Arrow "Left Behind" (Mid-Season Premiere REVIEW)

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)

After the explosive mid-season finale of Arrow, fans of the show were left wondering how Ollie would get himself out of this mess. He's faced insurmountable odds before, but nothing as great as what he'd have to face on the business of of Ra's al Ghul's blade. Run through and left for dead... after a drop that would kill any man, how would Ollie get out of this one?

Team Arrow sans Arrow feels... kinda off

Team Arrow sans Arrow feels... kinda off

Back at home, Team Arrow is left to pick up the pieces. A new threat advances on Starling City in the form of Danny "Brick" Brickwell, a mobster with a serious mean streak and a killer one-two punch. If you read my review for "The Climb" I mentioned how I wish more Green Arrow villains would make it into the fold... and specifically I mentioned Brick... which made this episode that much more satisfying.

Back in Hong Kong, Ollie and Maseo embark on a mission to steal the counterpart to China White's super-virus, while Ollie cooks up a plan to track down there whereabouts of Tatsu. This friendship Ollie has with Maseo further explains why Maseo didn't wish to see Ollie fall at the hands of Ra's al Ghul.

The past still affects the present

The past still affects the present

Ray Palmer hard at work going all Iron Man

Ray Palmer hard at work going all Iron Man

Ray Palmer's still working on his Atom suit, and hopefully soon we can see him go into action with Team Arrow. Most surprising was Laurel finally donning the Canary mantle. Justice is definitely the new black, and Laurel looks great finally making her transition to Black Canary, something I've been looking forward to since the first episode where she made short work of bouncers trying to rough up Oliver and Tommy.

As much as I enjoyed seeing the spotlight on the rest of Team Arrow, I really missed seeing Ollie in action. Aside from the flashbacks, Oliver barely was even in the episode. While I can understand the need to raise tensions for Oliver's inevitable return, Arrow sans Arrow feels somewhat incomplete. While I've always loved Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity, her overacting during the more dramatic scenes felt somewhat disingenuous. I get it, Felicity is pretty much broken and being forced to accept Ollie not coming back has her almost uncharacteristically somber.

Thea further's her training with Malcolm

Thea further's her training with Malcolm

Oliver's failure also leaves Malcolm Merlyn nervous. I felt that Malcolm really believed that Oliver could match Ra's al Ghul. I mean, not only did Oliver take him down, but he also managed to stop a city wide siege at the hands of Slade Wilson. Though how he went about getting Ollie to take on the Demon's Head was less than honorable, forcing a doped-out Thea to murder Sara Lance,

Justice is the new Black

Justice is the new Black

Brick... a force to be reckoned with...

Brick... a force to be reckoned with...

As far as how Ollie comes back, I was hoping that it would be a Lazarus Pit. I mean, they've pretty much confirmed that Ra's al Ghul has lived longer than an average man, I was hoping a Lazarus Pit would be used to bring him back. I mean we can't have Hal Jordan go all "Parallax" or even have Superboy punch reality again... so I was thinking Lazarus pit. 

Unfortunately, it wasn't a Lazarus Pit that brought Ollie back but the end of the episode brings back a familiar face while not totally explaining how he was resurrected. Hopefully they go full into explaining it... I'm still a bit foggy with how he could have come back.

can't be dead... the show must go on!

can't be dead... the show must go on!

This wasn't my favorite episode of Arrow this season, I found myself wanting more and here's hoping this further makes the Arrow's return as Starling City's protector that much sweeter.