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Thursday 9:00 PM on The CW (Returning October 15, 2018)
So the "winter finale" is upon us, and no new episodes until January 25. So almost two months of no new Arrow. Brace yourselves.

As for tonight's episode "What We Leave Behind", it was... okay. Like most Arrow Christmas episodes, it was kind of depressing. Oliver kills an innocent, Felicity loses a boyfriend, Curtis loses a husband.. And something happens to Diggle, I'm not sure what. The military found Lyla and JJ, and decided to use them as bait to capture Diggle? Who knows? Tune in on 1/25 to find out.


So what happened tonight? We get a "mayor's bash" holiday party at City Hall. And things get awkward as Oliver introduces Susan to Thea as his date. And Felicity and Curtis have a race to see who can be the worst liar as they both badly muck up their cover stories to their SOs.

And then we get a rather awkward attack on Curtis. Why would Prometheus graze his neck, then fight him hand to hand, and then deliver a non-fatal throwing knife? If he wants to convince Oliver that he gets his people around him killed, that seems a good way to do it. Sure, it doesn't have the visceral impact of tricking Oliver into killing someone, but there doesn't seem to be any reason for Prometheus to spare Curtis.

Anyway, this all brings in Curtis' rarely-seen husband Paul, who is now credited as "Paul Holt" in the end credits. Since Curtis is a lousy liar, Paul soon realizes that something is going on and demands the truth. Curtis tells him that he's a vigilante, and Paul tells him to choose between being a vigilante and being a husband. Which is TV Superhero Trope 101, and a bit tiresome no matter what the genders of the people involved are.


Plus, Curtis kinda did help save the world last week. Granted, he wasn't in on the final fight (where was Team Arrow during the Dominator battle?). But he did get Felicity's piece of McGuffin tech. So Paul could have been one of those two million non-metas that would have been wiped oiut by the meta bomb. I guess he's not a big-picture kind of guy.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Prometheus injected Curtis with a drug. Which, in a very awkward turn of events, turns out to be the drug that Prometheus' father Justin Claybourne (played by the ever-reliable "Hey, it's that guy!" Canadian actor, Garwin Sanford) used to sell to the poor people in Star City when Oliver was the Hood and killing people on The List.

So Prometheus injected Curtis with a drug that makes him healthier? Doesn't seem to quite fit with the whole "Make Oliver suffer" scheme.

If nothing else, we get to see a new type of flashback, set four years in the past. It's when Oliver is the Hood (and Stephen Amell tries to pretend he's four years younger), and went after Justin because he was not only selling expensive medicine to the poor to cure their TB (how did they afford it?)...


But Justin was spreading weaponized TB in the first place. After the Hood gives him a warning, he keeps on doing whatever he was doing. The Hood breaks into Justin's secret TB-manufacturing plant, kills a lot of guys, and then kills Justin. I don't remember him being quite so homicidal during Arrow season 1, but let's roll with it.

Billy finds a photo of (supposed) Baby Prometheus and sends it to Felicity before Prometheus captures him. Felicity confirms that Justin had an illegitimate son, and apparently Justin Jr. is out to avenge his father's death.

Oliver & Co. track down Prometheus to the same place where the Hood killed Justin. Arrow insists on going in alone, and in a nice touch by director Antonio Negret, Prometheus leaves a trail of corpses (I think their cops) paralleling the corpses that the Hood left four years earlier. The villain then sets Arrow up to kill an abducted Billy, after taping his mouth shut, putting him in a Prometheus costume, and pinning a speaker to his chest. For some reason Arrow shoots to kill, and discovers that he's really killed Billy. So I guess we don't have to tell Billy not to be a hero.


Back at the bunker, Oliver tells the team what he did. Thankfully, Felicity doesn't blame him (yet), and when Oliver tells them to stay away from him, they form a sympathetic huddle.

Oliver goes to see Susan and have a drink and a kiss. Paul leaves Curtis. Felicity sits at home and cries. Diggle gets an SOS from Lyla and when he shows up at the safe house, finds armed men waiting for him.

There's also an earlier encounter with Prometheus. Where Artemis blows her cover to save the guy from Wild Dog, and then she and Prometheus disappear in a puff of smoke and a flash-bang arrow. We don't see Artemis again, and I'd think Prometheus would be pissed at her for blowing her cover with the team. This means the team has to close ranks to protect their loved ones. Including Rory, sort of, although I thought his family got blown up by the nuke. And it doesn't seem like Rene has a family or if he does, he isn't telling the team which means Prometheus doesn't know about it since he's getting his inside info from Evelyn. Earlier Rene plays coy with Diggle about whether he has children.


And at the end, Laurel shows up in the bunker to greet Oliver. Because lord knows we haven't seen and heard enough about Laurel enough already this season. She's like the Lana Lang of Arrow: the writers seem to like her a lot more than many of the fans.

Overall, "What We Leave Behind" was... okay. It was about what you'd expect from a winter finale. There are some minor triumphs, but overall it's a loss. Oliver does find out who Prometheus is, although I suspect the full story isn't told. He's some rich kid's son who got the same training and became just as good a fighter as Oliver? Something doesn't quite seem to track there. We also have the (potentially planted) photo to supposedly confirm that Prometheus is Justin's son. We're not even halfway through the season yet, so I have my doubts that Prometheus is who they believe he is. "He" could potentially be anyone, from Tommy to Susan the helpful reporter and love interest.

I did like how the team rallied around Oliver instead of walking away from him. Look at The Flash for example of backbiting and snarling until its winter finale. Cisco doesn't like Barry, Caitlin is having issues and keeping secrets, Joe and Iris are riding Wally, Wally and HR go behind Joe and Iris' backs. Team Arrow felt like more of a family then Team Flash has most of this half-season.

Also, Rory and Rene? Comedy gold. I liked their trying to decipher Felicity's DNA analyzer instructions. Sheesh, men. Can't live with 'em, can't fit more than three in the trunk of your car.


Joe Dinicol works pretty well with anyone they've paired him up with so far. I don't watch the vast majority of what he's been in, and I don't remember him from Haven. But the casting people really made a good choice with him. Even Rene softens up a little bit tonight, with his oohing over the Christmas stocking that Evelyn gave him. And his talking to Diggle about children, and chatting with Rory about whether Barry should Flashpoint back and try to stop Prometheus from ever existing. With Curtis and Felicity both facing the loss of loved ones, it's nice to see that someone can pick up the comedy slack.

My primary gripe is that Prometheus' plan seems all over the place. Why was he setting up Quentin to think that he was Prometheus, for instance? Blackthorne wasn't even in tonight's episode, although Adrian showed up briefly. Why did he spare Curtis? Why did he use such an awkward plan to tell Oliver who he is? He injected Curtis with an anti-TB drug, but left him alive? Why? I guess because Echo Kellum is a series regular and Tyler Ritter isn't.


And does this tie in with the Russian flashbacks? Oliver does say that he recognized a fighting move Prometheus used as one that a Russian woman taught him. So I suppose that's coming up: I don’t remember Taiana training Oliver. But I'm not seeing enough of a connection to warrant a season-long series of flashbacks.

So overall it was an okay episode to close out the half-season and tide us over until January. But we've still got... 14? more episodes to go. So I'm both hoping there's more to Prometheus than what was indicated while kind of dreading what they'll whip out. We also have Talia al Ghul coming up, and the mystery of how Laurel is back. It seems like a pretty mixed bag to tie all together with Prometheus, assuming that they try.

Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if either of them turned out to be Prometheus. It makes about as much sense as the story we got tonight. Since I checked the end credits before I watched the episode, I half-expected Laurel to reveal that she was Prometheus. She can't be back because of Flashpoint, because Oliver remembers her dying.


But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?

-----

And I still would rather have had the Prometheus from the comics, rather than Dark Archer 2.0. We're talking the guy who took out half of the Morrison Justice League (including outfighting Batman, outsmarting Superman, and outbluffing Wonder Woman), and all of the newer incarnation like he was walking through a wheat field.





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Dec 31, 2016

Am I taking stupid pills folks!? Season One Oliver took out how many goons after Laurel was kidnapped? I know that people say, "Oh he just shot that guy in the shoulder" guys and girls, there is an interesting thing called arterteries in there. Case in point when Moira Queen put a bullet in Oliver and he was how close to being dead!

Wish I could find a picture of a red herring to put next to the pic of Baby Justin. It would fit right in. Way too much intel on Promethus just littering the ground. Do I believe Baby Justin is real: yes. Do I believe he's Promethus: not in this life. Big P. has been setting this up for a while now. I don't believe for a moment that little Det. Billie Bumbler just stumbled onto anything. Not without a whole lot of help.

Small moment for the not so grieved Billy, 1,2,3..... that's all the time I have for him and just about the amount of time we saw him on screen. Billy AKA the Felicity Plot Bunny was never long for this world. The moment it was revealed that Oliver killed him I laughed. Could not help myself. I'm not a Olicity shipper by any means but this was kinder for the likable sap.

Only thing I didn't like was how the whole group huddled over to Oliver and gave him a hug after he filled them in that he filled Billy with holes! I get that they are trying to show that Oliver has 'changed' and 'grown' with that show of solidarity but I just don't see it.

I've been fairly shocked how none of them seem to care that much that Evelyn aka Artemis has turned on Oliver beyond the whole she sold us out. And more importantly HOW THEY DID NOT SEE IT COMING!!! The girl called Oliver a Seriel Killer. Capital K on the Killer. Honestly, I think they should hand out another DNA test on Malcolm and see if he matches up with her. Because the last time I heard someone call Oliver on his crap like that was Tommy. Hell, good old Joe on the Flash made the point to Barry when he said that Oliver doesn't kill people anymore, "what about all the criminals he put arrows through- those, what.. don't count"

Don't get me wrong. I like Oliver killing off the criminal population. It's the constant whining about him being a good guy and that he's not a murderer. That grates every nerve I have. There has not been a single season where Oliver hasn't killed someone yet. Again, I like Kill Kill Kill the Bad Guys Oliver, the rationalizations not so much at all. He kills people, he has from the beginning. He said it to Felicity himself when they tried to convince him to put the hood back on in season two, how they keep glossing over the body count.

Now onto Tommy 2.0 AKA Promethus. My guess, is that Talia brought Tommy back to life with her own private Lazuras Pit and trained him up the last four years. Then when Laurel was killed, Tommy went home and started punching holes into Oliver's already fairly sad life. He probably wasn't too happy with Det. Lance for supporting Oliver after Laurel's death and left him a little calling card. Assuming the identity of Baby Justin is a good way to keep his real identity a secret. It would really suck to have his face in the papers as the ninja star killer. I think the reason he spared Curtis and the rest of the goof troup is POSSIBLY because of his little half sister Thea. She's the only sane family member left and he may not want to totaly alienate her just yet.

A anti-Oliver motive from Talia doesn't even bare theorizing about; Oliver pisses off people by walking in a room.

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Dec 19, 2016
Prometheus is definitely Tommy ! First of all, he started his rampage right after Laurel died. It's true he's been training for this for 4 years, but that could have been a turning point for him.
Second, the reporter is working with him, and she could be bratva, but I don't think she's a fighter ... I suppose her role in Prometheus's plan is to get close to Oliver since he wasn't dating Felicity anymore so Prometheus needed to make him suffer more by killing her or by telling him she's not who she seems.
And third, I don't think that was actually Laurel ... she can't be alive thanks to flashpoint because anyone would have known about her, and we had a lot of talk about magic this episode, that could be a clue for Laurel's appearance ... she could be a mirage, or someone was made to look like Laurel with magic, so that Oliver will hurt even more for loosing her.
Tommy could have been trained by Malcolm all these years so maybe he learned that move from the League, just like Talia...
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Dec 16, 2016
I thought Prometheus was going to be Tommy. Malcolm totally could have resurrected him and trained him in secret. I'm just glad it didn't turn out to be someone that was coincidentally introduced this season so we could all pretend not to know it's him, like all of these shows do every season.

As to his plans, well, he wanted Oliver to figure it out. He kept Curtis alive and injected him so Oliver would make the connection. He wanted it to end at his father's business, where he was killed. He was messing with Oliver to get him pissed enough to want to kill him.
It's annoying that we didn't get to see the guy's face, but I doubt it'll turn out to be someone else, like Tommy, after all. He's too obsessed with this one specific guy that Oliver killed. It would be the dumbest red herring ever. Perhaps we've seen Prometheus unmasked at some point, but it won't turn out to be someone we know very well.
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Dec 09, 2016
“I don't remember him [Oliver] being quite so homicidal during Arrow season 1”

Agreed. Oliver was ruthless when it came to people on the list, but I don’t remember him flippantly murdering every mook who got in his way. He wasn’t above hurting those who stood between him and a ‘Lister,’ but I always got the sense that he was careful with his placement of arrows – aiming for key nonfatal spots that would injure the mook just enough to take them out of the fight.

So, yeah, those flashbacks didn’t ring true for me either. And, yet, because of Flashpoint, I don’t feel like I’m allowed to protest. After all, how well do we really know this new Post-Flashpoint version of Oliver? Maybe this version of Oliver really was a homicidal rage monster back in 2012.

The longer a show runs, the more likely it is to contradict itself. And if there is one thing that destroys a show for me, it’s inconsistent storytelling and characterization. I feel like Flashpoint only compounds the issue.
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Dec 09, 2016
Plus, if Oliver had actually behaved that way, I would think more people would be rallying in the Evelyn camp. They might not choose her methods of betraying friends and siding with someone equally as murderous, but surely there would be more people fighting for Oliver to be held accountable for his days of indiscriminate murderous rampaging.
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Dec 08, 2016
Am 70% sure that Prometheus is Tommy, also i think susan is some how connected to Bratva.....did you notice that russian vodka bottle?
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Dec 08, 2016
The director sure wanted us to notice, judging from the long lingering camera shot.
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Dec 11, 2016
hmmm.....judging from your comment i guess you wanted me to notice you're a sarcastic dick.
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Dec 11, 2016
Admittedly, this may be my first review that you're read. But I thought I made it clear I was a sarcastic dick in pretty much every review I've written. :)
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Dec 14, 2016
@mad-pac: Well, it's already on my business cards...
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Dec 14, 2016
Just slap a "SARCASTIC DICK" label on a vodka bottle and post it as your profile picture. Problem solved!
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Dec 11, 2016
well i guess i have had my fun here.
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Dec 11, 2016
But yes, I'm a "sarcastic dick." I could put it at the top of all my reviews, but that seems a touch obvious. And I wouldn't want to bore long-time readers.
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Dec 11, 2016
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Dec 08, 2016
I liked the episode. I don't think Laurel is the Lana Lang of this show, in my opinion that's Felicity (especially in S3 and 4). I admit, Laurel was annoying for a long time, but right before they killed her, she was perfect. Relaxed, eye to eye with Oliver, really the Black Canary we deserved and always wanted. And then, boom.

I really wanted them to use Black Siren from Earth 2 as the new Canary (since in the comics Dinah Lance is actually from there and has superpowers), but it seems to be Earth-1 Laurel, who's back.
Well, I guess we have to wait and see.
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Dec 08, 2016
Obviously Nyssa and Talia switched backstories in the Arrowverse (at least in the broad sense). Given that, Talia is the woman in Russia who trained Oliver on the move that Prometheus used, and likely has her own LP, which will likely at least be implied to be how Laurel has returned, regardless of whether or not it was (or if this is even Laurel-1).

Given the series' penchant for borrowing Nolanverse items, one wonders if some of the Internet speculation is true, that the baby photo was a girl, maybe someone who recently gave Ollie some vodka.

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Dec 08, 2016
I don't think the baby photo was a girl, or Felicity would have noticed while running the facial recognition. But there's no guarantee it wasn't planted.
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Dec 14, 2016
And for some reason I thought it was baby Sarah.
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Dec 08, 2016
Interesting that Michael Dorn still doesn't get a voice over credit for Prometheus, those are Worf's dulcet tones, so why hide it?
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