Thursday, January 22, 2015

Arrow - Left Behind

Arrow returns with the fate of its star in doubt for much of the mid-season premiere. Three days without a word from Oliver (Stephen Amell) following his showdown with Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable) makes both Diggle (David Ramsey) and Roy (Colton Haynes) begin to question whether or not their friend survived his encounter with the head of the League of Assassins. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) both continue to hold out hope, although even Felicity has trouble believing in the chance of Oliver's miraculous return after receiving Malcolm Merlyn's (John Barrowman) evidence to the contrary.

With Oliver unconscious and slowly bleeding and freezing to death on the side of a mountain in the present, the only action the hero gets in the episode is during more Hong Kong flashbacks retrieving an item for Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). Meawhile in Starling City Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) continues working on his A.T.O.M. design, and Roy, Diggle, and Felicity deal with a mysterious sequence of numbers and a recently-released gangster (Vinnie Jones) with a brutal disposition and plan to get several new lackeys out of jail destroying the hard work Oliver and his team spent to take each of them down.

Oliver may have survived his duel with the Demon's Head but Starling City is dying a slow death without him. Raiding the police evidence locker Brickwell (Jones) makes off with a truckload of evidence allowing 92% of the criminals Oliver put in prison (after he stopped killing them) to go free. And afraid of loosing anyone else, Felicity quits the team and refuses to help her new boss pursue a path already littered with the bodies of her dead friends. However, the implosion of Team Arrow does allow for the rise of a new hero as the new Black Canary makes her first appearance.

I'll admit to being a bit disappointed the the Lazarus Pit doesn't figure in to Ollie's return from the dead. I have serious doubts about him surviving with his wounds for days before receiving care from Maseo (Karl Yune) and Tatsu (Rila Fukushima). Canary's rise is well-planned with Oliver's disappearance showing some clever forethought by the show's writers. And even if Brickwell isn't much of a villain, he should be able to cause quite a bit of trouble given Oliver's absence, Felicity abandoning her post, and Diggle's indecision about whether or not to continue fighting. Once well enough to return just what kind of home will Oliver find?

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