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Oliver Falls Short When It Counts, Arrow “The Climb” 

This was a big episode. Team Arrow had 48 hours to find Sara’s killer or else the League of Assassins would start killing innocent civilians. Like I said, kind of a big deal. But when it came down to the final showdown, I felt like Oliver totally mailed it in. When did he forget how to fight? I don’t know if it was the cold or the altitude or the fact that he can’t fight without a shirt on, but if he had been fighting this poorly from the beginning, he would’ve been dead in the first season.


Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW


Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear that Ra’s ah Ghul is a killing machine, but Oliver looked weak not only by comparison, but weak in general. He stumbled. He tripped. And he swung his blade at thin air.  Honestly, it was embarrassing. Especially when he had two swords and Ra’s was completely unarmed. Sure, he may be more of an arrow-guy than a sword-guy, but he did choose his own blade and we know he’s capable of taking down many strong, powerful enemies in hand to hand combat. However, when it really mattered (which is when he should’ve been fighting at his best), he was just kind of eh. I felt like I was watching an entirely different person. And as a result, he got a jab at the throat and a sword through the gut.

Obviously he isn’t dead. Yes, he tumbled over the cliff, but he has to survive. Arrow wouldn’t be Arrow without the Arrow. He survived a ship wreck, a freighter showdown and an island full of crazed baddies, so this is just another day at the office for him. I’m not about to venture a guess as to how he’ll make it back besides to say that I suspect that the leg in the promo belong to Maseo and that he might have something to do with it. That being said, I am curious to see how this will affect him once he does return. Something like this can’t be good for the ego. Especially since this whole duel was a result of him trying to protect his sister.


Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW


Yep, we finally found out that Sara was killed by a drugged-up Thea. Apparently some special drug (which coincidentally also happened to be used back in Hong Kong when Oliver was under Waller’s command) causes one to be temporarily brainwashed and susceptible to suggestion. It also causes one not to remember anything that happened during that time. So when Oliver looked in to Thea’s eyes and saw that she didn’t kill Sara, it was true, if only because she truly didn’t know that she had done it. And the only reason Oliver knew it was because Malcolm Merlyn showed him video proof since he himself had set it up in order to force Oliver to fight Ra’s and hopefully kill him, which would erase Malcolm’s blood debt. Yep, he definitely is not getting the Father of the Year award this year. Honestly, what kind of dad uses his daughter as his soldier?! Oh wait, Ra’s ah Ghul does that, too. Guess it’s more common than I realize.

Nevertheless, I’m glad that Oliver finally knows that his sister wasn’t just sunning it in Corto Maltese. And that he saw her fight…even if she did cheat by using the broken class (darn birds!). That being said, since she was trained by Malcolm, I don’t think Thea was ever pro-Arrow, but after his break in and threat, she is definitely not going to be teaming up with him anytime soon. I am interested to see what happens when she finds out what Malcolm forced her to do…I can’t imagine her turning against Dear Old Dad, but with this show, I’ve learned to never say never.

So, we have a month before we learn Oliver’s fate…like I said, I think the odds are good that he’ll survive, but once Ra’s finds out he’s alive and Malcolm finds out Ra’s is still alive, I can’t imagine Oliver will have much time for healing.

Be sure to catch Arrow when it returns January 21st at 8/7c on The CW.

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  1. MByerly

    The best moment was the look on Oliver’s face when Thea jumped off the balcony in a move worthy of Arrow.

    Oliver definitely will be back, my money is on Maseo helping him, but the injuries he got, particularly the gut thrust, would take months to heal in the real world.

    Ra’s really had a great set up for the fight. The opponent has to climb a mountain to get there to meet him when he’s rested, and the high altitude is one he is familiar with, but almost no one else is. For Oliver, the altitude was the equivalent of having someone sitting on his chest through the fight.

    So, Oliver had an excuse, but his moves were not impressive. Did he want to lose?

    My guess is that the Arrow’s disappearance from Starling City will allow Ray and his ATOM suit to move into the vacuum while he’s recuperating. There’s also the new Black Canary.

    Maybe Oliver and Felicity can retire to a nice tropical island together and let the others deal with the problems for a nice change.

    1. Heather M

      I wondered why he didn’t just ditch the weapons and hand to hand it. My problem with these kinds of episodes is we know he’ll be back so there’s very little gravitas to the idea that the other characters think he’s actually going off to meet his death.

      As long as they don’t make it ridiculous when he returns, i.e. amnesia or time jump BS like Alias where years have passed and everyone has MOVED ON. I have no spoilers/don’t want them.

      I do want an organic pick-up from this point. We’ll see if we get it. 😉

    2. Cortney Persiani

      You make a great point. I was wondering if Oliver was intentionally losing as well…especially when he chose to arc around and back up to the edge of the cliff. After all the advice he gave to Barry regarding planning and strategizing, I can’t imagine that was by accident.
      I bet you’re right on regarding Ray. And Laurel…although the only way I can get on board with her fighting is if it means Ted will be back 🙂
      And yes! So great when Oliver watched Thea jump off the balcony…but without any gear, how did she land without breaking every bone in her body?! Apparently Merlyn’s training is better than I thought!
      Thanks for commenting…and count me in for that private island!

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