Out of the two DC superhero shows on CW, one of which is not super at all, Arrow is the darker and more tortured and in The Climb the winter finale was dealing with a lot of unanswered questions right up until Queen reaches the top of that mountain; then it was wait a minute…what? Did the audience really just watch Arrow fall dead, or dying, off the top of that mountain peak? Have CW and the show’s producers really given viewers a cliff-falling rather than a cliffhanger? At first glance, it seems that no amount of binge watching could prepare a “late to the party” fan for this sudden turn of events.
To be fair it is not just this latest episode of Arrow that leaves the late comer dangling. Another problem with the show was the decision to change Sara Lance when the previous plot twist had the dead girl show back up in season two, also as a crime fighting kick-a** vigilante, and she looked nothing like the young woman who slipped out of the yacht in the pilot.
The show did trade flashback sequences in order to put the new actress in the scenes preceding Sara Lance’s death, but the damage was done by having the blonde haired Caity Lotz step in. She looks nothing like the original Sara, played by Jacqueline Macinnes Wood and there seems to be no reason for her replacement. Although it has been opined that Wood was replaced because of conflicts with her daytime job in The Bold & The Beautiful.
Leaving the issue of catching up on back episodes behind, pun intended, this episode of Arrow: The Climb is done in very long flashbacks. The audience see Oliver climbing slowly up the side of a mountain and when he waits for a minute to rest, or almost fall, or what may be his need to contemplate his fate, events leading up to this mountainside trek are shown. The only problem with these flashback are that they add to the only issue that can be raised with the show.
Why set up a hero who is rescued from an island that is meant to be deserted, presumably, and then give him a backstory that takes place over the five year time period he was missing that is lousy with people and obviously takes place in a locale, or locales, that are not an island. One flashback clearly takes place in China, in a city, with lots of people. Confusing, no?
Granted, fans of the comic may already know the answers to these apparent conundrums. It could also be argued that since it is based upon a comic book character that these complaints border on being picayune and nitpicky. Valid points possibly, but the main issue is that the show is enjoyable, albeit quite dark, but lapses in continuity and logic to the outsider makes it difficult to keep up even with protracted binge watching.
This present season seems to have everyone in the Queen family circle able to practise black belt level acrobatics and self defense. Thinking Thea here who also, apparently, is a good enough archer to blast Sara repeated with enough arrows in the chest to knock her off a roof, who till recently, in the binge watching verse anyway, was a young tearaway who drank too much and took recreational drugs.
In Arrow, there is a increase of other superheros and villains, thinking Ra’s al Ghul the head of the assassins in the bad guy department and Ray Palmer as yet another vigilante. Oliver, in The Climb, goes up against The League of Assassins, not voluntarily though. When Queen eventually makes it to the top of the mountain at the end of what must have been an exhausting journey, there is not wait, no minute to catch his breath, it is “take off your shirt” and pick your weapon. Oliver would have been pretty pooped so chances were very good that he was going to be defeated, i.e. killed by Ra’s . But with the existence, apparently, of the Lazarus Pits, Arrow may return. If he does, and seriously how can he not, it is his show after all, he may have a few super-ish powers. Regardless of what happens next, viewers will have to wait until January 21 to find out.
By Michael Smith