‘Arrow’ 8×03 Review: “Leap of Faith”

Welcome to Arrow world! This week’s episode, “Leap of Faith” focuses on Oliver’s wonderful emotional development and, although with some plots that feel disconnected from the main ones, it gives us great moments among the Queen siblings, in addition to leaving us with honey in our lips with a scene that changes EVERYTHING.

Here we go!

The trip to Nanda Parbat brings with it the meeting of the Queen siblings, who remain as cute as ever. The first thing Oliver does is show her the picture of Felicity and Mia, worn out from all the times he’s pulled it out. He shows her the photo with pride, and with an infinite love.

And they talk about the importance of Mia’s name, it’s for Moira but also for Thea. Oliver and Felicity wanted to pay tribute to two of the most important people in their lives and two of the most loved people for Oliver. And it is beautiful. Oliver speaks of his family with pride, with love, but also with nostalgia … he would not want anything else in the world than to be with them now, by their side … but he cannot do it, and that is killing him.

The siblings catch up and give us an explanation of where Nyssa and Roy are. It’s good that they remember these details and leave nothing to chance. These little details are tremendously important in an art like writing. Through the conversation between Thea and Oliver, we learned that Nyssa had an important commitment (ahem, ahem, training Mia) and that Roy comes and goes … although he never disappears from Thea’s life.

It’s really nice to see how the connection between the characters is not lost, even if they are separated for a long time. Both have missed each other, in fact, they didn’t know how much until they have seen and embraced each other, until they have spoken and felt once again anchored to the world.

In this show, happiness lasts a short time … so Talia appears immediately, and the three embark on a quest that leads us to see a scroll too magical for Arrow. The League always has a great dose of mystery and magic. But I don’t think a scroll that, when its burned, turns into a map fits in the show. I’ve found this something too fanciful for a show as real as Arrow.

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After this fraternal conversation, the next important scene between them is the moment when Oliver becomes the overprotective brother he has always been and doesn’t listen to Thea when she tells him that she can take care of herself.

Right now, Oliver is repeating past mistakes when deciding for Thea something that only corresponds to her. Of course he cares about her well-being, but he must rely on her own capacity for decision and survival.

But Oliver, even if he gets on our nerves with these things, we love him precisely for them. When he explains to Thea his reasons everything makes sense. With the voice torn with pain and with tears in his eyes, he confesses to Thea everything he keeps for himself. Leaving his family has been the most difficult of all he has done, he misses them so much …

Leaving them is a burden, a lacerating wound that never heals and will never close. It’s like a red-hot knife and a knot in his chest that pierces his heart. He misses them, he needs them … but Thea is also his family, and he needs to be as certain as he can that his whole family is safe and that his sacrifice is worth it. 

This is the moment when Thea talks about their parents. They did a lot of bad things … but they protected them the only way they knew. They are who they are today in large part because of their parents. Oliver may not be 100% sure that everyone is safe, simply because no one can. No one knows the future or what can happen but what Oliver can be sure of is that his sacrifice will be worth it. His children, Felicity and herself will be different people thanks to his sacrifice.

Besides this, I think Oliver is reluctant to let Thea go. He resists believing that she no longer needs him, because that would mean he would have to let her go her way and he would have to say goodbye. Therefore, he tries to convince himself that Thea needs him.

Oliver sees Thea about to kill Talia and at that time, he doesn’t recognize in Thea the little sister who was so desperate to protect, if not that he realizes that she, as Thea never tired of repeating him, has her own resources. This means that Oliver realizes that, although being overprotective is something intimate in him, he must trust that the people he loves know how to fight their own battles, because Thea no longer needs him. So much so that Thea herself, along with a surprised Talia has proposed to reformulate the League, and give it a much more heroic and feminine touch. Thus was born the League of Heroes. I think this new League will be decisive in future episodes, and perhaps in the great Crisis that is approaching.

But if there has been a moment that has made us cry in dismay, it has been the farewell between Thea and Oliver. He is willing to fight for his life and to safeguard the entire universe, even if that is tremendously dangerous. But Thea says something that shows Oliver’s growth. He confesses that he is no longer alone. Oliver always thought he was and never let anyone in, fought his own battles alone. He has learned to let himself be helped, he has learned to work as a team.

That’s when Oliver says goodbye to Thea for the last time, and lets her go. He hugs her tight, almost hurting her, just to feel her. Close his eyes in the middle of that hug, trying to hold back the tears so that Thea doesn’t realize that he was saying goodbye definitely. Oliver knows that getting out of all this is almost impossible … he knows that he is going to die, and that this is most likely that is the last time he sees Thea. Oliver knows he has to say goodbye. And he tells her, in a torn voice, he says goodbye to another part of his family, to another part of him. Just as he had to do with William, with Felicity, with Mia, with Moira, with Tommy … it’s like reliving that hell over and over again.

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But Oliver says goodbye … and lets her go, even if that kills him inside, he lets her go to go her own way. He has been trying not to do the whole episode, trying to convince himself that his sister needed him by her side … trying not to leave. But he had to do it, his sister will always want him by her side, but she doesn’t need him anymore. He knows that his sister cannot be in better hands: her own. 

Thea is not dumb and realizes all this. She knows that Oliver is saying goodbye, so he wants to make it clear that she will always be there and that she misses him so much … she also breaks during that farewell, but must do the same thing he has done: she must let his brother go.

In the future, Mia was mortally worried about William, and that has led her to make decisions that she might not have taken if she had not been carried away by fear. For Mia, William is that part of herself that was missing and she never knew it was until she met him. She is his only family … she promised her mother and herself to take care of him and protect him. She is so afraid of losing him … so much … she is terrified. And terror and fear always lead us to make wrong decisions. Mia just can’t help it.

That is the reason why she gets mad when they mention the possibility that William is the bait to kill JJ. It’s too risky … she can’t lose William and she just can’t afford to lose anyone else. Therefore, Mia makes an even more risky decision for everyone.

Zoey has realized everything that has happened. She understands Mia’s terror, understands how far she is willing to go to protect her brother, because she would do the same. That is why, despite not agreeing, she supports Mia in her plan. Zoey has seen through that facade that Mia puts on so that nobody gets too close to her. Her brother has managed to penetrate her heart, and Zoey knows that Mia can’t afford to lose him. She has seen beyond, has managed to look at what Mia insists on hiding in an attempt to protect herself and she understands it perfectly.

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Mia has somehow become someone whom Zoey appreciates, a reluctant friend. A friend who understands her and is aware of how much Mia has suffered, and that she has reached her own limit. She is a friend who will never tell her that she knows, but that she will notice when Mia needs it. That is why Zoey talks to Mia and advises her not to be carried away by fear. It is understandable what she feels, but to be a leader you have to keep a cool head in the most delicate moments. When you get carried away by fear … you’re lost.

This scene has reminded me both of Diggle and Oliver … Mia is like her father, willing to protect everyone she loves and Zoey is the voice of her conscience, the voice of reason when dark fear fills the mind and heart of Mia, just like Diggle always does with Oliver.

Special mention to the little winks to Felicity of her two children, that “oh, frack!” by Mia, or the detail of the electrified floor. I confess that those little moments give me LIFE.

Mia wants to make sure William understands that she trusts him. What she fears is his safety, not his betrayal. William thanks the gesture because the truth is that, even if he didn’t say it, he thought that Mia considered him inferior because he didn’t know how to fight and protected him like a child. But there is nothing further from reality.

Mia fears for him, she can’t lose him. Everyone takes the risk but he is different, it feels different because he is her brother. The only family left. 

Mia has always felt so alone … but she found her brother, her family and, despite all her reluctance, she no longer feels that lacerating loneliness that punctured her every moment of the day. Losing her only family, having promised herself and her mother that she would protect him and not lose him … she just thinking about it is more than she can bear.

William finally understands everything, and makes her see that he feels exactly the same for her. For him, she is also the only bond she feels with her family, with the world itself. He also felt very lonely until he met her. However, it also makes her understand that the work they are doing needs not to be carried away by fear.

The fear that both have that something really bad can happen to the other will never disappear, it is something that will be there … but they must learn to face it to keep a cool head. They must let the trust they have built, the trust that both can fight their own battles and that the other will always be there to help in whatever is necessary, be the basis by which they are guided to work together. There is no other solution. And Mia understands and tries to internalize it, because she knows that William is right. If they get carried away by fear, things are sure to go badly.

At the end of the mission everything gets out of control and JJ kills Zoey after she saves Mia. This is tremendously important, because it opens an emotional arc for Mia. Surely, Mia will feel guilty for having decided on that plan without listening to anyone else and because Zoey died saving her. Of course, Mia is not to blame for anything but, as we learned with Oliver, being or not being really guilty of something doesn’t make a difference with the Queen family when it comes to feeling guilty.

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Also, by the time Zoey was dying, Mia realized how important she had become for her. She has realized that she cared and that Zoey, like William, had also sneaked into one of the cracks in her armor and losing her … it was too much. Zoey had become someone important to Mia, even if she didn’t expect it or want it. Mia has lost so many loved ones in her life … and now she lost Zoey.

Zoey’s murder also affects Connor, who clung to one last hope of humanity in his brother. After seeing him kill Zoey in cold blood, he no longer contemplates a possible redemption for his brother, but neither can he kill him. It’s his brother, they’ve been through so many things together … it’s his family, how can he kill his own family? It is not an easy decision. His father had to take that decision with his brother Andy, and a part of his heart went with him. Do you think that JJ can still be redeemed?

Zoey’s murder is a blow to everyone … but they can’t assimilate it. Suddenly, they are in the bunker … but in 2019 Star City, right in front of their parents. This scene is SPECTACULAR. I CAN’T STOP SCREAMING.

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It was a long-awaited moment that I didn’t think was going to arrive before the crossover, but here we are. Mia’s voice inflection asking “Dad?” is a mixture of so many things. It is a mixture of surprise, confusion, longing and … hope. Mia has always wanted to meet her father, to know how he was, just … to hug him. But she has never been able to do it. She has always heard her mother talk about him with so much love, she has always seen how others admired him and she longed to meet him, she longed for him to love her as much as he loved his mother and the city for which he sacrificed.

At first, she hated him for not being by her side, for not giving her the opportunity to meet him, to admire him and to love him. Then she understood the reasons why her father sacrificed himself, but still yearned to meet him for herself, not through other people … something she knew would not be possible.

But Mia was wrong, her father is there in front of her eyes. And that longing she had forced herself to forget comes to the surface with all its might; along with the hope … only the hope that Oliver loves her as much as he loved his mother, that he loves her as much as she, even unwittingly, loves him.

Mia is hoping that she is as important to her father as he is to her. And now more than ever she needs a hug from someone she loves, from someone who anchors her here and now. Now, more than ever, she needs to stop pretending to posses a strength she doesn’t feel and just let herself be embraced by someone she loves. Mia needs to let go of in the arms of someone who loves and trusts her as much as she loves and trusts him. In that love, and that trust that can only be found in a father. And William feels exactly the same. They leave us biting our nails until we see the next episode.

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Diggle and Lyla embark on a solo mission to help Connor and his mother. The truth is that it is a mission that takes us out of context because it is not known very well why they have shown us this, at least for now. Surely, in the future everything will make sense, but right now this plot appears too disconnected from the rest of the episode.

That said, it has been nice to see the couple remember everything that has happened to get where they are now.

The parallelism that weakly connected this plot with the rest of the episode is Diggle’s attempt to overprotect Lyla. He doesn’t want her to risk more than necessary. This is not very typical of him but seeing the destruction of Earth 2, seeing all those important people simply disappear…something has changed in him.

Somehow he is more aware that everything can disappear in the blink of an eye. Lyla, along with his children, is his world and simply can’t even think of something happening to her, thinking about it is too painful. He is terrified of losing Lyla.

She is the one who imposes some reason on this matter. Nobody knows what can happen, nobody knows the future. Life is about enjoying, squeezing every last second with our loved ones. Life is about not leaving things without saying, because a minute later it may be too late.

However, Lyla has a golden opportunity at this time to confess to Diggle that she is working with the Monitor, but does not. I saw in her eyes that this secret weighs on her … but she doesn’t share the weight with her husband. I think Lyla thinks she can’t tell him and I’d like to know why, because Diggle deserves to know.

Diggle, later, acknowledges that Lyla was right. They must enjoy their moments together. A life of risk is the life they have chosen but together, they are stronger than separated and they must rely on each other to fight their struggles.

What makes my hair stand on end are Lyla’s words. She stares at John’s eyes and makes him look at her. Thus, eye-to-eye, she makes him promise that whatever happens, he will remember the good times. These words, along with Diggle’s reply saying that none of them are going anywhere and Lyla’s previous words about enjoying life, sound like a goodbye.

Why? Will something happen to Lyla? Some of these little clues may indicate that. Maybe the Monitor has not only seen Oliver’s death, but also Lyla’s and that is why she is working with him. Or maybe Lyla only refers to the secret she keeps and wants John to remember that he loves her when he discovers everything she hides.

I only say one thing: DON’T TOUCH LYLA!

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As for the stunts, they continue to a great level, as it’s customary so far in the season. However, the truth is that there is a small drop in quality compared to the previous episode (which was incredible), since the stunts of this episode have sometimes felt repetitive. But they continue to maintain a level more than high. To emphasize in this section, the stunts of Oliver and Mia … and I would add Thea.

In conclusion, what this episode leaves us with is its emotional background, the reunion between siblings, possible clues to the future and, of course, a shocking and highly anticipated final scene. However, the background plot in which these points have been developed wasn’t amazing. The League was never one of my favorite plots, and I haven’t missed Nanda Parbat at all. Seeing it again has not been to my liking, and has only been worth it for the interactions between Thea and Oliver, which are gold. But I don’t think a plot like the League, with all its opacity and magic, fit in a series like Arrow.

The solo mission of Lyla and Diggle also takes us out of context because we don’t understand very well what is happening and what this whole plot is about. When we hear the name of Connor, we imagine that everything links to the future … but we don’t understand very well what this couple’s mission shows us, beyond making us suspect Lyla’s words and giving the couple a few moments together. Although I’m sure that this plot, so disconcerting in today’s episode, will make sense in the future.

That said, this episode has had great moments like Lyla’s words, which makes us speculate many things that could happen; the conversations between Oliver and Thea, emotionally developing Oliver, and that last scene that has been wonderful, and made me scream with emotion. The wigs are on Mars right now. That last scene leaves us wanting more.

All the plots have been well developed and treated, each having its necessary time and a good development, however, that is all overshadowed by a rather bland plot with the background of the League, which has never managed to fit into the show, and with a solo plot of Diggle and Lyla, for now, disconcerting.

Agree? Disagree? Don’t hesitate to discuss everything with us in the comments below!

Arrow airs on Tuesday on The CW at 9 pm.

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