TV Review: Arrow - Season 3 Episode 10 "Left Behind"
Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.
Episode 10: "Left Behind"
Synopsis: In the aftermath of Oliver’s fight with Ra’s al Ghul, Diggle and Arsenal continue to protect the city in the Arrow’s absence. However, after three days without hearing from Oliver, they begin to fear the worst may have happened to their friend. Meanwhile, Ray tests a part of his new suit and Laurel takes up the mantle of the Black Canary.
In Starling City: It has been six week since we last had a new episode of ARROW. Since that cliffhanger ending, we have been left wondering how Oliver could have survived being stabbed through the chest and thrown off a cliff. Well tonight...we will not be getting any answers.
Picking up three days after the previous episode, Oliver is still missing,leaving Diggle and Roy to defend Starling City. Felicity is hopeful that Oliver is still alive, but the others not so much. ARGUS doesn't show any record of Oliver and neither does any of Felicity's satellite recon. But, the team has the duty of defending Starling. Apprehending one of two criminals, the team realizes that an escaped Iron Heights prisoner named Brick (Vinnie Jones) may be up to something.
Thea and Malcolm duel, showcasing that Thea is beginning to learn more effective battle tactics. But, she confides to her father that Oliver's absence is worrying her. Malcolm, in the spirit of family, offers to have some of his associates look into Oliver's whereabouts. Thea also asks Roy to see if the Arrow could help find Oliver. Diggle has a breakthrough investigating Brick and realizes his crew all were awaiting trial after being apprehended by the Arrow.
They track Brick's location and Diggle and Roy discover the burned body of Brick's henchman who was responsible for the opening car chase. They also find a charred blueprint which they bring back to Felicity to decipher. As they go through Verdant to reach the Arrow Cave, they find the secure door ajar. Thinking it may be Oliver, the team instead find Malcolm Merlyn who says he thinks Oliver would have communicated if he were still alive.
Ray Harper continues his experiments with the A.T.O.M. suit but is hitting some snags getting it up and running. Felicity tries to warn him about the hazards of playing hero, but Ray is determined. After learning of Oliver's fate, Felicity tells Ray that his plan to don a suit and fight crime won't bring back his murdered fiance. Ray remains calm and warns Felicity not to invoke his fiance's name again and Felicity apologizes.
At the mountain, we see Oliver's body two-thirds of the way down the cliff, resting on a snowy ledge when a black-clad figure appears. We soon learn that Merlyn went to the site and found the sword used to stab Oliver and brings it back to the team as proof that Oliver Queen is dead. The team blames Merlyn who doesn't justify his actions. But, we get another look at the cloaked figure taking Oliver away on a stretcher.
Laurel tries the criminal brought in by Roy and Diggle, a man working for Brick, who is also responsible for killing a copy. Laurel is very effective in the courtoom but reacts strongly when the team reveal where Oliver went. Laurel refuses to believe Oliver is dead and has faith he will come back.
At the police evidence warehouse, Brick and his team break in to try and destroy documents that could free their friends and cohorts. Diggle and Arsenal arrive and showdown with Brick's crew. Diggle runs out of bullets and his cold-cocked by Brick who challenges him to a fight; winner lives. Brick begins choking Diggle but Arsenal gets a good arrow in before the bad guys escape. We soon learn Felicity let Brick escape so her friends could survive. Diggle tells her that if they are going to continue without Oliver, they need to saddle up. Felicity says without Oliver, she is done.
With all the evidence gone, the prisoners are all released and Laurel can do nothing to stop it. Diggle says he is unsure if he can continue now that Oliver is gone and all of their work for the past eight months is undone. Left in the Arrow Cave, Laurel touches the remnants of Sara's Canary gear, a glimmer in her eye. Brick holds court with the freed prisoners, saying he kept the proof in exchange for all them working for him. Their plan? To take over Starling. As two of the criminals walk away, Laurel arrives in her Black Canary gear.
When we finally see who the shrouded man who saved Oliver was, it is no surprise that it is Maseo who brings his friend to a small cabin for help. He says he had no one else to turn to, but we do not see who this person is. Once Oliver regains consciousness, we see it is noneother than Tatsu and she has brought Oliver back to life.
Flashbacks: In Hong Kong, Amanda Waller is not pleased to learn of what transpired with the abduction of Maseo's wife. Waller has learned the Omega is harmless without the corresponding Alpha to make the weapon active. Waller tells Maseo finding his wife is not a priority and tasks the pair to break into a facility to destroy Alpha and then can help them find Tatsu. Locating Alpha, Oliver and Maseo are ambushed by a military squad. They escape but Oliver lets one of them live. Waller applauds the retrieval of Alpha,but chastises Oliver for letting the man live. Maseo says Oliver didn't hesitate to which Queen says he slippped a GPS in the thug's pocket to try and track Tatsu.
Review: As hard as it could be to have an episode of a superhero series without that superhero, ARROW pulled it off admirably this week. With everyone anticipating the revelation as to how Oliver survived his fatal blow last week, we were given more questions and no answers. But, now the flashbacks to Hong Kong make a little more sense as Maseo and Tatsu are key to Oliver's survival. But, the best part of this episode was Diggle and Arsenal taking center stage, Felicity's torment at the thought of Oliver being dead, and the introduction of Brick as a pretty intense villain. Hopefully they don't kill him off too quickly as the prospect of someone like a Slade Wilson is much needed this season.
The action this week was well choreographed and the reveal of how and why Laurel becomes Black Canary was executed better than I thought it would be. I want that sub-plot to be a slow build versus throwing her right into the mix with Team Arrow. Overall, this was a welcome return to form for ARROW which has lagged a bit this season. Let's hope the next batch are as good as this one.
Next on ARROW: "Midnight City" airs January 28th, 2015: Arsenal and Diggle confront Laurel about trying to step into her sister's shoes and warn her to stop before she gets herself killed. However, when Brick kidnaps the city's Aldermen and threatens to kill them all unless the police evacuate The Glades, it's all suits on deck.