‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 18 Review – No Man is an Island

Published 1 year ago by

Stephen Amell and Manu Bennett in Arrow Salvation Arrow Season 1, Episode 18 Review – No Man is an Island

On some level, the rise of the copycats in Starling City point to the effectiveness of Oliver Queen’s Hood persona. On some level, it’s significant that others can see what it is he’s trying to accomplish and feel emboldened to make a similar gesture, even if their motivations and methods are somewhat misguided.

In a way, Arrow suggests that Oliver’s vigilante endeavors could be considered somewhat responsible for Helena Bertinelli’s transformation into the indiscriminate killing-machine known as the Huntress. In ‘Salvation,’ however, the Hood is unquestionably the inspiration for another seeker-of-social-justice who has given himself the rather lofty moniker of the Savior.

What they all have in common (and what is something of a recurring theme of the season that’s made far more blatant in this episode) is that they’ve all killed in the name of their specific definition of justice. More to the point: Oliver, the Huntress, the Savior and, by the episode’s end, even Moira Queen, all have blood on their hands they may eventually have to answer for.

These are larger issues that the series will probably take a closer look at over time – especially as Oliver’s methods continue to evolve, and his brand of justice doesn’t so closely resemble that of some cold-blooded killers. In regard to Moira, however, the episode uses her betrayal of Frank to highlight her involvement in the Undertaking, and once more point the season’s narrative back in that direction.

Colton Haynes in Arrow Salvation Arrow Season 1, Episode 18 Review – No Man is an Island

And so, coming off last week’s ‘The Huntress Returns‘ which saw Oliver sink deeper into the seclusion the Hood persona provides him, ‘Salvation’ feels less concerned with the issue of copycats and Oliver’s culpability for their existence, and more about reminding viewers of the larger plot threads the series has been developing over the last few weeks. Certainly, there are moments where these concerns are addressed; specifically, when Oliver finally confronts the Savior just before he attempts to publicly execute Roy Harper for being a “gangbanger.

Though fairly pedestrian – even by superhero procedural standards – the episode’s climactic scene does allow Oliver the chance to distinguish his pointed attacks on the city’s criminal elite from the Savior’s preference of open spectacle and seemingly unsystematic method of choosing his targets (he goes from a slumlord recently outed by the press to a street thug nobody but Thea Queen seems to care much about). The point is illustrated further when Roy Harper agrees with the Savior’s accusations and eggs the would-be vigilante on to follow through with his planned execution. Not only does this add some depth to the otherwise unlikable character of Roy Harper, but it also distinguishes the Hood from the Savior in their respective takes on the concept of second chances.

It’s clear the Savior is little more than a throwaway character whose true intent in terms of the narrative is not necessarily to force some kind of reflection or introspection on behalf of Oliver, but to allow the series’ plot to advance in terms of the Undertaking (as the Savior’s use of the abandoned subway line leads to a revelation about the clandestine scheme’s connection to the Glades) and, certainly, Roy Harper becoming yet another Starling City vigilante and, chances are, Ollie’s sidekick.

Alex Kingston in Arrow Salvation Arrow Season 1, Episode 18 Review – No Man is an Island

The character-level portion of ‘Salvation’ is, of course, the issue of Oliver’s self-imposed segregation from other relationships in private his life – which the episode marries with the island flashback sequence and the solidly handled subplot of the recently-reunited Lance family’s desperate search for Sara. Naturally, the takeaway is that as solitary a figure as the Hood can sometimes be, Oliver needs to be able to engage those around him on a more human level – for his sake and for theirs – which he does by offering an ear to Felicity and by attempting to connect with Laurel as a friend.

Although the episode may have missed the mark in terms of focusing on the more compelling thematic element, ‘Salvation’ did manage to move the series’ pieces around enough that the push toward the season finale has become clearer. It’s always a good sign when the heroes become aware of the larger implications of the overall plot, and, in that regard, Arrow has consistently made significant progress.

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Arrow continues next Wednesday with the return of Seth Gabel as the Count in ‘Unfinished Business’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview for the episode below:

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31 Comments

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  1. fairly good episode for mostly a filler. next weeks looks cool with the count returning. the last like 20 seconds of this episode gave me the chills. cant wait for the finale.

    • Stripping on a webcam does not count. What does this have to do with Screenrant and movie fans? Advertise elsewhere.

  2. not a bad ep. Loving the flashbacks with slade. cant wait to see the count in next ep should be a good one

  3. Is it really episode 18 already? Geez… I took a break from watching Arrow after episode 9, because I kinda lost interest, but now after playing Tomb Raider with its bow-wielding Lara Croft I’m inclined to catch up with Arrow. Did the show improve since episode 9? I don’t want to read the review(s), because of possible spoilers.

    • Well, I have loved it since the beginning, so i cant really tell if its improved since ep 9. its mostly more of the same. so if you loved it back then, youll still love it now. but if you didnt really like it then, you probably wont like it anymore now. But i think you should still give it a chance.

    • Honestly man it’s a great show. It’s improved a lot since the beginning. If your a DC or comic book fan it’s worth the watch I think. Characters are more flushed out now and the over story arcs are better and it’s not so much a villian of te week type thing.

      • Thanks guys. I’ll give it a shot.

  4. And of course there was the little Coast city/Flash Easter egg! Woo

    • *Central city!

    • that was great. i usually miss that stuff but as i had read some flash titles growing up i got it.
      thea has definitely become less annoying.

  5. Well I actually really enjoyed this episode. There was good character developments. Mainly with felicity and roy. The other vigilante was okay but his executions were cool. Te rooftop chase was awesome to watch as well.

    And good island flashbacks too. Made some progress there. Glad the lance plot kinda died out wasn’t a fan of that theory though I know this isn’t the end of it. And the undertaking should play a huge role in the next couple eps.

    Predictions for the end of the season.
    Roy will start to turn his life around since being saved by the hood. Possibly take up his own vigilante type acts.
    Oliver and felicity will be together.
    Last scene on the island is gonna be Oliver picking up the bow and either yeo fein or his daughter will train him with it while sale teaches the martial arts side of training. Also I bet either yeo fein or his daughter dies.

    I wonder when they get off the island for the first time?

    • They get off the island at some point? I thought Oliver was there for 5 uninterrupted years?

      Really looking forward to seeing more of the Dark Archer and the undertaking. I feel like “business is about to pick up” with the overarching story lines.

      • @mr painless.

        Yeah in te earlier episodes with diggle Oliver makes a comment where he says the first time I was off te island I ran Into I think the Russian mafia.
        So that leads me to think that he maybe spent some time on and off. Maybe not a lot but some. Cuz he does know different languages now too.

  6. you know, the island plots are just as interesting as the present day plots. i wish they would do a fringe sorta thing where one episode will take place mostly on the island, and the next will be mostly present, ect.

  7. It would be awesome to have a video game like “tomb raider” for arrow.
    How about rambo.?

    • Tomb Raider isn’t really that great a fit for Arrow. The only thing that they have in common is a bow and arrow, and even that isn’t too fantastic in Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, it would be a game based on a TV show that takes several cues from the Batman Arkham series – two reasons why it wouldn’t get made.

  8. Central City, back in a Flash…

    If they ever introduced superpowered characters a scene where Ollie gets his ass kicked by The Flash would be hilarious.

    • You might just get your wish!

  9. Is anybody else distracted by how obnoxiously attractive the cast of this show is? Haha. Not that it’s a bad thing. ( I could look at Emily Bett Rickards all day)

    • I think they got that from Smallville. There were a lot of ridiculously hot people on that show as well. Of course in the comics everyone is built perfectly so it fits with the source material.

      • Even Smallville wasn’t on this level. But like I said, I’m not complaining.

  10. I must admit this show is mildly entertaining, and I am following it faithfully. And that comes from a guy who really did not like the comic book “Green Arrow” all that much (I am more of a Flash and Green Lantern sort of guy).

    • Did anyone get that “The Dark Knight” line reference from this episode? In the train scene the Savior said “What’s the difference between you and me?”
      I almost wanted to scream out: I’m not wearing HOCKEYPAAADS!!

      • @you know who

        Hahaha yeah me too I also laughed a little when Oliver grabbed his helmet and diggle goes you gonna hood up? Then Ollie goes come on it’s te middle of te day!
        Haha

      • Haha same! Also, when Diggle asked Oliver if he was “hooding up” and Oliver told him no because it was the middle of the day, and the next shot is Oliver on a motorcycle. Pretty much that same scene from The Dark Knight, only replace motorcycle with lamborghini.

  11. Pretty good episode. There were a few things to nitpick (Oliver’s ridiculous parkour, the Lance family subplot, Roy conveniently being the next victim), but overall the episode was pretty good. I still hate the Lance subplot, so I’m very happy they ended it. The comparison of Oliver and “The Savior” was very interesting, and I was a big fan of the climax on the train. Big fan of Roy as well, and I’m glad we’ll be seeing more of him. And the island subplot was awesome as always. 4/5 from me.

    • Another nitpick – why would Oliver, in the middle of a vigilante activity, take his helmet off? He said it himself – it’s the middle of the day. The Queen family are well-known (Roy’s dodgy friend recognises Thea) so why wouldn’t he keep the helmet on?

      I reckon it wasn’t for story reasons – they probably get some trained stunt people to ride the motorcycles and wanted to make a point of it that it was Stephen Amell kicking down doors, but it still seems a little odd.

      • Haha good call. Another thing I remember that bothered me: Didn’t “the savior” give the first guy about 10 seconds to state his case before killing him? Yet he gives everyone else 10 minutes, so Oliver has enough time to save him (or fail to save him). And how the heck did Oliver search every apartment, even in 10 minutes? That place looked pretty big.

  12. I stopped watching this show, it’s boring as hell and the overall look of the show is kinda fake and pretensions! Also the acting is bad and wooden.

    • Finally all caught up and my brain is bout to explode from awesomeness and all the plot!!!!!! I really want a Felicity and Ollie relationship at some point. Also they have referenced several times an applied sciences division of Queen Consolidated, and I am guessing down the line the science division will be involved in how Laurel becomes Black Canary. Just a thought :)

  13. I stopped watching this show, it’s boring as hell and the overall look of the show is kinda fake and pretensions! Also the acting is bad and wooden.

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