You know that point where everyone around you sees how stupid your plan is and you just refuse to believe them, that was Arrow this week. “The Fallen” was all about choices, questionable and stupid choices that were all for the purpose of setting up an endgame, but choices nonetheless. You have Oliver choosing to use the Lazarus Pit on Thea, Felicity trying to save Oliver, Maseo trying to save himself. Each of these decision felt like a move to prevent the inevitable, Oliver joining the League and taking up his role as Ra’s heir. Its fine to pad certain things out but there were a lot of poor choices made that would have worked better if there was actual communication. This was all compounded by the fact that the flashbacks took us away from the main story and ended up being more confusing than helpful in the overall episode.
So let’s start with the main problem in this episode, there was an extreme lack of communication between team Arrow that ended up making them feel less organized than the league. Take for example Oliver’s plan to resurrect Thea, on principle I understand it and I knew eventually Ra’s would make a move to force Ollie into assuming his role, but when even Merlyn is raising questions about this method as opposed to Ollie contacting his friends first you know there is a mistake being made. This was all compounded by the fact that once Thea was revived she had selective amnesia which just felt hokey and unnecessary considering watching her be a confused rage monster was a much more enjoyable angle. We knew that this episode would end with Ollie submitting to the league so there was no point in watching everyone struggle to save him. Especially when no one was communicating on the plan to save him as opposed to last week when the entire team sans Ollie conspired to save Roy.
This is where the one of the biggest problems of the season came into play as Felicity once again didn’t really act like the character we have come to know. She was brash, arrogant, selfish, and worst of all unprepared for everything that happened in Nanda Parbat. Fist off what the hell was she thinking by rushing in to confront Ra’s, she was super lucky Ra’s didn’t just murder her on the spot. Her yelling at Ra’s had only one purpose and luckily, Matt Nable manage to help the scene rebound as he talked about losing his family and told Felicity to just tell Ollie she loved him. I personally could give two shits if Ollie and Felicity got together, but for some reason that was enough of a motivation for Felicity to dump Ray and confront Ra’s in the same day. It just felt like Felicity of all people should be smarter than this, she is supposed to be the one with the plan or the quip same way Diggle is supposed to be the moral compass of the team. At least Diggle did his job in making Maseo question his loyalties to Ra’s, Felicity just felt like the opposite of who she has been.
This is what annoyed me so much about her “plan” to save Oliver as she did not even tell Diggle or Malcolm that she was going to drug Ollie. The team was in the heart of the League and she refused to share vital information about how they were going to attempt save Ollie. It not only put their lives in danger but Oliver’s as well since there was no way if they somehow managed to succeed that Ra’s would not retaliate in some manner. Felicity’s plan was as effective as signing all of their death warrants and I seriously doubt that Ra’s will let them return to Starling without recourse. Hell, if Diggle hadn’t managed to turn Maseo slightly they would have never even made it out of Nanda Parbat. It just felt so haphazard considering everything that happened last week that I might actually start disliking Felicity.
The last part of the episode which just felt odd in general were the flashbacks. Its not that they were bad or didn’t add anything to plot as they were action heavy and really pushed forward the flashbacks as a whole. Rather they just felt unconnected from the action in the present and really added nothing to Oliver’s choice. There really should have been some sort of connective tissue but in the end the flashbacks really were some of the most enjoyable material of the whole episode.
Overall it was a confusing week. I liked a lot of the material while at the same time grew very frustrated with how the characters were acting.
Final Grade C+
+Oliver taking command
+Matt Nable still great as Ra’s
-Felicity just being awful this week
-Oliver reviving Thea receiving valid complaints
-The team having no plan to save Ollie
-That Oliver speech where he takes control of the League. Totally awesome as was the reveal of the League Ollie costume
-Thea has and is immediately cured of amnesia. I feel like that plot line embodies the disjointedness of the episode.
-There are not enough “best bro” points to give Diggle each week, but he deserves them each and everyone.