It’s Arrow midseason finale time, and usually, that means some near-death shocking cliffhanger or something happening that keeps everyone on their toes. This year was different, though, as the last hour of 2017 offered solid character moments, conflict, and set up for the second half of the season packaged in a satisfying way.
No deaths, no one falling off a cliff or getting impaled, and no one getting shot up. It’s a holiday miracle, everyone! But while there weren’t any physically shocking moments, there was plenty to talk about as Oliver and Felicity got to celebrate their nuptials with friends and family. The happy occasion brought everyone out from Ivy Town and Vegas to Star City. Of course, it’s a midseason finale, so there needs to be some trouble brewing. What was the trouble brewing this time? It was Agent Watson finding someone on the team that could be threatened into giving away information about Oliver and his Green Arrow duties.
Cue the team family conflict and some difficult choices made by a few members of the team.
The Olicity Reception
We got 10 solid, uninterrupted minutes of happiness with Oliver and Felicity’s reception and it was so sweet. The Queen-Smoak family moments were fun to watch, from Thea trying to explain that she only let William drink a sip of champagne to Oliver running interference with his mother-in-law. Seeing Donna upset about her daughter eloping and not having a rabbi or chupah involved in the nuptials was hilarious and felt very on-brand.
The moment Oliver saw Felicity walk in was wonderful and so sweet, and the change of expression on his face was simply lovely. These two have gone through a lot in the last five years so to see them do the typical wedding things like cutting the cake and their first dance felt like important and earned moments. Moments of peace and celebration with the people they hold near and dear to them.
Also, can we appreciate the fact that Diggle was the one that started that round of applause for the couple?
OTA v. NTA
The tension between OTA and New Team Arrow hit its peak this episode, and while it was tough to watch after the last season or so of them all coming together, it was well-balanced. Usually, when conflicts like this happen, there is a clear part of the team to side with.
What was great about the way this came about, with Rene being put in a position to either sacrifice ever seeing his daughter again or sacrificing Oliver and the Green Arrow, was that it was understandable. We’ve seen Rene struggle with trying to get Zoe back since last season and even saw Oliver vow to help get his daughter back. Oliver understands where he’s coming from because he would do the same for William (he said as much when we got the delightful return of Queen sibling talks).
It’s also understandable why each person chose the side they chose. NTA chose to leave because of the trust they felt was lost, and OTA has been burned before, so they decided to be cautious. There is a lot more at stake now for everyone than there was before. Oliver and Rene have so much to lose that you can’t fault either of them for their decisions. Trust may have been lost, but when it’s rebuilt, as it inevitably will be (hopefully), they will be a stronger team for it. It will be fun to see how this story will play out and what will be each team’s breaking point and it they will end up saving each other.
The Evil League of Evil Has Been Assembled
The final reveal was essentially the culmination of every villainous interaction in the first batch of episodes. Seeing that this was Cayden’s plan made sense in terms of weakening the team and that he essentially enlisted a league of evil made sense. What was curious about the reveal was that there was essentially a villain or obstacle for everyone: Vince is Dinah’s villain, Anatoly is Oliver’s (kind of?), Cayden is Felicity’s, Diaz is Diggle’s, and Siren is probably Lance’s. But then there was a sixth man standing beside Cayden that was oddly silent.
Who is this man and what is he up to? Also, what does Cayden have planned next and will he be going after Felicity soon?
Oliver and Lance’s relationship has always been one of the stories that have been interesting to see change and grow through the years. The moment he handed Oliver that watch and assumed the role of a parent for him was touching and heartwarming, especially as he’s seen him grow into the man he’s become. It was a small moment but carried so much weight in terms of their dynamic.
Essentially Lance has become the Queen family surrogate father, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Thea telling Rene she expected to see Roy at the reception hurt a bit. After all of the pain and terrible things that have happened to her (one of which she mentioned when she said she doesn’t do DJs), she needs a little bit of happiness her way. Hopefully, that will come with more time with her family, getting her life together again and maybe Roy’s return at some point?
So what did you think of the midseason finale? Was the reception everything you thought it would be? Where do you stand on OTA v. NTA?
Arrow returns Thursday, January 18 at 9 p.m. on the CW.