Spoilers ahead for “What We Leave Behind,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow!
The short version: Team Arrow goes after Prometheus, but is betrayed by Evelyn. Curtis is attached, and his husband leaves him over his vigilantism. Prometheus is revealed to be the son of one of Oliver’s Season 1 victims. Felicity’s boyfriend is killed, and Prometheus tricks Oliver into pulling the trigger. Diggle is caught by the cops. Oh, and Laurel is somehow back. WTF?
The good: Prometheus, An Arrow Christmas, Curtis’ love life
Prometheus has been dropping hints about his identity all season, and we finally learn his real identity this week (at least, we think we do). It turns out Prometheus is the son of Oliver’s Season 1 victim Justin Claybourne, a shady pharmaceutical exec the Hood shoots down before he swears off murder. The guy was pretty much terrible, but again, murder is murder. The team does some sleuthing to determine Clabourne had an illegitimate son who would be about 30 years old now, and he seems to be the man behind the mask. How did he become a super ninja? We don’t really know, though Oliver eludes to how his training could tie back to someone he met in his past.
The creative team has promised Season 5 is all about taking things full circle, and having the Big Bad directly connect to a Season 1 name on Oliver’s list fits perfectly with that theme. It might've worked a little better if it was someone we actually recognized from Season 1, but they even handled that potential complaint by featuring flashbacks to the Season 1 era. We get to see this untold mission, where Oliver hunts down and kills Claybourne (we also get to see the adorably dorky Season 1 era Felicity, which was great). With all of this coming out in the open now, at midseason, it’ll be interesting to see if the Prometheus arc is resolved soon, or carries on through the back half of Season 5.
A little thing considering all the alien invasion fallout and big reveals, but showing the Queen family Christmas party (this time, it’s also the mayor’s holiday shindig) was a nice touch. The early seasons established that was a big thing back in the day, and it was a subtle nod to see that referenced here. Oliver and Thea really are keeping the family name alive.
Curtis’ story was front and center this week, as he finally has to come clean to his husband after being jumped by Prometheus in public. Paul isn’t happy about being lied to, and gives Curtis an ultimatum: Be with him, or continue being Mister Terrific, because he can’t stand the thought of worrying about him every night. The two break up by the end of the episode, and it’s refreshing (and obviously sad) to see this relationship handled so well. It also finally address the question of how the heck Curtis has kept his nighttime gig a secret all this time.
The bad: Felicity’s (late) boyfriend, Evelyn’s betrayal
Was there really any reason at all for Felicity’s boyfriend Billy to exist? He wasn’t around all that much, and didn’t even serve to create any real friction with Oliver over his relationship. He seemed like a nice enough guy, and they bumped him off this week as part of a sick trap set by Prometheus. Sure, it made for some tears, but this guy’s arc is just terrible. Initially, it seemed like they were setting him up to possibly be Prometheus, but that was apparently just a red herring. So, they basically just introduced him to kill him at midseason. That’s it.
Having Evelyn turn out to be working with Prometheus was a big reveal before all heck broke loose with the alien invasion, and it paid off here. Evelyn officially flips sides, but it’s never really explained why she sides with Prometheus. They briefly allude to the fact that it might’ve happened when the gang learned Oliver was also the Hood. Evelyn was obviously disturbed by Oliver’s murder-y history, but if that’s the case, why on Earth would she go sign up with a stone cold serial killer? Think what you will of Oliver, but he’s always gone after bad guys. Prometheus is just out to kill a bunch of people to further his vendetta against the Green Arrow. It really makes no sense.
Lingering questions: Laurel, Laurel, Laurel
This episode packed in a lot of punches, but the biggest most certainly came in the final 10 seconds: Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave to find Laurel standing there. Alive, apparently. She calls him “Ollie” like she definitely knows him, so it stands to reason this isn’t a Laurel from another reality (Flash-style). How? We all saw her die. We saw her funeral. Maybe Sara manages to change history and bring her back over on Legends of Tomorrow? Or, it’s some additional fallout from Flashpoint? Whatever the answer, there’s a whole lot of explaining to do come 2017.
Poor Diggle. The dude has been living in the Arrow Cave, hiding out from the law (following his jail break after being framed earlier this season). He gets a fake(?) call about a problem with his son, and is drawn into a trap with a SWAT team waiting behind the door. Could Diggle be heading back to jail?
Lines of the night:
“He does that, Dig might end up with five kids.” -Mad Dog
“It's a alternate timeline. Not an alternate reality.” -Rory
Arrow returns Jan. 25, 2017. Be there.