Arrow – 5×09 – ‘What We Leave Behind’
Directed by: Antonio Negret
Story by: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum

“I’m not going to kill him, I’m going to make him wish he was dead.”

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So, the mid-season finale of Arrow seems to have come around altogether too quickly for my liking, and while I will miss it, this episode didn’t hit the mark I had expected.

Cast your mind back to the episode before the big DC crossover week, where we found out that Artemis (Madison McLaughlin) was working alongside Prometheus, after finding out about Oliver’s more cutthroat past. Well, this week we’re taken right back into that shocking team-up, as Evelyn gives Prometheus all the information he needs on the Arrow team’s identities in the form of a collection of candid pictures.

Of course, it wouldn’t be right for them not to make some reference to Christmas, and so we join Mayor Oliver at the office Christmas party, which seems to be far more awkward than any regular office’s party – but, that’s what you get when everyone who works with you normally, also works with you as a vigilante. Those are some difficult introductions, that everyone seemed to struggle with. Oliver makes a grand speech, and it seems with this lovely holiday moment, that all is well – however, this is a mid-season finale, people, it’s never going to be a cheerful occasion.

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Which is proved almost immediately after this, the Arrow team takes their first big hit of the episode, as Prometheus attacks Curtis. It’s the wakeup call the team needs, as it begins to sink in that Prometheus knows exactly who they are behind the masks and exactly where to find them. When they regroup at the Arrow cave, we see Evelyn take her place among the team, and with some very on-the-nose antagonist dialogue at that.

So, with this, it’s time for the team to jump into action, and hunt down Prometheus. However, it’s clear that he is not going to make this easy – luring Oliver into a trap, and locking him in so they can fight one on one. And the excellent fight choreography rears its head again – this time with some incredibly impressive visual effects, *cough* throwing star through an arrow *coughcough*. Prometheus seems to be leaving a trail for Oliver throughout this episode, which leads him to look back on some of his early ‘Hood’ antics, which make it seem as though he is the one responsible for the villain’s uprising.

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It’s a fairly introspective episode for Oliver, as Prometheus’ attacks seem to show him that the closer people are to Oliver, the more likely they are to get hurt – and more than that, Prometheus is seeming to suggest that whether he is there or not, Oliver will find some way to destroy the lives of those he cares about. This proves to be something of a test for his team, as though they stick by the Green Arrow’s side, everything else seems to be crumbling around them, and we leave the team at a time when it seems as though Prometheus’ plan may be working, breaking down those closest to Oliver to weaken his defences.

In this way, Prometheus has proved himself to be one of the best villains since Arrow began. If you can get past the Darth Vader-esque voice, the sheer amount of planning and mind games involved in his attacks against the Arrow team have proven that there doesn’t always have to be a fight for you to injure someone. We have seen him plant many thoughts in Oliver and the rest of the team’s heads as the series has progressed, and in doing this he has changed them, not only as individuals, but as a collective. And though Prometheus may not have been as present as we would have liked this half of the season, but something tells me that when we join Arrow again, it will be Prometheus’ game that the team are playing.

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The shock-factor was a little lacking in this finale, however, they’ve left us with some interesting things to think about while we wait for the next half of the season. For one thing, Oliver’s new flame, reporter Susan Williams (Carly Pope), might have a bigger part in the events to come than we’d expect. And not only that – the arrival of a very familiar face from the past poses a lot of questions, which we are all eager to hear answers for.

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