With the revelation that Oliver had survived the battle with Ra’s Al Ghul, apparently, not by the Lazarus Pit as it seems this week, we get a pretty interesting episode that works for putting Laurel and Roy into the hot seat as the Canary and Arsenal respectively and seeing how they shine when the glades comes under attack by Vinnie Jones’ Brick, in the second part of a three episode trilogy.
Midnight City is one of the strongest episodes of Season 3 so far for me. Laurel is starting to improve as a character even if I wasn’t a big fan of her calling her father and pretending to be Sara – you know that the revelation of her death is going to hit him hard, real hard, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t make it out of the season. However, we got to see Laurel’s character grow this episode as we saw her and Roy fail to stop Brick from kidnapping the Aldermen from a meeting where Ray Palmer and Felicity had just arrived to deliver a pitch to the Police. Of course, Laurel was never going to be as good as Sara from the get go, and it was good to see the learning curve that she dealt with during this episode. Roy hasn’t had much more training than she has as well, even though it may be from Oliver and he may have been brought up on the streets. However, this was a big episode for her and it was good to see some great character development being made towards someone who has arguably been the series’ weakest character.
There’s a lot of things that happened in Midnight City that made the episode stand out. The hostage negotiation was pretty cool, with Ray getting involved, and the fact that the Mayor backed down from Brick’s negations so easily (he was standing out right in the open and could have easily been shot by a sniper), showed how little they cared about the people of The Glades. It’s easy to see the potential for the fallout from this event on the political side of things, and depending on how the writers wish to take the remainder of the season then there’s a lot of things that could be done with this, given that they dealt quite heavily on the aftermath of the Season 1 finale.
I really enjoyed the scenes with Oliver, Maseo and Tatsu this week and I was hoping that they’d come back to Starling with him by the episode’s end. However, there was plenty of problems to be dealt with first. We still don’t know why Maseo is so loyal to the League of Assassins but there was some great emotional drama between the two to be had there. The revelation at the end that the DJ who was befriending Thea was actually a member of the League was handled incredibly well, and provided a neat twist to actually make this character seem a bit more interesting.
The only parts that I didn’t really enjoy this week were the flashbacks. Whilst they were the best part of Season 1, it’s felt that in Seasons 2 and 3 they haven’t really needed that much attention and it has allowed for the writers to continue to feature China White, who is probably one of the weakest recurring villains of the show so far. She doesn’t really feel intimidating and you know that because it’s a flashback, Ollie, Tatsu and Maseo will all escape alive, so there’s hardly any tension there. However, there’s still plenty of potential to come in the Hong Kong storyline, which still has lots of room to work with.
So on the whole then, Midnight City was a pretty good episode of Arrow that turned out to be one of the strongest that we’ve had from Season 3 so far. We got some great character moments for the supporting cast once again, with Laurel, Roy, Thea, Malcolm and more all getting some good material. And now with this episode, the middle act of the trilogy out-of-the-way, it’ll be very interesting to see what happens with Oliver’s return next time.