Mid-season finale (ep. 9) we saw Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) Spartan kicked from the top of a mountain after having a scimitar forcefully plunged through his body by one dark Ra’s Al Guhl (Matt Nable). For several weeks fans have speculated how he could possibly survive. And now… We… Still don’t know!
While we have had multiple weeks to mourn the loss of Arrow (and maybe even rewatch all the episodes from the beginning to episode 9 to cope), Team Arrow has only had days of a missing Ollie. What happens to everyone when he is gone? Episode 10, “Left Behind” really shows that while these characters are strong and developed enough to carry a story on their own, the glue is truly Oliver. Without him the drive and motivation, the reason, is gone.
What I loved about this episode is that the show clearly has the ability to carry on, even when the title character is absent (minus some flashbacks). A true exhibition of solid character development, we find that we are attached to individuals other than Oliver. For example, during a particularly tense action sequence involving john Diggle (David Ramsey) and Arsenal (Colton Haynes), I found myself emotionally invested in the outcome. This is a nod to the immense talent of the Arrow stunt team as well. Like all episodes, the action scenes of Arrow always feel like they are movie quality – definitively the best stunt team on tv, no matter what the award shows say.
As always, the flashback scenes are a fantastic addition as they tell an individual, but related story to the present day plot. Luckily, even when there is no Oliver in present day, we still have some Arrow in his pre-hooded vigilante days. And these days are important. The Arrow writers are brilliant in their ability to make even the smallest details massively important later.
This leads me to some spoilers. If you aren’t caught up, you are searching for the wrong things on the Internet right now. Oliver Queen is revealed to be alive at the close of the episode. And as all of us have been wondering, he asks, “How?” Remember those flashbacks? There are some people we see again, which tie into the “how.” But what the speculator in me is wondering… What about that Alpha and Omega story? It sure seems to me that if you are going to bring someone back from the dead, a chemical called Alpha (which means beginning… Which is similar to birth or new start) sure sounds like it might be used for something like that.
There is more to see and learn in coming episodes as we learn the answer to the “how” question and we see how the team deals with “Brick” (Vinnie Jones), and potentially see what ensues with Ra’s if Oliver survives.
Arrow is on the CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c.