‘Arrow’ 1.23 Episode Recap and Review: Sacrifice

It’s the season finale of Arrow, and everything is going to change.

Malcolm’s got Ollie chained up and shirtless (because CW) in an undisclosed location. Supposedly all he wants to do is make Oliver “understand,” but talks do not go well. Both are pretty fanatical about being Right, but seeing as how Oliver’s version of “Right” doesn’t involve killing a few thousand people, the audience sympathy is pretty firmly on his side. Oliver breaks away with Digg’s help and heads back to the Arrow-cave.

Felicity is on her way there, herself, but Quentin has other ideas. Her hacking traces connect her to the Hood, and Quentin wants more information. The Kate Beckett-style interrogation is interrupted by a phone call from the Hood himself, telling Quentin about Malcolm’s Doomsday device. Lance lets Felicity go so that she can help Oliver save the city.

Around the same time, Tommy heads over to Verdant to confront his former bestie about the love scene he saw through Laurel’s window. Tommy’s not exactly willing to listen, especially not once Oliver tells him about Malcolm’s plot to destroy the Glades. He wishes that Ollie had died on the island and tells him so. Ouch.

Oliver heads home to get more information from his mum on the possible location of the earthquake machine. She doesn’t know exactly where it is, but a call from Malcolm informs her that the timetable has changed. Everything is going down tonight. Oliver’s pleas and the tale of how Robert really died strike Mo to the core. She holds a press conference to tell the people of Starling City everything, and begs people to get out of the Glades. As soon as she steps out of the limelight, the Starling City Police swoop in to put her under arrest. Thea runs out to the Glades to try to save Roy.

Meanwhile, Tommy, who appears to still be in a very confrontational mood, goes to his father to get the truth. Malcolm confirms everything. The cops come to take Malcolm down, but he’s not exactly going to go quietly. He kills the entire police force right in front of Tommy. Tommy pulls a gun to stop him, but Malcolm just knocks him out and goes to wait for Oliver, who is inevitably coming.

Our heroes have discovered the location of the device, so Quentin and Felicity are tasked with taking it down while Ollie and Digg go after Malcolm himself. After a seriously epic Boss Battle, Oliver stabs Malcolm through his own body as Quentin manages to deactivate the device. Malcolm’s final words are about learning redundancy in business. There’s a second device that no one knew about. It activates, and fully half the Glades is toast. Fortunately, not the half that houses Verdant and an understandably terrified Felicity.

Laurel’s still in the damaged half, a fact which just about everyone on the series knows. Oliver runs like the wind, but it’s Tommy who gets to the Legal Aid office in time to pull Laurel out from under several chunks of concrete and get her to safety. Tommy himself isn’t quite fast enough, though, and an aftershock leaves him impaled on rebar. Oliver finds him and makes peace before Tommy dies. The Merlyn family is gone, and the Glades are in pieces. What’s going to happen next?

Alright, when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. Poor Tommy, we hardly knew ye. Of course, with Tommy’s death, it’s going to be ages before Oliver and Laurel become an actual thing. There’s going to be a whole lot of guilt and grief to get through on both sides before they can happen. With luck, somewhere way down the line we’ll get a “Vertigo makes you think you’re in a trippy musical” episode with cameos by the Merlyn family. It’d make me feel better, anyway.

I loved seeing Roy take that hero turn, staying in the Glades to help instead of getting out with Thea. I can only hope that we’re going to see more of his sidekick journey next season. Hopefully early next season so that we can watch the dynamic duo fight some Starling City crime!

Best Quote:
Oliver: “Nobody in my life is who I thought they were except you.” (I know, I went serious with this one. It happens.)

Things to Ponder:

  • Dad’s wrongs have been… kind of righted. The Undertaking has happened. What’s the story line going to be for next season?
  • So, Mo’s in prison and all, and you know the legal settlement involved is going to be all kinds of hellish. Where is Oliver going to get the money to keep the Arrow-cave up and running?
  • Alright, TVLand. You’ve taken away John Barrowman and Colin Donnell. Smash just got the axe, so there go Megan Hilty and Christian Borle. Leave me my Bunheads, please!


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  1. I love this show! but they really did kinda paint themselves in a corner with the finale. I cant wait until september but im also a little worried

  2. Nice first season, entertaining and enjoyable….. real improvement incorporating the flashback scenes and things have gelled nicely. I am kind of sorry to see Tommy die, will make for some drama. I think that the club must bring in a good income for Ollie and he has family money of course. Good to see Roy doing the hero thing, probably won’t be long before he joins the Green Arrow????

  3. Arrow’s season finale was excellent. I was also very surprised to see Tommy die in this episode. Thought he’d be around much longer. Lots of angst to follow.
    Ollie and Thea probably have some trust fund money tucked away that they can grab. On the other hand, doesn’t Mo have some top-notch lawyers that can spring her free? Emotional distress, blackmail and all that she was subjected to? 🙂
    Can’t wait for season 2. Thanks for the recap!

  4. Given the public announcement of culpability, I wonder how even the best lawyers are going to get Mo out of this one. With Malcolm dead, she’s the last Undertaking member left to shoulder the blame. We’ll see how that pans out next season!