TV Review: Arrow S03E20 – “The Fallen”

Hello and welcome to this week’s review of Arrow’s “The Fallen,” otherwise known as “The Episode That Takes Literally Forever to Get to the Place We All Knew It Was Going.”


The Lazarus Pit. That’s where it was going. Exactly no one is surprised at all.

This episode was less of an atrocity than its recent brethren. It suffered from a lot of high emotions and a few questionable pacing choices. Okay, a lot of questionable pacing choices. In fact, this episode never got any momentum ever because every time things got exciting there was a drastic cut to something else.


Important things that happened this episode:

  • Everyone watching instantly knows that she is going into the Lazarus Pit but for some reason we have to sit through a lot of useless flashbacks first
  • Oliver looking sad in a hospital
  • Ray Palmer being a perfect angel of light and goodness as he lets Felicity out of their relationship without ever being hurtful or bitter
  • God bless Ray Palmer seriously
  • He even lent her his jet so she could fly away with Oliver and have steamy mountain sex
  • God bless Ray Palmer
  • Team Arrow + Thea + Malcolm fly to Nanda Parbat
  • It’s all very dramatic
  • They put Thea in the Lazarus Pit
  • She has a laughable reveal as she leaps fifteen feet into the air out of at least five feet of water
  • Thea winds up with the weirdest set of memories ever
  • More on that later
  • Felicity yells at Ra’s and then makes a baby with Oliver
  • There is a useless but entertaining subplot where she drugs him and we all stumble around the fortress for about five minutes with unconscious Oliver
  • Who is suddenly helpfully conscious when we need him to be
  • Maseo helps which is nice of him
  • We all say goodbye to Oliver and fly home in Ray’s jet
  • Malcolm cosies up to Thea
  • Maseo confesses to Ra’s and promptly gets his head chopped off
  • Just kidding
  • Ra’s lets him off the hook
  • Ra’s never lets anyone off the hook?????
  • What is this show seriously
  • Oliver gets a new tattoo which is helpfully arrow-shaped

Okay, maybe ‘important’ is a bit of a stretch. There was a lot of running around, and some of it almost got to be entertaining.


Okay I’m lying. This episode was a lot of frenzied running around and a continuation of the crappy writing that has crippled this season. I’ve spoken at length about false dichotomies, plot holes, and the general abandoning of logic in this show. But there are two key pieces of episode twenty which indicate pretty clearly that the writers have no idea what they are doing, and both of them center around Thea.


First up, her memory loss. Thea comes out of the pit thinking her mother is alive, and Oliver is dead. That’s not so egregious. Seems like simple regression. There was a span of five years where Oliver was presumed dead and Moira was alive.

However, at no point in that five years did Thea know who her real father was. And at no point ever has she liked Malcolm Merlyn enough to sleepily snuggle into a pillow and tell him that she loves him.


Yet all of this happens when she comes out of the Lazarus Pit. She doesn’t even recognize Oliver, though she knows him well enough to say that her brother is dead.

Considering that Oliver Queen has looked pretty much exactly the same for at least nine years of canon, this is ridiculous. All of this is ridiculous.


This haphazard collection of memories is handwaved away with a simple “She’s confused.” But from a logical standpoint, no amount of patchwork memories would result in the reactions we see from Thea in this episode.

Oh, and then she magically has all her memories back like… ten minutes later. So there was no point in doing any of that ‘confused memories’ bit at all.


The second part is when Malcolm begs, again, for her forgiveness and a chance to earn her love. We’ve heard this song before. Multiple times. Only last time, it ended up with him brainwashing her and forcing her to kill her friend.

That is not the sort of thing you forgive. Malcolm Merlyn is not the sort of person you forgive. We have proved that. In canon.


But as usual, Arrow is ignoring its own canon for the convenience of its current plot.

The escape attempt went nowhere. The memory loss plotline went nowhere. Looks like Arrow isn’t going much of anywhere either.

Start Ray Palmer’s show already so I can abandon this one.



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About the author

Molly Race

Molly is a 24 year old teacher from the Midwest who currently resides in the West. She likes history, travel, and trying very hard not to set her baked goods on fire. She watches all science fiction religiously and advocates very loudly for good representation in race, gender, and sexuality. She loves antiheroes from the bottom of her blackened little soul.

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