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    Thought to be dead after a catastrophe at sea, Oliver Queen returns to Starling City a changed man, determined to fight injustice as a hooded vigilante who comes to be known as The Arrow. Based on DC Comics' Green Arrow franchise.

    Arrow Episode 309 - "The Climb"

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    k4tzm4n

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    Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

    *Oh yeah, there's definitely SPOILERS in here. Go away and don't come back until you've watched the episode!*

    "Why does this keep happening to me?"

    Well, Sara's killer is finally revealed and, even if you saw it coming several episodes ago, it's still handled in a way that's going to have a tight grip on your attention. First and foremost, I'm guessing a lot of people are going to rip on Oliver Queen for the way he acted in this episode. Once all signs pointed to Thea as the murderer, he refused to accept it. He was beyond stubborn as he blatantly ignored evidence and what his closest allies had to say. It's easy for us, the viewers, to watch him and say something like, "Dude, you're being ridiculous right now. Stop it and accept the truth." However, think about how much of an emotional blow this must have been for Ollie. After all that he's been through and all of the loss he has suffered, Thea's the one shred of his older life that he can hold onto -- she's a close connection to Oliver Queen, not Arrow. He now lives in a Starling City where even Laurel's wanting to put on a mask, run out and beat up some criminals. And his little sister is now a key player in such a tragedy? Well, he just can't imagine her being a part of this death at all. You know, aside from her father being Malcolm Merlyn, but he shrugs that off since he believes Merlyn's not involving her in their scene. It's foolish, but like John Diggle bluntly put it, Oliver has his blinders on and it's easy to get why.

    To find out that his one close family member left has killed his ex-girlfriend -- a member of the League of Assassins -- seems completely absurd. How could Thea get the better of someone as skilled as Sara? Why would she get the better of her? Even when he's presented with a piece of evidence that makes it crystal clear to us, he needs more before letting this harsh reality sink in. I may be an only child and I may think Oliver was being frustrating as hell, but I get it and I'm glad they didn't just have him accept this right away. It felt like a natural response to the development for him -- he can be awfully stubborn at times, and this is a situation that definitely called for it. He needed to see for himself just how much she has changed and I think they handled that well. Besides, how cool was it seeing Thea take on Arrow? Yeah, he was holding back as much as he possibly can and it's clear she's no match for him, but watching her try was a fun way to show us Thea 2.0.

    Who else is willing to admit the club scene between Ray Palmer and Felicity really tugged at their heartstrings? These two are often the uplifting characters and give the show some much-needed comedic banter, but this scene did a great job delivering some powerful emotion. The way Brandon Routh told the story really impacted me and Emily Bett Rickards' reactions sold it. Not only was this a compelling scene, but it seriously complicated things. Having Oliver tell Felicity "I love you" and Ray opening up to her like that in the same episode? Yeesh, this is going to have to be handled delicately as we move forward. In order to proceed with Raylicity (please tell me no one has called it that yet! If so, how about... Palmicity?), they should really give Felicity some time to deal with this episode's cliffhanger before getting serious with Ray. Otherwise, it would seem pretty uncool, wouldn't it? Yeah, Oliver's been difficult and then some when it comes to Felicity (okay, that's putting it lightly), but after what he said and that extended kiss on her forehead? Well, this big development in the end shouldn't be taken lightly.

    When we first saw Matt Nable as Ra's al Ghul, I wasn't completely sold. To be fair, the guy barely had any lines and when you're being compared to Liam Neeson and the animated version of the villain, it's tough to make a strong first impression. However, Nable made for a great villain in this episode. We saw his viciousness and swift nature in a "training" sequence and his demeanor was always calm, collected and wise; exactly what you'd expect from a leader who's lived as long as he has. The confident and skillful way he handled his fight with Oliver? Awesome, especially the way it began. It was a little surprising to see Oliver was fighting with such rage and not skill, though. He was way sloppier than usual. They could have had him showing technique and still made Ra's look really good. Anyway, I really love how the reveal that Ra's knew about the Sara/Nyssa relationship was just casually mentioned and they move on like it's insignificant -- there's more important matters at hand. Good luck having any secrets when your father is the head of the demon, Nyssa.

    A shirtless fight to make up for all the time Oliver spent wearing one.
    A shirtless fight to make up for all the time Oliver spent wearing one.

    Okay, let's talk about that ending. That means if you've blatantly disregarded the spoiler warning at the very top, now is your last chance to escape! Seriously, get out of here. So, Ra's al Ghul wrecked Oliver Queen and I'm so happy about it. How many of you out there cringed when Oliver said he could beat Ra's because he now knows what he's fighting for? Yeah, you're good Oliver, but having some motivation against the Demon's Head isn't going to make up for that skill gap. I don't blame Ollie for the path he chose -- I think it's commendable -- but I would have exclaimed, "Oh, come on!" if Oliver pulled one of those "the hero wins at the last second because they're the hero!" kind of maneuvers. Now, this ending must have casual fans totally shocked and in disbelief, but we all know where this is going, right? It was done very well (Amell seems to sell being in pain a bit short at times, but it's not that distracting), but this episode pretty much confirmed Lazarus Pits (or maybe just one or something very similar) exists in this world. Ra's al Ghul stated it has been 67 years since he's been challenged, and the dude looks like he's in his 40s. So, it seems like Maseo will play a pretty big role in Oliver's future, eh? Also, with Oliver absent, the dynamic in Starling City should get really exciting. The absence of Arrow may motivate Ray Palmer to speed up the process with his suit and maybe -- just maybe -- Felicity will have him become part of team Arrow. They could definitely use the help now that Ollie's gone. Then, when Ollie finally returns, we can have an awesome team-up. Well, the quality of it depends on how the relationship drama is handled, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. So yeah, Oliver dying has a lot of potential for the characters in Starling City and even over in The Flash. Felicity would certainly tell Caitlin at some point. And will anyone tell Laurel about Thea? How will she react now that she'll be searching for Sara's killer as the new Black Canary? Even knowing it was due to mind control, Laurel seems like the kind of person who would still hold a grudge against Thea or maybe even still choose to go after her. Will she really pursue Malcolm? Even with Wildcat's help, Merlyn's way too dangerous for her. Looks like he'll be the big bad in Starling once the show returns. I'm really curious to see how everything will be handled from here.

    Nyssa is convinced Malcolm Merlyn is behind Sara's death (and she's technically right...), so why isn't she going after him? I understand Oliver said he's off-limits and Nyssa's giving the emerald archer a limited window to solve the death, but once that time is up, why not seek vengeance herself instead of enforcing that rule? Unless I'm blatantly forgetting something, you'd think she'd want to avenge the death of the woman she loved and not just force Oliver into doing the work for her. I imagine being on Arrow's bad side and potentially engaging him is well worth eventually taking down the person who killed the one she loves.

    Laurel's subplot was fine. It's basically there to boost her motivation even more and hit us with a reminder of just how tragic Sara's death is. I mean, we're talking about the death of someone who already "faked" their death once. These people had to accept her demise twice! I would have preferred to see other characters getting more time to react to the big twist, but this was necessary for Laurel's arc and the mother's scenes were pretty heartfelt. Not as powerful as the bit between Palmer and Felicity, but a nice way to give Sara's death -- and not just the mystery -- more attention.

    Minor criticisms: Aside from one development with Chien Na Wei/Tatsu in the very end, the flashback sequences didn't add anything significant to the story. It aimed to help us accept the fact there's a mind control-ish substance and had just a bit of follow-up with Ollie's new mentality. But when we're talking about such a big episode and so much is going on, the time spent there didn't feel all that important. It'll be critical as we move forward (expanding Maseo's relationship with Ollie), but it was mostly making me wonder when we can get back to the really good stuff. Also, does anyone else find it a little odd Roy's basically like, "Oh, Thea did it? That's a bummer, dude." The guy clearly still has strong feelings for her and did love her, so you'd think they'd have him respond a little more to it. And why was Thea's voice modified when she killed Sarra? You know, aside from "to make it a mystery for the viewer." Lastly, I've never gone rock climbing and I don't plan on doing it (not the biggest fan of heights), but is there any good reason why Oliver didn't wear gloves as he climbs the cold cliff? The dude has a variety of trick arrows and what not, so I'm guessing gloves for mountain climbing wouldn't be too difficult to get? Look, it's obviously not a big deal, but it had me wondering about it. It's freezing out there and the dude had time to prepare for the climb!

    Even if you knew the big twist and how the Ra's al Ghul vs. Arrow encounter would conclude, it was still handled in a very, very entertaining way. There's a ton of hype going on right now with Ray Palmer and his heart to heart with Felicity was fantastic. Yeah, the flashbacks and the material with Laurel wasn't as powerful as the rest of the episode and it took away time we could have possibly spent with other characters, but they weren't exactly bad scenes, either. The real highlight comes from the show's final minutes. After that scene, there's so much potential. Yes, we all know Oliver will come back, but this development means the next episodes have the chance to offer all new dynamics (team Atom?!) and some seriously compelling material. Now that Roy and the others know about Thea did (but she doesn't), the follow-up should be very interesting. Plus, how cool was having Arrow dodge an arrow without even looking and then have his opponent block the arrow he fired? Not a shabby way to welcome the League of Assassins to this episode, was it?

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    TrueMarvel

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    #1  Edited By TrueMarvel

    I'm sorry but this whole season was mediocre except the very last 5-ish minutes of this finale.....

    At least in comparison to Flash, Season 2 Arrow, and Season 2 Agents of Shield.

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    Pokeysteve

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    This episode...........

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    Techherofan

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    Epic finale can't wait till January.

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    SaintWildcard

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    Pretty cool episode.

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    jackcryan

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    Oliver "I can beat Ra's al Ghul." Me "ha you are going to have your ass handed to you." Still I liked it. Last five minutes made up for the Laurel scenes.

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    danhimself

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    HOLY CRAP!!!!!

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    AMajorDoubter

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    Utterly fantastic episode. Unlike apparently some, I have legitimately been enjoying this season.

    Laurel's journey, Roy coming into the fray as Arsenal, Ray Palmer is creepy yet chipper, Matt Nable is the man as Ra's, more consistent Nyssa has been great... I also freaked out when Ra's was like 67 years cause he certainly doesn't look like 70+, which was the point obviously.

    Now these next couple of episode without Oliver in Starling City should be intriguing to watch. Also I can not wait to see Laurel dive into the next stage of becoming Black Canary, if only just to see hatin' folks burst into tears.

    The last few minutes of this episode is perhaps the best thing ever in the history of everdom.

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    dondave

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    SynCig

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    There were some weird tonal issues in some scenes and the pacing of the first half hour was too slow but neither of those complaints would be enough for me to lower this below a 5. Last week's episode was really good and this week's is even better. I'm glad this season is heating up because those first hand full of episodes were mediocre at best. This is kind of the pit fall of a show that needs to fill a 22 episode season. There will always be filler. I'm looking forward to the second half of this season. Should be thrilling.

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    hyperman

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    With this, , I have lost all hopes to see Thea as Speedy, fighting crime beside Arrow, Black Canary and Arsenal.

    By the way, Will I ever see a scene where Oliver and Roy share a kiss?

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    eamon542000

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    Loved this episode!!!

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    k4tzm4n

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    #12 k4tzm4n  Moderator
    @dondave said:

    @k4tzm4n It's Nable not Namble.

    YOU'RE NAMBLE!

    Thanks for the correction.

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    dan12456

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    #13  Edited By dan12456

    I've been a little harsh on Arrow this year, I liked a couple episodes (the Cupid one comes to mind) but overall the season has been a little weak. This episode is the first time I felt like I was watching season 2 Arrow again and it felt good. So excited for the back half of the season following up on this. And really hope they keep Ollie out of Starling for the first few episodes to have Roy go up against Brick alone (well with team arrow help).

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    gokuss4z

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    #14  Edited By gokuss4z

    The best episode of the season by far.

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    dondave

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    #15  Edited By dondave
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    johnny_spam

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    #16  Edited By johnny_spam

    This season has been disappointing to me. The use of Ra's Al Ghul bothers me, because it feels like the writers cannot make a good villain and just use Ra's because his reputation as a Batman villain. They are overselling Felicity way too much this season. Ninja Thea is ridicoulous.

    I would like for the show to get better it was a rough opening. Maybe it's time to get rid of some of the series regulars.

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    Sachmoo

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    Oh... I'll wait.

    "My wild theory, It was Thea". - Sachmoo back in the review of episode 1.

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    MadeinBangladesh

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    #18  Edited By MadeinBangladesh

    Holy F'N CRAPPPPPPPPPPP dat ending!!!!!!!!!!

    had me like:

    No Caption Provided

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    Mrnoital

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    #19  Edited By Mrnoital
    at first I was like
    at first I was like
    but then I was all
    but then I was all

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    godzilla44

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    #20  Edited By godzilla44

    WOW

    I loved yesterdays Flash but tonight's Arrow was definitely better. Nable as Ra's was awesome not to over the top, yet he still stood out.

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    MrMazz

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    #21  Edited By MrMazz

    I'm really glad they put the who killed Sara line to rest.

    Nable brings your typical kind of old euro aristocrat vibe, liked his physicality in the fight. Has that old boxer kind of build.

    Cheap Plug to user review

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    MatthewParker

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    Probably my second favorite episode this season(first was last week's one), but I think the Flash and AoS Mid season finales were better than this one.

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    buttersdaman000

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    I knew it! I said it was Thea over and over again! Haha! But, man this was a great episode! It was kind of slow at the beginning but the last 5-10 min totally made up for it. We got conformation of the Lazarus pits and Ra's mauled Oliver with ease. He is not to be messed with. Was I the only one kind of waiting for Ra's to call Oliver 'detective'? Lol I know the writers would probably never go that far, but Oliver just screamed Batman to me in the last few moments of the episode and I don't know why.

    Anyways, i'm pretty sure Merlyn saved Oliver and will revive him using the lazarus pits. We'll have a time skip too...at most a few months.

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    ComicsrulebutDBZdoes2

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    whats the chances The will be black canary instead of laurel to make up for her killing her I would 100% prefer this over laurel

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    Sachmoo

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    Wow... Me in review of episode 2...

    "...Also, when it is revealed exactly who she killed, that could be the tipping point that sends Thea to Ollies side, if it was Malcolm who set her up to killing someone she knows unwittingly."

    That last line is eerily on point.

    Side note: the title of the last episode of the season leads me to believe Sara will be back. Imagine, league of shadows gets her body, Laz Pit and that mind control herb. If I'm right on this too... Yoooooo.

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    CrazyScarecrow

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    Wow! Shirtless! Classic Arrow!

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    Transformers1024

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    Sara better come back.

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    TheMantisShrimp

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    It's funny and great that they battled without shirts. Even when it's not Batman fighting Ras you MUST be shirtless, those are the rules.

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    Loki2u

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    With Oliver challenging Ra's......does that mean Starling City is safe from the League of Assasins for now? Or did Ollie have to beat Ra's in order for that to happen?

    I was a little unclear on that dialogue-stupid loud popcorn maker!

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    longbowhunter

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    Remember when Thea jumped over that balcony while wearing those genie pants? That sh*t was too funny!

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    Mrnoital

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    @loki2u: they were going to attack the city until the killer came forth, Ollie came forth as the killer, so yes the city is safe

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    Loki2u

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    mickey-mouse

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    #33  Edited By mickey-mouse

    I'm sorry but this whole season was mediocre except the very last 5-ish minutes of this finale.....

    At least in comparison to Flash, Season 2 Arrow, and Season 2 Agents of Shield.

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Matt Nable still sucks as Ra's Al Ghul.

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    MadeinBangladesh

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    @lukehero said:

    @truemarvel said:

    I'm sorry but this whole season was mediocre except the very last 5-ish minutes of this finale.....

    At least in comparison to Flash, Season 2 Arrow, and Season 2 Agents of Shield.

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Matt Nable still sucks as Ra's Al Ghul.

    He is far from "sucks"

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    mickey-mouse

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    @madeinbangladesh: Sorry, just my opinion mate. It isn't to say he is a bad actor. He is just totally miscast and can't sell the character for me.

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    the_stegman

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    #37 the_stegman  Moderator

    Dat ending. Nable may not have the eloquence that Neeson had, but I'm liking his Ra's.

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    dernman

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    I don't like Arrow's Ra's al Ghul. He lacks the presence. ............Not to mention he's not cough dark cough enough. ;p

    I thought the ending was funny. Arrow had that cliche comeback moment heroes usually have only for it to be cut short.

    I think it's pretty clear who would win in a fight between Malcolm and Ra's.

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    The_Kidd

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    #39  Edited By The_Kidd

    -This was definitely the best episode of the season so far but that is not saying much.

    -I am still trying to figure out what kind of B.S laws the league have that killing Oliver will save Meryln.

    -Diggle “Oliver you are one of the smartest people I know” LoL!

    -I like how they used the tradition excuse to why they are fighting bareback.

    -I like this Ra’s he is intimidating in a silent way a perfect contradiction to the series previous villains such as Slade, Vertigo, Meryln etc that preferred dramatics.

    -At some point Merlyn manage to manipulate the entire Queen family in one way or another that’s quite pathetic honestly.

    -Whatshisname being part of the league is kind of ridiculous because it shows they are trying too hard to connect the flack backs with present-time.

    -The main problem I had was they tried to stuff a ridiculous amount of content in one episode that should have been spaced out over 2/3 episodes.

    -Nyssa was like the voice of the audience this episode well at least me.

    -I wonder if Oliver is part of Senate Report on torture?

    -I hope Oliver bathe in the pits gives him back his edge he has been underwhelming this season.

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    The_Scourge

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    #40  Edited By The_Scourge

    Okay obviouslyOllie is coming back but damn that was still so crazy! I can only imagine how casual/non-comic book fans felt watching this episode!

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    frozen

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    #41  Edited By frozen  Moderator

    The shirtless fight ripped from Batman comics (Batman's shirtless fight with Ra's) so hard

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    comicbookfan93

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    @themantisshrimp: they said it was a homage to the O'Neal Batman run which I think it's pretty cool

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    mickey-mouse

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    @frozen said:

    The shirtless fight ripped from Batman comics (Batman's shirtless fight with Ra's) so hard

    After I got over that, then it was totally cool. I really do think it was a good fight, one of the things that annoyed me though that Nable can't do any of his own stunts and you can see the obvious change in stunt double vs actor. He brought me back to the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but even then Sarah Michelle was eventually able to do a lot more stuff as the show progressed.

    I just really think Nable is miscast and I still hate him as Ra's. Outside of the fact he doesn't have the right look, it's actually mainly because he doesn't have the presence, power in his voice, or the right vocal inflections, or facial nuances to bring the character to life. Overall he just isn't the right guy. I never felt any sense of impending doom, I mean we all knew Ollie was gonna die, not like he was gonna actually win the fight. But, Nable's presence on screen was never felt for me, to me he's just a guy filling in, he never once became Ra's Al Ghul.

    I will say it's unfair to compare him to Neeson and David Warner(Batman: The Animated Series), as both of those actors are on a whole other level when it comes to skill. I will say the writers gave him excellent material to work with, it's just a a shame he really isn't well suited for the task at hand. Maybe my opinion will change as he dives deeper. For now it is, what it is. I hate him as Ra's, and in my humble opinion he sucks.

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    sealife

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    @frozen said:

    The shirtless fight ripped from Batman comics (Batman's shirtless fight with Ra's) so hard

    The writers were asked about that in a interview yesterday and they said they wanted to honor that iconic scene.

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    SilverPool

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    Get rekt ollie

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    rogueshadow

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    #46  Edited By rogueshadow  Moderator

    I'm really happy Ra's annihilated Ollie, I was expecting them to make it a really close fight, thanks for that.

    I'm expecting Maseo to resurrect Ollie and t hat Mirakuru is a derivative of the solution in the Lazarus pit.

    Awesome episode.

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    _ANDY_CAN

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    PLEASE!! I want arrow to be resurrected as the green arrow we all know the vigilante with a sense of humor not batman also i'm tired of seeing batman villains appear in Arrow when we haven't seen a known powerful green arrow villain like PROMETHEUS who will make an excellent arch nemesis. There's also Onomatopoeia, Brick, Constantine Drakon, Everyman, Monkey Fist Clan, Shado, Sportsmaster[young justice version],Cheshire, Discord, dr. light, AND COUNT VERTIGO should be properly developed like his comic version the writers missed a big opportunity developing him i see him as Green Arrow's Ra's al Ghul I mean he has his own nation [Vlatava] he has advanced technology and can make a solid villain too bad he was just a common drug dealer. Arrow writers step up your game guys!!

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    deactivated-5d3f071d30d9f

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    I love this episode

    Could Mia/Thea is being mind control by Merlyn?

    Also you got to love Dinah Lance ´s personality (Dinah Laurel Lance´s Mother) being the opposite of Dinah Drake on comics.

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    vasu12360

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    this episode deserved 5star

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