Arrow: “What We Leave Behind” Season 5 Episode 9 Review

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As is tradition for Arrow‘s big mid-season finales, “What We Leave Behind” was an episode that directly features the season’s big bad. Prometheus’ role has thus far been relatively quiet compared with previous central villains, but this episode brought out his game plan and a few major clues as to his identity.

With season five at large tackling Olver’s legacy, Prometheus rightfully ties into that. The flashbacks this week weren’t five years ago in Russian, but four years ago in Starling City, with Oliver already acting as the Hood and crossing names off his list. We witness a lost mission, even before Felicity joined the team, that sees Oliver ruthlessly killing the city’s corrupt influencers. These come to a head when Prometheus takes him on a tour of this specific mission at the climax of the episode.

But before that, we get some pretty big moments. Green Arrow and Prometheus meet in combat on a mission, but Wild Dog aim to end the conflict, only for Evelyn to reveal herself to her former teammates as a traitor. With that twist out of the way, it’s time for a full on investigation of  this villain who somehow infiltrated his team.

As Prometheus promises, Oliver isn’t going to die, but he’s going to want to. The climax has Oliver accidentally kill Felicity’s new boyfriend, who Prometheus dressed as himself. The guilt going into 2017 is incredibly high, and now it’s personal not just for Oliver, but for Felicity as well. This is the exact kind of dark move Prometheus needed to make to up the stakes for the rest of the season. Is he the son of a name on Robert Queen’s list? The episode heavily implies that, but I hope a different route is taken, as this random “lost season one episode” in the flashbacks is kind of lame.

The end of the episode has a lot of power, however. The final montage of the year sees Curtis getting broken up with for being a vigilante, Felicity crying over the death of her boyfriend, Diggle walking into a trap and getting recaptured, and, gasp, Oliver walking into the Arrow Cave to find none other than Laurel Lance standing there waiting for him. How the show goes about re-integrating Laurel, if this is indeed the case, has been done incredibly carefully. Her death last season was a huge moment for the series, and backpedaling it wouldn’t be a great move. But I have faith that there’s a reason we’re seeing Laurel again and that the show will hopefully justify her return. I hold reservations until the writers are given a chance to support their shocking move here. That said, the wait until Arrow‘s return in 2017 just got a whole lot longer. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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