Can We Get A John Diggle Spin-Off Show? Recapping Arrow 3.10: "Left Behind"

By Rich Epstein

OliverCan you have a show named Arrow when the Arrow is (supposedly) dead? Apparently so. The first half of the third season ended with Oliver (Stephen Amell) lying on the side of a mountain after Ra's al Gul (Matt Nable) put a sword through his chest. The second half of the season opens with a police chase, and John Diggle (David Ramsey) playing the part of the Arrow to go along with Roy Harper's (Colton Hayes) Arsenal. Needless to say, there are some problems. Diggle can put on the suit and shoot arrows, but that doesn't mean he's Oliver. He misses the truck, and it gets away, although Harper does catch one of the two men. At the Arrowcave, Roy speaks aloud what everyone is thinking…"what if Oliver isn't coming back?"

Well, I guess the show can still be called Arrow after all. The flashbacks show more of Oliver's time in Hong Kong. Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) scolds Oliver and Maseo regarding their last mission, which ended with China White (Kelly Hu) gaining possession of a powerful weapon and kidnapping Tatsu (Rila Fukushima). Waller assigns Oliver and Maseo to head up a team and steal a component of the weapon from the Chinese military.

Roy_FelicityMeanwhile, in present time, Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is testing the first part of his A.T.O.M. suit, but it isn't going well. In walks Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) who is less than thrilled about a man she cares about risking his life as a vigilante given that Oliver is still missing.

Felicity meets with Roy and Diggle and tracks down the truck driver that got away the night before. Roy goes to track him down while Diggle tells Felicity that it's one thing to believe in Oliver, but she needs to prepare herself for the worst. At this point we get our first glimpse of Oliver in present day…three days after the duel he is still lying on the side of the mountain when someone approaches.

BrickThe truck driver is in trouble…not from Roy but from Brick, the head of the gang he is running with. Brick gives the truck driver a fighting chance, but kills him. The partner, after having bail denied, tells Laurel (Katie Cassidy) that she doesn't scare him as much as Brick does. So, this guy is terribly afraid of Brick, but just casually tells the district attorney that he was working for Brick? Not the world's smartest criminal.

Malcolm_TheaThea (Willa Holland) continues her training with Malcolm (John Barrowman) when she stops to take a text. She is very concerned about Oliver. Malcolm offers to try and find out where Oliver is.

Roy and John go to try and take out Brick, this time ditching Oliver's suit. They don't find anything other than a piece of paper with some numbers and part of a blueprint. They return to the Arrowcave to find it open. Felicity hopes it's Oliver, but instead it's Malcolm Merlyn. He tells them that he is just there to talk. He asks them if they have heard from Oliver. When told that they haven't, Malcolm tells the crew that probably means Oliver is dead; Ra's doesn't take prisoners. Felicity pretty much ignores this and continues working on finding a pattern for the numbers Roy and John found. Laurel walks in with the medical results for the dead truck driver. They tell her about Oliver, and she also believes he will be back.

SwordMalcolm travels to the fight location and finds Ra's' sword sticking out of the ground where he left it after winning the fight. He reports back to the group at the Arrowcave and gives them the sword to test for Oliver's blood. He apologizes for leading Oliver to his death, and reminds them that, since Oliver lost, the death mark remains on Merlyn. Felicity tests the blood, and finds a match for Oliver.

In the flashback, Oliver and Maseo are in a shootout with the Triad. Maseo tells Oliver to go with the component while Maseo provides cover. Oliver runs into one of the Triad, and spares his life. Waller will not be happy about this.

John continues to work the case, and Roy wonders whether they should bother with Oliver dead. Diggle finds a match for the numbers…they are case numbers for enforcers awaiting trial, and the blueprints are for the evidence storeroom.

Felicity tells Ray that his plan won't work…using the suit to fight crime won't bring back his dead fiancee. She tells him that there is no way to bring someone back after they are gone; that risking his life isn't what the fiancee would have wanted. Ray shows real anger for the first time, telling Felicity that she has no right to tell Ray what the fiancee would have wanted.

diggle_royDiggle and Roy head to the warehouse, with the robbery already in progress. Roy and Diggle get into a firefight with the bad guys (with some help from Felicity watching through the cameras). Diggle is cornered by Brick and the two get into a fight. Diggle is getting the worst of it when Roy saves him. Brick gets in the truck to drive away with the evidence when the garage door shuts behind him, blocking Roy and Diggle. Turns out, that was Felicity, trying to save their lives. They are pissed, but she tells them she can't do this without Oliver.

We return to the mountains where Oliver died. Someone is pounding on a door, it's Maseo, with Oliver on a stretcher. He tells the person at the door "I'm sorry, but I had no one else to turn to and he needs your help."

Felicity apologizes to Ray, tells him that she lost a friend, her second in the past three months. She doesn't want to lose Ray too. If he is going to go out there as a vigilante, she won't help.

Diggle tells Laurel that Oliver isn't coming back. She asks if he is going to continue the fight, but he doesn't know. For the first time since he met Oliver, he doesn't know what happens next. He still considered himself Oliver's bodyguard. John leaves, and Laurel sees Sara's equipment.

Malcolm tells Thea that he hasn't heard anything about Oliver, but that they need to leave Starling City and never return.

Brick tells the people he freed that they are working for him now, since he still has the evidence against them (that explains why he didn't just torch the warehouse). His plan is to take over the Glades, which seems like a bit of a letdown. I mean, in the first season, Merlyn basically destroyed the Glades. In the second season, Slade Wilson tried to destroy the entire city. Now, in season three, the bad guy just wants to run the Glades? Seems like the stakes are getting a little smaller here. I'm guessing Brick is only around for a couple more episodes, then Ra's al Gul will decide to destroy the city as payback for something.

Anyway, we get our first glimpse of Laurel as the Canary. She shows up and kicks the crap out of two of Brick's men. Seems like she learned awfully fast. It's been maybe two months since she started training, part-time, and she can already take on two professional enforcers? Yeah, ok, lets not dwell on that. At least Laurel is finally doing something interesting.

In the last flashback, Amanda is upset that Oliver let the man get away. Only Oliver didn't just do it out of kindness, he put a tracker on the man so that he and Maseo can try to find Tatsu. Now we know why Maseo is helping him in the present. I guess they saved her, because the episode ends, in the present day, waking up to see Tatsu. Maseo tells Oliver that he asked Tatsu to come, in order to bring Oliver back to life.

Can we get a John Diggle spinoff show? You would think it would be risky for a show to leave its star on the sidelines for most of an episode, especially one as charismatic as Stephen Amell. But David Ramsey is up to the task. The scenes between Diggle and Felicity were among the best of the episode. David Ramsey can pull off the humor, the action and the emotion to carry the show.

Meanwhile, can Felicity Smoak please get a break sometime soon? So far this season, she has had nothing but heartbreak. First nearly getting Oliver after being in love with him for so long, only to see it fall apart, then she gets the news that Sara died, then she finds out her ex-lover is still alive but totally evil and now Oliver is dead. Luckily, Emily Bett Rickards has proven capable of handling it. I don't know if Rickards is that much better of an actress than Katie Cassidy and Willa Holland, or if Felicity's character is better written, but there is a huge difference between emotional scenes featuring Felicity and those with Laurel and Thea. Too often, the writers have a big scene between Laurel and Oliver or her father, or between Thea and Oliver or (last season) her mother, and it would be tedious to watch. Meanwhile, Rickards manages to take the audience on the emotional journey with her.

I assume that Diggle, Arsenal and the new Canary will join forces to take out Brick and his gang within the next two episodes. Either that, or Oliver will come back just in time to help. Brick just isn't enough of a threat to last more than an episode with Oliver. But where exactly does Ray fit in? I can't imagine that Oliver will be too thrilled to have another super hero, an inexperienced one at that, working in Starling City. And once he learns that it's Palmer, the man who took his company and possibly his woman….Will they team up to take down a big enemy (Ra's al Gul? Amanda Palmer?) at the end of the season before Ray leaves town?

Now for the big question….exactly how did Tatsu bring Oliver back to life? He had to have been actually dead…he was out there with no food and no medical treatment for three days. It doesn't appear to be a Lazarus Pit. Hopefully, we will find out next week.

Rich Epstein writes for Bleeding Cool. He can be found on twitter at @kaspe_r11.

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Hannah Means ShannonAbout Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.
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