Streets of Fire Review: Calm before the storm

This episode was gripping opposed to thrill-a-minute. Like City of Blood, it almost built more for the finale than really gave us heaps upon heaps of action. That’s not to say it didn’t have its moments though.

After Slade’s Mirakuru army were unleashed into the city, we had Team Arrow desperately trying to gain the upperhand with the Mirakuru cure, Malcolm Merlyn returning, as well as Sebastian Blood risking everything after realising Slade wasn’t going to fulfil on his promise. On the island, Anatoli and Oliver made their way to the Amazo with the latter going to save Sara – only to run into Slade and his men.

“You honour the dead by fighting and you are not done fighting!”

So we had Oliver, Laurel and Diggle in tricky situations as 2×21 drew to a close. Oliver and Laurel both survived, with Laurel firing an arrow – definitely foregrounding for things to come, I’m sure – while Diggle held his own against Isabel before Felicity run her over, and considered doing it again. I think that ranks as one of my favourite moments of season 2, “Oh, I really thought the air bags were gonna come out.” capped it.

There was a nice moment with Oliver and Felicity too, as she gave him a pep talk about defeating Slade. She has really come out of her comic relief shell as she’s developed, she’s a deeper character with emotion and it’s really refreshing to see that sort of thing. She has always had a real belief in him and she really wasn’t letting him go without a fight and there’s no doubt he’ll go down without a fight. It also seems Ms Smoak will play a big part in the finale, but if you haven’t seen any of that – I shall say no more…

“If you’re so far gone and so irredeemable, then why would they know you by such a beautiful name?”

Sara also returned to get Laurel to safety, with the latter realising it was her sister – though I’m sure she’d worked that out at the same time she realised Oliver definitely was the Arrow. We then had Sara continue to struggle with her belief she’s a killer and go on a bit of a clichéd journey.

We had Laurel with her pep talk, it’s ironic in some respects that after being so off the rails earlier in the season, Laurel is the one who has been getting Oliver and Sara back on track.

Then we had her save a kid from a burning building, which is about the most clichéd hero act you can get before overhearing police officers refer to her as a hero. Nevertheless it was nice for Sara to realise she is good and she’s not as bad as she seems to think – no doubt she went to try and bring the League back with her and no doubt she’ll eventually have succeeded, though I think early negotiations may not have gone to plan.

Also in the Lance family we had Quentin get his detective rank back, persuading Lieutenant Pike to unite with the Arrow, not the vigilante – that was another little line I liked. It again shows how far Quentin has come, seeing the Arrow as a hero now. I suppose you could say all is well with the Lance family now, more or less. Laurel is back on track. Quentin is a detective again. Sara seems to have realised she’s good.

If they all make it through the finale, they might be able to play happy families!

“You have until dawn, then Starling City is a crater.”

Well, if having a psychopathic one-eyed Australian superhuman with an super soldier army destroying the city wasn’t bad enough, we also have Amanda Waller ready to blow Starling City up. It certainly adds fuel to the fire… That woman certainly takes no half measures.

I’m definitely getting a strong ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ vibe from the finale now, city thrust into chaos, imminent explosion, all exits closed…

“They say Nero sang, as he watched Rome burn. Now I understand why.”

So the purpose of the Mirakuru army was revealed and it was an interesting one, Oliver’s love for Starling City is something I’ve never really considered. Which is a little odd, seen as most episodes has his monologue including – “…to save my city…” which is a little bit of a key I suppose. Slade truly meant it when he said he’ll take everything Oliver, he really is taking everything he can.

But, he didn’t factor in the role of Sebastian. After that dark scene with Oliver last week, it was interesting to see Blood genuinely is doing this for Starling City and he genuinely believes it would help. Though, he was set up to be betrayed by Slade last week in all honesty – as soon as he said to Oliver that Slade seems to be delivering, that was the nail in the coffin for their partnership. Furthermore, as soon as Blood betrayed Slade himself by handing Oliver the cure and threatened to tell Oliver’s secret if Oliver told his, it was pretty much the nail in Sebastian’s coffin too.

At least he went out doing his best to protect Starling City and make it better. It was similar to Moira’s exit, her last act was to protect her children. Blood’s last act was to try and help save Starling City.

“I’m her father.”

Malcolm’s story was frustrating, his initial return was impressive but after that nothing really happened compared to the other storylines going on. We had him confront Thea by the platform, then we had the other storylines unfold before being right back with them on the platform. He had a decent enough fight scene with the Mirakuru soldier, more than holding his own before managing to seemingly kill him, before Thea decided to shoot her father.

Thea’s anger was understandable but she seems to share her brother’s impeccable logic. He’s said he’s going to get her to safety but she decides to shoot him, this coming after he’s saved her twice? I suppose she doesn’t really know what’s going on out there… But she’s always been the good one as Oliver said last week, so to see her take such drastic action was surprising. I guess you could say she’s never really seemed capable of something like that, but in fairness she’s been through a lot.

There’s no way Malcolm is dead though. I’m sure of that.

“I also teach you Russian.”

I think Oliver and Anatoli’s little farewell was one of my favourite moments too this season, Oliver struggled with his Russian there. Hopefully we’ll see more of Anatoli in Season 3. As for the flashbacks, they’re all set to go next week – Slade and Oliver ready to showdown, the threat of an imminent missile from the sub – I’d expect we’ll see how the arrow found its way through Slade Wilson’s eye. Like I said, the flashbacks didn’t give us much and more set the scene for next week.

The only way to describe the promo for the season finale is, ‘epic’ so enjoy it!

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