Oliver Queen is no more. The Arrow has become Al-Sah-Him and the League of Assassins have broken the titular character of the show into becoming one of their ranks–in preparation for taking his place as Ras-Al-Ghul, head of the League. This episode sees Al-Sah-Him pitched against the very people that were once his friends as he is sent to bring Nyssa back to Ras-Al-Ghul for her abandoning the League…
Although Arrow is not against dispatching characters–even if it might bring them back at some future point–there didn’t feel much threat from Al-Sah-Him. Twice we had a moment where Diggle was at his mercy, and twice I saw through the threat. Al-Sah-Him will become Arrow again, surely, or the show is pretty much dead. This season has been a departure–one I’d be happy with if it hadn’t been so convoluted and characters hadn’t suffered as a result–but it’s a show that will undoubtedly maintain its identity throughout its run. Arrow and the Arrow crew will–somehow be reunited. That can’t happen if he kills a main player. It’s come close to a point of no return with Diggle after Al-Sah-Him kidnaps Lyla to force the Arrow crew to give up Nyssa.
With Al-Sah-Him we get the gang stand confidently as themselves–Canary with her new tech, Diggle being a bad ass as the lead in the field, and now Thea as a fighter in her own right, all pulling together for Nyssa and for Arrow. The characters fare much better with Arrow out of the picture–I hope we don’t get the sidelining of the supporting characters we had mid-season when Arrow does eventually return to the fold.
Now, this is the episode where the Hong Kong flashbacks *sigh* connected with the present. Even if the present feels like an alternative universe. I wouldn’t actually mind if this season was a fever dream. As long as it’s Roy’s fever dream. Sweaty Roy… What was a pretty decent episode then has a season 3 ‘whut’ moment. Ras-Al-Ghul wants Arrow to destroy Starling City as part of a ceremonial destruction of all that he was. I’m sorry–didn’t the League go after Merlyn because he initiated the undertaking?!
And now I’m wondering… With Arrow, Maseo and Tatsu all in Nanda Parbat… how much of this current plot is about destroying the last of the virus. I hope that this isn’t all some cunning plan because that would be way more convoluted than I think I could bear! No, that’s far too ridiculous… Isn’t it?
We shall find out soon enough. I don’t think the Al-Sah-Him plot will go on much longer–HIVE is already being set-up for the season 4 bad. It was revealed this episode that the renegade League member at the head of HIVE stole from the Lazarus pit… Maybe Deadshot isn’t as blown up dead as we thought…
Oh, and chips in milkshake. Just, ‘no’ Laurel. No.