Nocking Point: Arrow Episode 523, "Lian Yu"

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Arrow 523 Lian Yu

ARROW wraps its fifth season on an explosive cliffhanger -- literally -- which might serve to shake up the membership of Team Arrow right down to the cellar floor.

In preparation for his final strike to break Green Arrow (STEPHEN AMELL), Adrian Chase (JOSH SEGARRA) has abducted every member of Oliver's team -- and his family, including his son, William (JACK MOORE) -- and brought them back to where it all began: the island of Lian Yu, where Oliver (supposedly) was marooned for five years.

Of course, over the five seasons of ARROW, we've learned that Oliver was very busy during those five years, and not all of it was spent on the island. The finale of the fifth season also brings to a close the five-year flashback story, with Oliver in deadly conflict with Konstantin Kover (DOLPH LUNDGREN), and we learn how and why the Oliver we saw being rescued in the pilot episode looked more like a guy who'd been stranded for five years, rather than the guy we've seen traveling the globe learning martial arts and battle strategy.

In the present day, returning to Lian Yu, Oliver has to find new allies -- and they're hardly trustworthy, featuring the likes of Digger Harkness (NICK E. TARABAY), Deathstroke (MANU BENNETT) and Nyssa al Ghul (KATRINA LAW), the stage gets set for one of the most exquisitely choreographed fight scenes in the show's history, pitting all of Team Arrow against Adrian's partners -- Talia al Ghul (LEXA DOIG), Evelyn Sharp (MADISON MCLAUGHLIN), and Earth-2 villain Black Siren (KATIE CASSIDY).

Adrian's goal remains consistent throughout: he wants to prove that Oliver is still a killer, and that everyone close to him suffers for it. To that end, he's now trying to get Oliver to give in to his anger and kill him -- and Oliver is sorely tempted at every turn. But the game is a little deadlier now than it has ever been. Because the entire island has been wired to explode, and the detonator is Chase himself. If he dies, Team Arrow dies. If he lives, he will kill William. And the cliffhanger ending brings with it the opportunity for a whole new beginning for ARROW's sixth season.

Awesome conflicts, a villain who is truly formidable in his cold, calculating plans, and ARROW's fifth season has turned out to be perhaps one of the best the series has had to offer. With the flashbacks behind us and future stories having a full focus on the present events, we should be in for quite an adventure yet to come.

 

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0