Thursday, April 23, 2015

Arrow - The Fallen

Finding Thea (Willa Holland) near death with no hope of recovery other than a dip in the Lazarus Pit, Oliver (Stephen Amell) leads his team back to Nanda Parbat where he chooses to trade his life for that of his sister. Teased a few episodes back, the full introduction of the Lazarus Pit opens the door the the mystical and magical side of the DCU which (other than Constantine) the TV universe has been slow to develop. Keeping with the comics, the Pit renews life but also introduces a temporary madness within those it saves (a madness which has become more permanent for Ra's given the number of dips he's taken over the years). "The Fallen" refuses to give us an exact age of Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable), but based on various conversations it's obvious he's looking forward to retiring after leading the League of Assassins for a very long time.

The episode is notable not only for Ollie leaving Starling to hang out with assassins for an extended arc but also the (apparent) end of Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) romantic relationship with Ray (Brandon Routh) and Ms. Smoak and Mr. Queen finally giving into their feelings and spending a single night together. Felicity's plan to save Ollie from himself doesn't pan out leaving Starling without its hero for the time being. I'm curious to see how much time is spent with Oliver and his training and whether or not we'll also get B-stories of his friends dealing with crime and his loss back home in the upcoming episodes.

Arrow continues to embrace a path for the lead character I couldn't have predicted at the start of the season but which it has slowly sold me on over the past few weeks. For now Oliver Queen is no more, but where does that leave Thea, Malcolm (John Barrowman), Felicity, Diggle, and Laurel (Katie Cassidy)? Where does that leave Starling City? And how much will Oliver's training change the man who fought an island, evil scientists, a batshit-crazy super-human mercenary, forced involvement in undercover ops around the world, the death of his best friend and both of his parents, all to find and hold onto the last of his humanity?

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