Arrow: Left Behind

How to recap this. It was genuine, and the characters were genuine in their worry, wait, and grief, but COME ON.  I never quite know how to take episodes like this when we KNOW that it’s all a wind up. I get that it’s supposed to galvanize the rest of the team to move forward, but I’d almost rather we see that in flashbacks after the band is back together. I think the older I get, that’s the machination I’m more down with — the jump forward and flash back vs. the complete suspension of disbelief. All that out of the way, let’s look at where we are in Starling City.

This episode of Arrow picks up three days after Oliver went off to battle Ra’s, and nobody’s heard from him. Felicity has broken out the weapon-grade geekery to try to find him, any sign of him, but he’s nowhere. We, of course, soon find him lying lifeless (where we left him) on a cliff’s edge as someone approaches.

Meanwhile in Startling City, Diggle and Roy are pursuing bad guys and Laurel’s locking them up while Felicity is keeping up a front as Ray’s Girl Friday. Then Malcolm comes calling and confirms with them that they haven’t heard from Oliver. So he goes and gets Ra’s’s sword off the mountain and returns it to them.

DNA confirms it’s Oliver’s blood and Felicity disintegrates a little bit. After she makes a call on an op (against Vinnie Jones as a crime boss looking to make a move on the Glades) that saves Diggle and Roy but lets the bad guy get away, she then confronts Ray about his A.T.O.M. tomfoolery and he shuts her down in a way that made me supremely nauseous.

Thea’s worried about Oliver and separately asks Malcolm and Roy to help look for him. After Malcolm finds the sword, he presumes he’s marked for death again so he tells Thea they have to leave ASAP.

The gang loops Laurel and she asks Diggle if he will stay and he says he doesn’t know. She looks around the lair and makes her own decision. The next time we see her, she’s the Canary, wielding Sara’s weapon.

Back in Hong Kong, Oliver and Maseo worked an op for Amanda and had to table Tatsu’s rescue. At the end of the op, Oliver let one of China White’s men go so he could plant a GPS on him, and Maseo pledges his troth to Oliver in return. That debt is paid when we see, back in the present, that Maseo is the one who dragged Oliver off the ledge. They arrive at a door asking for help, and in the closing moments, Oliver revives and we hear Tatsu’s voice (yay!) telling him he will tear his sutures. He turns his head to look at her, and asks how, and on the other side of him, Maseo (yay!) steps forward and says he asked her to come to bring him back to life.

So, there’s that. It was all very sincere and sad, except that I was watching it with an eye toward it being a time-filler until Oliver is home. Is that terrible of me? I love the rest of the cast, and they were all very good, but it just felt silly, for lack of a better word, to churn up all this agita for naught. My other nit was that the guest star listing plus process of elimination of “who haven’t we seen yet” made Tatsu the obvious reveal at the end. I wonder if that ever pisses off the writers.

Next week, more drama. And more filler until Oliver’s return, as we watch his “survivors” make sad/bad/dangerous decisions they’ll have to live with or undo, thus begetting more drama. Can Oliver please bring Maseo and Tatsu home with him? I love them, and I love them with him.

In other news, we’re already a go for a fourth season (and The Flash is a go for Season 2)!

Photo courtesy of The CW

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