FULL SPOILERS AHEAD OF THE EPISODE BELOW!
The week Arrow's mid-season finale, "The Climb", premiered there was a lot of final episodes from fall's TV season; "Gotham", "[The Flash](series:1068303)", "Supernatural", and "South Park". All of which were in the same week, and I have to say of all the Season finales and Mid-Season Finales I've seen this fall this one is by far my favorite, as well as one of my favorite episodes of the series. I'll be the first to admit this season has had it's speed bumps here and there. The first four episodes were great, but the following three were definitely a noticeable drop in quality. ("The Secret Origin of Fecility Smoak" in particular I thought was very dull.) However it doesn't matter because the past two episodes have been a blast, a big shout out goes to "The Brave and the Bold" another great episode of this season.
What "The Climb" did so well was it's ability to keep the audience in constant suspense. Every time it felt like the big moment of the episode happened another moment came and blew that one out of the water. It all builds to a climactic showdown between Oliver and Rhas Al Ghul, which I'll get to later. There were so many great shocking reveal moments both to the audience and to the characters. (which is part of what made the 5th, 6th, and 7th episodes of this season so week, at least in my opinion) The reveal that Thea killed Sara was definitely an unexpected one, most people who I talked to about the show justifiably thought that it was Rhas Al Ghul. Not to mention the reveal to Oliver that Thea has actually been knowingly working with Malcolm Merlyn was great. (Especially seeing as how the creators of the show seem get their jollies torturing Oliver, emotionally and physically.) Which brings me to another I loved about this episode, it cemented Malcolm Merlyn as the great arch-nemesis of Oliver Queen. Who else wanted to punch him in the face when he was so willing to sell-out his own daughter.
The Hong-Kong flashbacks were also done very well. I personally really liked the Hong-Kong flashbacks this season, even though I know they weren't very popular with some fans. But I truly felt the flashbacks in this episode furthered the story and answered things both in the present and in the past.
Okay so before I get into the big moment of the episode, let's talk about the other things in this episode. Laurel and Fecility's sub-plots, I thought both were okay. They weren't great, but they did do some things to further their characters', Felicity's relationship with Ray Palmer, and Laurel's continued motivation to find Sara's killer, which actually did play into the reveal of who it was quite nicely. But I'll admit Laurel's mother coming back to Starling felt a bit forced.
So now for the moment you've all been waiting for, Oliver and Rhas fighting. Actually it's not really a fight it's more like a slaughter. It reminded me very much of the scene in Batman Begins when Bruce and Ducard are training on the ice, only the stakes are much higher and it's on top of a mountain. Another thing in The Dark Knight Trilogy I was reminded of was the fight between Batman and Bane, In both fights there was no music, and the way the fight is choreographed and the way it's shot make it look like every hit hurt, and just like in that fight, one side has a clear advantage over the other. It was an intense, riveting, brutal, and some times beautiful looking fight. Not to mention it ended on possibly the most shocking moment of the entire series.
In the end this episode has been one of the best in the series, I'm not sure if I liked it more than Season 2's "Unthinkable" but it's definitely in my top three.
So that was my thoughts on [Arrow](series:720988)'s mid-season finale, but what did you guys think? Let me know what you people thought of the episode.
Thanks for reading.