

Across town, Mo gets a call from Malcolm saying that he’s just hours away from finding out who hired the Triad to have him killed. Mo calls Frank to give him the news, which leads to Mo’s rather ominous line about there being “nothing [she] wouldn’t do to protect her children.” Surprising approximately no one, Moira tells Malcolm that Frank is the one who hired Triad. Malcolm, in his Black Arrow guise, kills Frank right in front of her, but agrees to leave Frank’s daughter alone.

There are weeks when I find Arrow‘s episodic unifying theme to be really heavy-handed, and then there are weeks when it works. This episode, to me, was the latter. Ollie sums it up to Felicity in one line about halfway through: “Sometimes we lose.” From Felicity’s loss of a little more innocence, to the Lances’ failed quest to find their daughter again, to Ollie’s first losing the circuit board and Yao Fei, and then losing the people he was trying to save from the Villain-of-the-Week, this was a pretty emotional episode.

I do love that Felicity is becoming more and more involved, despite her original resolution to stay out of it. If her moral objections to Oliver’s tactics are giving way enough for her to see the method behind his madness, maybe Ollie’s vigilantism is a little more justifiable. He also seems to be killing less, which I can only attribute to Digg’s and Felicity’s influence. Well done there, Team Arrow.

On the less awesome side of the episode, despite Alex Kingston selling it like a champ, I just wasn’t feeling the “I let her go” backstory. The loss of a beloved daughter would have been more than enough reason for Dinah’s crusade to find her. The addition of Dinah knowing that Sarah was Ollie’s “other woman” felt like unnecessary drama, unless at some point they’re going to revisit it as a sticking point between Laurel and her mother. If the hat was really that crucial of a plot point, it would have been far simpler to say that it was Sarah’s lucky hat, or that she never goes on a trip without it. This just felt thrown in to postpone the emotional climax of the episode.

Best Quote:
Dinah: “Got the red-eye to Central City. Should be home in a flash.” (For my readers who don’t follow the comic books, the Flash (Barry Allen) lives in Central City.)

Things to Ponder:

  • So with Roy in the picture and actually interacting with the Hood now, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a sidekick of some sort. “Speedy” is taken. What do you think his nickname will be?
  • Speaking of future superheroes on the show, with Dinah Lance skipping in and out of the picture, do you think Laurel is still going to become Black Canary?
  • For all that he’s part of an organization based on lies, deceit, and the impending death of thousands, Frank sure didn’t see that particular bus coming. At least Mo seemed to feel bad about having to pitch him under it.


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  1. Thank you for the review and for pointing out the Central City/Flash comic book reference! I also thought that this weeks episode was less choppy and tied together better than some of the previous ones. I think Felicity is a good balancing touch in this cast and am glad to see she is staying involved. The whole thing with the hat did seem a bit odd and overdone. I hope the show is given the chance for things to gel and rework some things, overall I enjoy it.