Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 9 - What We Leave Behind

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


When Curtis is attacked in his secret identity, it becomes clear that Prometheus has identified all the members of Team Arrow. Little do they realize this is the work of  Artemis, who has turned traitor in order to avenge her parents on the man she still blames for their deaths - Oliver Queen!  Meanwhile, Felicity and Detective Baldwin discover a clue to Prometheus' identity in Oliver's past... but will the revelation come soon enough to save them?


Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (superhero team brought down by a traitorous new recruit) and the many pharmaceutical scandals involving Martin Shkreli.


The ensemble all do a great job here. Probably the best moment, however, is the group hug at the end where we see just how close this ensemble has become over the past eight episodes.


The script for the episode is brilliant, with a lot of quotable dialogue and powerful scenes.

The special effects in the scene in which Prometheus splits one of Green Arrow's arrows with a throwing star are brilliantly executed, as are the slow-motion effects used for the flip Prometheus does.

The shot of Green Arrow silhouetted against the fire in the third segment is a great one.

The editing, direction and cinematography for the sequence in which Oliver is made to retrace his steps from four years early to confront Prometheus are astonishing. Ditto the fight between the two which follows.


Artemis' betrayal of Team Arrow resembles that of Terra betraying The Teen Titans in the classic story The Judas Contract.

Justin Claybourne seems to have been inspired by real-world pharmaceutical company executive Martin Shkreli. Shkreli achieved infamy in 2014 after his company acquired the rights to Thiola - a drug used to treat the rare disease cystinuria. Patients with the disease need to take 10-15 of the pill daily. Originally, the pills were sold for $1.50 each. Shkreli hiked the price to $30 a pill.

After being fired by the company he worked for, Shkreli founded his own pharmaceutical corporation in 2015 and did the same thing again, hiking up the price on drug Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.

It should be noted that Martin Shkreli has never released a viral weapon in order to increase his company's profits. Few would be surprised, however, if he did.


Prometheus injected Curtis with a drug called Dycloseral, which is used to treat tuberculosis.

Rory uses a DNA sequencer to analyze the bone fragments and ashes they found among Prometheus' belongings.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Artemis walks in on Prometheus, who is sharpening a sword.)
Artemis: I brought what you asked for. Addresses are on the back.
(Prometheus gets up and approaches Artemis. He takes the objects she holds and moves to a wall where a pyramid of photos is set up with Oliver Queen at the top and the rest of Team Arrow under him. He adds the photos to the pyramid, with Quentin Lance, Thea Queen, John Diggle and Felicity Smoak on the first level and the rest of Team Arrow under them.)
Artemis: I took those last two myself.
(Prometheus says nothing as he returns to his table.)
Artemis: What? That's it? We had a deal. I get you the intel. I get to be there when you take him down.
Prometheus: You think you can make demands of me?
Artemis: No. No, of course not. I know he's your kill... but I want to watch him die.
Prometheus: You haven't been listening. I'm not going to kill him.
(Prometheus throws a knife, which goes into the eye of the picture of Oliver Queen on the wall.)
Prometheus: I'm going to make him wish he was dead.

(After Thea is rather standoffish to Susan Williams.)
Ollie: She's... I mean,  she's just being... protective.
Susan: Well, to be fair I didn't make the best first impression.
Ollie: Well, I, of all people, understand that doing your job means pissing people off. It just means you're doing it well.

Rene: (Looking at John Jr.) Cute kid.
John: Yeah. He gets it from his mom.
Rene: I figured.
(John gives Rene a smirk. Rene returns it and nods as if to say, "Just messing with you.")
Rene: Must be uh... weird finding out about Flashpoint?
John: Yeah. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, man. I should be used to all the unusual things around here. Especially after last week, but... I could never imagine a daughter.
(John Jr. says something and starts to open one of his presents. Both men watch him.)
Rene: Being a father is the best thing in the world. Especially around the holidays.

(Ollie describes how Justin Claybourne has hiked the price on a vital medication in a time of medical emergency.)
John: Well, it's disgusting, but not illegal.
Ollie: (slammnig his book on the table-top) Claybourne is on The List. I'm not worried about illegal.
John: Just because your father wrote down his name?!
Ollie: My father explained this list. These are terrible people.
John: How would you know that? I thought he was dead?
Ollie: I am going to make sure that Claybourne isn't gouging people.
John: And what if he refuses to cooperate?
Ollie: You ask that like he has a choice.

Rory: You think Prometheus is Justin Claybourne?
Rene: Is that possible?!
Felicity: Well, in our town people who are dead turn out to be secretly alive almost every Wednesday.

(Artemis has just shot the gun from Wild Dog's hand.)
Green Arrow: Evelyn... why?
Artemis: Because you're not a hero. You're a fraud. This city needs to be saved from you!

(After Felicity gives them both a long, complicated and rushed explanation of how to use a DNA sequencer.)
Rory: Did you get all that?
Rene: You're the smart one, remember?

The Hood: Justin Claybourne - you have failed this city!
Claybourne: I - I think you got the wrong guy, pal. My company makes drugs that help people.
The Hood: Not the people in Lamb Valley.
Claybourne: That's not my problem some people can't afford it...
The Hood: It is now!
(The Hood forces Claybourne over a table and picks up a lit welding torch, holding it near Claybourne's face.)
The Hood: Your days of holding this city's health hostage are over! Do you understand me?!
Claybourne: Okay! Okay! Yes!
(The Hood allows Claybourne to stand.)
The Hood: You have until 11 PM tomorrow to make this right/
Claybourne: What happens if I don't?
(The Hood spins around and shoots Claybourne in the leg with an arrow. Claybourne falls to the ground screaming.)
The Hood: I'll aim higher.

(Ollie had just discovered that Justin Claybourne created an outbreak in order to sell his drugs.)
Ollie: He created the marketplace, Diggle. And he didn't care who died in the process.
John: And now you're going to kill him?
Ollie: How can you read what's in that folder and have a problem with that?
John: Have you thought about the ramifications of your actions? Of actually crossing names off your list? Of being judge, jury and executioner?
Ollie: Men like Claybourne buy judges! They buy juries! The law doesn't apply to them!
John: I'm not saying that you don't do some good...
Ollie: So what are you saying?
John: What I'm saying is that one day your actions may have some unintended consequences.

Thea: There's two types of every legacy. Two versions of what we leave behind. There's the good and then the bad. You just have a really lousy habit of focusing only on the bad.

Claybourne: You gonna tell me again I failed this city?
The Hood: You infected the people of Lamb Valley to turn a profit!
Claybourne: You want to make a city great again? This is how - with business, money.
The Hood: You are sentencing innocent families... children to death.
Claybourne: Nobody cares about those people. They're a blight... And I'm just thinning the herd.
The Hood: So am I.
(The Hood shoots Claybourne, sending his body flying into a swimming pool as a bell tolls in the distance.)

Prometheus: Did you hesitate at all when you killed him? Or was he just another name you crossed off your list?
Green Arrow: If you want revenge, I'm right here.
Prometheus: This is about so much more than revenge...

Prometheus: You're not a hero. You're a killer. And I'm going to show them that. I'm going to show them how everything you touch dies.

(Oliver has just confessed to the rest of Team Arrow that he killed Billy Malone.)
Felicity: (speaking firmly, steeling herself through her tears) This was Prometheus. This was all him.
Ollie: He's trying to prove to me that everyone I - I - I come in contact with...everyone close to me dies. And he's right! And... I think that, uh...  I think that all of you should get as far away from me as you possibly can.
(Everyone looks at one another as John moves to Ollie and puts a hand on his shoulder.)
John: Oliver, we are exactly where we are supposed to be.
(John hugs Oliver as Thea puts a hand on John's back while hugging Felicity with one arm as Rory, Rene and Curtis move in for a group hug.)


Thea refers to the events of 308 (her and Ollie agreeing not to talk about the aliens anymore) and 109 (Moira Queen's amazing Christmas parties).

Curtis has been claiming that he and Felicity are working on a tech start-up together to excuse his late nights to his husband.

It is suggested, but not confirmed, that Wild Dog has children.

Ollie's favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. His second favorite is It's A Wonderful Life.

In his first year back in Star City, The Hood targeted a man named Justin Claybourne. Claybourne was the head of a pharmaceutical company who hiked the price on a drug used to treat tuberculosis.

Oliver later learned that Claybourne was working with The AK Desmond Group - a black-market firm that developed biological weapons. Under Claybourne's direction, they released a weaponized strand of tuberculosis with the intent on causing an increased demand for the drugs he made.

There is some suggestion that Claybourne was a racist/classist who hoped to kill poor minorities with his actions.

Prometheus kept bone fragments and crematory ashes among his belongings in the old Claybourne building. Analysis later determines that they belonged to Justin Claybourne.

Neither Rory nor Rene knows how to run a DNA sequencer. Rory is able to figure it out, however.

Billy Malone is able to send Felicity a photo of a baby boy he finds in the Claybourne building before he is abducted by Prometheus.

Oliver authorizes a "shoot to kill" order for the SCPD regarding Prometheus, at Adrian Chase's urging.

Felicity identifies the baby picture as that of Justin Claybourne's illegitimate son, whose picture showed up in the court records of Claybourne's divorce. It is suggested - but not confirmed - that Prometheus is this illegitimate son.

Oliver recognizes the flip that Prometheus did as a maneuver that was taught to him by a woman in Russia in five years earlier. This suggests that Prometheus has spent four years seeking out the same people who trained Oliver Queen in order to match him.

Oliver once tried to land a helicopter on the grounds at the US Open to help Tommy impress Maria Sharapova. This caused Robert Queen to blow a huge acquisitions deal because he had to leave to bail Ollie out of prison. Thea recalls this as being the most disappointed their father ever was in Oliver.

The red pen which Oliver recalled during their first date (in 301) Felicity chewing on when they first met (in 103) makes an appearance in both the modern day and the flashback.

Felicity tracked the AK Desmond Group to 1853 West Maple Street. - the 30th Floor four years earlier. It is here that Oliver discovers Prometheus' lair in the modern day.

Oliver accidentally kills Billy Malone, who is set up as a target by Prometheus.

Oliver tells the rest of Team Arrow the truth about how he killed Billy. Felicity says that she blames Prometheus - not him.  To a person, the team refuse to abandon Oliver.

Curtis' husband Paul leaves him.

John Diggle is lured into an ambush at an ARGUS safe-house and facing off against a SWAT team as the episode ends.

Oliver goes to Susan Williams apartment and vents to her about being told that he causes everyone around him to die.

The camera lingers on Susan William deliberately selecting a certain bottle from her liquor collection after she prepares a drink for Oliver. This suggests that she may have given him a doctored drink.

When Oliver returns to The Bunker, he sees Laurel Lance.

Untelevised Adventures

The flashbacks in this episode depict an unseen adventure from Season One, where Oliver went after a corrupt pharmaceutical CEO named Justin Claybourne.

The Bottom Line

A solid stopping point for the season.  The action sequences are fantastic and the performances are wonderful across the board. The only real flaw is that the subplots involving Billy Malone's relationship with Felicity and Paul dumping Curtis seem somewhat forced into the narrative since we've had almost no time to recognize Billy as a presence (much less as a character) in the past eight episodes and this is the first sign we've seen of Curtis' night-life affecting his marriage all season.

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