ARROW Season 3×09, “The Climb” recap

10 Dec


Welcome back, Arrowheads, to the last Arrow episode of 2014! For the majority of this season, Team Arrow has been trying to find the killer of their friend, Sara Lance, and despite all the likely suspects (like the not dead Malcolm Merlyn), have come up with a cold case. There is one lead regarding some unknown DNA samples that Felicity has dropped off to STAR Labs, but hopefully an answer will come from that, and soon. They still have to deal with Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins breathing down their doorstep for answers too, and they are a little less subtle in their methods of investigation. Let’s see how that becomes a problem for everyone this episode, shall we?

Holiday Invite. Before we get to why Ollie is scaling a mountain, we cut back to two days ago, as the Arrow is dropping off a criminal to Quentin at the police station. As Quentin heads back in for some office party egg nog, Ollie gets swarmed by League men, incapacitated, and awakens in a dark chamber. Nyssa is there, and before Ollie can ask why he’s there, she tells him Ra’s is tired of Team Arrow dragging its heels on Sara’s murder. Ollie’s being given 48 hours to find Sara’s killer, before the League uses their technique to find killers, which is start killing people in Starling City (told you they were less subtle). And the man leading the executions will be…Maseo? Only he doesn’t call himself that anymore, and is apparently part of the League. How did this happen?

"Man, there's a lot of abandoned warehouse space in this city, am I right, Oliver?"

“Man, there’s a lot of abandoned warehouse space in this city, am I right, Oliver?”

Omega. Well, in the flashbacks this episode, Ollie is back from torturing China White’s associate, and tells Maseo she’s looking for a bio-weapon called Omega. So Ollie and Maseo break into the lab that has it, only to find its already gone. They find a scientist at the lab who stole it for China White, and after an interrogation with arrows, come to the realization that its too easy they found the scientist. And it turns out they are right, because China White shows up at Maseo’s apartment and takes Tatsu hostage, leaving their son behind. I got a bad feeling how this ends, but that’s for another episode. For now…

And Your Suspect Is… Laurel is at Sara’s grave, wishing her a Merry Christmas, when Thea shows up (hmmm…) wondering why she’s talking to an empty grave. Well, Laurel blurts out Sara is actually dead, and yes, she hasn’t told anyone else yet (that won’t be a further problem this episode, will it?). While Felicity is having a chat with Caitlin about Christmas (go to the recent Flash ep for how it’s not so merry), she’s letting Team Arrow know she’s got that pesky DNA strand isolated. So all she needs to do is run that thing through criminal databases, and…um, that can’t be right, Felicity says. Ollie asks who it is, and –surprise for him and everyone else — It’s Oliver Queen! Wha?! Well, that can’t be right, so they check on their biggest suspect, Malcolm Merlyn, and his travel plans. They dig up surveillance video of Malcolm arriving in Starling the night before Sara was killed, and…is that Thea, Team Arrow asks?

Family Lies and Truths. Unfortunately for Ollie, the rest of Team Arrow has put the pieces together on what happened to Sara: she shares Ollie’s DNA, is not of average height, and of course, Malcolm, which equals she killed Sara! Ollie’s not convinced of this, so he talks to Thea at their apartment about Malcolm, and while he knows she lied about Malcolm (he pretty much calls her on it), doesn’t believe she killed Sara. But maybe Ollie shouldn’t ask that question, Diggle reasons. Cut to the Arrow barging into Thea’s place for answers, only to get a brief fight back and her escaping. Um, that doubt of Ollie’s is vanishing real fast.

On the matter of people having to deal with hard truths, Dinah Lance is in town to spend the holidays with the rest of the Lance clan, including Sara! Um, Laurel makes up an excuse about Sara traveling in front of her parents, but its not until later that Dinah confronts her daughter about the truth she can see Laurel is lying about. So Laurel comes clean about Sara being dead for reals, and not telling Quentin. Laurel promises to find Sara’s killer and make him/her/more likely looking to be Thea pay with their life. Good luck on that.

The Magician’s Trick. Malcolm visits Ollie at Verdant after hearing the Arrow paid Thea a visit, and Ollie trumps Malcolm at who should be indignant right now. Ollie wants to serve Malcolm up to Ra’s right now, but Malcolm has a trump card: a video of Thea killing Sara! Malcolm drugged Thea so he could manipulate her into killing Sara and she would not remember doing it at all, which wouldn’t be much of a defense for the League to not kill Thea. There is one way out that Malcolm has for Thea and everyone: Ollie would have to confess to the murder and face Ra’s in a duel to the death! Sure if Ollie wins that also gets that death warrant for Malcolm cleared up, but still Ollie should do this to save Thea. Oh man, when Ollie gets back from his death duel, do I hope he skewers Malcolm like the punk he is.

Putting Affairs In Order. Felicity has been having a turbulent time too this episode, as Ray feels the need to apologize for his kissing her a while back. We and Felicity hear about how he had a fiancé who was killed during the siege of Starling last season, and him opening up to another woman was odd for him. But he offers to come clean about why he bought Queen Consolidated when she threatens to leave if she doesn’t know why. He’s been thinking about developing new tech that can miniaturize weaponry, or specifically, an exo-suit labeled OMAC, ahem, he calls it ATOM, and he would like her to help him on it. I think she has her full-time hero tech support schedule full, Ray.

Meanwhile, Ollie meets again with the League and Ra’s, only to confess to being Sara’s killer. No one believes what he’s confessing to, but it doesn’t matter because, League rules, you know, and Ollie challenges Ra’s to trial by combat. Ollie is given twelve hours to put things in order before he has to leave to climb up a mountain for the duel.

He meets with Thea, who yes, lies about the Arrow visit, and tells her she doesn’t know Malcolm like she thinks she does. And instead of saying “I’m about to fight to the death for you because you were dumb enough to trust Malcolm Merlyn”, he tells her he loves her unconditionally. Then at Arrow HQ, Diggle wants to help, but Ollie has to do this alone. Felicity arrives after hearing Ray’s ATOM pitch to hear what’s going on, and tell Ollie that despite him avoiding it, he will have to kill Ra’s without hesitation. Ollie reassures her he can win because he has a clear purpose, and oh yeah, he loves her. NOW you pick the time to say this, Ollie?

Oliver Queen endorses the League of Assassins sword rack: For all your assassinating and duel to the death needs!

Oliver Queen endorses the League of Assassins sword rack: For all your assassinating and duel to the death needs!

The Mountain. So cut to that mountain Ollie was scaling at the opening, and he makes it to the top, where Ra’s, Nyssa, and Maseo are waiting. Ollie picks up two blades, and after a brief monologue about killing for the first time, picks up none. Oh, nuts. So they fight, Ra’s eventually picking up one of Ollie’s blades and admiring how long Ollie has lasted in this duel. And then Ollie gets stabbed in the side and right through the chest! Ollie has one of those “life flashing before your eyes” moments as Ra’s gives a slight prayer to him before kicking Ollie off the mountain…presumably to his death!

Well, I guess that’s it for Arrow! I’m glad we got two and a half seasons of this show, and I like to thank our NerdLush diva for giving me the opportunity to…what? Hold on, what did you say? The season’s not over and new episodes will start next month? Um, Oliver’s dead, and there’s no show, guys. Sigh. FINE! I’ll be back then.

"Really?  You're ancient and way less scarred up than me?  I gotta know what you take for that!"

“Really? You’re ancient and way less scarred up than me? I gotta know what you take for that!”

–Comic book connections: OMAC is a reference to the One Man Army Corps, a character created in the 70’s, but has popped up in the current DCU.

–It’s a nice touch to realize that none of the main League guys believe Ollie killed Sara. Of course, now that Ollie’s dead (?), doesn’t this mean they will actually go after Malcolm still? Suppose that’s a question for 2015 to answer.

–So who wants to take bets in the flashbacks Maseo’s going to lose his family?

–Good news, Roy: you didn’t kill Sara, but your ex-girlfriend, drugged up by Malcolm, did! Yay for you?

–A nice interconnected show touch that news of the evil yellow speedster in Central City has made it to Starling City.

–Ra’s admits no one has challenged him to a duel in 60 odd years. I smell Lazarus Pit explanation, or he’s a well kept senior citizen.

–“You’re just a boy.” Ollie really does surprise Ra’s throughout this episode, doesn’t he? Well, up until when Ra’s stabs him, but…

–“Well, I feel bad. I didn’t get you anything.”

–“Why does this keep happening to me?”

Well, we all got a lot to digest until late January, don’t we? So please, let’s talk theories and other stuff this season below and come back next time (around or about January 21st) for the recap of “Left Behind”…

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