ARROW Review: “What We Leave Behind”


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After last week’s big DC crossover event, Arrow settles back into its own world in Star City with “What We Leave Behind.” I hate when crossovers come and go without any acknowledgement and so it was great to see Ollie and others reference what happened in last week’s zany tango with The Dominators. I mean, it helps that Arrow’s part in the crossover mostly played out like a higher concept version of the normal show, and as I said last week, that episode was one of Arrow’s finest because of how foundational it went.

How about this week? Well, this episode is almost just as focused and tight. We’ve totally left the format of the flashbacks in Russia and this week are transported back to Ollie’s early says as the Hood, where he was enacting a more ruthless brand of justice. He was also having awkward encounters with a younger Felicity and more stoic and amenable Diggle. One particular dude on Oliver’s list was a corrupt pharma , Justin Claybourne, hiking up the prices on drugs (way to be topical, Arrow!) and actually putting a nasty strand of TB in his pills.

This story parallels with the present, as Oliver and Team Arrow have several more tense run ins with Prometheus. Is Prometheus Claybourne? Well, Ollie put an arrow through him. But he could be Claybourne’s son, now out for revenge. As we found out a few weeks ago, Artemis turned on Team Arrow and has been providing Prometheus with intel. Why exactly? Well, some vague unease about Arrow’s more brutal tactics. But really, of the new batch of Recruits, Artemis has been given the least to work with. When Ollie and the others actually discover she’s working for the other side, at least the show doesn’t pretend like it’s this big shock or tragedy.


In any case, with Artemis in Prometheus’ back pocket, the main villain of season five now knows who everyone is. Prometheus first goes after Curtis, who puts up a fight but is sent to the hospital. Curtis’ husband Paul is there at the of the attack and starts to wonder how his man can fight like that. There’s some drama, and Curtis is forced to confess that he’s fighting crime with the Green Arrow. Ultimately, Paul gives Curtis an ultimatum, and Curtis, with surprising conviction, chooses Team Arrow.

Prometheus next goes after Felicity’s detective boyfriend, Billy, who like Paul, also struggles with his love’s allegiance to the Green Arrow. Billy is kidnapped, and in a pivotal scene, used as bait for Oliver. In this episode, Ollie is in “I don’t need anyone else” mode, and decides to take on Prometheus on his own, even though Speedy is available for action. He thinks he’s got Prometheus cornered and fires a series of arrows into the man, but it turns out it’s just a suit with his voice. Underneath the suit is Billy, who Oliver killed unintentionally.

Prometheus’ big call for revenge is based on the idea that Oliver is dangerous and those close to him often suffer the worst consequences from that. With Oliver’s impeteuous shots, Prometheus kind of proved that point. Surprisingly, though, when Oliver returns to base, he immediately confesses to the team, including Felicity. One by one, the members of Team Arrow rally around Oliver, vowing to support him. It was a strong scene in a solid episode.

Last week, I noted that I was glad to see Laurel Lance in Oliver’s alternate reality. They were together and happy. Little did I know that she would show up again, as the coda in this week’s midseason finale. Yep, she just shows up in Arrow’s lair as if it’s normal. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but it was a fun send off in the holidays. See you in January, Arrow!

Season 5, Episode 9 (S05E09)
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8PM on CW

Read all of our reviews of Arrow here. 
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Ade writes about the philanthropy of billionaires and millionaires by day, and writes screenplays by night.
Follow Ade on Twitter: @derekadeniji
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