After a jaw dropping midseason finale, many an Arrow fan has been eagerly waiting for the return to see how things would play out. Thankfully for all, it played out amazingly.
“Left Behind” brought the impact of the midseason finale to full effect, showcasing how our heroes (and even our villains) are handling the disappearance of one Oliver Queen. And it all worked out beautifully.
Usually, having the main character not in the episode a lot can hurt the show. In “Left Behind”, Oliver really only showed up for the flashback sequences and a few quick scenes, two of which had him “dead”. So it was really up to the rest of Team Arrow to carry the weight for this episode.
At its core, this was really about Diggle, Roy, and Felicity dealing with the absence of Oliver. Was he dead? Was in injured and in peril? Captured? They didn’t know, not definitively, and that clearly weighed on them. Yet as true heroes do, they went on with their days with how they thought Oliver would want them to, protecting the city.
It was great seeing Diggle back in the Arrow suit (“this suit is too tight”) and Roy having fun with the Arrow-cycle with Ollie gone. Yet they still had a job to do, and they did it to the best of their abilities. There were a lot of great action pieces in this episode, and it was great seeing more with Diggle involved, using both a bow and a gun in this episode. Roy also got some moments to shine, and though one particular move had him defy gravity of sorts, it was still pretty cool.
Truly though, everything came to a head when Malcolm Merlyn of all people “proved” Ollie was dead. It was heavy. The scene immediately afterward was so poignant. There was no sound for like 15 second. Not. A. Sound. I honestly checked my TV to make sure I didn’t hit mute. It’s these subtle touches that make scenes like this powerful. Everyone was rocked, and they all got to show it in their own way.
Roy did his thing, swallow his emotions, drink, and think about other, in this case Thea. Diggle tried to be consoling, and do what he thought Oliver would want him to do. And Felicity, dear sweet Felicity, just couldn’t handle it. You know what? That was fine with me. Of all the people on Team Arrow, it’s not hard to believe that Felicity would reach the breaking point first. She’s not a killer, she hates violence in a way, and as she noted, she lost two friends in three months. She didn’t want to lose another.
It was a powerful performance, one that fed over into the Ray Palmer storyline as he truly began building the Atom suit and wanted Felicity’s help. Her outburst to him could’ve been really cheesy, but it had such weight, and a true understanding of what she was talking about that it hit all the right notes.
Great performances aside, “Left Behind” delivered on other storylines as well. I already talked about the Atom story, but we also got the introduction of Brick. Played by the one and only Vinnie Jones. He’s clearly more than meets the eye, equal parts brute and genius. His fight with Diggle was a highlight for me. It’s clear Brick will be a force of sorts for at least a little while, I hope he gets the attention he deserves.
And what about Laurel? Huh? How about that Laurel? Yes, she’s now officially Black Canary. At least in costume. There will be many saying they threw her into costume too quickly. And in a way they did. However, how she got into the costume makes perfect sense. Sara is gone, Ollie is “gone”, Team Arrow is on the fritz, who else is there? Now there’s Black Canary.
The flashback sequences advanced quite well tonight. You wouldn’t have been wrong in thinking that they could’ve just had these scenes tonight to show Ollie in some capacity. Yet the writers did something brilliant in tying what Ollie did for Maseo into what was happening the present…
Yep, as some (including my father) surmised, Maseo was the person who we saw in the midseason finale teaser. The real twist though (that I actually called in a way), was that Tatsu was alive as well, and Maseo took Ollie to her in order “to bring you back to life.”
Now I’ll be fair, having him wake up at the end of the episode felt like a cheat. Especially given what happened to him (sword through the chest, remember?), I’m hoping they’ll reveal they did something special to “bring him back to life”, else this will ring a little hollow. I’ll forgive them though cause I’m just happy to see Tastu again. This does bring up the question of what drove Maseo to the League though. I’m thinking his son is dead, and he blames himself. Guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
“Left Behind” did a masterful job of capitalizing on the midseason finale and blasting into the back-half of the season. There’s a lot of questions still looming around, but now that Arrow is back, I know we’ll get them soon!…I hope!!!