1×21: The Undertaking Review

WARNING: This review contains spoilers from tonight’s Arrow. If you haven’t yet seen the episode, turn back now!

Colin Salmon returned in an episode which saw Walter’s rescue, friendships repaired and a treasure-trove of betrayal.

With Oliver and Diggle’s partnership broken apart, Oliver re-focused his attention on the list, as he took down a corrupt accountant. With the help of Felicity, they search the man’s laptop, they find a transaction on December 12th, amounting to $2m. As Felicity put it, “That’s the day Walter disappeared.” Oliver put two and two together, and decided that the accountant had something to do with his step-father going missing.

The money trail led to an underground casino. Oliver was never going to get into the casino, and due to his dispute with Diggle, Felicity was the only one who could get in without raising suspicion. Her convincing argument of “The reason I joined you was to help find Walter and for the first time we have a real shot at finding him.” was good enough for Oliver.

Her undercover mission didn’t go too well, as after she got caught cheating, Oliver had to go in and rescue her. While inside, Oliver was told a piece of information that rocked him and Felicity to the core. Walter was dead.

Oliver’s explanation of this to his family didn’t go down well. After Moira learned of Walter’s death, she went straight to Malcolm to confront him. He proved to her that her husband was still alive, but Oliver was listening. He heard everything, including the fact that the pair are working together on The Undertaking.

Oliver’s subsequent reaction in the Arrow cave showed he was very angry. His rage had to be put to one side, as Felicity discovered the actual location of Walter. The rescue by Oliver was brilliant. After a parachute landing, he left at least a dozen armed thugs injured on the ground. Easily the second best action sequence on the show so far.

With Walter rescued, and Oliver’s knowledge in hand, all that was left to do was make up with Diggle. After (finally) admitting that he was wrong, he asks for Diggle to help him stop the Undertaking.

As the title suggests, this episode revolved around The Undertaking. Through a series of flashbacks to before the island, we learned what The Undertaking actually is, who came up with the idea, and why they are doing it.

Robert’s meeting with Malcolm, Frank, and others told us about a previous Undertaking. Their plan was to clean up the Glades. Coincidentally, they were using names from a book, the exact same as the one that Robert gave to Oliver. They were the ones that created the list. Frank even mentioned Adam Hunt, Oliver’s first target, and one of the men that Malcolm killed in ‘Year’s End’.

Malcolm decided to abandon the current plan, in favour of a new one. This one entailed destroying the Glades, using a natural disaster. Robert was completely against this idea, as he couldn’t possibly agree to killing thousands of people. Frank appeared to agree with him.

With Moira’s betrayal of Frank (in ‘Salvation’) in mind, it wasn’t so odd that Frank betrayed Robert, and helped Malcolm by planting a bomb to destroy the Queen’s Gambit, and kill the billionaire. This was probably one of the reasons that Moira let Frank take the fall for attempting to kill Malcolm in the present day.

We also got to see Oliver’s relationship with Laurel. Laurel also suggested that her father hated Oliver even before the island. “Because your father threatened to taser me last time I closed the door to your bedroom?” As she asked him to get an apartment with her, we saw a much different Oliver. It was much due to his clear deep-set fear of commitment (much like F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ Chandler) that he decided to take Sarah on the boat trip instead of Laurel.

In the present day, we saw Tommy’s ‘truth’ towards Laurel. It wasn’t that Oliver is the vigilante, but that Oliver is still in love with Laurel. When Laurel eventually confronts him about Tommy’s claim, Oliver doesn’t deny it. Laurel’s reaction here was brilliant, as it shocked her to the core.

A few of my final thoughts:

  • Stephen Amell didn’t present himself too well. In some of the present day scenes, he was clean-shaven, but in some he wasn’t. I know this is due to the nature of the flashbacks, but they could’ve at least made it look much better.
  • I’d agree with Laurel. Tommy looked very much like Malcolm.
  • Oliver’s pronunciation of the word ‘everything’ while talking to Diggle wasn’t what I expected it to be.
  • As much as I disagree completely with Malcolm’s plan, I can understand as to why he’s doing it. Listening to that must have been awful.
  • Now we know all the details about the Undertaking, this will really build up to a huge season finale.

Some of the best quotes:

Malcolm: “You say that as if your driveway isn’t bigger than most roads.”

Malcolm: “One man alone can’t save this city.”

Laurel: “This coffee’s terrible Oliver.” Oliver: “Well that’s what you get for ordering coffee at a bar.”

Malcolm: “I listened to my wife die over, and over, and over again.”

Felicity: “I know Oliver’s religiously against admitting he’s wrong, truth is, he needs you.”

Felicity: “You’re gonna be really upset when you meet my partner.”

Oliver: “They’ll get what’s coming to them.”

Laurel: “Say that you and I are over, that you’re not still in love with me” Oliver: “I can’t do that” Laurel: “Why not?” Oliver: “Because it wouldn’t be true. And I have enough lies in my life already.”

Diggle: “You do know where I live.” Oliver: “I’ve always known where you live.”

Overall I’d give this episode a 9/10. The episode as a whole was good, with some awesome action scenes, and emotional scenes. It’s also a good set-up for the final two episodes.

What did you think of ‘The Undertaking’? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, via email at ArrowFansUK@outlook.com or in the comments below.

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