Arrow – “Eleven-Fifty-Nine” Review

Tragedy strikes Team Arrow

WARNING: Spoilers are within these words

After last week’s silly episode where bees were the main threat, all I wanted was a good Arrow episode. Holy hell, I think we got one of the best episodes of this season. This episode had everything I love about this show. This episode brought down the thunder with incredible action, awesome villainy, drama, and closure on this season’s biggest mystery.

Okay, here’s the recap. The episode started fast and strong, with Andy Diggle telling his brother and Oliver that H.I.V.E. was planning a prison break to get Damien Darhk out. The guys go to investigate and are met with very little opposition. While they were out on what Oliver assumed to be a decoy run, the bunker is attacked by Malcolm Merlyn and his League of Assassins. Laurel and Thea do their best to defend their hideout, but after Malcolm bests his daughter, Thea in their duel, the League manages to get what they came for, Damien Darhk’s idol.

Malcolm takes the idol to Darhk’s cell at Iron Heights. Dahrk tells Malcolm there is a piece missing. Oliver begins to get very suspicious towards Andy, and even confronts him in Diggle’s apartment after he catches him frantically searching for something. Andy tells Oliver he’s searching for tabs but Oliver knows he was searching for the missing idol piece. Diggle walks in on the interrogation. This causes friction between Ollie and Diggle, with Dig siding with his brother. Very intense stuff!

arrow andy lies

Laurel is offered a promotion to become the city’s next district attorney by Damien Darhk’s wife and mayoral candidate, Ruvé Adams. Laurel struggles with the decision on taking the job or remaining the Black Canary. Her father, ironically, tells her she’s doing good work as a crime fighter, but Oliver tells her with the team in such doubt, she should take her dream job and fight crime within the law.

Before I get to the final act, the flashback presented a lot of great action and gunplay as we see Oliver and Taiana take on Reiter’s men and rescue the prisoners. Oliver plans to set off a bomb and trap Reiter.

And finally… in a very intense and brutal fashion, Damien stages a riot in Iron Heights with the prisoners taking the guards hostage. Team Arrow springs into action to save the guards and to lock Darhk back up. Thea faces off with her father, Malcolm, once again, but is outmatched, yet again. Andy betrays the team and gives Darhk the missing idol piece, restoring the villain’s powers back. Once he torments the team, he takes his revenge against Lt. Lance by stabbing Laurel. Darhk gets away. Laurel is rushed to the hospital and stabilized, but she eventually dies.

Arrow -- "Eleven-Fifty-Nine" -- Image AR418a_0027b.jpg -- Pictured: Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Yup… (sigh). Tonight was the night we finally got our answer on the flash forward sequence from this season’s premier episode with Oliver staring at the grave of a fallen team member. After assuming it was Felicity in the grave once seeing her get shot in the mid-finale, but then seeing that is wasn’t her when the show returned, anyone else was a potential target. My gut was always telling me it would be Laurel. All signs pointed to her fate when Lance, who was working with Damien Darhk, came to his senses and betrayed Darhk. That was obviously going to have fatal consequences. And if you know how a sinister villain works, he or she with almost always seek their revenge through their target’s family members. The death of Laurel Lance aka Black Canary isn’t exactly shocking, but it’s still quite tragic and dramatically effective. Her final words to Oliver were quite touching when she basically called him the love of her life. When she uttered those words, I knew she was a goner. My only gripe with her death scene was that it was very rushed. The episode was obviously running low on time, so the editing made the doctors’ attempt to save her life look half-assed. The very second she flatlined, the doctor called her time of death, which happened to be the episode’s title, 11:59. The loss of the character was a big enough blow, but if the scene had dwelled a little longer, we could have seen some of the best drama the show had to offer.

It’s a shame we won’t be seeing the beautiful Katie Cassidy on the show anymore, unless she comes back from the dead or something. There’s always flashbacks too, let’s not forget that. Her demise was a long time coming though, let’s be honest. Laurel has always been a hit-or-miss character with very little depth to her, other than what she meant to Oliver and Lance. Throughout the series, she’s had some weak storylines, and even got annoying in some episodes. Only until recently, she seemed like a capable crime fighter, because most of the time, she made mistakes. And yet, it’s still pretty tragic to see her die because she seemed like someone who truly wanted to make a difference. Ironically, her death can provide a pivotal turn for the show in terms of storytelling, something, sadly, her character couldn’t do well in life. The death of Black Canary added some much needed authentic drama.  It presents a clear example of the consequences of being a vigilante can have. It will obviously weigh heavy of Oliver Queen’s conscience. It will also be interesting to see if Lance goes down a spiral of despair and blames Oliver, or if he’ll seek revenge and remain an ally to Team Arrow. I really, really hope for the latter. Even Diggle has to struggle with the fact that if he had listened to Oliver, his brother may not have had a chance to help restore Darhk’s powers. So he’ll have that conflict to deal with within himself.

Arrow -- "Eleven-Fifty-Nine" -- Image AR418b_0052b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Willa Holland as Thea Queen and Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Other than the tragedy and despair of “Eleven-Fifty-Nine”, this was a stellar episode. Without a doubt, a season best, possibly a game changer. After a series of average episodes, this one hit us with everything the show had. The action was plentiful and exciting. Along with the excitement, we also got great themes of loyalty, trust, and betrayal. I loved the build up to the confrontation with Damien Darhk. Hell, Darhk was great in this episode, showcasing his best amounts of evilness and arrogance. Him getting his powers back and having a vengeful mindset is a dangerous combination for our heroes, but it will be exciting for us fans watching the show. Every character had a moment, minus Felicity, who only showed up with Curtis to check up on Laurel at the hospital. I was hooked on this episode. I mean, hell, even the flashbacks were good, and y’all know I’ve been bitching about those for a while. Even though it ended on a tragic note, it left me with an adrenaline rush. And that’s what I want from Arrow every week it’s on air. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until April 27 for the show to continue (man, I hate hiatuses). So for now, let us appreciate this great episode, and of course mourn the loss one of our fallen heroes. (Sigh)

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