Arrow: The Climb
December 11, 2014 4:51 PM - Season 3, Episode 9 - Subscribe

The League of Assassins tells Oliver that he has two days to find and turn over Sara's killer or the league will begin killing off Starling City citizens.
posted by brundlefly (37 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, I guess that's that. Arrow was a pretty good show all in all. What should we watch now?
posted by brundlefly at 4:52 PM on December 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


More seriously. I generally liked this episode, mostly because I found the ending genuinely unexpected. I'm curious to see how they write themselves out of this one. In a few other forums people have mentioned a Lazarus Pit as a possibility. I don't know enough about the comics to say whether that's a real possibility, though.

A few beefs:

First of all, the constant jumping around in time was really distracting. The flashbacks are generally fine on this show (if extraneous at times) but when you add on the flashforwards of the titular climb it's just too much.

I would have ditched the flashbacks for this episode. That storyline just seems totally irrelevant to the main, actually interesting storyline. Plus, that main story might have come across as more important because of the notable lack of flashbacks.

Also, while the ending was certainly unexpected, I feel like that fight could have been staged much better. During the run of this show it's been established that Oliver is practically an unbeatable badass. So then we have somebody who is supposed be even more of a badass, and the way they decided to sell that is by having Oliver thrashing around like a drunken amateur.
posted by brundlefly at 5:04 PM on December 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


In a few other forums people have mentioned a Lazarus Pit as a possibility. I don't know enough about the comics to say whether that's a real possibility, though.

Given that knock-off Liam Nesson claims that nobody has challenged him in 68 years, that suggests some immortality/resurrection stuff going on.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:33 PM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


During the run of this show it's been established that Oliver is practically an unbeatable badass. So then we have somebody who is supposed be even more of a badass, and the way they decided to sell that is by having Oliver thrashing around like a drunken amateur.

Well, he did just climb up a giant mountain. He was clearly exhausted. I imagine the Assassin buddies took a chopper up or something. Or maybe there's a ski-lift on the other side.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:34 PM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


The show is still not back on track, but that was one of its better episodes, certainly the best this season.

I don't have the same problem with the duel, Ra's al Ghul is in a class all his own. I would have expected him to make Oliver look silly. What made me laugh out loud about it was the "You must remove your shirt. It is tradition. And we really haven't had one of those trout ladder scenes all season so, y'know, hunky dude, ratings, etc.." thing.

And, yeah, the Lazarus Pits are a thing and I just figured they were going to go that route.

Also, The Atom! Wonder if that's going to be spun off.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:36 PM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't have the same problem with the duel, Ra's al Ghul is in a class all his own. I would have expected him to make Oliver look silly.

I guess my issue is that the way he was fighting Oliver would have looked silly fighting anyone. It just didn't sell me.
posted by brundlefly at 5:53 PM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Then again, I don't remember seeing Oliver sword fighting before. Maybe he just blows at it.)
posted by brundlefly at 6:00 PM on December 11, 2014


Poor Oliver. At least when Bruce Wayne made the climb he got to trip his balls off when he got to the top.
posted by homunculus at 6:19 PM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Felicity's line, "why does this keep happening to me," made me LOL. But I'm pretty unclear as to why she didn't have her new boss arrested for stalking her. Dude is seriously creepy.

The copout with Thea was annoying. She's quite gullible and silly; having her kill Sara, knowingly, would have been more satisfying. I was fine with Oliver getting his ass kicked.

Nice to see Ten's wife again.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:37 PM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was willing to buy Oliver's crappy fighting as a combination of fatigue from climbing a mountain, not being really level headed (despite his protestations of "knowing what he's fighting for", his family pretty much always gets him emotional and not thinking clearly) and not being familiar with swords, which are gonna be a lot heavier than a bow.

That said, even right up until he went over I kept waiting for Oliver to grab Ra's and plummet over the edge with him. But nope, he couldn't even manage that.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:57 PM on December 11, 2014


We all know he's not dead dead so I hope they don't drag out the resurrection for more than an episode.
posted by fullerine at 9:57 PM on December 11, 2014


Random, perhaps bullshit prediction:

While Oliver is going through whatever resurrection he's got to do, Roy will have to take over the Arrow gig and it'll throw people like Detective Lance for a loop.
posted by brundlefly at 3:08 AM on December 12, 2014


Felicity's line, "why does this keep happening to me," made me LOL. But I'm pretty unclear as to why she didn't have her new boss arrested for stalking her. Dude is seriously creepy.

"I'm sorry about that kiss, because I'm your employer and there's an obvious power disparity there. Nah, kidding. It's because I feel guilty about my ex."
posted by brundlefly at 3:19 AM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]



(Then again, I don't remember seeing Oliver sword fighting before. Maybe he just blows at it.)


Remember he was trained in part by Slade, who favoured double swords. I don't think it's a coincidence that he chose a similar set of weapons, instead of a single blade. One of the things this show seems to be focusing on is that Oliver is the product of his experiences; that's what the flashbacks are all about.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:59 AM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did not see that coming.

Oh Felicity, honey, you have A Type. Between Ollie, Barry, and Ray, you love a buff man in a superhero uniform.
posted by Kitteh at 4:51 AM on December 12, 2014


Yeah congratulations to the show for producing a genuinely surprising ending; when Ras stabbed him I was genuinely shocked. I don't know what I was expecting from the shirtless duel, but it wasn't that. Obviously, it's not going to stick, but that's the way of comics; people die, but they never stay dead. I'm hoping this is a chance for Arrow to bring the Lazarus Pits (which they clearly hinted at with the 67 years line) into the TV show continuity, because I genuinely like the silly comics stuff. Arrow has been cautious about dipping its toes into those waters: an super earthquake machine here, a mirakuru super soldier there, but I always like it when they embrace it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:51 AM on December 12, 2014


Anybody else ready for the flashbacks to be ditched completely? I love this show but I'm starting to fastforward through them. All of them.
posted by Justinian at 5:53 PM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed the season 2 flashbacks and thought they integrated well with the main storyline. But this season's flashbacks are really forced and the thematic connections with the A story are way too on the nose.

Personally, I'm looking forward to finding out how he ended up in the Russian mob.
posted by brundlefly at 7:13 PM on December 12, 2014


Stephen Amell on Twitter: "It was a good run."

And on Facebook:
Facebook. Thank you so much for the enthusiasm spilling out of tonight's fall finale. I've never had anywhere near this amount of feedback. And by feedback, I mostly mean swear words. There were an awful lot of expletives.

Seriously though: Despite the title, our show is bigger than any one character. We're going to prove that to you.

Sit tight... January will be here in no time.
posted by brundlefly at 10:25 PM on December 12, 2014


I thought the duel was a little subpar given some of the better choreographed fights we've seen on the show. And to mirror his thoughts were red, Oliver picked the only bladed weapons he would have been familiar with based on his training with Slade back on the island.

The shot of Oliver being stabbed was very clear. I would love a physician to chime in on what that sword actually pierced. I'm not convinced it was necessarily a fatal wound and I doubt we will learn Oliver fell thousands of feet after tumbling off the cliff side. I could be completely wrong. They definitely have setup Palmer to fill the void left by an Arrow gone missing.
posted by Atreides at 1:32 PM on December 13, 2014


My guess is Nyssa is going to recover Oliver from the cliffside and stick him in a Lazarus Pit. I don't think she believes he killed Sara, and she still wants to know the truth.
posted by homunculus at 1:56 PM on December 13, 2014 [2 favorites]




They definitely have setup Palmer to fill the void left by an Arrow gone missing.

I was thinking more Laurel/Black Canary. Not what I want, but that's what I expect to get.

Agree that the fight on the cliff was not one of their better ones, and the flashbacks aren't adding much this season. I also really dislike the mind-control thing; having Thea have no agency in the murder and just being a pawn of Merlyn's feels lame.

Also, why would Felicity assume that the archer wasn't Thea's height? Are there no other short archers in the world? Or is this the kind of weird assumptions you get when you try to turn an IT whiz into a criminal forensic analyst?

"I'm envious of you. You'll see her before I do." Oh, I love Nyssa so goddamn much. So fiercely over-the-top when it comes to Sara, and I can't get enough of it.

Katie Cassidy is the worst. She gets a line like "And I can't lose anyone else" and does NOTHING with it. No pain, not even pain bravely held back, just nothing. And Laurel blabbing out the Sara's death to Thea, and then demanding secrecy from Thea, was head-achingly weird, which I've come to expect from any storyline involving Laurel. Dinah's bloodlust also seemed weird--nothing about the character we've seen before suggested that level of vindictiveness. Though I guess maybe it's an explanation for Laurel's own obsession with revenge: she gets it from her mother.

I LOL'd at the shirt-removal tradition, and Felicity's feelings of deja vu when Ray asked her to help him protect the city. Ray is still super-creepy, and dumping the traumatic death of his beloved on Felicity did not endear him to me at all.

I'm also wondering if Maseo/Sarab will be involved in Ollie's resurrection as well as Nyssa. He seemed to be genuinely concerned about Ollie.
posted by creepygirl at 8:34 PM on December 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


The copout with Thea was annoying. She's quite gullible and silly; having her kill Sara, knowingly, would have been more satisfying.

Merlin could be lying. Maybe Thea did kill Sara knowingly.
posted by Pendragon at 9:15 AM on December 14, 2014


You know, I think it's plausible that Thea did kill Sara knowingly. She's obviously not some kind of subconsciously trained Manchurian Candidate, who simply lives in ignorant bliss until Merlin says the magic word and turns her into a lethal killer. She's definitely the recipient of training from Merlin and has been warped (is that fair?) into seeing him as a father figure who has not only provided her with a new family, but trained her to not feel helpless, i.e., given her control over her environment and circumstances. Who is Sara to her? She's just some ally to the Arrow, who she already despises, based on her reaction to Oliver when he popped through the window. The real question is Thea a killer? She has the skills, but has she tipped over that edge that we had to see Oliver struggle with on the island?

Dinah's bloodlust also seemed weird--nothing about the character we've seen before suggested that level of vindictiveness. Though I guess maybe it's an explanation for Laurel's own obsession with revenge: she gets it from her mother.


I thought it made sense, given that Dinah spent years obsessively hunting for Sara, refusing to believe that she's dead, and then within a matter of a few months, after having Sara back, she's killed. I can see a rational basis for anger and wrath in learning about Sara's murder, especially if her other daughter tells her she's at work on uncovering who that is.
posted by Atreides at 10:29 AM on December 14, 2014


It also seems possible to me that Thea killed the Canary knowingly and intentionally based on [whatever Merlin told her], but without knowing that the Canary was Sara. After all, wig, mask, superhero disguise (which we have to take for granted work remarkably well in the Arrow/Flash tv universe) - if Malcolm just told her the Canary was some kind of League of Assassins henchmen that needed to be eliminated, with no additional details, she might well have gone along, killed her, and legitimately never connected the dots to Sara.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:27 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought it made sense, given that Dinah spent years obsessively hunting for Sara, refusing to believe that she's dead, and then within a matter of a few months, after having Sara back, she's killed. I can see a rational basis for anger and wrath in learning about Sara's murder, especially if her other daughter tells her she's at work on uncovering who that is.

Yeah, I get where you're coming from. Also, I realized after I wrote my comment that Dinah most likely was thinking of Laurel "going after" Sara's killer as a district attorney in a courtroom, rather than as Black Canary on the streets of Starling City, which makes it a much more understandable parent/child conversation to me.

I think they must have a chart somewhere in the Arrow writers' room of who knows which secret at what point in time, because keeping track of who know what and when they know it is tough sometimes, and all I have to do is watch.
posted by creepygirl at 10:10 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm still mad that no one is going to tell Captain Lance that his damn daughter is dead. "It will kill him!" Perhaps, but I think the fact your ex-wife, your daughter, and everyone else knows your child is dead and you don't is an equal amount of shittiness.
posted by Kitteh at 7:20 AM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yep. They're just draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagging that out in a way that's just the soapiest soap-operaness that ever soaped.

That plus Dinah's breathless, "A MOTHER CAN FEEEEEEL THE LIFE OF HER CHILD ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD !!!11!!!11! AND I CANNOT FEEL SARA !!!11!!!" bit were a couple of serious clunkers in an otherwise good episode.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:27 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought I could feel other people in the world but it turned out it was just some gas.
posted by Justinian at 10:53 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


If resurrected Oliver can also translate into a resurrected Sarah, I will be a happy customer. Pretty please.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:40 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe there'll be some sort of ritual where Laurel has to sacrifice herself to bring Oliver and Sarah back.

Maybe? That's a thing that could happen, right?
posted by brundlefly at 12:06 PM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if the current rate of disclosure continues, it seems like The Suicide Squad, Cupid's therapist, the metahumans in the Star Labs prison, and everyone who reads the AttorneyVigilantes subreddit will know that Sara's dead before Captain Lance does.
posted by creepygirl at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've been watching this show for months. I finally get caught up and this is how the episode ends. Argh!
posted by fshgrl at 10:43 PM on December 29, 2014


You're welcome! Thankfully, you don't have nearly as long to wait as everyone else!
posted by Atreides at 8:52 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hah, now I finally got around to watching it.

I have to say that I'm mediocre on Oliver most of the time (crack a smile once in a while and stop acting like a dick, dude, I'm here for Felicity), but I found it touching how inspired he was to die for his sister if need be. That was sweet. And the I love you, of course. Hell, even the henchmen hanging about felt sorry for him there.

I cracked up when Thea started doing high kicks and jumping off a balcony in shiny harem pants. And Oliver's face!

Damn, Merlyn. Eeeeevil dad.
Laurel still sucks. Sigh.

Felicity didn't need to say I love you because as they'd point out on Love Actually, EVERYONE KNOWS, INCLUDING KARL.

I would probably hate Ray for being creepy except that he is played by the hotness of Brandon Routh and that distracts me. (This dead fiancee thing sure came outta nowhere. I mean, dude was HEAVILY pushing, I thought he knew what he wanted to date there.) I actually kinda figure by the time Oliver comes back from the dead, she'll be the Atom's sidekick or something, y'know, to rub it in some more.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:13 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Katie Cassidy is the worst. She gets a line like "And I can't lose anyone else" and does NOTHING with it. No pain, not even pain bravely held back, just nothing. And Laurel blabbing out the Sara's death to Thea, and then demanding secrecy from Thea, was head-achingly weird, which I've come to expect from any storyline involving Laurel. Dinah's bloodlust also seemed weird--nothing about the character we've seen before suggested that level of vindictiveness. Though I guess maybe it's an explanation for Laurel's own obsession with revenge: she gets it from her mother.

I just assumed that both Thea and Mama Canary were just humoring Laurel because they thought that either (a) she was involved with the murder or covering for someone who was and/or (b) she was using again. Otherwise their reactions seem completely bewildering.
posted by kagredon at 1:14 PM on February 22, 2015


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