When I interviewed Arrow exec producers Mark Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg recently, they said that tonight's finale was more like a feature film. They weren't kidding.
From terrific action sequences to some incredibly poignant moments, the episode wrapped up this season's most pivotal storylines and set the stage for a stellar season 2 in a way that was both cinematic and substantial. Oh and of course, thanks to the final scene, absolutely shocking. (Now, before you read the next sentence, remember I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who has not read the comics. For those of you who have an idea of where this arc is headed, please keep spoilers to a minimum in the comments. Speculation however is totally welcome).
I knew someone was going to die in the finale, but not once did I think it would be Tommy. Thea? Sure. Lance? Why not! Moira? Maybe. But Tommy?! Well played, writers. Well played.
Don't worry. The death will be discussed in detail below, but first let's back up to the start of the episode...
After a brief flashback showing Oliver on the raft with his dad post-shipwreck, the episode cuts to Starling City, where our vigilante is chained to a ceiling and yes, shirtless. (Go ahead. Take a look. It'll be a few months before you see those abs again). Since discovering Oliver's hooded identity, Malcolm has decided to hold him hostage and sell him on his form of vengeance. Oliver however isn't exactly the easiest customer. The two are at an impasse, though it doesn't really matter because Malcolm is convinced he's winning either way. He thinks Oliver is a weak opponent because he doesn't know what he's fighting for or what he's willing to sacrifice. Before he (literally) leaves Oliver hanging, Malcolm promises that no one will be able to stop his plan to level the Glades — not even the vigilante.
Flashback to the Island: Oliver stabs Fyers' minion just as he's about to launch the missile that's supposed to take down the commercial airliner (and consequently, China's economy). But he's not swift enough. The missile is on its way.
In Starling City, Oliver decides he's done being tied up. He flips himself upside down and works his way up the metal chain latching him to the ceiling until it releases. He ends up landing on his spine and it looks PAINFUL. (This stunt was great, but did it make anyone else cringe? I definitely felt like it was my spine hitting the floor).
Of course, he doesn't get to make a clean getaway. Oliver is accosted by Malcolm's men on his way out. Luckily, Diggle -- who found Oliver through a tracking device latched inside his boot (it came in handy!) -- arrives on the scene just in time.
The two head back to the hideaway, where Diggle tells Oliver that Felicity discovered the design schematics of the earthquake generator. In other words, they can shut it down, if they can find it.
Speaking of Felicity, she gets taken into custody by Det. Lance, who wants to know all about her hacking "hobby." He connects her to the Hood, but before he can make any headway he's interrupted by a call from Arrow, who tells him about Malcolm's plans to level the Glades. Lance realizes that a certain blonde IT girl is the least of his concerns, and lets Felicity go. Before she leaves, however, Felicity gets unnecessarily teary eyed and tells Lance that Arrow is truly a hero or whatever. Couldn't she have just made an awkward comment? I like her so much more when she's not emo.
NEXT: Oliver tells Tommy about Malcolm's plan to demolish the Glades...