Well that was interesting.
If Ollie isn’t pulling a long con over Ra’s Al Ghul, then I’m not sure I totally buy his transformation into big bad. After all, our hero spent five “hellish” years on the island, so it’s going to take more than a transformation montage to convince me that Ra’s was able to “break” Oliver Queen. Moving past that, it was admittedly cool to see Ollie decked in League-garb and facing off with Team Arrow. The fact that he even resorted to kidnapping Lyla provided an extra dose of drama that really escalated the stakes heading into the climax. Plus, Amell plays cold and stoic very convincingly.
Of course the highlight of Al Sah-him was Nyssa getting a whole lot of screen time. Disregarding the fact that she keeps losing EVERY single battle she fights (why writers, why?), it was an absolute pleasure to watch Katrina Law dip fries into her milkshake (upon Laurel’s request), and face off with “Darth Oliver” before the hour’s final bombshell. All throughout the episode, I was sure the writers were planning on offing Nyssa (which would have been a grave mistake) after she had found her “happiness”, so I was particularly delighted with Ra’s ordering his daughter and his heir to get hitched. It’s a soapy twist worthy of a romantic comedy, but I can’t say I didn’t have the biggest smile on my face as I watched Ollie and Nyssa and the priceless looks on their faces as the episode came to a close.
Although her story didn’t take center-stage, Thea finally became useful and took her first steps into assuming the mantle of Ollie’s sidekick (now that Roy is gone). Naturally she had to learn about Roy’s whereabouts (he’s not dead, thanks Felicity), so I guess the final two episodes of the season will involve her tracking him down and getting his blessing to become a full-fledged member of Team Arrow. Couldn’t we just jump to that? I’m not in the mood to suffer through Colton Haynes trying to “act” his way through another scene. But hey, Thea Holland must be absolutely psyched; the scene with our hooded little Queen saving Diggle from Ollie via bow and arrow was just incredible!
I will commend the writers for having Ra’s link back to the bioweapon that was set loose in the Hong Kong flashbacks. I still don’t think the flashbacks were worth our time time this year, but this at least adds a cohesive through-line to the entire season. It also allowed the writers to introduce the show’s next Big Bad for season four: Damien Darhk, leader of H.I.V.E. I can’t say I’m too excited for that prospect; maybe it’s time the show embraced a full-on female Big Bad no? That’s an idea worth considering!
Bits & Arrows
– Ollie’s VO was altered in the opening! Funny.
– The visual of Ollie fighting Diggle with one hand behind his back (much like Ra’s in The Climb) and stabbing him to death was super nifty.
– I really enjoyed seeing Felicity and Thea feed baby Sara. The whole thing with the team having dinner together was really sweet. More of Team Arrow’s personal lives please!
– Diggle. Costume. Can’t wait!
– Love that Nyssa picked the spot Sara died in to fight Oliver.
– The Canary Cry is here! For those of you who don’t watch The Flash, Cisco tweaked Sara’s sonic gadget to make Laurel a choker that amplifies her voice. Watching Laurel use it to stop Ollie from killing Nyssa was badass! But I do wish it did more than shatter glass.
– Very satisfying moment with Lyla asking Oliver how he became like this and how important he is to Diggle.
– Felicity not letting Maseo search her – Ha!
– Thrilling moment with Lyla taking out her double pistols as a huge fight ensues. However, Nyssa got captured because she was looking out for Laurel. Why didn’t the latter use her Canary Cry again? Talk about contrived!
– Akio predictably got infected with the virus. Move along please.
– Ra’s calling Nyssa “Bride of the Demon” was just hysterical, and somehow I don’t think the writers intended for that reaction.
– That shot of Laurel eating fries on her own was laughable. Seriously writers? I get that you want to show the team broken (with Diggle staring at the picture and Felicity sobbing by her lonesome) but that was too much.
Nyssa: I never understood your country’s need to fry everything.
Laurel: That’s because everything tastes better that way.
Nyssa: This is more oil than potato.
Laurel: Dip it in your milkshake.
Nyssa: I sense you’re mocking me.
Laurel: It’s fun seeing you like this.
Nyssa: Like what?
Laurel: Like a normal person.
Nyssa: I AM a normal person.
Felicity: If you’re going to keep going out into the field-
Diggle: Do not say “costume!
Felicity: Ok. Identity concealment.
Felicity: How are you doing?
Thea: Having never been resurrected before, I don’t really have anything to compare it to.
Diggle: Well, then I guess we shouldn’t have let Nyssa leave alone.
Laurel: No, it’s fine. I just put a tracking device on her. This isn’t my first day.
Felicity: And how did you get in here?
Thea: My dad’s a super villain and you left your doors unlocked.
Thea: (to Oliver) Get away from him, or the next one goes in your eye.
Felicity: You’ve had a lot on your plate, and I’ve been trying to think of the right time to tell you this… Roy’s alive. We faked his death. It’s a long story, as most fake death stories are. We were going to tell you, I promise. But then you were busy being mostly dead, and then Oliver signed on to become Darth Oliver.
Not entirely believable, but still an enormously exciting and compelling hour of Arrow.