Arrow: Al Sah-Him

"Gone, but not forgotten."

If we believe everything the show wants us to believe, Oliver's journey as the Arrow has come to an end.

So, either our storyteller isn't very reliable, or Oliver is a bad guy now. Honestly, I cannot believe Oliver is that gone, but I don't have any definitive proof to build on that opinion. Except the obvious. In the flashbacks, Oliver has gone through ten times the trauma and mind screwing that Ra's has inflicted on him so far. As of now, the show would have us believe that Oliver gave in after only a few weeks of starvation and funky herbs?

So that leaves me with one more question concerning Oliver: does anyone else on Team Arrow know what he's doing? Clearly Oliver has an agenda. Is it about the Alpha-Omega virus? Did he have intel that the League was in possession of it, and this is the only way he could think of to get his hands on it to destroy it? One thing is certain, Oliver will never use it on Starling. If he does, I'm not sure I would want to watch the show any more.

All the events in this episode could be taken as a negative. Oliver comes after Nyssa, he kidnaps Lyla, he almost kills Diggle, he almost kills Nyssa, and then he accepts her as his new bride without hesitation. He is playing his part almost too perfectly. That does bring up the question I was asking myself throughout the episode, which is why was Ra's after Nyssa in the first place?

The answer is obvious. Ra's wants his potential grandchild to take over the reins of the League somewhere down the line. But something tells me that isn't the only answer. His goal was never to kill Nyssa at all, because he knew she was loyal to the League. The whole 'kill your opposition' was all a game played by Ra's to prove Oliver was willing to become the new Ra's Al Ghul.

On the other side of the coin, all the stuff happening in Starling with the remnants of team Arrow is very strong. Laurel stepping up has been a nice arc, and her relationship with Nyssa is a good example of that. Though it is clear Nyssa is standing in for Sara in a way, Laurel has formed a lovely little friendship with her. It gave the drama about protecting Nyssa from Oliver a bit more depth.

That being said, my absolute favorite parts of the episode were with the relationship forming between Felicity, Thea, Laurel, Lyla, and Diggle. That team is one I would watch without Oliver. Especially the way Felicity has stepped in as a surrogate for Oliver to Thea. Those scenes between her and Thea were very good, almost familial, and Felicity revealing to Thea the news that Roy isn't dead was an important moment.


Despite everything, it looks like the original team Oliver has failed Hong Kong. Shrieve's virus has been unleashed and is apparently killing everyone, including poor little Akio. I guess even the vaccine seems to have failed, too. Throughout this season, Akio has always felt like a ghost to me. His death has been foreshadowed since the beginning, because his death explains everything Maseo and Tatsu have done in the present. What's strange is, I'm finding myself upset by the idea of having to watch this kid die in Maseo's arms. Probably because Maseo and Tatsu are such good characters that I've come to care about.


In a timeline update, things have moved forward by a few weeks since Oliver joined the League.

No Ray in this episode, and no villain of the week, either. Unless you count the new Oliver.

Thea stopping Oliver from killing Diggle was my favorite moment in the episode, and her desire to become someone like Oliver is a long time coming.

Damien Darhk is behind the Hive. He is some kind of former friend/rival to Ra's and has founded his own version of the League of Assassins. He sounds like he's going to be the big bad next season.

Finally we got a discussion about Diggle just walking around without a mask. I would love to see him in costume soon.

Laurel putting a tracking device on Oliver was another fun example of how she has grown into her new role rather well. Even if she clearly needs more training.

The new Canary Cry is far closer to the comic version than Sara's original gadget. It is attached to her throat, and it amplifies her voice. While it isn't a super power, it is probably about as close as we're going to get.


Thea: "Nice secret headquarter upgrade. Mr. Palmer know you guys are in here?"
Felicity: "Yes, he's out of town. How'd you get in here?"
Thea: "My dad's a super villain, and you left your doors unlocked."

Thea: "You're a terrible liar."
Felicity: "That is true."

Felicity: "Thea, I don't know what doctor's orders are for when someone gets brought back from the dead, but I'm pretty sure getting into a fight with the League of Assassins goes against them."

Felicity: "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."

Another solid episode, and this one didn't frustrate me nearly as much. I hope I'm right about Oliver, and he and Nyssa make it back to Starling alive. I'm going to hold off rating the episode again, I think I need to see how the season wraps up.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.


sunbunny said...

I was enjoying the rest the team and their interactions so much, at one point I was seriously thinking that I'd be fine if they wrote out Oliver completely or keep him a villain and made Thea the new Arrow.

Patrick said...

I honestly have no idea at this point if Oliver is truly brainwashed or if this is a long con against Ra's. Part of me hopes he's playing Ra's, I want to believe Oliver is smart & strong enough to stay ahead of him, and I really REALLY want to see Ra's utterly humiliated for the crap he's pulled(and I completely blame the writers & producers for the way they've mishandled the character, he could've been SO much cooler with a better story and a more appropriate actor). But what would that do to Team Arrow when they learn of the fake-out? Because you can't tell me Diggle was in on it if it meant letting the League break into his home and kidnap his wife while his daughter was right there in her crib. And there's no way the heartbreak everyone was feeling wasn't legit.