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TV Review: Arrow: Season 1 – “The Undertaking”

By: Adam Basciano

Arrow Title Card

“Finding it difficult to mend fences with Tommy and Diggle, Oliver instead focuses on crossing another name off the list. While digging through a crooked accountant‘s laptop, Felicity discovers a transaction that could help Oliver find Walter. To reconfirm the lead, Oliver gambles that Felicity can be counted on in the field for the first time. In a flashback, Malcolm reveals to Robert Queen and Frank Chen painful details surrounding his wife‘s murder, and how that shaped his plans for the Glades. Meanwhile, Tommy stuns Laurel with the truth.” (The CW)

This season has offered us viewers many twists, turns and  left us  asking many questions. As the season continues to reach its conclusion, these twists, turns and questions begin to reveal themselves and get answered.  This is definitely what happens in “The Undertaking.” I really enjoyed the flashbacks in this episode.  Rather then give us more island time, the episode takes us back to before Oliver and Robert leave for the island.  In these scenes we discover, the reasons behind Malcolm’s hatred for the Glades, and how he wants to remedy “the problem”.  His motives echo those of Ra’s Al Ghul in “Batman Begins” to a degree, although a much smaller scale.  We also see how duplicitous Oliver was with Laurel back then.  It’s especially hard to watch, since you’re rooting for them in the present day.  Speaking of the present day, there are so many secrets revealed to our characters, it would make Maury Povich and Jerry Springer jealous.  Oliver learns that his mother was in cahoots with Malcolm Merlyn in regards to “The Undertaking.” He also learns that Malcolm ordered the capture of Walter. Also, did anyone shout “FINALLY” at their TV when Oliver admits to Laurel that he loves her? Or was it just me?  This episode I felt amped up the action significantly compared to the last couple of episodes.  I really enjoyed each action set piece.

The Undertaking

Another episode where all the cast members featured brought their best to the episode. Standouts for me were John Barrowman, Katie Cassidy and Emily Bett Rickards.  John Barrowman is one crafty actor. We’ve seen him through out the season pull off the evil bastard.  We’ve also seen his character get emotional talking about his wife and felt sympathy for him.  Well in this episode, we get glimpses of both in the same scene, which was quite impressive.  Katie Cassidy since episode one has had fantastic chemistry with Stephen Amell.  However, the look on her face when Amell’s character admitted his true feelings. was all that was needed to make the emotions convincing.  Emily Bett Rickards has lots to do in this episode from being Oliver’s tech support, to an undercover sexy siren, and last but not least, helping to repair the bromance of Oliver and Diggle.  Emily brings so much energy and versatility to the character and the show.

“The Undertaking” is the start of what I consider the “hat-trick” of great final three episodes.  The next of which is titled “Darkness on the Edge of Town” will be reviewed by Kyle.

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