Arrow: The Climb


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Arrow concluded its first half of the season with their best episode of the season and one of the best in its series history.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Well, that just happened. Just when you think Arrow couldn’t have gotten crazier they go and “kill off” their title character. Of course you know the writers really didn’t kill him off. My theory is that he died, or came close, and someone takes his body and puts it in the Lazarus Pit especially because we now know it exists. (Ra’s al Ghul said he hadn’t been challenged for 67 years and he looks like he’s in his early 40s’. We can therefore deduce he’s at least a century old.)

The climactic fight between Ra’s al Ghul and Oliver was so spot on. It was written and performed just like a chess match. At first he’s holding his own as al Ghul says he’s gotten farther than most, then Oliver gets the upper hand for the first time in the fight, and then comes the final blow as Ra’s pierces a sword through Oliver. This show really likes showing the profile view when the sword goes all the way through someone.

Matt Nable did a solid portrayal of al Ghul. He had an air of a man who honors his own code with a little scruffiness. He took the well-known, dignified, and noble character and made it his own, which is quite admirable.

I liked that Thea’s reaction to the news of Sara’s death was a genuine one. I kind of wish the brainwashing aspect wasn’t a part of the reason she killed Sara. It would have led to much more conflict both internally and externally with a few different characters on the canvas if she just killed the Canary not knowing it was Sara. I hope there is more to the story, just to make it more satisfying.

But by making Thea Sara’s killer, it gave the right gravitas to Oliver sacrificing himself for the people he loves, especially his sister. And Oliver’s face when he saw Thea could fight was priceless.

After Oliver danced around it for a while, he finally told Felicity the three little words and the ‘shippers rejoiced. It’s just annoying that nine episodes later the two are still stuck in the same situation they were in the season’s premiere.

I’m so glad they gave more depth and backstory to Ray Palmer. They needed to establish his character more than just the guy who bought Oliver’s company and is now wooing his love interest. Since the ATOM suit is almost complete, especially with the timing of Oliver’s “death” I could see the series making Ray Starling City’s new hero and Felicity his tech partner. Or it would be even funnier if Ray just adopted all of Team Arrow and converted it Team ATOM.

There was some Lance family business to take care of, which was a little tedious at times. But, the bright side is that at least Mama Lance came back into town.

The Hong Kong storyline proved to be somewhat fruitful in the present day storyline with Maseo now in the League.

I do have to say, the title of the episode is quite distracting because it reminds me of Miley Cyrus’ song. Also, the constant shots of him climbing up the mountain was tedious. I get it; it’s a big mountain to climb so showing it once or twice was sufficient I don’t need to be constantly reminded of it.

As I’ve written before Arrow had an uneven beginning to their third season, but between “The Climb” and “The Brave and the Bold” it’s as if the series has finally found itself again. I couldn’t be happier.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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