With no restraint on spoilers, here are my 20 favorite episodes of Arrow:
S4E04: Beyond Redemption (the excellent Oliver Lance Scenes)
S3E04: The Magician (The three way fight)
20. S1E01: Pilot
The episode that started it all showed us all that there was much to look forward to in the coming years. From Oliver’s two great fight scenes, to the twist reveal at the end about Moira. The gritty and mysterious introduction to Oliver is perfect. I love showing just how messed up and badass Oliver is right from the start. Its’s also really cool re-watching it knowing everything that happens while Oliver is ‘stranded’. Also I really miss Tommy. Not to mention this badass scene:
19. S2E16: Suicide Squad
Right from the get go, we see Oliver heading down a dark path, getting violent with the Bratva. Then we get a nice look into Diggle and Lyla’s past. Then we get to see a comic fan’s dream. The Suicide Squad pulled off well. It’s so cool seeing them in action! A great glimpse into the wider comic world that the show was heading towards. Also, gotta love the Harley Quinn Easter Egg.
18. S1E14: The Odyssey
Oliver gets shot by his mother, Felicity joins team Arrow, and shit goes down in the flashbacks. I mean, what else could you need to make a great episode. Watching old Felicity is great, and I love her addition. Slade continues to train Oliver to the point where he is competent, and able to hold his own. All the action of the episode takes place in the past, and I love it. There’s the great scene with the land mine that keeps coming back whenever people comeback to Lian Yu. Its fantastic.
17. S3E06: Guilty
Like I just said, I loved Roy and ‘Guilty’ is a great Roy-centric episode. Theres good mystery, good action, and again we get deeper into the comics. With Wildcat added into the fold, the show gives us even more to watch and enjoy from the comics. But at the end, the episode really hits home when a dejected Roy begs from Oliver “Don’t abandon me” to which Oliver responds “Never”. Its heartwarming stuff. Then Roy gets his name, Arsenal. Also, Oliver has a dope walkaway from an explosion, Laurel continues on her path towards becoming Black Canary, and oh yeah theres always this:
16. S3E10: Left Behind
Another episode with a great opening, we get to see how good Roy, Felicity and Diggle are on their own. From Diggle’s quips about archery and Oliver’s suit, to Roy being center stage, it is a great start. We get some more glimpses at the future Atom suit. Then we get introduced to a great villain, Brick. He is threatening, scary and violent. Thea keeps training, and then we find out Oliver is actually ‘dead’. Finally, we get a great a great action sequence with Roy and Diggle.
15. S2E08: The Scientist
The introduction of Mirakuru, and more importantly the introduction of Barry freaking Allen! That was huge. Knowing that this world we had all grown to love was going to expand, and expanding with the Flash meant there was so many possibilities for the future. Not only that, but super powers were introduced as well. While Meta humans were not really introduced until The Flash, it was exciting to see powers introduced.
14. S2E07: State v. Queen
This is one of the most emotional episodes in the whole show. There is so much going on between Thea and Moira, and Oliver and Moira. This is all building up to an emotional, and climatic… well climax. It sets Moira up for her extremely important and emotional season 2 story ark. Not to mention all the particle accelerator hints throughout the episode. A great Thea episode, a great Oliver and Felicity episode, and lots of great action. Then, the surprise at the end of the episode of Merlyn being alive, and Thea’s father was shocking and exciting.
13. S4E07: Brotherhood
This marks the directorial debut from Arrow’s fight choreographer, James Bamford. And my god does it show. Lots of long takes, and so, so many great fights. Then you add in the drama with Diggle’s brother and you have a fantastic episode. What makes this a top 15 episode is the fight scene at the end. While all the fights are top notch, the fight at the end is easily the second best fight in the whole show. You have all of Team Arrow and Atom working together taking down dozens of Ghosts. Easily the best thing to come out of the mess that is season 4. Just check this out:
12. S5E09 Invasion
This episode is pure fan service and thats the only reason it is not higher on the list. There is no epic team up, like the other two parts of the massive crossover, but it is so good still. Laurel is back, Moira is back, Robert is back, Tommy is back, what more could we ask for? It was the 100th episode and it brought back all that we love about the show. There were great fights, funny comedy, and one heartbreaking scene. It may be fan service, but it is fan service at its finest, and I love it.
11. S1E21: The Undertaking
An episode full of flashbacks, we finally get to know what the shady organization is all about, and what is going on. We learn so much more about Robert Queen, Moira, and Merlyn. So much advances on this one episode, but what really sets it apart is the brutal, unrelenting, and epic fight scene. It is the best fight in the show, I mean just check it out:
10. S2E03: Broken Dolls
One of the darkest, and scariest episodes in the series, we get a great look into Quinten’s mind, and he quickly became a favorite of mine. There is a great villain, plenty of deep moments between Quinten and Oliver, and a great ending. It is really a heartbreaking and beautiful episode. We see how much Quinten cares for his children, and how good of a man he is.
9. S5E23: Lian Yu
What a season finale! Chase was a great villain, hellbent on ruining Oliver. All the traps he lays, and fights in the episode are fantastic. The cameos from Slade and Captain Boomerang are fun and added to the drama and action. But what truly made it great was the ending. I mean what the hell. I am literally dying to know what happens next.
8. S3E09: The Climb
I really wish that this was the season finale for season 3 because it was amazing. Oliver going against Ra’s al Ghul and losing, falling to his apparent death was unbelievable. It was such a great cliffhanger, and was the perfect end to the first half of the season. The fight between Oliver and Ra’s is also one of the best in the series, Ra’s with a great speech and several bad ass lines, no score, amplifying the tension, and one hell of an ending:
7. S2E15: The Promise
Slade is by far Oliver’s best antagonist, and this episode cranks up the tension. Out of nowhere Oliver finds Slade sitting in his living room with his family. The tension in the whole episode is insane. Watching the team react and try and help is great as both Oliver and Slade speak in double meanings around Moira throughout the whole episode. I love the little bit when Roy shakes Slade’s hand and Slade immediately knows Roy has Mirakuru in him. Then the end of the episode amps up the threat for the rest of the season as Slade reiterates his promise to destroy Oliver. For an episode with little action, it is still one of the most exciting in the series.
6. S5E17: Kapiushon
What a dark episode. We see Oliver at Chase’s mercy, enduring endless torture while Chase demands answers to a question Oliver does not know. It is heart breaking watching this episode because Chase wins. He breaks Oliver. Meanwhile in the flashbacks Oliver further develops his monstrous persona as the man in the hood, despite warnings from his good friend Anatoli. This episode is dark, depressing, and not at all what you’d expect from a super hero show. But that is what makes it so good. The emotions are real, and the darkness is such a vital part of Oliver’s story. Its simply amazing.
5. S1E23: Sacrifice
Cracking the top 5, the season finale for the first epic season of Arrow, this episode really brings it. From Oliver’s imprisonment, to his final fight with Merlyn, ‘Sacrifice’ has it all. One of my favorite moments is Merlyn coming cleaning to Tommy. It is so heartbreaking and intense, and it made Tommy’s death all the more impactful. Then the ending. What an ending. How often does the hero lose, let alone in their first season? I love the show-runners for going in that direction. It made the future for Arrowunpredictable.
4. S2E23: Unthinkable
This episode has so much going on. The Suicide Squad story coming to an end with them taking down Waller, the army destroying Starling City, the League of Assassins, Roy in his official sidekick role, and so much more. This is the best season finale, and the culmination of so many great things that happened in season 2. If we can get another season like season 2, I can die a happy man. I cannot say enough about this episode, so much action, and so much drama. I love it.
3. S2E20: Seing Red
This one is just pure heartbreak. Moira tells Oliver she has known he is the Arrow for a year, Thea and Moira are finally on good terms, and then Slade just goes an ruins everything. Moira was one of the best characters in the show, and losing her was a tradegy, but a fantastic story. Arrow does not get much more tragic than this.
2. S2E09: Three Ghosts
Easily, by far the best mid-season finale, ‘Three Ghosts’ not only brings back some of our favorite characters, but it also makes us question Oliver. Starting with an intense rival of Oliver, with the help of new friend Barry Allen, the ghost start haunting Oliver, and making him question his life. It is jam packed with great scenes between Oliver and his ghosts, but especially the one at the end of the episode with Tommy.Then theres the choice between Shado and Sara! Such a fantastic episode.
1. S3E19: Broken Arrow
I love Roy. He is one of my favorite characters on the show. So when this episode came out, I was floored. There are too many emotional scenes, good fights, and unbelievable moments in this episode. I mean the scene with Roy and Thea, the one with Roy and Oliver, the one with Lance and Roy, they are just too damn moving. And the guy who plays Roy isn’t exactly the best actor on the planet, but he really brings it home in this episode with an unbelievable performance.
Theres the great side story of Oliver teaching Ray how to be a hero, there’s Roy taking on four guys while handcuffed, the fake out of Roy’s death, and so much more. Gah I love this episode so much.