Coming off of last week’s cliffhanger, Ra’s al Ghul is extending a job offer to Oliver: become the next Ra’s al Ghul. (It would seem that being the Head of the Demon is not unlike being the Dread Pirate Roberts.) He has a pretty solid, if depressing pitch. Ra’s predicts that the Arrow’s allies will turn against him and that he will die alone. As the leader of the League of Assassins, Oliver will have the power to do with it as he will, up to and including ordering them to stop killing.
Ra’s also shows Oliver how he’s managed to lead the League for so long: a rejuvenating pool (*cough*Lazarus Pit*cough*) in his secret lair. As a show of faith and good will, he allows Oliver, Diggle, and Malcolm to return to Starling City and erases Merlyn’s blood debt. Oliver brings a still-injured Merlyn to his and Thea’s home to recuperate. Thea is, shall we say, not pleased with their new houseguest.
Back at the lair, Oliver tells Nyssa that she’s free to return home. She leaves without too much fuss, but she and the rest of Team Arrow are more than well aware that something’s most definitely up. Oliver refuses to share what went down with Ra’s and instead asks Felicity to get him a new case.
Fortunately, there’s an armed robbery going down in the Glades. A gang of thugs, led by a man with his lips sewn shut, is after an undisclosed shipment. Team Arrow is able to take down some of the bad guys, but their leader still gets away with at least one crate. Oliver delivers the unconscious thugs to Quentin, but that meeting doesn’t exactly go as he hoped it would. Quentin is still considerably ticked off that Team Arrow concealed Sara’s death from him for so long. As such, he no longer trusts the Arrow and says that he is officially out of this particular game.
As if that weren’t enough, Oliver’s next stop is to Palmer Technologies, where he observes Raylicity in full on flirty-flirt mode. When Ray gives them the room for a moment, Felicity apologies for not telling Oliver that she and Ray were together, then gives him the intel on the gang leader, Michael Amar (called Murmur). He’s been recently released from prison when it was discovered that dirty cops beat a confession out of him. Now he seems to be out for revenge on the police force as a whole. The stolen shipment was full of industrial diamonds that can be used to build armor-piercing bullets, cop-killers. Oliver is thankful for the intel, and tries hard to pretend that he’s okay with Felicity’s new relationship.
Meanwhile, at the loft, Merlyn overhears Thea telling Laurel that she’s lucky to have such a good father in Quentin. Once Laurel leaves, he tells Thea to go ahead and kill him, because he only wants what’s best for her. Thea, rather appropriately, tells him to go to hell.
Digg’s had just about enough of being left in the dark about what really went down in Nanda Parbat, so Oliver comes clean. He tells Digg all about the offer, then confesses that he’s seriously considering taking Ra’s up on it. As things stand now, Oliver has no company and no girl, and he doesn’t think the Arrow is actually doing any good in Starling City. On top of all that, Merlyn has told him about a League prophecy that states that the man who avoids death at the hands of Ra’s al Ghul will become Ra’s al Ghul. Meryln has also warned Oliver that he shouldn’t mistake this offer as one that he will be allowed to refuse.
Digg’s home truths don’t seem to have much effect on Oliver, so it’s Felicity’s turn to try to talk some sense into him. She says that her relationship with Ray isn’t going to change her loyalties to Team Arrow. In addition, when Oliver died, the rest of Team Arrow had to figure out why they were still doing what they do. Now it’s Oliver’s turn to do the same thing.
On the other side of the Glades, Laurel heads over to the precinct to try to talk to her father again. Their talk doesn’t go particularly well, and it takes a turn for the worse when Murmur and his gang rush into the building and start taking out every cop in sight. Laurel springs into action, but is soon overwhelmed. While Oliver and Roy swing in and save Quentin (and the rest of the cops left in the building), Laurel’s life is saved by a surprise visit from Nyssa. The now-former assassin has left the League in protest over her father’s choosing Oliver and is now back in Starling City. Nyssa has come to town specifically to see Laurel. She wants to trade memories about Sara and possibly even continue Laurel’s vigilante training. (You guys, I think that this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.)
Oliver has come out of the fight at the precinct with a new outlook on life as a vigilante. He tells Felicity that she was right. He doesn’t do this for the thanks, he does it to help people. Felicity may be with Ray now, but wow if this scene is rife with more flirtation than we’ve seen from these two since their ill-fated first date. The tension is broken when Ray calls, but it’s enough to give Oliver hope.
Later, Oliver meets with Maseo, who reiterates Merlyn’s warning that there will be consequences to turning down leadership of the League of Assassins. We get to witness those consequences firsthand when someone in an Arrow costume drops a group of back alley criminals. It’s Ra’s al Ghul, and he’s out to ruin the Arrow’s good name in Starling City.
In this week’s flashback, Oliver is still taking care of Akio and trying to meet back up with Maseo and Tatsu. Akio says that his parents told him to meet them at the botanical gardens if they were ever separated. Once Oliver and Akio arrive there, he notices that Waller’s men are there and looking for them. The two of them run, only to run into a familiar face back out on the streets. Shado.
This was a good episode to set up how things are going to be going down in the last seven episodes of the season. It sounds like Ra’s is going to be doing his best to make his own predictions come true and therefore push Oliver out of Starling and into Nanda Parbat.
I have to admit, this new friendship between Nyssa and Laurel may be one of my favorite things to come out of this episode. I think it’s going to create some honest character growth for Laurel, as well as get her out of this rather painful stage of flailing for a few minutes before getting beaten up by a D-list minion. Also, anything that keeps a badass character like Nyssa around for a little longer is fine by me.
Finally, I have a confession to make. You guys know how hard I ship Olicity, but on first viewing, I found their interaction at the end of the episode to be more than a little out of character, especially for Felicity. On further reflection though, I can see where the writers were coming from. Oliver was actually listening to Felicity, taking her suggestions seriously, and finding something to believe in rather than just reacting to the latest threat. For the first time since he left for his epic duel to the death, Felicity can see her Oliver again, and that’s more than enough reason for her to be all happy and seriously flirty again. It may have been a little clumsy, but I can at least see the reasoning behind it. Not my favorite Olicity scene, but I’ll run with it and hope for better.
Oliver: “I didn’t defy death just to become an instrument of it.”
Thea: “We really need to stop having these ‘thank God you’re not dead’ reunions.”
Things to Ponder:
- Please tell me Shado doesn’t have an evil twin in Hong Kong. Please?
- Oh good, we’ve got Roy and Thea back on track again. I’ve missed the two of them together
- Okay, fandom. What’s the official name of Laurel + Nyssa? Nyarel? Lyssa?