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Arrow S2x22 “Streets of Fire”

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Warning! Major Spoilers!

Well, that happened. Streets of Fire is the penultimate episode in Arrow’s second season and it provides a great lead in to the finale, with the stakes having been raised to terrifying new heights. I was wondering how they’d be able to top the awesomeness that was Sacrifice, last season’s finale going into this episode, but Streets of Fire turns things around and as well as upping the stakes, delivers an episode that’s already equal to the previous series’ finale.

Malcolm Merlyn is back.

Malcolm Merlyn is back.

There’s only so many times a season of Arrow however, can end with the destruction of a city before it loses any effect. This has been pointed out by several people over the past few weeks but Streets of Fire proves that they’re keeping this episode and the conclusion a lot different than Season 1. For a start, there’s escalation – Deathstroke’s army has unleashed hell upon the city, and Amanda Waller has given Ollie a deadline until dawn to save the city, or else she will obliterate it from the face of the Earth to bring an end to Slade’s plan. ARGUS seemed to be the much needed relief force for the Arrow team at the end of an episode that dragged them through hell. However, it could just be their downfall. On the plus side though, it surely means that we’ll be getting an appearance from the Suicide Squad in the finale, and they, along with Malcolm Merlyn and the League of Assassins could just be what Ollie needs to take down Slade.

The show handles its multiple villains very well. Slade, Isabel and Blood are all dealt with effectively and Streets of Fire balances it out well with the heroes. It’s an episode that moves along at a good pace, and serves as a penultimate act that works really well. We know the stakes. We know it’s going to be tough, and we know that everyone’s going to be coming back for the finale. This is where all the pieces fall into place, and somebody’s going to die.

My bet’s personally on Detective Lance. Although he’s transformed from one of the weakest characters to one of the strongest over the course of the season, Arrow seems to have a habit of killing off people who are having their crowning moment of awesome and whilst this could equally happen to Sara given her transition into a hero it seems far more likely that the Detective-Officer-Detective will be the next one to bite the bullet of Slade Wilson’s unstoppable onslaught. But we’ll see.

In the meantime though, this was an episode filled with people that we care about. Malcolm Merlyn’s long anticipated return did not disappoint and although he spent most of it with Thea in a story that although clichéd, (I don’t think there’s a single person who honestly believes that Thea shot Malcolm in the ending scene and not the mask-wearing man behind him) was still fun, and I loved how Malcolm’s return was handled. Hopefully he’ll be teaming up with Ollie in the finale, because after all – the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

This was a big episode for Sebastian Blood as well. Kevin Alejandro has been one of the standouts of Season 2’s newcomers, and his arc unfortunately means that there’ll be no more Mayor Blood. It was good to see that the villains weren’t all on a unified front, and whilst Isabel and Slade may be working together still it was good to see Blood die ‘saving the city’, even if he wasn’t given a full redemption arc.

The flashbacks on the Island were good this week as well, with Ollie heading to rescue Sara from Slade’s boat. Whilst we know they’re obviously going to make it out alive it still provided for some fun scenes, even if they’re not as gripping as the main storyline anymore.

On the whole then, Streets of Fire is an excellent penultimate episode that puts all the pieces in place for a final act. It makes the wait for next week even longer, before the inevitable break before season 3. This show once again proves why it currently has no competition in terms of superhero shows on TV at the moment, and delivers a great episode.

What did you think of the episode and what are your predictions for the finale? Let me know in the comments below.

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