Bad Boys for Life
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Arrow's writing team lands emotional blows over physical ones in the tumultuous and dramatically satisfying "City of Blood."
This was just a set-up episode, but it was pretty good nonetheless. The ending was fast and furious with action taking place everywhere
The show is confident enough both in its star and in its audience to spend a good chunk of the episode focusing on the despair of its hero.
The interplay makes good use of Kevin Alejandro for the first time in several weeks, while also setting up the action that winds up leaving the episode on a cliffhanger.
Stephen Amell's good value this week, giving us an Oliver who's not broken per se but certainly chipped around the edges, quietly consumed with guilt.
While "City of Blood" did that, it also devoted much of its energy to dealing with the fallout from Moira's death at the end of last week's episode. That allowed Arrow to give itself the space to actually deal with Oliver and Thea's pain.
Coming down from an episode like last week's "Seeing Red," there was no way "City of Blood" wouldn't take at least a bit of a breather, or wind up positioning pieces for the final two installments more so than hold its own weight as an episode.
It's a predictable installment, but that's mainly because it needs to set specific events into motion.
'City of Blood' is for the most part action-lite, but far from underwhelming - delivering one emotional sucker punch after the other.
A good number of supporting cast members turned in their best performances of the series tonight, all in the service of restoring the confidence of one of their own.
The writers took things slow leading into the final two episodes, focusing less on spectacle and more on the intense emotional fallout of Moira's death. The result was quite possibly the best episode in a season full of winners.