Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Arrow is back after the heart pounding mid-season finale that left audiences wondering if their favorite vigilante is alive or dead. After a dramatic and heart racing duel with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable), Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was brutally stabbed and left fans on the edge of their seats with tears in their eyes. The latest episode of Arrow entitled, “Left Behind” picks up three days after Oliver’s deadly battle.
Arrow returned this week by showing Diggle (David Ramsey), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Roy (Colton Haynes) dealing with the absence of Oliver. When Danny “Brick” Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) shows up and threatens to tear the glades apart, Roy and Diggle spring into action. The crew break into the evidence vault at the Starling Police Department, Roy and Diggle go to stop him from allowing nearly eighty prisoners to be released. In some of the biggest stunts fans have seen Haynes do, he steps up his action packed stunts. He has truly grown into his character on the show and has turned Roy into the perfect sidekick for the Arrow. With Oliver gone, Roy has to step up his crime fighting and Haynes does not disappoint. In the end, Brick and his crew escape and his reign of terror on the Glades will continue.
To prove Oliver is dead to Team Arrow, Malcolm makes the trek to the mountain where the infamous duel took place. Does anyone else think he climbed that mountain rather fast? Malcolm finds the sword drenched in Oliver’s blood and brings it back to Team Arrow, revealing Oliver Queen is dead. The sheer look of disappointment that comes across Roy, Diggle and Felicity’s faces is heartbreaking. All three of them had an amazing episode this week and this scene showed off their incredible acting ranges. They were able to go from a moment of happiness to a moment of sheer panic effortlessly.
Now, fans of Arrow knew that the death of Oliver would take its toll on Roy, Diggle and Felicity the most. In a perfectly acted and one of the best filmed scenes, Roy, Diggle and Felicity are seen in the Arrow Cave in complete silence. Felicity sits by her computer, Diggles paces around the room and Roy stares at his Arsenal outfit. This scene perfectly broke up all the action happening in Starling City and gave the three characters time to sit and contemplate what Oliver’s death means to them. This is the only time there was no background noise and no music, it was just the three characters dealing with the loss of a friend.
All three characters then begin their dissent in dealing with Oliver’s death. Roy begins by taking to the bottle and having a drink in honor of his fallen brother. While having his drink in Verdant, Thea (Willa Holland) approaches him wondering where Oliver has been. She rightfully assumes that Roy has been hanging out with the Arrow and begs Roy to ask the Arrow to track down Oliver. Does anyone else think it’s about time Thea found out about how Oliver Queen spends his nights? Haynes and Holland’s chemistry is exceptional and this scene showed a more vulnerable side of both characters, something we haven’t see from these two actors in quite sometime.
Next up, the voice of reason for Team Arrow, John Diggle. Diggle has been a fan favorite since the show began and today Ramsey gave one of his best performances to date. Between consoling Felicity and trying to keep Team Arrow intact, Diggle is the glue holding the operation together. His best scene of the night came when Diggle was left alone in the Arrow Cave and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) joins him. In a touching scene, Diggle reveals that he still thinks of himself as Oliver’s bodyguard and this time, “I couldn’t protect him.” Laurel consoles her new friend and then turns to Sara’s (Caity Lotz) Black Canary gear. At the tail end of the episode, fans saw Laurel in her Canary outfit and in action for the first time, which was pretty special. Ramsey delivers a gut-wrenching performance and fans are anxiously awaiting how his character will continue to deal with Oliver’s disappearance.
Finally everyone’s favorite IT nerd, Felicity Smoak is taking Oliver’s death the hardest. After he professed his love to her, Felicity was bound to have some strong feeling about the man in her life being dead. Most of these feelings are taken out on Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) who continues to build his A.T.O.M Exosuit so he can save Starling City. In an intense and heartbreaking scene, Felicity tells Ray, “When we lose someone. When someone dies. They’re gone. Forever. And there is nothing. Nothing we can do that is going to bring them back…” Rickards, who has become the breakout actor on Arrow these past three years, flawlessly acted this scene. She has become a major character on this show and continues to stun fans in her dramatic scenes. Rickards acting is exceptional and it’s hard to believe this is her first major acting role.
Felicity agrees to allow Ray to carry out his extracurricular activities however, she will not be helping him with the A.T.O.M suit. Felicity Smoak has had a rough couple of months and Rickards portrays her pain effortlessly. The pain builds to a boiling point and Felicity ends up quitting Team Arrow (for now). As she ascends the stairs of the Arrow Cave she tells Roy and Diggle, “there is no this without him [Oliver].” Is Felicity out of Team Arrow? Audiences will have to wait and see how Felicity continues to cope with Oliver’s death.
So, where was Oliver Queen this episode? In this episode, Oliver was mainly seen in flashback sequences as him and Maseo (Karl Yune) break into a Hong Kong military facility to retrieve a serum called “Alpha” for Amanda Waller. The flashback sequences continue to be a little dry and break up the action happening in present day too much. With Maseo and Oliver’s quest to find Tatsu just beginning, hopefully the action in Hong Kong will become more exciting.
In present day, Oliver is seen being dragged from the mountain and into a cabin. It is revealed that Maseo grabbed the corpse of Oliver and brought him into the cabin because he had “no one else to turn to.” In the last three minutes of the episode, Oliver is revealed to have been revived from the dead by Tatsu (Rila Fukushima). Fans can rest easy knowing Oliver Queen is alive however, they will have to wait another week to find out how exactly this is possible.
This was probably the least amount of screen time Amell has ever had on Arrow and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Oliver’s death has allowed other characters to shine and rise to the occasion. The entire ensemble of Arrow continues to blossom and improve week after week and fans can expect more growth in episodes to come.
With jaw-dropping, heart pounding action scenes and small moments of intimacy, Arrow hooks fans over and over again. Arrow continues to do something other television shows rarely do, have the main character step back and expand on minor characters. The show does a flawless job and fans cannot wait to tune in week after week.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8/9c on the CW.
Overall Episode Grade: A-