Things got pretty intense for the ninth episode of Arrow, entitled The Climb, where we finally got to see Mark Noble in all his glory as Ra’s Al Ghul, who gave a pretty impressive performance now that we got to see more of him as he sent Nyssa and the League of Assassins to Sterling City to force Oliver to take drastic measures in order to find out who the killer of Sara Lance was. If Oliver didn’t act quickly, the League would kill innocent people over the city until he found out who did.
Of course, things couldn’t just be quite simple as that, with one major revelation coming as we finally got to know the identity of Sara’s killer, and that was… Thea. Not Malcolm and not Roy Harper. Thea Queen. As it turned out, Thea had been brainwashed by Malcolm into killing Sara (which would admittedly have probably been a lot more interesting if she’d killed her of her own free will) and this as a result left Oliver with a dilemma. Did he let the League kill Thea or hand himself over to the League? Sure, he could hand over Malcolm Merlyn, but there was a big problem with that. Malcolm had managed to manipulate Oliver in an incredibly effective manner that really left him with no choice other than to face Ra’s Al Ghul in combat himself. After saying his goodbyes, Ollie journeyed to the top of the mountain, and faced Ra’s in mortal combat (The line “Remove your shirt, it is custom,” is now the number one rule of the CW Network), and has seemingly been killed. So it’s safe to say that this was a cliffhanger of epic proportions and that means the wait for the show to return is going to be pretty tense indeed.
In all, it was a pretty good episode, with all guns blazing. Coming off the back of the awesome Flash crossover last week we got another excellent episode in a row which is great considering that Season 3 has been fairly standard so far (I wasn’t too impressed with the Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak, and the Cupid episode wasn’t too great either), but the writers really turned it around in this episode delivering an excellent example of a mid-season finale episode. Hell, this could have easily been a season finale, with the amount of revelations and turns happening here. Mark Noble’s Ra’s left a fantastic impression on the audience now that we got to see him properly, and the final fight scene at the end was pretty spectacular indeed, to say the least. Whilst given the fact that Oliver is the main character it’s unlikely that the death will see him killed off for good, it should make an interesting shakeup in the second half of the season.
After all, we have plenty of stuff that looks set to happen over the course of the series. The absence of Oliver could lead to Laurel, Roy and Diggle stepping up to take their respective mantles as Black Canary and Arsenal properly in a few episodes that could make things really interesting indeed. And when you add to the fact that you also have A.T.O.M coming onto the show in a big way with Ray Palmer’s reveal to Felicity. It was pretty hilarious with Felicity’s comment, “Why does this always happen to me?” alluding to the fact that she has now been involved with at least three of different superheroes (Green Arrow, The Flash and Captain Atom).
It’s safe to say that one thing that Arrow knows how to do well is finales, be they mid-season or otherwise. I’m yet to be disappointed by one yet and The Climb was no exception to that rule, delivering an incredibly strong episode that’s probably my second favourite of Season 3, falling just behind The Brave and the Bold. The return of the show can’t come quickly enough, with there being many very different angles to explore on the series indeed going forward.