*Contains some spoilers*
"Great, we can add irony to the list of charges against Brick."
Brick has finally taken over the Glades (because why not?) and it's up to team Arrow to stop him. Seeing as it was announced Brick's story would be a trilogy and the previews blatantly revealed who appears in this episode, there aren't any real surprises when it comes to Brick's tale. However, this isn't Brick's story; it's Malcolm Merlyn's. Yeah, didn't expect that, did you? Don't worry, I didn't either.
Unfortunately, the backstory with Merlyn didn't make me care more about him. His bits with Thea and his scenes were a certain archer were absorbing, but the backstory didn't feel like time spent very well. It wasn't bad, but I feel like we've already seen his emotional side and, unlike some members on team Arrow, we know he's not a heartless monster. If anything, all I took away from it was how he earned his nickname. I don't want to be mean here, but the performances from the kid actors weren't helping. Still, what it produces in the modern era has a lot of potential. How long can they keep the big secret from Thea, though? Hopefully the answer is "not much longer."
I can picture many of you saying Felicity's becoming annoying and I'd understand why, but at the same time, I also understand why she's acting the way she is. The amount of powerful emotions she's had to experience would make anyone act differently or take off their filter, so to then find out someone she admires has thrown away their principles (or so she believes) is certainly enough to make her lash out and push the individual away. It's a frustrating thing to witness because you want them to just sit down and talk it out, but again, I at least understand why she's acting this way and I hope things soon cool down a bit so they can have a more rational discussion about what's going on. Wait a second, this is going to push her right into Ray's arms, isn't it? A plot about jealousy isn't what this show needs, but I'll wait to see how it's handled
when if it comes up.
When it comes to the action, the highlights were easily a stealth sequence and Wildcat's brawl with Brick. Watching Arsenal and Black Canary swiftly take down goons and then rush back into the shadows was good fun and it didn't require any suspension of disbelief. Meanwhile, Wildcat's punchfest with Brick was wonderfully brutal. It seems like Brick was just around to get punched, punch others, and taunt someone, though. I'm happy the show didn't use him as a villain-of-the-week, but I was left wanting more from his conclusion. The scene between him and Merlyn was solid, but he didn't feel like a key player in this story. It was almost like he was along for the ride and there to showcase others. Still, Vinnie Jones was an entertaining villain. Here's hoping this isn't the last we've seen of him.
I'm sorry, but I'm having a tough time accepting how quickly Oliver has recovered from this injuries. Sara took three arrows to the stomach and fell a few stories. That resulted in her death. Oliver was stabbed in the side, impaled right below his chest, fell a ridiculous height, smashed against a rocky surface, and then remained there for quite some time. Maybe Sara should have used the salmon ladder more frequently? And to think some of us thought Batman's recovery in The Dark Knight Riseswas a little too easy. Bruce Wayne would look at this and say, "When did you gain a healing factor, Oliver?" Yeah, they mention it's been about a month or so of rest, but jeez. It just really fells like rushing him back after a mere three episodes takes away from that fight with Ra's. I don't know about you, but I would have reacted very differently if they showed him still breathing or with his eyes open after he fell. Maybe they'll later elaborate about what Katana used to heal him? It doesn't seem like it, though.
Minor criticisms: If someone has an assault rifle or a shotgun and there's a group of enemies in front of them, wouldn't they fire the weapon instead of rushing in for hand-to-hand combat? Just have the guys use melee weapons and it wouldn't be as distracting. What was stopping the police from going into the Glades since the hostages were rescued in the last episode? Why not strike before Brick can get more politicians as hostages? So, does Brick just have a really high pain tolerance since we know now that gun doesn't have weaker bullets? If the detective can immediately recognize Roy Harper is Arsenal, it's baffling why he doesn't realize Oliver Queen is Arrow or how he didn't notice the difference between his daughters in the Canary outfit. Could it be he knows Oliver's secret and he's just playing dumb about it? Hopefully? Maybe? Lastly, the opening action sequence had some major shaky cam and quick cuts going on. It was brief and the shot of the guy going through the window was good, but prior to that, it was tough to appreciate what was going on.
"Uprising" marks the end of Brick's trilogy and it has a huge clash in the Glades, but in the end, it just felt like an okay episode that sells setting up the future more than delivering an epic conclusion for a current story arc. The focus on Merlyn worked well since John Barrowman's a solid actor, but it kind of seems like they quickly put everything back in place just so they can set up a new dynamic or two and focus on the upcoming dilemma with Ra's al Ghul. But hey, at least Wildcat and Brick had one hell of a fight, right?