‘Arrow’ Review: ‘Year’s End’, the mid-season finale

Year's En
Credits: The CW

‘Arrow’ Review: ‘Year’s End’, the mid-season finale

Oddly enough, there was much mention of Oliver Queen’s alter ego’s nickname being “The Hood,” which this Examiner pointed out  as being odd for a show called “Arrow” and based off of Green Arrow.
When it was mentioned the vigilante should have a new nickname, Green Arrow was suggested, only to simply get, “Lame,” in response. Just one more example of the producers’ apparent embarrassment of the source material for their own television series. It is even more perplexing when one considers Andrew Kreisberg, the episode’s credited writer, once wrote the Green Arrow and Black Canary comic book. Kreisberg has been quoted  as trying to make elements of the source material more “realistic,”
which is utterly dumbfounding considering the show is based on a guy that dresses like Robin Hood and shoots a bow and arrow.

Green Arrow is one of DC Comics’ most grounded properties, moreso than even Batman, yet  that is not realistic enough for the producers of “Arrow.” Apparently, they fail to realize they are on the same network as “The Vampire Diaries,” “Supernatural” and, formerly, “Smallville.” Let’s not forget that modern audiences are more and more accepting of fantastic premises given the success of shows like “The Walking Dead” and films like “The Avengers.” Bottom line, producers of “Arrow,” embrace the source material and have fun with it. Do not insult it and by extension the significant portion of your audience that tunes in because it knows the comic book property. Veiled references like “the corner of O’ Neil and Adams,” referring to the classic Green Lantern/Green Arrow creative team, does not make up for overt jabs at the original property.

“Year’s End” centered around Oliver’s first Christmas since returning from the island he was stranded on for five years. He comes to find out that his family lost its holiday spirit due to his and his father’s disappearance. Oliver takes it upon himself to restore his family’s Christmas joy whether they like it or not. In the midst of all this is a copycat vigilante archer murdering the people Oliver has already crossed off “The List” of criminals plaguing Starling City. Aside from somehow tracking down the exact purchase order and shipping location of the copycat’s custom made arrows using solely a patent identification number, this episode lacked many of the blatant logic pitfalls of “Vendetta,” making the episode a much smoother viewing experience. The show also did not drag out the identity of the copycat vigilante, which was much appreciated, and the reveal was a satisfying one at that.

Additionally, the flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island returned after a couple episodes absence and viewers learned the origin of the island, a former remote prison, as well as another glimpse of Deathstroke in action. Combine Deathstroke’s appearance with that of the copycat and the series has developed two villains with long-term potential.

While there are still some kinks in the story execution and the producers would be well served to embrace the source material more (Giving the characters costumes does not hurt the “realism” of the show, for example.), the mid-season finale ended on an upward swing and gives hope to the second half of the season.

“Arrow” airs on The CW at 8PM in the Philadelphia market. The series returns January 16, 2013. The second print issue of the “Arrow” tie-in comic book is in stores January 2nd. To find a comic book store near you, go to www.comicshoplocator.com.

Read More by BrianThomer

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