Violet recaps Season 3 Episode 9 of Arrow, titled The Climb, where the Arrow team is surprised to find out who Sara’s murderer is! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
Don’t need the Arrow episode recap for The Climb? Click here to jump directly to Violet’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Josh’s thoughts on this week’s Arrow episode, The Climb, click here to get directly there!
Episode Recap of Arrow, Season 3 Episode 9: The Climb
The mid-season finale of Arrow begins with a scene of Oliver climbing up the side of a mountain while it’s snowing.
Cut to 48 hours earlier, Captain Lance exits the police station to find a present from Arrow: a criminal in zip ties. Arrow says it’s a thank you for keeping the city safe. Just after Lance takes the criminal inside, Arrow is attacked by figures in black. They bring him to Nyssa, who tells him he has 48 hours to deliver Sara’s murderer, or else they’ll start killing innocent residents of Starling City. The “cleansing” is assigned to Sarab – who takes off his mask, revealing that it is Maseo. But he says Maseo is no longer, and he is now Sarab.
As Laurel visit Sara’s grave, Thea comes across her, as she is leaving flowers for her mother. Laurel confesses that Sara was murdered while Thea was gone. Laurel makes Thea promise not to tell her father.
Over at Palmer Technologies, Felicity gives Ray the cold shoulder, and he surmises that it’s because he left so suddenly after they kissed. Just then Oliver texts her “911” and she says she has to go. At the Arrow Cave, Oliver explains to the others what happened with Nyssa. Felicity says it’s taking longer than she thought to examine the DNA associated with Sara’s murder, but Oliver says they don’t have any longer. Diggle says they need a contingency plan, but Oliver says he doesn’t have one.
Felicity gets the DNA results from Caitlin, and when she runs it, it says that Oliver is Sara’s killer. Oliver thinks that Malcolm Merlyn is setting him up.
Laurel’s mother, Diana, shows up at Captain Lance’s office. Laurel wanders into his office just then and is pleasantly surprised to see her mom. However, her mom asks about Sara, who is not returning her phone calls, and the two make up a cover story, saying that Sara is backpacking.
Felicity looks into flight records and finds out that there was a plane that took an indirect flight from Corto Maltese to Starling City, which landed the night before Sara was murdered. Arrow and Arsenal question the pilot and show him a picture of Merlyn. The pilot confirms that he did fly Merlyn from Corto Maltese to Starling City, and that he has security footage from the airfield where Merlyn landed. Back at the Arrow Cave, they take a look at the footage, and are surprised to see not only Merlyn get off the plane that night, but Thea as well. Diggle suggests that it was Thea’s DNA, not Oliver’s. The others agree that it’s a possibility, but Oliver is insistent that it wasn’t her, and that Malcolm Merlyn is setting him up.
Just then, Felicity gets a phone call from Ray. He tracked her phone to the club. She meets him in the club and they talk. He apologized about the way he reacted, and explains that he was guilty about kissing her. He tells her that he and his fiance, Anna, were attacked, and he watched helplessly as they broke her neck. Anna was supposed to be the last woman he kissed, and she was, until he kissed Felicity.
Oliver confronts Thea about the fact that she’s been seeing Malcolm. She admits to it, but she denies flying back to Starling City a couple months ago.
Laurel and her mother talk, and her mother knows something is wrong with Sara. However, Laurel denies it. Her mother presses, and finally gets Laurel to confirm that Sara is dead. She warns her mother that if her father knew about Sara, he couldn’t take it, and she doesn’t want to lose anyone else.
Over at Ra’s al Ghul’s place, several men surround him, and attack him with swords. However, Ra’s al Ghul kills all of them. Nyssa comes in with Maseo/Sarab, telling her father that it’s nearly time. Since Oliver has not turned over the guilty party, Ra’s al Ghul tells them to return to Starling City and be merciless.
Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave, and although he is upset that Thea lied to him about spending time with Merlyn, he believes that she did not kill Sara. Diggle points out that Oliver has a blind spot when it comes to his family. Arrow shows up at Thea’s place to question her, but she fights back, catching Oliver off guard, then she runs off, telling him to stay away from her and her father.
Later, Merlyn shows up at Verdant, telling Oliver that Thea just called and said she was attacked by the Arrow. Oliver grabs Merlyn by the throat. But just then he gets a notification on his phone. It’s a video of Sara’s murder, showing that Thea is the one who did it. Merlyn warns Oliver that if he kills him, then the League of Assassins will get ahold of the video. Merlyn explains that Thea was under the influence of Vortura, a drug that makes its subject extremely susceptible to suggestion, while retaining no memory of their actions. It turns out that Merlyn’s plan was for Oliver to take responsibility for Sara’s murder, so that he could have a trial by combat with Ra’s al Ghul. If Ra’s al Ghul dies, it would erase any blood debt, including Merlyn’s.
At the Arrow Cave, despite the others warning him that Ra’s al Ghul will kill him if he fights him, Oliver is confident that he will win, because he knows what he is fighting for: Thea.
Oliver turns himself in to Ra’s al Ghul as Sara’s murderer. He claims that Sara asked him to kill her so that she could escape the League. Oliver then challenges Ra’s al Ghul to a trial by combat. He accepts. Maseo/Sarab says that after “it” happened he went to Nanda Parbat, the same year as Sara. He does not believe that Oliver killed her. Maseo/Sarab tells Oliver he has 12 hours to settle his affairs, then tells him to be at a certain location at the 13th hour for the trial – if he survives the climb.
Laurel and her mother visit Sara’s grave. Laurel vows that she will find whoever did this to Sara and make them pay.
Oliver goes to see Thea at her place, and tells her that Merlyn does not love her, because he is not capable of love. He also tells Thea that she is her family, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to protect her, and that he loves her no matter what.
Felicity confronts Ray in his office, and tells him to tell her the truth about what it is he’s doing. He shows her what he’s been working on – technology that’s so small it can fit into the palm of his hand. He shows her a hologram of his ATOM suit that he will use to protect the city, and says he wants her to help him.
Felicity returns to the Arrow Cave to see Roy and Diggle saying their goodbyes to Oliver. They let Felicity and Oliver say goodbye privately. Felicity tells Oliver that he has to kill Ra’s al Ghul, and that she’s terrified that Ra’s al Ghul will use his humanity against him. He says that he doesn’t know if he’s a killer anymore, but he does know two things: whoever he is, he’s someone who will do whatever it takes to save his sister. Oliver kisses her on the forehead, and Felicity asks him the second thing. He replies, “I love you.”
Oliver makes the climb to the top of the mountain, where Ra’s al Ghul is waiting with Maseo/Sarab and Nyssa. Oliver is instructed to remove his shirt and choose his weapon. Oliver takes two swords. Ra’s al Ghul makes a speech about all the lives he has taken, while removing his cloak and shirt. He takes no weapons. They begin to fight, with Ra’s al Ghul easily dodging Oliver’s advances. Ra’s al Ghul takes one of Oliver’s swords, and they sword fight. Ra’s al Ghul slices Oliver’s arm, but Oliver is undeterred. Finally, Ra’s al Ghul has his sword pointed at Oliver’s throat, backing him up to the edge of the cliff, and it seems Oliver is at his end. But then Oliver uses his sword to knock the other away, and it seems Oliver has gotten the upper hand – until Ra’s al Ghul catches Oliver’s sword with his bare hand, and punches Oliver in the throat, while stabbing him on the left side. Oliver falls to his knees, and Ra’s al Ghul stabs him through the chest. Then he kicks Oliver off the cliff.
In the Hong Kong flashback, Oliver tells Maseo the information he uncovered from torturing. A biotech company created a super virus called Omega that Chin Na Wei is after. Oliver and Maseo sneak into BTHK Biotech, and Oliver finds Omega. However, it’s only the container, as someone already took it. Maseo looks at earlier security footage, and sees that Chin Na Wei had someone on the inside that took it. Later, they question the man who stole the vial of Omega. After torturing him for awhile, the man still does not confess. However, Maseo realizes that the man must be under the influence of Vortura, and does not remember taking the Omega vial. Meanwhile, Chin Na Wei breaks into Maseo’s house, where his wife and son are there alone. Tatsu tells her son to run, then she and Chin Na Wei sword fight. Maseo returns home to find Tatsu missing. His son tells her that the white haired woman took her.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 3 Episode 9 of Arrow: The Climb
Wow, so I did not see any of this coming. I had thought that either Malcolm Merlyn or maybe Ra’s al Ghul had killed Sara. I didn’t think that Thea could have done it, even if she has been getting closer to Merlyn. Although, it wasn’t really Thea who did it, it was Merlyn, since Thea was not in control of her actions, and Merlyn was the one who made her do it. So now we know that all this time, this was Merlyn’s plan all along, to use Thea to get to Oliver, and clear his debts with Ra’s al Ghul.
Once Merlyn’s plan was revealed, I wasn’t really worried about Oliver, to tell you the truth. I thought for sure Oliver would win his trial by combat with Ra’s al Ghul. So when Ra’s al Ghul plunged his sword through Oliver, and kicked him off the cliff, I was stunned. I did not see it going that way at all. Of course, we all know that he’s not really dead. He can’t be. Right?
Now the question is, how does he survive? And how long does this method of survival take? In other words, how long will he be gone from Starling City? What happens in the meantime? Will everyone actually accept that he’s dead, or think that there’s some way that he could still be alive, and do something about it? Will Felicity and Ray grow even closer while Oliver is gone? Will Ray get to put his ATOM suit into action and because an interim hero to Starling City? So many possibilities for the remainder of the season!
This was a pretty awesome episode, with so many secrets revealed, that left me on the edge of my seat and essentially with the wind knocked out of my by the end. It’s episodes like these that make me love Arrow. I can’t wait to see what happens next after the mid-season finale’s literal cliffhanger!
Josh’s Thoughts: Arrow, Season 3 Episode 8: The Climb
This was a pretty intense episode of Arrow. You have Ra’s Al Ghul finally taking a good chunk of screen time, and we have Oliver heading to fight him. I was worried how the show would handle this fight. Ra’s is an iconic Batman villain that is essentially immortal. How could Oliver have any hope of standing up to this guy? Well CW showed that at this point in time—he couldn’t. I think this was the right call with the episode. Oliver gets a couple licks in, but Ra’s really owns the entire fight. This really makes Ra’s appear much more powerful, which makes him an even tougher villain for the future of the show. I really thought that was played very well.
Now, since the show is called Arrow we can suspect that Oliver doesn’t die. I am wondering how Oliver will make his way back to Starling City—and how he will survive such a vicious stab wound. We see in some of the previews for the next episode that someone approaches Oliver as he lays unconscious, but we don’t quite see who the mystery man is. It could be his friend from Hong Kong that is in the League of Assassins, perhaps Sarah’s ex-girlfriend assassin, or maybe Ra’s Al Ghul himself. It will be an interesting thing to see.
I really hope we get to see ATOM come to life. We have seen the hologram of the suit complete, but not the physical suit yet. That could be an interesting thing to see now that Oliver is down for the count. That could easily be a spin off as well.
It will be entertaining to see how the Arrow Crew moves forward with the severely injured Oliver down for the count. We have heard that Diggle will be taking up the slack, which is awesome. Whenever he gets some action time, I really have fun with watching it.
I also wonder if the crew will even know what happened to Oliver. Since he didn’t return, are they going to assume the worst? Maybe someone in the League will come tell the guys what happened? Man, just typing about the episode, I can’t wait to see what happens!
Scenes from Arrow, Season 3 Episode 10: Left Behind
Here are scenes from the next episode of Arrow, titled Left Behind: