Arrow Season 3 Episode 20 Review: The Fallen

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To quote Felicity, "That happened."

While we'll definitely talk about the moments that are keeping GIF makers busy for days to come, we'll also do a lot of theorizing about everything in the hour might mean to the overarching story. 

During Arrow Season 3 Episode 20 the theme was most certainly death and rebirth, but the ramifications of this hour will most likely be felt for some time to come.

Olicity Sex! - Arrow Season 3 Episode 20

Thea made it out of the attack by Ra's, but her long-term prognosis was essentially organ donation. Sarab sent out a smoke signal and before you knew it Oliver and his closest friends were on their way to Nanda Parbat to save Thea with the "healing" waters of the Lazarus Pit. 

It wasn't without a fight as Diggle, Felicity and even Malcolm tried to talk Oliver out of putting Thea through the Pit treatment. For Malcom to be that afraid of the Pit and risk losing Thea, even considering it was his harebrained scheme that got them all into the mess, was telling.

All things considered, it went relatively well. Too well. Thea popped out of the Pit like a leap frog, but by the end of the hour her memory was mostly in tact. It's highly doubtful we've seen the last of the effects of the Pit. 

As payment for saving Thea's life (the one Ra's took), Oliver promised to become the Heir to the Demon. Felicity didn't take kindly to that notion, and oddly enough it was her attempt to read Ra's the riot act that led her to Oliver's room to say goodbye. I think. Surely it gave her the idea to go there and formulate her plan.

At first it appeared she was there merely to bolster him Felicity-style, give him the pep talk he needed to go through with his terribly difficult decision and really say goodbye as Ra's suggested. 

I wish that I could change your mind about staying here, but I know I can't. Just like I know that leaving you here is going to destroy me. I don't regret a single moment. And you shouldn't either. You have done so much. You have saved so many people's lived and you have changed so many for the better, including mine. Knowing you has changed my life. You've opened up my heart in a way I didn't even know was possible. I love you.


There is absolutely no doubt that Felicity loves Oliver and wanted to give herself to him, especially when faced with the thought she may never see him again. But you have to admit how cute it was that she took his mind off of her intelligence with her body. With as much as she loves him, how could he not think she'd try to save him from himself?

Because after making love (an assumption on my part, as said lovemaking was cut tragically short by another terrible flashback that appeared to serve not a single point), Felicity drugged Oliver and attempted to get him the hell out of Nanda Parbat.

The hilarity of that moment rests on the reactions of Diggle and Malcolm. They were shocked, but neither of them was about to get in the way of a woman in love. Malcolm even took to rolling his eyes as he fought off League of Assassin members in the catacombs. Still they plunged on. Until Oliver woke up just in time to save them all from the LoA.

You told me once that life is precious and you wanted more from it than I could offer you. Don't give up on that. The only way that I'm gonna survive this is if I know that you're out there living your life, happy.


Tearful goodbyes were said and everyone left Oliver to become Al Sah-him on Nanda Parbat. It was a little confusing, honestly, how Ra's al Ghul thought Oliver taking the name Al Sah-him and having an Arrow burned into his skin would help him to forget his past when Oliver Queen was so intertwined with the Arrow that he was unable to tell where one left off and the other began and he spent all of his time as the Arrow with his closest friends and the woman he loves.

Oliver Queen is dead, eventually to be reborn as Ra's al Ghul. For now, only the Arrow, Al Sah-him, shall remain. Al Sah-him, Heir to the Demon.

Ra's al Ghul

You'd think Ra's would want him to take the name The Sharpshooter and give him a big-ass gun and burn a bullet on his back. It may not be his weapon of choice now, but we know he can use one and it would surely take his mind off the past. The Oliver I know has a thing for flashing back to the past. Constantly recalling his life as the Arrow is only going to remind him of Oliver Queen. I digress.

Rounding out the rebirth theme from Queen children was Maseo, whose life was saved because he had already had the pleasure of rebirth. His just didn't take well. He offered himself up as a sacrifice to save Oliver's friends (which could have only been Malcolm, sadly) and Ra's gave him a pass for transgressing back to Maseo for a bit. Will Oliver eventually get that same free pass a couple, 15, 34 times?

A lot happened during "The Fallen," but most of it was relationship driven and didn't necessarily lead us up to the next hour. That's what I'm interested in.

Finally, Felicity's past propping up Laurel when she needed a friend paid off. Felicity had somewhere to go when she needed a shoulder to cry on. We have a true and solid female friendship on Arrow. It can now be considered a genuine two-way street. I look forward to Laurel helping Felicity more in the coming weeks.

Exactly what will Team Arrow be feeling as they're left behind? Now is the time an episode should be named as such as it was a conscious decision on Oliver's part to move on. He may not have felt he had a choice, but it was made none the less. 

We've often wondered where Diggle fit into the team. He has worn the costume before; is there any chance he would learn to shoot and become the Arrow permanently? Could a relationship between the League of Assassins and Team Arrow be formed that was conducive to rubbing out evil? That would change the landscape of the show forever.

What does the future hold for Felicity and...Al Sah-him? Fel-him! At what point does she stop waiting and say enough is enough? If Oliver reemerges again, it would be awfully hard to trust a guy that is constantly tested to the nth degree and rushing off, putting your love on hold. She would always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Hell, there aren't enough feet for as many shoes have dropped on their relationship plans.

Finally, Malcolm's story needs to wrap up. The fact he gets to have even a partially happy ending with his daughter is unfair in the face of all Oliver has done and all he has lost in comparison. That doesn't mean I have the foggiest idea how his chapter should end.

We know the team will carry on. They are a man down with Roy gone. Who will fill the void? Will there be a heroic version of squinterns, rotating in and out? Nyssa one week, then ATOM, then Barry can pay a visit as The Flash? Will Wildcat reappear? Will Thea be well enough to become Speedy?

After you've finished squeeeeing about Felicity and Oliver, drop a comment about what you think is next for the team, whether anyone should become Arrow in Oliver's absence, how the LoA will fit in and if Felicity should wait forever for her man.

Arrow Season 3 Episode 21 will be called "Al Sah-him." It's time to get used to the new, if unfamiliar, name!

Remember, you can watch Arrow online any time via TV Fanatic if you need to catch up!

The Fallen Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 3 Episode 20 Quotes

Welcome home Al Sah-him

Ra's al Ghul

Malcolm: The waters change a person in the soul. Even if they work, the Thea you get back would not be the one we lost.
Oliver: The one we lost because of you!