Arrow Winter Premiere Recap: Somebody Save Me

This week on The CW’s Arrow, the rest of Oliver’s team tried (hard) not to fear the worst about his duel with Ra’s al Ghul, a new threat emerged in the Glades and Laurel suited up.

So, you have your answer. After six weeks plus 58 minutes of waiting, it was revealed that Oliver Queen was rescued from the ravine ledge on which he landed, bleeding to death, by Maseo. The League member then delivered his mostly dead friend to the care of wife Tatsu, who (somehow) brought him back to life.

Maseo did this — presumably defying Ra’s al Ghul’s wishes — because he owed a life debt to Oliver, who, it was revealed in flashbacks, once irked boss lady Amanda Waller by letting a Triad thug go free, so that the GPS device Oliver planted on the guy would lead them to Tatsu, who had been taken by China White.

Back in Starling City, however, Team Arrow struggled with the news (or lack thereof) about Oliver. Felicity, more than anyone, kept a stiff upper lip, maintaining, “Nothing has changed,” that they should continue the good fight. But when Malcolm makes a whirlwind trip to the sacred site of the trial by combat and returns with Oliver’s blood on Ra’s al Ghul’s scimitar, their mission becomes less clear, muddied by emotion.

As Roy put it to Diggle, what’s the point in “doing all of this without him, without him,” seeing as it seems Oliver will never come back? Distracting the team, for a bit, is Diggle’s realization that a series of numbers found at the site of a gang execution carried out by rising crime star Danny “Brick” Brickwell matches up with the evidence files tied to all the bad guys Team Arrow had put away since the Slade Wilson days. Meaning, Brick is poised to undo all of their hard, heroic work.

Felicity, rocked by the likelihood of Oliver’s death, vents to Ray, in the form of deriding his plan to save the city using the A.T.O.M. exosuit. “It won’t work…. It won’t bring your fiancée back,” she roars. “Nothing we can do will bring [dead loved ones] back.” Ray hears out her point, then warns: “Never tell me what Anna would have wanted.”

With Felicity still in a bit of a daze but running the comms, Diggle and Roy set out to stop Brick’s gang from seizing the police files. They get their licks in, and Roy saves Diggle from being done in by Brick, but Brick and others still steal away with the files — in part because Felicity shut the warehouse doors in front of Roy and Diggle. “I chose not to let anyone else I care about die,” she explains, before finally giving up on doing “this” while Oliver lays dead somewhere. “You don’t get it — there is no ‘this’ without him. I’m done.”

Felicity apologizes to Ray, explaining (in part) her loss: “I’m not sure what we were, but he’s gone…. I’m 25 years old. I’m over my quota” of dead friends. And while she won’t stop Ray’s A.T.O.M. plan, “I don’t have to help you,” so she quits that gig, too. Meanwhile, Diggle laments to Laurel that Brick undid eight months’ worth of Team Arrow work in eight minutes. Having heard the latest on Oliver, Laurel asks, “Are you coming back?” “I dunno,” Diggle shrugs. “For the first time since meeting Oliver Queen, I don’t know what happens next. I still think of myself as his bodyguard, and I couldn’t protect him.” And as he walks away, Laurel eyes the Canary gear….

Surprising Thea at her loft, Malcolm warns that they are now in danger and must get out of town. Elsewhere, after Brick rallies his troops — i.e. the dozens of fellas Team Arrow had gotten locked up — Laurel-as-Canary gets the jump on two of them to deliver “the justice you can’t run from!”

ARROW POINTS:
* “This suit is too tight.”
* “I wouldn’t recommend texting during a real fight.”
* Anyone else thinking Thea’s blunt, fierce ‘do was the result of a sword fight mishap with Malcolm?
* “You make it sound like using an enhanced exoskeleton to fight crime and save the city is a Looney Tunes idea.”
* “I could have killed you!” “It’s cute that you think so.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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155 Comments
  1. Cassidy says:

    “I’m the justice you can’t run from”

    Yasssss I’m here for Laurel as Black Canary!!

  2. Mena says:

    Everyone is in disarray. Upheaval. The good thing was they showed Oliver was alive. It was weird. I really don’t know what I feel about it. It will have to sink in awhile.

    • aaj says:

      Yes- it was good that they showed that Oliver was alive and how he’d been saved. It would have been stupid to try to make us think that Oliver was really dead. I like that the writers didn’t think that we were idiots.

  3. Ashley says:

    Kind of bummed that they didn’t use Lazarus Pit and that Thea is still being kept in the dark about things that she should probably not be kept in the dark about. And I’m sure many won’t agree but I thought Laurel had a great debut as Black Canary. I like the idea of her being inspired at a time where the rest of the team is (understandably) ready to give up. I think it’s interesting that she’s going to be a sort of inversion on her comic counterpart who is well-trained and skilled, instead we’re going to see her grow into that and “earn” the title. It’s going to be fun to watch.

    • John NYC says:

      But given people mentioning the Lazarus Pit changes people I’m okay with Oliver being left alone. Granted the longhaired brat Oliver from before could have been dunked away!

      Laurel meting out vengeance might run her and Oliver on conflicting paths…

  4. Eric7740 says:

    Sorry Diggle, that suit belongs to Stephen Amell!!! And I love Thea’s haircut, looks amazing on her!!!

  5. hoops2448 says:

    That was easily the best Arrow since Heir to the Demon. Season 3 has had the problem that there seem to be no stakes now that Oliver and co are a ‘well oiled machine’ as they like to put it. Watching Dig and Roy struggle to fight Brick and co was the most excitement this show has had all season. Even in comparison to how The Climb ended imo.

  6. James D says:

    It wasn’t my favorite episode of Arrow to be honest, something about just felt off. but seeing the real BC suit up was pretty freaking epic and saved the episode for me. I’m guessing Tatsu is or has something to do with the Lazarus Pit in this incarnation, which is fine I guess as long as they explain how they did it, not sure a few stitches and some bandages would suffice after not only a sword was driven through your heart but falling 100 feet on to some jagged rocks hmm we shall see.

  7. I hate when things are revealed off screen like the man who saved Oliver there connection happened off screen or in flashbacks.

  8. herman1959 says:

    First, everyone who said Maceo would rescue Oliver: YOU CALLED IT! And, we know why – for once, I didn’t mind the flashback. I was impressed that they showed Diggle and Roy suited up and in action right away. I loved Malcolm and Thea (and her hair), but the best thing was when Felicity said “I’m done” and turned out the lights.
    The episode was much better than I had expected, but one question: Shouldn’t Laurel have been more upset about Oliver’s (supposed) death?

  9. Drew says:

    Really solid episode. Laurel was pretty cool as Black Canary. Also, am I the only one who thinks that a Maseo/Tatsu spinoff might be cooler than ATOM? Maybe a miniseries at least?

  10. Jaime says:

    Mostly dead is slightly alive.

    I wasn’t the only one thinking that, right?

  11. SmallScreenDiva says:

    Mixed feelings about this ep. It felt very choppy. The emotional beats were rushed, I think (although, goddamn, I thought Emily Bett Rickards and David Ramsey were amazing in their scenes). I lost it when Diggle crouched next to Felicity’s chair. And at one point I thought Felicity was going to claw Malcolm’s eyes out. Wouldn’t have blamed her a bit. Oh and Felicity finding that door open and running inside, calling out Oliver’s name? I died.

    I get that they needed to tell the Hongkong story to set up the reveal at the end but the flashbacks felt more out of place than usual for me.

    I started laughing when the car’s windows blew out and somebody clad in leather sashayed toward the criminals like she was on a runway. That’s probably not the reaction Arrow wanted from me, though.

    • Lila says:

      Well, the comic book Black Canary was actually quite raunchy (she wears fish-net stockings) and sexy, so the sashay and leather didn’t surprise me, LOL.

  12. Glena says:

    Go Katie ..your sis is proud!,,now tell dad the truth,please!

  13. sladewilson says:

    I was meh about the episode except for certain parts. Digg and Laurel was heartbreaking. I understood Felicity’s pain but I expected more, to be honest. She’s stronger and fiercer than that and it just seemed like they wrote her as the weak girlfriend and we all know Felicity is far from weak. She would be there for Digg and Roy no matter what. Loved that Laurel suited up at the end the cracked that dirtbag one. And I can’t wait to see what new “powers” Tatsu has because last I knew, healing power that extensive wasn’t one of them…

  14. Dj says:

    I do hope they use the Lazarus Pit to bring back Sara. I liked how much pain Oliver’s death brought Malcolm, because he knew Oliver’s death meant his own. Right now Thea is by far my favorite character.

  15. Ritas says:

    One would think the episode after the main character dies would be more emotional. I remember reading somewhere that this was a “tear jerker” but I gotta say even though I wasn’t that emotionally tied to Sara her after death episode was better. This episode lacked a sense of shock, grief and mourning I was expecting from such a significant event. I liked the Felicty anx Diggle moments. Diggle’s line about being his bodyguard was sad but I didn’t feel connected to his emotions as much as when he was with Felicity earlier in the episode. Action was pretty good. The thing that saved the episode for me was seeing who saved Oliver. I’ll probably put off watching live for couple weeks and see how the whole “new heroes” think shakes out.

    • John NYC says:

      Except this was the episode after the main character goes missing until way into the episode when Malcolm shows up with the blade and even then that’s so “forensic” clean it’s not at like the impact of simply coming across a body as with Sarah.

      Felicity’s complete despair came close to “treat jerker” impact

  16. Elle says:

    I hope Maseo can somehow team up with Team Arrow when Oliver comes back into town.

    Hmmm, wonders why there isn’t a Supernatural winter premiere recap like there is The Flash, Arrow and The 100…

  17. schumi8 says:

    I’m glad I didn’t hate Laurel’s transformation into BC…I was afraid that I wasn’t going to connect with that part of the story line so color me relived that it has started off on the right note. Hope they take their time with her story now and don’t overdo it in the next few episodes. Good solid episode for the Winter premiere…love Malcolm and Brick looks like he will be a good baddie.

  18. Ms Thing says:

    Laurel’s journey to being the Canary has been rushed but I totally love her transformation. I just wish that when Oliver eventually returns, the Canary will be independent from Team Arrow.

    • John NYC says:

      She appears to be taking a more vengeance route than Oliver would be comfortable with at this point so at a minimum I anticipate they’ll clash on that.

  19. Briggs says:

    Highlights for me (because TVLine keeps eating my other, bigger post; trying to tell me something, Matt?):

    *Had a feeling it would be Maseo. Got surprised by Tatsu.
    .
    *I gotta ask: if Tatsu is alive, what’s Maseo doing with the LoA?.
    .
    *Team Arrow scenes were hard to watch.
    .
    *The revelation that Roy doesn’t drink alone was enlightening.
    .
    *I knew she’d ask Daddy Dearest, too. It was how I thought it would play out. Still hard to watch, right up to the last moment when he says they have to leave. Nice cliffhanger, Arrow. (That turn of phrase holds just a bit more meaning these days, doesn’t it?)
    .
    *Diggle/Laurel hug seemed a bit odd, to me, if only because they don’t share a lot of screentime. Knowing Diggle still thought of himself as Oliver’s bodyguard made me more sad than I was already. Dig!
    .
    *The two scenes between Team Arrow and Malcolm were pitch perfect. Felicity’s reaction to him, and Malcolm’s grief (for Oliver, or himself?) was obvious in this scene. As usual, they turned in great performances.
    .
    *Felicity’s scenes with Ray were fantastic, as well. Her reaction to him and his new crusade were just right.
    .
    *Seeing BC re-emerge, in much the same way she did before, almost looking the same as before, was immensely satisfying. I want to know where Laurel got her gear, but they can cover that later. They executed that last scene just right.
    .
    “I’m the justice you can’t run from!”
    .
    Can’t wait for next week! :)

  20. ducttaupe01 says:

    Katie Cassidy had a Butt Double for her Canary/thugs scene…….

  21. Jaymee says:

    Too much of emotional Felicity on my screen.

    Loved Diggle in this episode! Hope he gets his own costume or something.

  22. You know what, given what happens this story and the training she’s been doing with Wildcat, I’m going to call Laurel more or less finally redeemed. I mean, the attempts to make her seem tough in the first two seasons felt silly but now that we’ve had her get training, try to take up the mantle once already only to get knocked down… Plus now her own work is in jeopardy of being undone and the established heroes are on the rocks. Screw it, about as believable as they’re going to make it given how awful she was early on. My Laurel hate is formally done for the moment.

    Good episode. Kind of pointless that they hid Maseo’s face for most of the episode as he worked to rescue Ollie but having Tatsu be revealed to (thankfully) still be alive and the one to save him worked okay. I mean, there were few other people it could have been (and the rule of guest star credits spoiling who will appear applies), but it is possible it could have been Nyssa or the introduction of Talia, if they can use her.

  23. jackson88 says:

    This episode was ok but I just felt the team wasent the same without oliver. I hope there aren’t any more episodes without arrow.but I was glad Roy got to do his thing.plus black canary looked really hot in that outfit

  24. Joey Padron says:

    Good episode. I knew it was Mateo who found Oliver’s body and saved him. Glad his wife brought him back to life. Glad team learned about Oliver’s death but it wasn’t easy getting news from Malcolm. Poor Thea still being kept from everything. Good seeing Laurel as The Canary at end.

  25. justme says:

    Matt- Is your recap title a nod to Smallville?

  26. Super-Edubb says:

    I’m 50-50 on the episode. I feel it could get better, but Laurel donning the Canary gear and all the sudden being a skilled vigilante is absurd to me.

    I still have faith, but Oliver, Diggle and Sara had massive amounts of training. Laurel hasn’t.

    • Mike R. says:

      Yeah, I know it is not like she hasn’t been training for the first half of the season or anything, or had already been said to have some self-defense training back in season 1. Yep, completely absurd, I mean not even close to as realistic as Roy last season when he trained with Oliver for an episode and maybe three months following the finale, but nobody complained then, or how Thea regardless of a LOA training her is an expert in three months. Complain if you want, but also complain about the others

      And no one is saying she is a skilled vigilante, the canary cry did most of the work, and she kicked him. Yes, they all had massive amount of training, but all things considered we have seen Laurel be trained more than some of the others.

    • Boston2AZ says:

      The whole Laurel character is a waste of time. Please spare me any more of her “journey” and Katie Cassidy’s wooden “acting”.

    • Drew says:

      Do you know how long law enforcement or military people train before going out there? Not five years on an island, that’s for sure.

  27. grace says:

    everything in this episode was perfect, except for laurel. trying way too hard with that character.

    • Hmm says:

      Trying way to hard with “that character”? No. It’s time for everyone to get over their gripes about Laurel and accept that she is (by comic book standards) the rightful Black Canary. Her trajectory and growth story has been a highlight of Arrow, and I’m tired of seeing poo-poo that because they view Laurel as a distant threat to their ship. This show needs more girl power – girl power that’s not stemming from Oliver’s man pain. As much as they have tried to build Felicity as her own character, it’s clear to me in this episode that she exists as Team Arrow or nothing. Hell even Sara had her own persona outside of Oliver’s life.

      • Trish says:

        How lovely it is for you to tell fans how it is. People don’t have to “get over” anything. Not only do people get to state their opinions, but you making definitive statements as if they were gospel won’t change them. And for the love of all that is holy, can people stop equating criticism for Laurel to being nothing more than shipping? Because heaven knows there must be no other reason, right? Not even the showrunners admitting that they’ve essentially struggled with her as a character for far too long? But let’s not dwell on that, let’s pretend her history of being the most polarizing character on the show for 2 years running is a figment of fans imaginations.

        • Drew says:

          Who said that people have to get over it? Hmm just said that it was time for people to get over it. And it was less of a demand than a figure of speech.
          And how is that different than you telling people not to equate Laurel hate with shipping?

        • OllielovesDinah says:

          You are absolutely right, people don’t have to get over anything. They have every right to have their own opinions and applaud/or complain and even say nothing. Like me… I hate Felicity but I don’t need to tell everyone that every millisecond. There are people who love her.. lots of people, good for them. I have already gotten over that statement about Laurel being polarizing for 2 years from fans perspectives… a blip on a read. Wait a minute…I am a fan. I am real life fan of Arrow, Diggle and Black Canary/ Katie Cassidy. This Arsenal is growing on me and Thea/Mia too. Yes I am one of those hated comic book fans that have been following the Arrow family since 1980 and yes I know how that turned out too but that’s okay with me I can love them still and also watch The CW… it is possible. So it took 2 and half years but you go Black Canary! !!!!

      • Jaymee says:

        Preach on!

  28. aw says:

    Laurel was fantastic, along with Diggle, Arsenal, Felicity. Maseo’s surprised look re the GPS was the best scene of this episode!

  29. E says:

    Laurel wasn’t completely worthless in this episode, that was nice.

  30. scotlore says:

    Super Yay(!) that we got to see Oliver alive and those excellent Hong Kong flashbacks.
    They were my fave parts of the episode.
    Also, I hope Diggle and Roy figure out a way to continue without Felicity.
    They need to keep going and try to hold the line in the city even if Felicity is not onboard.

  31. jj says:

    The only thing worth watching in this episode was Laurel as Black Canary.

  32. Martha says:

    The episode was okay. I felt team arrow should have showed more emotion. Laurel as BC was kinda tolerable in this episode, Did not get the hug between her and Diggle though. Hope they also explain how Oliver came back to life in the next episodes cos it was clearly not believable.

    • Brigid says:

      You didn’t get the hug of someone consoling another after losing a common friend? Some times people need a hug and that scene made total sense.

  33. James says:

    Surprised that Gareth didn’t broke into song in this episode….

  34. Essie says:

    I wasn’t sure how I would like Laurel becoming Black Canary because I was such huge fan of Caity Lotz. But they actually made it really cool to see Laurel finally suit up. She didn’t do it eventually because of Sara but because she felt needed now that Oliver is gone. It will be great to see her transition. She was pretty bad ass, loved it.

  35. Pat says:

    I very good episode of Arrow, last night. I knew that Maseo would be the one who rescued Oliver. Now I would like to find out why Maseo is working with Ra’s al Ghul? There is most definitely a big storyline behind this. Also, I hope that Thea will learn the truth about her so called biological father. She needs to know how he used her to kill Sarah. Laurel’s debut of the Canary, was great!

    • Pat says:

      I should be A. Sorry about that.

    • John NYC says:

      Amanda’s betrayal of Tatsu would have been the start of a breach there and from my viewpoint there’s still a LOT of scars and tattoos on Oliver than need explaining so perhaps they did some journeying together after getting out from Waller’s claws (I’m not at all comfortable with that lady’s organization and way worried about Diggle with Layla part of that system….) and that lead to Mateo’s meeting the League. BTW do we know how Sarah would up with them? I can’t recall.

  36. Maryann says:

    Loved the few Oliver present-day scenes that we got. Couldn’t stand Laurel as Canary. She just looked silly.

    • John NYC says:

      Because people running around a city in hoods carrying swords and bows looks normal?

      They call them c”comics” for a reason.

  37. Maryann says:

    What I want to know is whether Oliver somehow survived or if he was brought back to life; the scene of a seriously injured Oliver waking up reminds me a bit of Clint Eastwood’s survival against all odds scenes in Fistful of Dollars and other spaghetti westerns of the sixties. I am really glad they did not use the Lazarus Pit, and am willing to suspend disbelief that Oliver still had a spark of life when he landed on that ledge.

  38. DonnaMaMa says:

    When Maseo walked in with Oliver’s body and started talking to a “woman” for a minute, or even a few seconds, that it was going to be Sara……………I know that Sara is gone and will NOT be coming back, but……………

  39. Arsenal says:

    Good episode. There was a ton of action, both in the past and present, and some acrobatic Roy moments. Even if he seemed to defy gravity on occasion, it still looked cool. I liked how they finally made Felicity (at least in my eyes) appear less than perfect, which is a good thing. I can’t help but feel that when she walked out she showed she had no faith in Diggle or Roy. She basically said Oliver was the only one who could accomplish anything, which leads me to believe that she was only there because of Oliver and not for the team’s cause. Finally, a poor decision from her. There might have been others, but this one really stands out to me. I’m also glad her “cry” scenes were more restrained than they were in Episode 5. Another plus: Diggle played a much bigger role instead of just being an Olicity pusher.

    • brenna says:

      I disagree that it shows Felicity doesn’t believe in Diggle and Roy. She has just lost two close friends to this crusade in the last three months. She stated that she doesn’t want to lose anymore friends to Diggle and Roy, as well as to Ray. Plus, she is definitely grieving the loss of Oliver. I would have wondered if she had just continued as if nothing had happened. I’m sure she’ll come around to helping again, but it’s more believable to see that it takes some time. I love it when Felicity is all cheerful and funny, but this should not be one of those times!

      • Arsenal says:

        I get all that; however, I try not to take everything at face value. While that’s all true, she essentially gave up on them not even after one mission. It’s like she just assumed they couldn’t do it. I’m looking at it as though I was Roy/Diggle. That’s how I’d feel. If you remember, Roy doubted if they could continue without Oliver as well, but he tried anyway. Just so you know, I’m not trying to convince you to see it my way (just clarifying further). Regardless, I like to think that the writers do things so they can be open to interpretation. This happened to be mine.

        • Briggs says:

          it just seems like it’s getting blown out of proportion. It’s not that she gave up, she saw them getting in trouble and got scared. So she shut it down to keep them safe. Keep in mind, they *just* lost Oliver. She overreacted, but it wasn’t without good reason.
          .
          Sorry, IMDB forums blew up over the incident, I’m still feeling a bit tender. But I’ve seen reviews from mulitple sites that feel sorry for Felicity, not angry at her.

          • Arsenal says:

            While I don’t think you’re talking about me, I’d like to say that I wasn’t angry at her (nor did I feel sorry for her… because she isn’t the only one affected). As I said in my original comment, it’s a good thing. From my perspective, they (the writers) made her emotions, for the first time I can recall, lead her to react poorly. Thus, she finally seems less than perfect even if it is just for one episode.

    • Brigid says:

      I love Emily and she is a great actress but she just can’t cry. lol

      • Rob Watkins says:

        Agreed, she’s great with humor, good with drama, and mediocre at crying.

        • aunni says:

          The Best of 3×10 “Left Behind” Reviews

          “Oh, poor Felicity. Arrow doesn’t do anything quite so programmatic as to have her explicitly work through the five stages of grief, but “Left Behind” offers a fairly close approximation of this, with Emily Bett Rickards doing some series-best work as the character gradually falls to pieces. “

          -AvClub

          “Meanwhile, Felicity provided a strong emotional anchor to the conflict as she struggled to keep functioning after losing the man she loved. Emily Bett Rickards delivered a strong performance this week, downplaying Felicity’s usual ditzy charm for something more raw and broken.”

          -IGN

          “Felicity hasn’t exactly lacked for screentime or story beats, though “Left Behind” understandably gets the most mileage of Emily Bett Rickards’ myriad reactions to Oliver’s absence, whether by her apparent refusal to face the truth, seething agency against Malcolm Merlyn for precipitating Oliver’s ultimate fate, or her ultimate insistence on protecting the friends she has left. Say what you will about Felicity being only 25 (Rickards is in reality 23, so yeah, we’re all dinosaurs), it’s exceptionally effective to see the character taking such emotional command in the wake of Oliver’s apparent demise.”

          -ScreenCrush

          “And then there’s Felicity. To say that Emily Bett Rickards is doing some of her best work in the show’s whole run in these 45 minutes would be an understatement. With Oliver “dead,” her drive to clean up Starling City goes with him, whether it’s helping Oliver or Ray Palmer. Her telling him that his mission isn’t what his dead fiancé would have wanted is pretty much the closest thing to letting her anger out as she can get without going into full on waterworks, and if nothing else, it does seem to give Palmer pause for thought and his cold response that she has no right to ever mention what Anna would have wanted gives a better sense of his experiences that led him to making the A.T.O.M. suit.”

          -ScreenSpy

          “Both of them go through their own grieving processes but none feel the weight of the loss more so than Felicity. She spends the first half of the episode denying Oliver’s death but once she gets the proof she was desperately trying to avoid she gives in and gives up. Emily Bett Rickards does a good job showing just how deep the loss of Oliver cut her.”

          -ComicBookMovie

          “MVP of this episode is Emily Bett Rickards. Honestly, I’ve always been impressed with her work on this show. I think she knows Felicity so intimately that she understands why the young woman says what she does and acts the way that she does. Everything about her portrayal of Felicity in this episode was completely true to her character: her anger over losing Oliver before she got the chance to say goodbye; her utter devastation over him being lost to her forever; her frustration with Dig and Roy and Ray. Emily understands everything that makes Felicity tick and conveyed it in such a way in this episode that it was heartbreaking and raw and vulnerable and believable. Truly, this was the most stunning work I have seen from her all season and probably all series. Brava, lady. Brava.”

          -Just About Write

          “Actually, I should say, especially Felicity. She runs the show this week. Felicity and Malcolm Merlyn are the two supporting characters with the most meat on their bones in this episode, but for Emily Bett Rickards to (literally) go toe to toe with John Barrowman and have her character come off looking like the superior badass, well…that’s something. Again, this character just continues to impress, and every time I think they’ve written her into a corner, something like this comes along. That’s right, Roy and Diggle. You answer to Felicity Smoak now.”

          -Den Of Geek

          “Also, what a performance by Emily Bett Rickards. She proved once and for all that she is the emotional heart of the show. As much as I love the others, I think she is the one who is indispensable.”

          -Legin of Leia

          “Unofficially, Arrow’s midseason return was an official Felicity episode and was all the better for it. To be honest, the introduction of Arrow’s newest villain, Brick, wasn’t all that compelling, but Emily Bett Rickards’ performance along with the rest of Team Arrow’s response to Oliver’s death carried the episode.”

          -EW

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Because their word is gospel and I can’t have my own opinion? She delivered a good performance, but not when she has to break down. She’s only okay at it, at best.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            I also disagree that she was MVP of the episode. MVP was David Ramsey as Diggle. It was understated but you could tell that he was affected by the death of his friend.

          • aunni says:

            just tell me whts wrong with her cry?? hv u seen her(emily) cry in real life? u don’t need to hyper ventilate during crying. listen carefully her dialogues, the changes in tone n pitch

          • Rob Watkins says:

            I never said she had to hyperventilate, just that I don’t think she’s a great dramatic actress. She’s okay. I can’t express it all that well other than to say that I think it sounds like she’s trying too hard to sound emotional when she cries.

      • aunni says:

        get appointment fr eye n ear checkup

        • Arsenal says:

          Clearly you’re a (perhaps biased) Felicity/EBR fan. By the way, I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile. Thanks for the reminder. It’s good to know you care! :)

          • aunni says:

            dude, i don’t care if im coming as mean bt ‘brigid’ always tried to insult felicity/emily with her sweet talk. if u ask her a genuine question she wont give an answer.

        • Arsenal says:

          My bad. I thought you were talking to me, obviously. Carry on.

  40. Ally says:

    I’m torn between a B and a high C rating. The episode was good but with all the hype that was created, I expected more…I know it may/will build up next week though, so looking forward to that.

  41. Rob Watkins says:

    Given that we saw Oliver alive in present day, will those that claimed they didn’t want to watch unless he was please just watch the show for themselves instead of jumping to conclusions based on spoilers?

    Good episode. The Hong Kong flashbacks are starting to click, Malcolm’s reaction to Oliver’s death was unexpected, could’ve done without superhuman Arsenal, I really enjoyed the lack of score during the dramatic moments, and I dug when Laurel cracked the guy in the head with the bo staff. Vinnie Jones is awesome, but that goes without saying.

  42. LaLa says:

    Maybe I don’t understand the laws of physics, but I’m shocked that Oliver was able to be revived. That camera pan down the cliff to the ledge that he landed on was looooonggggg. So, even if the sword didn’t kill him, the doggone fall surely would have. If the Lazarus Pits weren’t used in Oliver’s revival, then Tatsu must have used some type of magic, mystic powers – correct? I know these shows rely on us suspending logic for 45 minutes, but that was a long drop. Just saying.

    • DonnaMaMa says:

      agreed, she cleared Oliver’s mind with a candle, this would be a bit more. Going to be an interesting story. I do believe the cold has helped, if you noticed there wasn’t a lot of blood on the cliff where he was laying, and how in the world did Maseo get him off of that cliff??

  43. DonnaMaMa says:

    I for one am glad that they are not going to use the Lazarus Pit, don’t wan’t to see Oliver all mean and crazy, they say that the “pit’ effects your mind, especially if you come back from death. Can’t wait to see how the rest of this plays out. How did they find Tatsu, did she have to be rescued? How did Masseo end up in the league, all questions yet to be answered.

  44. Georgia says:

    THEY SHOULD HAD KEPT OLIVER BEING DAD FOR A LONGER TIME MAYBE 2 EPISODES MORE CAUSE the episode fell flat becaue of that. I dont understand why the rush of bring back Arrow so soon to life. I mean we all knew he was alive, but the point of the show to make it more interesting and intriguing was to leave others thinking he was still dead. Why they (producers and writers and even the actors themselves( could not they kept that promise? That is very dissapointing. Blahh episode all the hype of Arrow being dead for quite sometime totally crashed for that dumb mistake of bringking him back to life so soon.

  45. DonnaMaMa says:

    did Sara as the BC ever do/use that voice thing, I really can’t recall any time she did? Vaguely maybe once??? Laurel used it right away!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      If she did, smart — these thugs probably spoke to her as ADA.

    • John NYC says:

      The sonic bomb that blew out the car windows? Sarah used it and Laurel, being a lot less trained and knowing it, likely recognized as they sat on that bench alongside the mask and outfit that they’d give her a very needed edge.

  46. DonnaMaMa says:

    We still need the back story on Merlyn as well, he was supposedly dead too. How did he come back, if the pit, maybe this is why he is crazy, and how did he even get to the pit, if in fact this is what happened. I would like some info there as well!

  47. brenna says:

    That was a very good episode. The first scene with Felicity, Dig and Roy was LOL! That’s good, because the rest was pretty sad, but plenty of great action scenes. To see Felicity continue against odds to believe Oliver was fine was emotional and Dig was great. I loved how the flashbacks really began to show glimpses of who Oliver is today as Arrow. The GPS moment was pretty cool! Loved the few scenes with Oliver present day. Interested to see what happens with Merlyn and Thea. And, Laurel was more likeable. That’s a win!

  48. leejay29 says:

    Let’s talk about the real style news – Roy’s eyebrows. Finally, someone put the tweezers down! He’s starting to look like a real man, not an over-plucked tween.

  49. Rob Watkins says:

    This episode takes place mere days after The Climb, so X-Mas decorations should still be up. Just a nitpick but thought it worth mentioning.

  50. Gail says:

    This episode did not have the “I am Oliver Queen…” intro . I assume it wasn’t used as a tease that Oliver was gone. It would have been interesting if they had one of the other characters ie Felicity, Dingle, etc. do it from their point of view. In fact until Oliver makes his way back to Starling City and lets them know he is alive, which I am assuming won’t be for a few weeks, it would be nice if each of the characters does the opening.

    Does anyone else think it was strange that Thea recognized Roy, her former boyfriend, as the guy in red ( I don’t think the Arsenal name is known to the public yet) but does not recognize her brother as the Arrow.

    Also why wouldn’t Merlyn mention to team Arrow that Thea’s life was also still in danger ? They certainly would have wanted to keep her safe from the League of Assassins.

    What is the end game for Thea with all her training. At this point she seems better trained than Laurel. Will she become Speedy and fight crime with her brother?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      This episode did not have the “I am Oliver Queen…” intro.
      The producers tweeted that it got cut for time.

      • The Kaibosh says:

        They should just cut them period. MY NAME IS…. and other expository openings may work briefly when a show is just starting or as a brief summary after a long break but in general when its part of the ongoing show itself then my take is that it insults the viewer’s intelligence if the producers think that their viewers need to be repeatedly spoon fed explanations: which they don’t. If summaries or explanations are needed then the tried and true “previously on….” works just fine. Some of us catch on pretty quick even if we’re coming in mid way. We don’t all need to be treated like we’re in slow class.

        • Briggs says:

          Pretty sure most of us don’t mind. I didn’t even notice it was gone, myself. I don’t think it’s an insult to people’s intelligence. I also don’t know what kind of theme they could use instead and still have me take them seriously.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            The opening is like an establishing shot, after a while, we know where the characters are.

          • The Kaibosh says:

            I hear ya but its not needed. It wastes 30 seconds of the show and as a dramatic tool its not effective. I blame Sam Raimi for this because before May 2002 the whole “my name is….” thing wasn’t used.

          • Drew says:

            But there is the Star Trek element. There isn’t a whole lot of explaining to do there, but when you hear Picard saying “Space. The final frontier…” you can’t help but get a little excited. It transitions us from our world to the fictional world.

        • John NYC says:

          It’s a signature style thing. Burn Notice always opened with Michael’s intro.: (and they cleverly paid homage to it in the last closing scene.)

          Those sorts of things are mood setters: Like the opening music of Friends or TBBT…. we all know by now we built a wall and we built the pyramids right? Pavlov in action.

          • Briggs says:

            Not only that, but what if a new viewer comes in next week? They might need the info. Castle has a similar intro, and I needed it when I came in on the third season.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            They don’t need both Oliver’s VO intro AND a recap. This show is heavily serialized, so chances are most people aren’t coming into the series midway through without having seen an earlier episode or two.

          • The Kaibosh says:

            I’ve come into a lot of shows over the years in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th season etc. and I was able to figure out what was going on and enjoy the show just fine. Opening montages with cutaways and music are not the problem. Setting tone is not the problem. Voice overs with a narration of the plot is the problem. Its a cheap device that whether some believe it or not DOES treat the viewer like a child, and incidentally when its week after week the viewer should be demanding that those 30 seconds be used in the show itself. So the next time we see a deleted scene online and say “wow wish they didn’t cut that scene” people should ask themselves: does this show have an unnecessary expository opening?

          • John NYC says:

            Doesn’t treat ME like a child, YMMV.

        • KatsMom says:

          Agreed. I actually find it super annoying to hear the same thing week after week. It’s not like a theme song that’s catchy, and pulls you in. I just find myself thinking, “I KNOW. For God’s sake, I know you’re Oliver Queen already! Yeah, yeah. Blah…blah…Get to the actual recap scenes already and then get to the show!”

    • DonnaMaMa says:

      I heard different things about Thea, one was that she will be a villain; the other a hero. I am sure hoping the hero along side of her brother, she has no idea about anything yet, going to be interesting to see who tells her. Felicity??? I mean Laurel doesn’t know Thea killed Sara, right? they made a point of the 2 of them running into each other at the cemetry.