Arrow (Left Behind) Review

RA Al GHUL killing Oliver Queen in combat RA Al GHUL played by Matt Nable Oliver Queen played by Stephen Amell

Ra Al Ghul killing Oliver Queen in combat
Ra Al Ghul played by Matt Nable
Oliver Queen played by Stephen Amell

 

Who fights crime now?

The Climb, the previous Arrow episode,  ended with Oliver Queen being killed by Ra Al Ghul in mortal combat.  In this episode, tells the story what is Starling City like without Oliver Queen as the Arrow to fight crime. The episode also is a catalyst for Arsenal’s future independence as a crime fighter (at some point in the show) and starts the countdown to Laurel apocalypse.  Laurel Apocalypse was coined by John Campea but the meaning of the word is when Laurel Lance starts to pose as the Black Canary and fans might quit watching the show.

The episode starts with Diggle and Roy pursuing a truck with two criminals. They capture one criminal and discover he works for a crime boss named Brick, played by Vinny Jones. Felicity has trouble focusing on her work and needs to find out if Oliver Queen is dead. Malcolm Merlyn looks into the matter and discovers that Oliver Queen is dead by the traditional practice of Ra Al Ghul leaving the killing weapon on holy ground to honor the dead. Felicity tests the blood on the weapon and discovers that it is Oliver’s blood. Roy and Diggle need to stop Brick but Felicity prevents them in succeeding by quitting the team. Meanwhile, Oliver has an old friend who helps him even though he is dead.

Diggle played by John Ramesy  Arsenal played by Colton Hayes

Diggle played by John Ramesy
Arsenal played by Colton Hayes

The episode was a very good episode because of the conflicts within the Arrow team. Roy still wants to fight crime and stand up for the innocent. Diggle has mixed feelings about fighting crime. Felicity wants out of the crime business because she lost Oliver. Colton Hayes was more a feature in this episode which was nice. It is like having a Robin or Nightwing centric storyline in a series of Batman issues. Roy in the episode was put on display. He was skilled with a bow but still lack that intuition to be near as good as Oliver Queen. Felicity had internal conflicts which made her walk away from Ray Palmer and his goal of building a crime fighter suit.  It was nice to see all three pivotal characters featured in a episode without Oliver Queen being the main focus.

Katie Cassidy as Black Canary

Katie Cassidy as Black Canary

 

The biggest negative was Laurel Lance but not until the end of the episode. She does show up in the Black Canary outfit.  Katie Cassidy looks gorgeous as the Black Canary but her character is no Canary. Her crime fighting skills makes Roy look like Oliver Queen.  However, the writers of the show can prove us wrong.

Overall,  Left Behind was a great mid season premiere. It was better than Gotham’s or the Flash’s premiere. The villain was great and Vinny Jones should reoccur as Brick every couple of episodes per season. Brick will be talked about more in next week’s review. Left Behind gets 4.5/5.

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Arrow Unthinkable review (no spoilers)

Team-Arrow-Finale

Why you need to watch Arrow?

Arrow is about the Oliver Queen and his nightly activities as a crime fighting vigilante. The episode titled “Unthinkable” concludes an action packed season.  This season is the best season of Arrow. The episode picks up where the last episode left off. Oliver has a cure that can turn Slade Wilson’s superhuman army into regular flesh and bone humans. Slade is out for revenge against Oliver. Oliver’s former partner, Amanda Waller,  has sent a drone to nuke Starling City and wipe out Slade’s Army. Oliver has to stop Slade’s army in the nick of time to prevent Waller from leveling the city.  The episode has several high points for me that made it enjoyable for me..

My first point is the story telling. The writers and executive producers of Arrow seem to create story lines each week that keep your attention for an hour.  “Unthinkable” wraps up the second season main story arcs but open up for new stories to be told down the road. The writers sever some characters’ relationships or add to on existing characters’ relationships. These relationships will play out in future seasons.   Secondly, this show has fine actors. Stephen Amell has really grown into the role of Oliver Queen. He owns the role of the Green Arrow.  Manu Bennett’s acting has taken a multi dimensional comic book character, Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) and translated every dimension of that character on to the small screen.  Emily Bett Rickards is a strong actress, and she plays Felicity.  Her acting made her character’s story in this episode so heartfelt and compelling. My final big positive is this episode is dominated by strong female characters. I love the strong female characters who drive the story. Sarah, Nyssa Al Ghul, Felicity, and Thea drive the narrative in this episode. These characters will be pivotal for next season and future seasons to come.   I have a few negatives that bugged me..

A big negative was the pace of the episode.  I actually think last season’s finale was more suspenseful. This episode had so many subplots and felt a little cramped that it gave you little breathing time.  I never felt any of the characters were endangered,  either.  My final issue was one character was one and done. The character’s ending was kind of fun to watch at first. I felt like they wasted the whole season developing the character and their finale comes within seconds without a big fight.

Overall, I think this a great show.  Here are some reasons why you need to watch Arrow.  It has great story telling, every actor on the show has talent, the fight sequences make it worth watching, and the tone of the show has remained consistent.  Stephen Amell has great acting range. He could tell me that he loves me. I would believe him because of the emotion in his eyes.  Arrow is a television show makes an hour fly by fast.  Another reason that you need to consider watching Arrow is the potential superhero appearances. Flash will be appearing on the show and the show runners have said a few Batman characters could appear on Arrow.

Overall this episode of Arrow was great but not as great as last season’s finale. I will do a spoiler review soon after I have time to digest this episode and people will have seen it. The acting, story telling, and female characters in this episode are superb.  It is one of my favorite shows on television. This episode was a little overwhelming with the plot points that they kept throwing at you. I will give this episode a 4.5 out of 5.