‘Arrow’ Recap: Episode 1.23, ‘Sacrifice’

by Ryan Rigley

Last night’s explosive “Arrow” season finale kicked off, appropriately, with a callback to this season’s pilot episode. As a desperate Robert Queen holds a gun to his temple, he tells his son Oliver to survive. Picking up exactly where last week’s episode ended, “Sacrifice” opens on a beaten and bruised Oliver Queen, chained up in a dark room, as the evil Malcolm Merlyn thanks him for saving his life and makes fun of his inability to best him in combat.

In a flashback to the island of Lian Yu, Oliver and company watch on in horror as the Chinese aircraft slowly flies to its assured doom. Suddenly, Oliver breaks free stabbing his captive with ease. As Slade and Shado also break free of their restraints, Edward Fyres picks up his walkie talkie and orders his men to fire their missiles. Cut to present day, where Oliver manages to break free of his restraints and is saved by his trusty partner in crime: Diggle.

On the other side of town, Detective Lance stops Felicity Smoak on the street and brings her in for questioning. He knows that she hacked into the Merlyn Global mainframe and he knows that she’s been aiding the vigilante from her computer at Queen Consolidated. Then, as if on cue, the vigilante calls Lance and informs him of Malcolm’s nefarious plans to level the Glades.

Lance informs the lieutenant, but is met with skepticism. Subsequently, Lance is asked to hand in his badge and his gun. At Verdant, Tommy pays Oliver a little visit telling Oliver that he went over to Laurel’s place and saw the two of them hooking up through her bedroom window. Oliver then tells Tommy that his dad is evil and hellbent on leveling the Glades.

Oliver then tells his mother, Moira, that he knows about Malcolm’s plans, asking her to help stop him. Instead, Malcolm calls Moira to inform her that he is moving forward with his plan even earlier than previously stated. At Merlyn Global, Tommy storms into his dad’s office complaining about his relationship problems and what Oliver told him about the Glades. Malcolm confirms that Oliver is telling the truth, then shows his son the Dark Archer uniform that he keeps hidden behind a wall in his office.

Back at the Queen residence, Moira holds a press conference with all of the news stations present. She then reveals to the entirety of Starling City that she has had a hand in this plan for the past five years and that Malcolm is the man directly responsible. Moira is then arrested on site, while Thea runs to the Glades to save Roy Harper. With that, policemen storm into the office of Malcolm Merlyn, who quickly kills them all with a sword.

In a flashback, Fyres’ camp explodes as the missile launcher is disabled, causing the missiles to fall back down towards the ground. As the smoke clears, Oliver searches for his lost friends. First, Slade shows up. Then, Fyres shows up holding Shado at gunpoint. Fyres bargains with Oliver and claims that he has a way for Oliver to leave the island, but Oliver ignores Fyres and shoots him dead with an arrow to the throat.

Back in present day Starling City, Detective Lance takes to the abandoned subway lines in order to find and disable the Unidac earthquake machine with the help of Felicity Smoak. Meanwhile, Oliver and Diggle suit up and head towards Merlyn Global. They come across Tommy, who pleads with Oliver not to kill his father. Suddenly, a dagger hits Diggle hard in the chest. Oliver spots Malcolm and chases him to the roof, where the two of them have their third and final battle.

Underground, Detective Lance tries his hand at disarming the device with Felicity giving him instructions via headset. Accidentally triggering the device’s timer, Lance calls his daughter, Laurel, and begs her to get out of the Glades as quickly as possible. Over in the Glades, Roy Harper runs for safety stopping to prevent a mugging. As the last mugger has Roy at gunpoint, Thea breaks a glass bottle over his head once again saving the love of her life.

As the two archers trade blows on the rooftop of Merlyn Global, Malcolm gains the upper hand, trapping Oliver in a headlock. Spotting a lone arrow on the ground, Oliver stabs Malcolm through the chest and then punches him in the face as hard as possible. He’s won the battle but not the war, as Malcolm reveals that he had two Unidac devices all along.

Just then, the second Unidac device goes off causing buildings to crumble all over the city. Laurel, who is still at work in the Glades, gets trapped underneath a huge chunk of stone wall. Luckily, Tommy shows up to help Laurel break free of the debris. Unfortunately, as Laurel makes it out of the building alive, Tommy is left behind in the burning wreckage. Oliver busts in to save his ex-best friend, but he’s too late. Tommy is stuck under a ton of rubble and impaled on a metal rod.

With his last words, Tommy apologizes to Oliver for being such a jerk recently. He says that Oliver was right about Laurel, and his father, and everything else for that matter. Oliver cries, shouting his friend’s name in vein. As Tommy dies, the rest of the Glades goes up in a cloud of smoke.

Well. I, for one, certainly did not foresee the death of Tommy Merlyn happening so soon. In fact, I was convinced that he was being primed to be the big bad guy of the next season, stepping in to fill his father’s evil shoes. “Sacrifice” is a satisfying season finale to say the least. Not only do we have most of our answers revealed, but we also have some nice setups for the next season.

What will happen now that Moira and Malcolm are in jail and half of the city is in ruins? How will Roy Harper finally team up with the Hood? Will Laurel ever forgive Oliver for letting Tommy die? Your guess is as good as mine! We’ll just have to wait and see what next year’s season of “Arrow” has in store for us, but until then we’ll be watching the reruns for some clues.

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