Arrow Episode 309 Review: “The Climb”

Posted in The Screening Room by - December 13, 2014

Arrow‘s mid-season finale is one for the books. Further establishing how this show does a great job at finales and how a bumpy first half of the season has an overarching plot leading to some serious moments. It also leaves us with quite the cliffhanger (pun intended).

The episode picks up with Oliver wrangling up anonymous henchmen only to be thrust into the real conflict for this season. The League of Assassins. Unfortunately, the whole mystery and investigation has been handled a bit awkwardly this season. But, this episodes puts all that to bed as the League shows up telling Ollie he has 48 hours to catch the killer, or they’re going back to their roots and killing 50 Starling City citizen’s until the killer is revealed.

As Team Arrow scrambles to find the killer before the deadline, the Hong Kong flash-backs finally start to get a bit of meaning behind him. We see Ollie getting struggling with torturing people and the China White subplot is brought to focus.

The show then goes through a slow climbing route to reveal Sara’s killer. Through a villainous monologue we learn that Thea was in fact the one who murdered Sara. Unfortunately, the show does a bit of a cop out by revealing that Thea only did it because she was under a bit of mind control so that she would not remember the event, and was simply a pawn in Malcolm Merlyn’s plot to manipulate Oliver.

Honestly, that bugged me. Ollie’s reaction in the show when learning that this “mind control” existed was the same as mine, as he sighed deeply and said “Really? That’s a thing?”. It would’ve been more interesting for the show to have Thea kill Sara out of free will, as it would have created more of an emotional effect on Oliver. The effects would have rippled across the show had this been the case. Laurel’s reaction could have really given her character some real substance. Oh well.

This leads to proving Diggle’s belief that Oliver’s true weakness is his blind spot to his family. He did the same thing with his mother last season, and is doing everything he can to protect Thea, no matter the cost.

The show is stolen by Ra’s al Ghul’s who is portrayed by Matt Nable. He steals every scene he is in and does a phenomenal job at portraying the kind of confidence you would expect from the Demon’s Head. Everything leads up to a one on one battle, Oliver vs Ra’s. As mentioned earlier, Merlyn had been manipulating everything to this. By tricking Thea into killing Sara, he forced Ollie to face the League himself rather than throwing them at his last living relative.

What follows is a pretty epic battle. How cool is it that a live action Green Arrow is fighting Ra’s al Ghul?

It’s clear as Oliver prepares for it; he knows he’s heading towards his death. He was definitely over matched fighting Ra’s. He didn’t even start the fight with a weapon, but was still able to take Oliver’s sword from him and defeat him. Oliver is defeated, and Ra’s thrusts a sword through his chest (presumably) killing him, before pushing off the side of the cliff.

Obviously, the show is not killing off it’s main character mid-way through the 3rd season, but this definitely opens up the show for some possibilities. Looking ahead, episode 14 is called “The Return” so Oliver is going to be out of action for a few weeks. Giving the show some time to flesh out some of it’s other plots.

As well, finally Laurel will become Black Canery and hopefully bringing some meaning to her character. I’ve never been shy in saying she is easily the worst part of this show. We should also get to see Ray Palmer getting closer to becoming The Atom and the repercussions of Oliver’s “death”.

As well, I am sure we are going to get to see the Lazerus Pits, as a way to bring Oliver back, and to explain Ra’s ability to be alive for so long. This episode definitely is a winner, and is creating the opportunity for a great second half of the season.

Final Say: Watch It

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