Oh my stars and garters, Ra’s al Ghul left Thea breathing, but only barely. Oliver comes home in time to call 911, and it’s up to the ER doc to deliver the bad news. Thea’s on life support now, but she won’t be waking up again. Merlyn comes and is utterly devastated (and dear lord, doesn’t Barrowman just sell that moment like it’s a popsicle on the Fourth of July).
Oliver is summoned away from the hospital by the trademark purple smoke of the League of Assassins. Maseo has a message for him. Ra’s ah Ghul will restore Thea if Oliver accepts his offer. Obviously, Felicity and Diggle are against Oliver’s leaving, but they know he’s going to anyway. What they consider non-negotiable is the fact that they’re going with him. What they need now is a mode of transportation that will take them all the way to Nanda Parbat. (You’d think the League would provide that after all this fuss, but not so much.)
Know who has a fantastically convenient private jet? That’s right, Ray Palmer. Know who has finally figured out that Felicity is never going to love him the way she loves Oliver Queen? Also Ray Palmer! But since Ray’s main character flaw is the fact that he isn’t Oliver Queen, he still lets Felicity commandeer his jet, despite the breakup. Yes, Word of God has confirmed that this scene was, in fact, the end of Raylicity, even though the word “breakup” was never included in the dialogue.
Team Arrow, plus Malcolm Merlyn, arrive at Nanda Parbat and are greeted by Ra’s, Maseo, and the extras from the palace scene in Mulan. (Seriously, they even do the bowing en masse thing.) Thea’s body is taken off to be prepped for her dip in what Felicity refers to as the mystical hot tub, while the rest of Team Arrow are shown their rooms. Ra’s makes the mistake of leaving Maseo alone for five minutes with Diggle the Wise, who talks some serious smack about the League being full of cowards who are running from the problems in their real lives. Maseo reveals that Akio died in his arms (yeah, we all knew the kid wasn’t going to be living past the Hong Kong flashbacks), and Diggle questions whether he would be proud of his father now.
Thea goes into the Lazarus Pit and comes back out swinging, confirming everything that Merlyn has been saying about the Pit’s side effects. She’s promptly sedated, but when she wakes, she doesn’t recognize Oliver just yet. She also doesn’t remember Moira dying, but she does remember being trained by Merlyn.
Felicity knows what has to go down now, and she is not amused. She goes straight to Ra’s al Ghul himself and says that she will go to war to get Oliver back. Ra’s tells her about having to leave his family without saying goodbye, knowing that he would never see them again. Felicity’s biting “sounds like you gave up too easily” just reminds me why she’s my favorite. Ra’s says that she’s only delaying the inevitable and suggests that she should use the time she has left to say goodbye, which seems to be a euphemism for “hit that like the fist of an angry god.”
Thus, Felicity goes to Oliver’s room, which is conveniently silk-draped and lit by hundreds of mood-setting candles. There’s an extremely emotional conversation about Oliver no longer knowing who he is and Felicity more or less quoting “For Good” from Wicked, in that knowing Oliver has changed her forever. She finally drops the three words that the fans have been waiting for all season, leading to the incredibly hot scene from the promo, plus more. (I’m not going to go into descriptions. Go find one of the multitudes M-rated fan-fictions that were posted within 24 hours. Suffice it to say, lots of sex happens.)
Oliver and Felicity share a post-coital toast to their coupledom, after which Olive promptly passes out because Felicity has drugged the wine. Merlyn and Diggle are not exactly amused at Felicity’s plan for getting Oliver out of Nanda Parbat, but by God, Felicity is IN CHARGE now. Fortunately, Diggle’s episodic home truths have gotten through to Maseo, and he helps them in their escape attempt. Unfortunately, the League of Assassins is made up of more than just Maseo. The team is caught in the catacombs, but Oliver wakes up in time to cry hold. He thanks Felicity for trying, but walks them all to the edge of Ra’s’ compound and says his goodbyes.
Maseo confesses his complicity to Ra’s and offers his life. Ra’s says that it was Maseo’s betrayal, but Serap’s confession and spares him, saying that Oliver will need Serap to help him become Al-Sahim. Oliver is branded with the stylized arrow that now represents his League identity and dramatically gears up in assassin blacks.
Oh yeah. Back in the Hong Kong flashbacks, Oliver, Maseo, and Tatsu arrive at the base in time to see the military guys arming the bioweapon. They chase down the truck it’s hidden in, only to find that the truck is a decoy and the real weapon was tucked into a food cart that’s now out and about in the city. They find the food cart and get into a shootout, only to have the bioweapon vial shatter just inches from Oliver’s hand.
First the good, which was a whole heck of a lot about this episode. Yes, Nanda Parbat is cheesy as hell, but Arrow has always been one to embrace its own superhero clichés. If they’re willing to run with it, I’m willing to run with it. Bring on the crazy elaborate ceremonies to bring Thea back to life!
Also in my “pro” column, this episode seriously felt like it could have been a season finale. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m not going to be stuck wondering about Oliver in the League of Assassins throughout the summer. But so much happened, and that ending was a fantastic button. I can’t wait to see what this last handful of episodes are going to bring. Hopefully, they won’t be anticlimactic.
Okay, now the bad. Y’all, what was with the flashbacks this episode? Yes, an important plot point happened, but it certainly took a while and each segment was so jarring in relation to the main story going on in Nanda Parbat. The flashbacks felt totally unnecessary this time around. I really felt that we could have lived through one good episode without them.
Three episodes left in the season! Bring it on, Arrow!
Felicity: “So… that happened.”
Things to Ponder:
- No seriously, how are we going to get the guy in green back on the streets of Starling City? You know it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of how.
- Ra’s has already said that Oliver can keep the League from killing if he wants to. I assume we’ll be discovering the actual downside of all this soon, right? I mean, can’t he be Ra’s al Ghul in Starling City just as easily as in Nanda Parbat? Or declare that Nyssa’s in charge?
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW