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'Arrow' recap: 'The Fallen'

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Cate Cameron/The CW

Arrow

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14
seasons:
4
run date:
10/10/12
performer:
Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey
broadcaster:
The CW
genre:
ActionAdventure, Crime

It’s no wonder Oliver Queen is suffering from an identity crisis. “Broken Arrow,” last week’s episode, was about how there was no more Arrow. Tonight’s wonderful, fan-service filled, tear-jerker of an episode ended with Ra’s al Ghul declaring that Oliver Queen was no more and all that remained was the Arrow. However, not the Arrow Starling City hated, then grew to love, and then hated again. This was someone different: “The Arrow, Ah Sah-Him, Heir to the Demon.” But, before we get there, we must first wade through the many exceptional moments of tonight’s episode—including Arrow taking its big boy steps into the supernatural. 

“The Fallen” picks up right where “Broken Arrow” left off. Oliver returns home to find Thea on the floor bleeding and struggling to breath. She’s immediately rushed to the hospital, and the doctors are barely able to restart her heart. Oliver and Malcolm crying over Thea’s hospital bed is House-season-4-finale heartbreaking. By the time Diggle and Felicity show up, Oliver is broken and can barely form sentences. He notices smoke in the sky, a.k.a The League’s calling card. 

Wasting no time, Oliver heads to the location and finds Maseo there with a message: the only way to save Thea is to accept Ra’s offer. Because this is family and Oliver’s only weak spot, he accepts. Everyone, including Malcolm who knows of the powers of the Lazarus Pit, objects to Oliver’s decision. Malcolm warns Oliver that submerging her in the pit won’t save her because the experience changes a person’s soul. 

Once Oliver makes up his mind, there’s no changing it. The only thing to do is to play along, so everyone’s going on the field trip to Nanda Parbat. Ray, who knows this is serious and won’t let his realization that Felicity is still in love with Oliver cloud his judgment, even lends them his private jet to make the trip. He’s such a stand-up guy! If there’s one thing to love about this episode, it’s how many times Malcolm, who has turned grandstanding into an art, gets put in his place by everyone else. First on that list is Oliver, who doesn’t have time for any more of his words and tells him to shut-up and get on the plane. 

During the plane ride, Oliver has a heart-to-ear with Felicity. He tells her of the time he came back to Starling City on the DL and killed Thea’s drug dealer. Although we didn’t need to hear his explanation for his actions because we understand—he believed he was protecting Thea—it’s still a welcomed, albeit redundant, moment that underscores how much he loves Thea and how all of this is tearing him apart inside. Stephen Amell does a great job of showing just how much saving Thea’s life require Oliver to abandon her is weighing on his soul. 

Ra’s al Ghul doesn’t understand how to win and not be an ass because he has the League standing at the ready, torches alit and banners waving, when Team Arrow arrives with Thea’s body to welcome Oliver Ah Sah-Him home. Ra’s is clearly eager to be done being Ra’s because he wastes very little time between Team Arrow’s arrival and placing Thea is the Lazarus Pit. (There’s enough time for Diggle to diss every member of the League while scolding Maseo for his behavior). There’s some chanting led by an unidentified woman (as far I could tell) before Thea is submerged. Thea reemerges, and she’s animalistic, fierce, and kind of scary. She kicks Oliver to the ground and has to be subdued by the rest of the League. 

NEXT: The moment you’ve all been waiting for

[pagebreak]

Later, Thea wakes up in bed with Team Arrow by her side. She’s confused, doesn’t recognize Oliver, but recognize Malcolm, and believes Moira is still alive. (ASIDE: I MISS MOIRA SO MUCH!) At this point, all Oliver has left is hope, so he’s clinging to that with all his might and remains confident that Thea, with Diggle, Felicity, and Malcolm’s help, will be okay. The same doesn’t go for Felicity, who storms off to one of her best scenes to date. 

Felicity’s storming off takes her to the Lazarus Pit room to give Ra’s al Ghul a piece of her mind. She doesn’t hold back and even threatens to bring war upon the League to get Oliver back. (ASIDE: I wonder if Ra’s made a mental note to unplug every computer in Nanda Parbat, assuming there are some.) Ra’s remains unfazed by her threats and regales her with the tale of how he became Ra’s al Ghul. Many moons ago, a man showed up at his door and gave him a horrible decision: leave his family without saying a word or stay and watch them tortured and killed. “To spare them pain, I endured an agony worse than death,” says Ra’s. Because life is often more cruel than it is fair, Ra’s urges Felicity to take advantage of the opportunity that she has, which he was denied, and to tell Oliver how much she loves him. 

[Shipper Advisory: Fan-tastic Service]

Fellcity wastes no time in taking Ra’s’ advice. She heads to Oliver’s room and professes her love for him after thanking him for all that he’s done for her. Sending #Olicity shippers worldwide into a frenzy, Oliver and Felicity have sex for the first time. Once the deed is done, Felicity drugs Oliver and takes command, again, of Team Arrow. Spoiler alert: Badass-in-charge Felicity has no time for Malcolm b.s. She knows he knows a secret passageway out of Nanda Parbat and demands he show it to them. Along the way, they are aided by Maseo, who was moved by Diggle’s scolding earlier. Unfortunately, it’s not enough and they are eventually surrounded by the League. Oliver awakes in time and, in his first act as Heir to the Demon, commands the League to stand down and let his friends go. 

Oliver escorts Team Arrow to the perimeter and shares several poignant goodbyes with all of them, except Malcolm. Ra’s is not happy when Oliver returns because League blood was spilled during his friends’ attempted escape. Maseo admits to helping Oliver, but Ra’s spares his life because it was Maseo who aided Team Arrow, not Al-Sarab, his new identity. Plus, Oliver will need Maseo during his transition in the weeks to come in which “Oliver Queen will be extinguished from memory.” Turns out, “extinguishing Oliver Queen” merely means being branded with an arrow, changing your clothes, and Ra’s saying you’re a new person. (Admittedly, it’s a bit more dramatic and epic than that, but you get the gist). 

Meanwhile, Team Arrow returns to Starling City. Felicity brings Laurel up to speed, and Malcolm begs an awakened and no-longer confused Thea, to let him take care of her. It’s not shown, but Diggle returns Lila and Baby Sara and cuteness of unmeasurable scales ensues. 

Wall of Weird: 

  • Flashback: Oliver, Tatsu, and Maseo try to stop the virus from being released. However, in a brawl with the man tasked with releasing it, the vial falls to the ground and shatters. 
  • We knew this already, but Maseo confirmed during his brief chat with Diggle that his son died. 
  • “All I see is a bunch of weak men running from their lives trying to escape. That’s not powerful, Maseo, or brave. That’s cowardly.” —Diggle hitting Joe West-style real talk 
  • “So that happened…” —Felicity perfectly sums up hers and Oliver’s hookup
  • “John, you’re the best man I’ve ever known. Whatever happens, you’re my brother.” —The end (pausing) of a bromance
  • FACT: When Oliver Queen cries, we all cry.
  • Three claps for John Barrowman and making us feel for Malcolm after all the awful things that he has done. 
  • Arrow stepped into DC Comics’ supernatural mythology tonight and hopefully, it won’t turn back. Based on Thea’s feral awakening from the pit, there’s reason to worry that the consequences of her dip will merely amount to a tiny variation on Roy’s mirakuru arc from the second season. However, the writers, even through this season’s several rough patches, have proven themselves capable of still surprising us, so I’m definitely excited to see the consequences unfold in the rest of this season and next season.

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