Arrow “Leap of Faith” Review: Suckerpunched
By Justin Carter
Well, if nothing else, give the writers of Arrow some credit, because that is absolutely an ending I didn’t see coming.
As stated time and time again, Arrow has always been the more serious and grounded show of all these CW superhero adventures — yes, even when they get caught up in superhero crossovers and/or fight criminals turned zombie gangsters. So to say it was surprising to see 2019 Team Arrow reuniting to see Future Team Arrow, thanks to colliding timelines, is an understatement. (And, thanks to that preview for next week, we know the Deathstroke gang made the transfer as well.)
It’s a very strong closer in an episode that’s otherwise holding up thanks to two very good story threads and one that’s been consistently struggling this season. Oliver’s Nanda Parbat trip has him reuniting with Thea and Talia al Ghul to pull up some backstory on Mar Novu, both of them hunted by Athena for some good old fashioned power struggles among the League of Assassins. The League story is stronger here than it ever was in season three, largely because Thea actually gets to be involved and deliver her classic “I’m already over this nonsense” quips with energy that hasn’t been around the show in years. It’s just great to see Willa Holland again and giving some much needed sibling wisdom one last time before this whole thing ends (while they’re sitting on the side of a mountain, natch).
Likewise, it’s nice to see the Diggle family do the secret spy thing together before Lyla inevitably gets caught up in the madness of the Crisis. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but the revelation that Lyla’s in the Monitor’s corner gives her and Dig’s interactions a greater weight now than previously. It’s still ridiculous that one of this show’s main characters talk to his wife about how he watched a universe get disintegrated, but David Ramsey makes it work, and it’s easy to see why he’d end up with eventual custody of Connor.
The only part of this episode that doesn’t really work? Killing off Zoe, if only because for all the time spent building up the other Future Team Arrow kids, there’s still really nothing to her. Yeah, there’s plenty to her as a kid, but her adult self never really got that chance to develop and establish herself beyond being just Rene’s kid.
But that ending….man, the merging timelines really kicks this episode up a notch. It rules, and is the kind of sucker punch you don’t expect. The past and future are colliding! What else is in store for the rest of the season?
Very much here for how accepting Thea is of her brother just making deals with cosmic entities.
This episode was directed by Katie Cassidy, which is notable because she’s the only actor in the show to do so.
Greg Berlanti, the man behind the Arrowverse, is doing a Green Lantern show! And one for Adam Strange! Both are coming to the new streaming service HBO Max, which releases in May.