Well, it will be an interesting challenge to recap 57 episodes but here goes! In case you have been living under a rock, this is the story so far..
Arrow follows the adventures of Billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) who was stranded on a hellish island for five years and then returned to his home of Starling City to fight crime as the Arrow. Along the way, we meet interesting supporting characters such as John Diggle (David Ramsey), a driver turned badass marine, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), lawyer by day and now burgeoning vigilante by night, now taking over the role her sister Sara originally had, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), a former street kid, now partner to the Arrow, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), Oliver’s sister who herself morphs into “something else” in the course of three seasons. Then there’s Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rikards), initially a timid and introverted recurring character in the form of a tech genius who becomes the backbone of the team in her role.
Over the years, Seasons 1-3 have brought on many trials and obstacles for Oliver and crew as he faced death on countless occasions, as well as the loss of family and friends in different ways. At the same time, he conquered his demons and became a better hero because of it. This would make anyone a fan of the show.
Now that I’ve hopefully brought you up speed on the entire show thus far, here’s a recap as well as a review of the newest episodes as of 2015:
“Left Behind” as the title suggests, focuses on those left behind in Starling City after Oliver goes to confront Ra’s Al Ghul. If you’ve seen the previous episode “The Climb” you pretty much know what has transpired. It wasn’t a pretty end for Oliver Queen. Now with him out of Starling City, a new Crime Lord by the name of Danny Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) rises and attempts a takeover of the Glades with his criminal army. Meanwhile, Oliver’s body is taken in by other allies in an attempt to “bring him back to life”.
In the flashbacks, we see Oliver and Maseo (Karl Yune) continue their rescue mission for Tatsu (Rila Fukushima). The friendship between Maseo and Oliver really fleshes itself out here and it enhances the scenes in the present as we learn why Maseo comes to care for Oliver as an ally. It was also quite entertaining to watch action scenes where Oliver himself is learning the same tricks his allies in the present are trying to learn.
What is really noticeable about this episode is that we learn just how important Oliver is towards the team. His absence really permeates in the crew all the way to the ends of Starling City. You see the team dynamics drastically change and you get a feel that while they can walk the walk, they can’t talk the talk with their new conditions. The acting from Emily Bett Rikards as Felicity Smoak really sends the message home as you can see a vast departure from her normally upbeat personality to a more downtrodden sadness.
In response to this, we finally see something new and surprising in that Laurel’s arc from previous episodes from training with Wildcat have allowed her to don the black Canary costume her sister Sara has worn. While her intentions may be good, just like the others in this episode, three words are pretty much reinforced here:
“We need Oliver!”
Brandon Routh impressed us this week by playing off of Felicity’s grief by being the nice friend to lean on while at the same time proves his drive to do well in his eventual role as The Atom.
“Midnight City” continues the events of the episode “Left Behind”. Here we see Roy and Diggle confront Laurel in her night-time activities. Meanwhile, Danny Brickwell kidnaps important people to Starling City and holds them hostage unless the police evacuate the glades.
The prominent feature of this episode is Laurel’s story arc. She, along with the rest of Oliver’s crew, decide to try to end the threat of Danny Brickwell. Like in the previous episode, she’s no Sara with her sloppy fighting skills. A few rounds with The Wildcat aren’t going to compare to the years of experience Oliver accumulated.
She along with Roy, who isn’t that skilled either, leaves lasting consequences after they try to save the hostages. These activities further complicate Laurel’s relationship with her father and enhance the lie that Sara is alive so his heart won’t give out. Honestly, how long can they keep this up? We all know that these sorts of lies can quite well blow up in your face.
Felicity’s arc stemming from “Left Behind” moved a triumphant step forward as she learns that they must look after the people that need help right now. The renewed sense of confidence that Rikards portrays would leave fans cheering as they to get back on track to follow through with Oliver’s mission.
I personally cannot wait for future events after this. For one, we know that Ra’s Al Ghul is watching both Thea and Malcolm (who’s got a Death Mark on him by the League of Assassins) in a rather unlikely way. It would be interesting to see that play out.
As for Oliver’s arc which was rather minimal, only hiding from henchmen Ra’s has sent down. Sooner or later he will return to Starling and all will be well.