Oliver Queen attempts to return to Starling City as Brick has taken over the Glades. Meanwhile, the team strikes a deal with Malcolm Merlyn to take down Brick, due to Merlyn having a personal grudge against the crime lord.
The conclusion to this storyline is here, and it places the heroes in a difficult spot as they team-up with Merlyn to stop Brick. While Felicity is against it and Diggle is undecided, Roy and Laurel consider it. They ultimately reject his offer, and instead rally the people of the Glades, including Sin and Ted Grant, to perform an all-out assault against Brick and his men.
Oliver’s subplot continues to establish his friendship with Tatsu while returning to Starling. Her advice is sound, as Oliver is unfamiliar with someone like Ra’s al Ghul and how to fight him. With Maseo continuing to work with the League and Tatsu unwilling to join Oliver, he might be forced to train with Merlyn to defeat Ra’s.
The strongest aspect of the episode are the flashbacks, this time detailing Merlyn’s descent into darkness after the murder of his wife, Rebecca. We do not learn anything new, but it is an interesting direction to take with the flashbacks.
The big showdown for the fate of the Glades is short, but it is also one of the best moments this season, having a scale not seen since the second season. Oliver and Merlyn’s argument about whether or not kill Brick feels repetitive of season one’s themes. However, it is refreshing to see Oliver and Felicity not cut Merlyn any slack, even when the latter is trying to redeem himself for Thea. Despite all the death and destruction he created, it is frustrating to see no one seriously confront or stop him. Ted’s return and defeat as Wildcat is also anti-climatic, as is Sin’s only purpose in this episode being to reveal to Detective Lance that Sara may not be alive after all.
“Uprising” concludes the arc by having Team Arrow and the city defend himself without the Arrow. The idea is sound and the final battle is successful. Unfortunately, meandering plotlines like Lance’s lack of knowledge of Sara’s death and the melodrama with Felicity at the end do hold it back. The new dynamics after tonight, including Laurel as Black Canary and Oliver’s reluctant training with Merlyn, should be exciting to see, but the road taken to that end somewhat floundered by the end.
What are your thoughts on this episode? How do you think this trilogy was handled? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.