Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 – “Lian Yu” Review Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 – “Lian Yu” Review
The battle lines have been drawn long ago within Arrow‘s second half of season 5 with Adrian Chase having toyed with Oliver these past... Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 – “Lian Yu” Review

The battle lines have been drawn long ago within Arrow‘s second half of season 5 with Adrian Chase having toyed with Oliver these past weeks and really serving up one of the most daring and intelligent villains Oliver Queen has come up against. Bringing the final act of his plan against Oliver to a very familiar location, Adrian committed one last act of defiance that may well change the whole balance of the show as we know it. A fond return to Lian Yu would not only mean plentiful action, character moments and drama, but also a huge shock to conclude the season.

With the team captured and brought to the one place from his past that Oliver will never forget, Adrian’s ultimate final chapter was in its final stages. Looking to finally gain some kind of upper hand against his foe, Oliver would seek the help of nine other than old face Slade Wilson, now recovered from the mirakuru and aware of his past endeavours being of great sin. Also along for the ride was Digger Harkness but the less said about his involvement the better, really.

With Slade on his side, Oliver would look to take the fight to Adrian and his own team, including Talia, Black Siren and a turncoat Digger. After conducting a well planned rescue of his own team, the elder Queen would proceed to do what he thought was best and face Adrian alone, ensuring that those he loved would escape the island unharmed.

Unfortunately, Adrian is a smart cookie and his covering of all bases would result in the most intense of closures for a series of Arrow so far. Faced with the decision of saving his son William or his team that he so loves, Oliver would essentially lose the fight against Adrian in the sense that his death meant the destruction of the island and his friends. It was a truly shocking moment and one that really leaves so much up in the air for next season. Yesterday we stated how surprising The Flash conclusion was, but here Arrow upped that tenfold.

As for the flashback sequences, Lian Yu did a fantastic job of keeping them short and swift, focusing mainly on the present day events, but also looking to somewhat draw a line on the past of Oliver and his battle against Kovar. Looking to finally bring a sense of closure to Oliver’s flashback moments, the finale eventually saw him overcome Dolph Lundgren’s Russian overlord and returned us to those opening moments of the show where we first witnessed him escaping the island. Things have now come full circle for this part of the show and now it feels like the line has been drawn and the show can now move on in a new direction, posing much excitement heading forward.

Featuring some fantastic guest appearances and really driving Arrow onto the next level, this season finale pretty much possessed all the right ingredients to solidify the show at back to its best. After a previous season that was undoubtedly one of its weakest, the show’s staff have clearly taken on board the thoughts and opinions of its audience and adapted new and refreshing ideas to great effect. Seemingly now laying to rest the flashbacks and driving forward with a sense of the unknown, Arrow finally has our attention once more as it lays the foundations for what is to come next. For the first time in a long time, we want to know that now.

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Jon Dingle Editor

A film journalist, writer and a filmmaker in business for over 20 years. I am passionate about movies, television series, music and online games.