This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
Check out last week's review here.
Turns out the demon wasn’t the friends Oliver made along the way! It appears that Talia al Ghul survived the explosion on Lian Yu. After a bad bit of luck in Gotham, she found herself locked up in Slabside, where she’s been pulling Oliver’s strings since his incarceration. A shady move, to be sure, but Oliver did kill her father and get her blown up. “The Demon” tackles the two briefly teaming up again to escape the horrors of Level 2 and the rest of Slabside prison. It also happens to be season seven’s best episode yet.
While the Argus storyline left something to be desired, the events in Slabside and the DA’s office more than carried the weight of the episode. Once Felicity catches wind that Oliver might be in trouble, she and Laurel switch their focus to figuring out just what the hell is going on in that prison. The team-up results in some of Arrow’s best women supporting women moments, and they only get better when the two head to Dinah for backup. It’s a low bar since they haven’t been all that common in the show’s history, but we took baby steps toward what might end up being DCTV’s version of the Birds of Prey, so I’ll allow it.
With Dinah, Felicity, and Laurel handling things on the outside, Oliver and Talia deal with their captors. Oliver’s hesitant to join in on Talia’s plan, considering a whole lot of recent negatives in his life have been her doing, but his tune changes when an inmate dies during one of the doctor’s experiments. Some might be confused why the former murderer would care. Talia sure as hell was. Oliver talking about the inmates being people was such a critical moment to his progress as a character. It’s not that it’s new information, it’s that he’s choosing to stick with his code while under extreme duress.
After some old fashion sleuthing, the ladies find old files in the basement of the SDPD. Discovering the doctor’s plans, Dinah, Felicity, and Laurel get to work on a rescue plan, but it’s through the help of Talia that they manage to get Level Two shut down. As expected, Oliver agrees to help Talia, but only under the condition that they find out what the prison is doing to the inmates.
Oliver and Talia’s team up resulted in two killer fight scenes that go down not only as some of Arrow’s best, but one of their most solid uses of sound cues yet. The second scene’s score doesn’t come into play as much, but that’s to keep the focus on the show’s very own hallway scene á la the Marvel Netflix shows. Talia and Oliver literally battle their way out of the prison, with the chemistry the two built back in the former’s days as the Hood evident in their styles. It’s a small attention to detail that helps elevate an already incredible scene that will close with the mending of a partnership.
Though the two likely won’t ever find themselves on each other’s speed dials, each one makes a sacrifice for the other. Talia risks capture by getting the thumb drive to Felicity and team to take down Slabside, while Oliver elects to stay behind and fend off the guards. He knows that if he escapes he will be a fugitive for the rest of his life, and he trusts his girls to get him out of the new hell he’s found himself in.
The information found on the drive is enough to give Dinah and Laurel hope that they can build a case to get Ollie out of prison, which in turn bolster’s Felicity’s spirits. “The Demon” has incredible fight scenes, a great hero moment for Oliver, and some solid sound design, but the ladies coming together despite their deep, deep differences was the episode’s shining star. Laurel’s gets some empathy, while Dinah learns a little bit of forgiveness. Felicity’s hyper-focused on one thing and one thing only for the time being, but I imagine we’ll see some solid growth from her side in the coming episodes.
When everything is said and done, Felicity’s tracker picks up on the Silencer once more. She’s in Moscow with Diaz, torturing our favorite Russian. Mission Save Anatoli better start soon, because the episode closes with him in one hell of a spot. Next week we’re rescuing a Green Arrow! Or, you know, starting the process at least.
You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode!