TV Review: Arrow - Season 3 Episode 11 "Midnight City"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 11: "Midnight City"
Synopsis: Arsenal and Diggle confront Laurel about trying to step into her sister’s shoes and warn her to stop before she gets herself killed. However, when Brick (guest star Vinnie Jones) kidnaps the city’s Aldermen and threatens to kill them all unless the police evacuate The Glades, it’s all suits on deck.
In Starling City: In the absence of the now resurrected Oliver Queen, Starling City needs all the heroes it can get. But, we still need answers as to how exactly Tatsu brought Queen back from the dead. The episode opens with Oliver having a nightmare about his death and Felicity but awakes to find himself still in the cabin from last week. Tatsu and Maseo are no longer together, the reason why not yet revealed, but Maseo tells Oliver he will be returning to Nanda Parbat after the storm. Oliver cautions he will be killed if Ra's learns he saved him, but Maseo tells Oliver he needs to be worried about what is happening in Starling City.
As a woman is chased through an alley by a thug, Laurel appears in her Canary gear and attacks the criminal. Her skills are obviously not up to par as she gets sliced on the arm. Before the thug can finish her, Arsenal appears and takes him out. Back at the Arrow Cave, Roy stitches up Laurel and questions why she is out there risking her own life. Laurel insists in Oliver's absence she must carry the mantle of her sister to protect the city.
Ray once again asks Felicity to work on his A.T.O.M. suit but she refuses. At Verdant, Malcolm Merlyn tries to get Thea to pack and leave the city but she will not without knowing if Oliver is safe. Merlyn tells her she is not ready for the truth and Thea in turn says then she is not ready to leave the city. Merlyn leaves as Roy looks on.
At a meeting called by the Mayor, Laurel learns from her father the news of Canary's return. The Mayor demands to know how they will deal with the threat brought by Brick and his goons when Ray Palmer arrives and says he has donated funds to the SCPD to fight Brick but says they should call in the National Guard. At that moment, Brick throws smoke bombs into the meeting room and takes the aldermen hostage.
Oliver tells Tatsu she cannot let Maseo return to the League but she says she cannot stop him. She says he blames himself for what happened but Oliver says it was not his fault. Back in Starling, Captain Lance asks Felicity where the Arrow is and she tells him that they are on their own. Lance then reveals the reappearance of Canary which catches Felicity off guard. Laurel interrogates the man she took down at the Mayor's office, threatening him with false charges and imprisonment unless he gives up Brick's location and he eventually agrees. Laurel has definitely become more interesting this season than her downward shame spiral last year.
Roy follows Merlyn and tells him to leave Thea alone citing all of his actions this season including the murder of Sara Lance. Merlyn says she knows nothing of Sara and she never will. Roy says she will find out somehow and he risks losing her forever. At Palmer's office, Felicity tends to Ray's wounds as he says he could only think about saving her. Ray says A.T.O.M. started as wanting to avenge his fiance but it has become about protecting those he cares about, namely her.
Laurel and Roy prepare to infiltrate Brick's location with Diggle cautioning Roy to stay close to her. They stop Brick's fleet of trucks and Laurel manages to get the aldermen free, but she is cornered by Brick who chokes her, knocking her to the ground. Brick gets the aldermen away but not before Arsenal gets an arrow into him. In retaliation, Brick kills one of the hostages and tosses him from the truck. Laurel's father once again confronts her about her sister being back but Laurel has no comments. Brick calls into the Mayor with his demand to meet with her face to face in one hour.
Merlyn comes to see Thea and decides to tell her the truth about Ra's Al Ghul and that he wants both of them dead. Felicity then visits Laurel to discuss her taking on the Canary persona. Laurel changes her mind after seeing Brick kill the hostage and doesn't think she is strong enough to do what Sara did. Felicity, in contrast to what she told Ray, tells Laurel maybe it isn't about being Sara but doing what is right.
Brick's demands of the Mayor are to evacuate The Glades within hours or he will begin killing the remainng hostages. Captain Lance calls Felicity and says they need help and she in turn looks to Laurel. Returning to the Arrow Cave, Felicity says she was wrong and they need to band together to defend the city and rescue the aldermen. Laurel calls her father, posing as Sara, and learns one of the aldermen has a pacemaker which they can use to locate Brick. Felicity borrows Palmer's helicopter so Diggle, Arsenal, and Canary can drop in on Brick's warehouse.
Storming the location, Canary and Arsenal get the aldermen out but Brick shoots at Laurel, cornering her. Using one of Sara's devices, Laurel tricks Brick, kicks him in the balls, and jumps out a window to a ladder suspended from the helicopter. Hot damn!
Back with Oliver, Maseo prepares to leave for Nanda Parbat. Tatsu tells him she still loves him but his mind is still set. Outside, assassins arrive looking for the body of Oliver. Before they can leave, they find Tatsu, forcing them to attack. Maseo buries the bodies and Oliver asks him to come back to Starling City. Instead, Maseo cuts himself on the neck to give the appearance that Oliver subdued him and escaped. Maseo leaves Oliver and Tatsu and heads back to Nanda Parbat.
In Starling, Laurel meets her father, hiding her voice as Sara. He thanks her for helping save the aldermen but the Mayor has still decided to pull the cops out of The Glades. Lance asks Sara to meet for dinner but she says she can't and will explain everything soon. At Thea's apartment, Malcolm asks if she is ready to leave and she says she is not going to. Thea asks why they don't stay and fight and Malcolm agrees, begrudgingly. Felicity returns Palmer's helicopter along with a solution for the nanochip he needed for his A.T.O.M. suit,
The episode ends with Thea's DJ fling revealed as working for the League of Assassins and calls Maseo to tell him the Merlyns are not leaving Starling City.
Flashbacks: Five years ago, Oliver and Maseo go to a club to try and reclaim Tatsu but are apprehended by China White's men. As it turns out, Maseo is prepared to exchange the Alpha for Tatsu and he apologizes to Oliver for lying to him. Maseo tells Oliver not to judge him but Oliver says it is too late. China White tests the Alpha which turns out to be a fake. She gives the order to kill them all, but a fight ensues and the three get away through the club. Back at home, Oliver says Maseo should have told him about the fake. Maseo says it wasn't a fake and Amanda Waller must have switched it, knowing he may do something like this. Oliver asks how he could put the lives of people at risk and Maseo says he would do anything for his family.
Review: As much as I found the first half of this season uneven, these last two episodes have been downright stellar. I never would have thought putting Oliver in the backseat of the plot would work but the side players have really showed their stuff, especially Roy and Laurel. I was amongst everyone in thinking it was too soon for Laurel to suit up as Canary but I really like that they are making her out to be in over her head and very much a rookie superhero. She isn't graceful and makes mistakes, giving a humanity to a comic book character, something we don't often get to see. The Hong Kong flashbacks are starting to come together as well and I feel a big showdown is imminent for our cast and Ra's Al Ghul. Plus, Vinnie Jones is proving to be a good nemesis just when this show needed one.
Next on ARROW: "Uprising" airs February 4th, 2015: Still operating without Oliver and determined to stop Brick, Team Arrow is forced to weigh Malcolm’s offer to help shut Brick down as Malcolm has a personal vendetta to settle with the antagonist. Roy and Laurel point out that the team could use some help to save the innocents of The Glades, but Felicity is adamantly against it