By: Kyle Shultz
“Salvation” was a very intense, suspenseful & intriguing episode. Its main plot felt very much like a filler episode, but not the usual filler episode that just drags the show on until the next story based episode. This one had a really good story for just a standalone episode, & actually really wasn’t just a filler. With its sub-plot of Malcolm assuring Moira that he will find the person who attempted to take his life, it makes it just a tad more important. Personally, I think that Malcolm knows in some way that it was Moira behind the whole thing, I’m sure it will play out that way in the long run, but I think that he’s just dragging her along to see if he can still trust her.
The antagonist, going by the name of “The Savior” in this episode was just a normal resident of The Glades who was upset with how his hometown has gone down the hill through the years, & for the first time it was someone who Oliver had trouble just getting a hold of him. The writers did a great job at setting up the mystery of who this guy is, or where he’s located. Since the pilot, Oliver has always been aware of who he is fighting or going after, aside from Dark Archer, this was really the first time where, not only did he not know who he was going after, but neither did we. We just knew of this guy taking people from The Glades kidnapping & acting his own judgment in the mix, potentially killing his victims. Adding to the suspense of this episode was this old plot device where the villain broadcasts his act of violence, but to me they made it work in a way that didn’t make me instantly think “That could’ve been done better” Or “Oh they’re doing this? Why?” There’s not much you can do to add-on to that too much, other than having people watch it on their phones in public, which they did do in the episode.
There are a few things in this episode that I loved the most. The first being that Diggle basically says to Oliver that he is isolating himself too much, he needs to branch out, he too focused on being “The Hood” & not focused on living, or trying to live a normal life. When Oliver confronts The Savior he says, “I understand being alone, but that doesn’t give you the right to kill him” him being Roy. By the end of the episode, Oliver asks Laurel out to lunch or coffee, which takes her off guard a bit & she asks him “Why?” to which Oliver simply says, “I don’t want to be on an island anymore.” We finally see Oliver growing, not just as a vigilante or a hero, but also as a person that is getting back into a normal life while balancing life as a fighter of justice. One of the other things I love about this episode is Felicity as a person. She watches the same clips of the victims being killed just as much as Oliver & Diggle do, but she’s never seen anyone die before; and that gets to her. Which at one point I thought she was about to call it quits, but she didn’t, thank God I love her character too much! Her main concern was that she was afraid that she can’t or doesn’t have anyone to talk to at the end of the day, not that she wants to out Oliver or what they’re doing but at the end of the day she can’t really wind down & have a conversation with someone without holding back a secret or two. By the end of the episode, Oliver tells her that if she wants to talk to anyone, he’s there for her. It establishes their relationship as partners a little more. The final thing I love in this episode is the use of Roy Harper, they really could’ve picked anyone to be the third person on The Savior’s list of people to kill, but they chose Roy; who happens to be Thea’s girlfriend, who is Oliver’s sister, but Oliver doesn’t know that Thea is dating Roy, but when Thea comes into Oliver’s club crying because of what just happened & seeing Roy on the screen facing certain death, Oliver knows that there is something between them enough for her to come to him in tears. A genius move on the writer’s part was to have The Savior & his victim to be on the train under Starling City, which is why Oliver & CO couldn’t find him earlier.
Originally I just thought that he was bouncing the GPS signal off of buildings or something, but I didn’t think that he could be on a train. The ending result is obvious in that Oliver kills The Savior & it was also the first time we see Roy & The Hood in the same room together, & in a following scene we see Roy take one of the arrows The Hood used out of his pocket & he’s just looking at it. Maybe Roy will take this as inspiration and we’ll see him in some get-up soon & he’ll have a bow & arrow/quiver set with matching red colors of his own? Or do you think that will be in season two?
One thing we did learn by the end of the show, is that everything revolves around The Glades. The insignia in the notebook Oliver has was a piece of an old map of train tracks underneath The Glades. What is so important about The Glades? Oh the questions. The flashbacks in this episode were pretty small, not much happened but we did get to see more of Shado, who is already great addition to the show, in the so far small role she has played. As each episode ends, the finale grows , & I don’t want it to happen, but I guess I can’t fight it. Only four more episodes left, it better get here slowly.