The final minutes of Arrow’s midseason premiere answered a question that has been torturing us since the midseason finale yet one that we knew would ultimately be answered: When would Oliver Queen return?
We learned that Oliver was brought back to life by his flashback friends Maseo and Tatsu, but it also left us with just as many more questions regarding what happened and what will happen to Oliver in these next few episodes and the ramifications for the rest of the season.
Throughout the course of “Left Behind” we watched as a mysterious someone – who we learn to be Maseo – dragged Oliver’s dead or mostly dead body through the snow on the mountain where Ra’s al Ghul gutted him and literally pushed him off a cliff. There was a question about whether Oliver was close to death or actually dead. Honestly, I’m still not sure. But Tatsu was the one that, in Maseo’s words “brought [him] back to life,” which implies that he was dead, right?
When Oliver wakes from the dead – looking as hot as ever, I might add – he has a million questions running through his mind, but the one he voices is: “How?” That’s my question, too.
To many people’s disappointment the Lazarus Pit wasn’t used to bring Oliver back to life. But I still think it could make an appearance by season’s end. That or there must be another explanation as to how Ra’s al Ghul has survived all of this time and how Oliver returned from the dead.
As I sit here thrilled beyond belief that Oliver is alive, I can’t help but wonder how he was brought back to life and the ramifications of that process. Because, come on, you know there are some. Oliver isn’t just going to return to Starling City better than ever, embrace his friends, have an emotional, loving reunion with Felicity, and everything is going to be fine. Yeah, never going to happen. This is Arrow we’re talking about, folks.
According to spoiler pictures floating around the internet, it appears that Oliver is back and fighting alongside Roy in episode 13. So unless that’s one big hallucination Oliver Queen is back in Starling City by episode 13. So why does it take him so long to return to Starling City? He’s alive in episodes 11 and 12, so why not return immediately? I’m sure that has something to do with Maseo resurrecting Oliver most likely to the disdain of Ra’s al Ghul. Oliver is surely going to have to remain out of the limelight, which means staying away from Starling City and those that he loves (cue the angst).
Another question that has and will continue to bug me is regarding the length of time of Oliver’s absence. In the midseason premiere, we learn that it’s only been three days since Oliver left to battle Ra’s. Arrow has always been a show that keeps in real time with the audience. (As for this Wednesday’s episode, EP Marc Guggenheim said it jumps ahead one week). But we have to assume that there’s a time jump coming somewhere, which means that Team Arrow could go nearly two months believing Oliver is dead; that Oliver could go nearly two months without telling them he’s alive. I’m sure that knowledge would be enough to cause Felicity to be “mad as hell” at the end of episode 12, as teased by Guggenheim.
But the interesting thing is going to be what happens after Oliver returns home. It won’t just be about what his return does for Team Arrow but the ramifications following his apparent resurrection and the battle itself with Ra’s. Perhaps I’m taking this whole “brought back to life” thing too literally and he was merely on the brink of death, but still that thing changes you. And you best believe that this is going to affect Oliver for the remainder of the season as far as his decisions, including his identity crisis and pursuit of Felicity.
So when can we expect to see Oliver Queen reunited with his loved ones? Maybe soon. Perhaps later. But for now, let us bask in the glow of a living, breathing Oliver. The rest we can deal with later.