The CW‘s Arrow Left Behind TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 3, Episode 10: ‘Left Behind,’ took the middle road, between having a moment, for Oliver (Stephen Amell) failing to return from his duel, and taking up his slack, protecting Starling City. I’m not entirely sure either was handled very well; so the middle road measure might turn out to be more of a long run payoff, if at all.
On the hero legacy side of things, Diggs & Roy (David Ramsey, Colton Haynes) were as good at their jobs as ever (Roy may have even stepped things up, a notch, at that), but it was evident they were just outside their respective & collective comfort zones. The task, in this case, came courtesy of Danny Brickwell (Vinnie Jones), whose master plan seemed to pay no mind to The Arrow, at all. Convenient, since he’s actually absent. The source character of Brick was typically modified; but the change suited Jones’ type-casting. On top of his reliably intimidating presence, it made sense of his particular shtick (since appearing more vulnerable, than he actually is, would be the only reason someone would likely take him up on his running challenge). Of course, it took more than good planning, and Team Arrow’s unsure footing, to get Brick what he wanted. There is always an element of dumb luck; this week coming courtesy of a police evidence warehouse located well away from the precinct, with minimal security/ surveillance. This is why cities like Starling need vigilantes. Brick & crew benefitted from the Diggs-Roy subbing, but Team Arrow suffered most from a chink in its own armor.
Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) took it upon herself to be the one person in the room pointing to the elephant. Jabbing at it, actually, as the prospect of Oliver’s demise left her questioning the very rational of what they were doing. Of course, when such a realization comes after years of working through such conditions, one may be left questioning her motives, over everyone else’s. All that she said, in accepting Oliver’s death, was true; but it was also true of Sara, Tommy, Moira, and others. It seems a case can be made that Felicity’s commitment to hero’s crusade has been defined/ confined to her personal commitment to Oliver, as only his loss threw the whole matter into question. I’d swoon (no, not really), but in the process of making that case, Felicity sucked all the life out of the room. Yes, there needed to be a moment, and Felicity is the best choice to force that moment; but at one point, she literally turned the lights off on the rest of the team.
Worse, she took all the fun out of Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) again. Ray palmer’s hero prospects were dangled before us, yet again; and until he suits up, he may best served as Prince Charming/ comic relief. However, as long as Felicity moonlights with Team Arrow, for Ollie’s sake, she will not be comfortable with Ray, in this role. I’m starting to worry that a ship has sailed, regarding the Ray-Felicity dynamic.
Malcolm Meryln (John Barrowman) clearly has a larger role to play, this season (if not for the series, as a whole), and has begun angling towards establishing himself. The combination of blunt honesty, and under handed self-interest (like checking on Oliver’s status, but only to ensure his neck was off the chopping block – then admitting as much to Team Arrow), suggests more of an anti-hero role for his character, than outright villain. I’d be fine with that – Barrowman has enough charisma to carry either – but I’ve seen too many villains redeemed for popularity’s sake. I say just ‘Gul Dukat’ him, already. Any of you who won’t know what that means: it’s a reference to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Gul Dukat being a baddie-turned-frenemy-turned-ultimate villain. Kept things interesting.
Interesting can be a double-edged sword, however, and Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) contribution to the series has added a different context to the word. Well, it seems three days (since Oliver’s disappearance) was enough time for her to take law-bringing practice to the streets. I feel it would be unfair to call premature fanservice, at this point, so more on that bird’s new song, later on.
Future hero prospects also came by way of Oliver’s side story – told both in flashback Hong Kong, and at present, after left-for-dead Oliver was retrieved by a mysterious stranger. Okay, not so mysterious; as that game was somewhat given away by the previous episode’s early reveal.
In Hong Kong, Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) continued to force her grey scale agenda, which involved Ollie, somehow. Considering that Maseo’s (Karl Yune) wife, Tatsu (Rila Fukushima), was understood to be collateral damage, Oliver’s high-mindedness would lay some karmic groundwork for his salvaging, in the present.
Between the launch of this current extension, to the flashback story, the villain-of-the-week actually sticking around – and doubling down – while Team Arrow still works on its new footing, and a not likely ready-for-primetime Canary cavalry call, there may be enough room set aside to pull all these elements together. As a stand alone episode, however, ‘Left Behind’ was a mess; but I expect it to appreciate in value, by way of hindsight, by the end of what may actually be a ‘Left Behind/ rise of the B Team’ arc.
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