Instead of killing him, Ra’s has offered Oliver the chance to take his place.
Ra’s shows Oliver around his domain and tries to convince him of the good that he can do as the new Ra’s al Ghul. He prophesies that the people of Starling City will turn against him and that he is branded as a murderer and torturer. He also shows him that he is given longer life by the waters that he bathes in (although, he doesn’t actually use the term Lazarus Pit). He also tells Oliver that he could order the League to not kill anymore if he so desires. As a show of good faith he allows Oliver, Diggle and Merlyn to all go back home. At the same time, Thea had released Nyssa from her cage in order to allow her to exact vengeance for Sara. However, Nyssa doesn’t believe that Thea is responsible and is put back in the cage by Roy and Laurel. Later, Oliver would allow her to go free. She returns to Nanda Parbat to discover that her father has offered her inheritance to Oliver. She’s not pleased about it and Ra’s basically tells her that she’s free to leave if she doesn’t like how things are being handled.
Everyone’s surprised to see Oliver get back without being injured but everyone (including Diggle) can’t figure out how or why it happened. Oliver’s determined to not tell anyone what exactly’s going on either. Fortunately, there’s bad guys for them to focus their attention on instead. They take down some criminals associated with a man with the nickname “Murmur”. Murmur is a recently released criminal who had a confession beaten out of him. Turns out, that causes you to carry a bit of a grudge against the cops. When the Arrow drops some of his crew off at the station, Captain Lance lashes out at him for not telling him about his dead daughter. He also tells him that he’s done working with him, which starts to fulfill Ra’s’ predictions. The entire thing starts to weigh on Oliver but he’s determined to keep it to himself. However, he finally tells Diggle what’s been going on and about how he’s considering the offer. A piece of news that makes its way around the rest of the team as well.
Oliver returns to the loft to check on Thea. He left Merlyn with his sister in order to give him a safe place to recover. However, it’s just giving Thea a chance to contemplate how messed up she’s become since getting involved with him. She’s contemplating killing Merlyn and he even encourages her to do so. After Thea leaves, Oliver tells Merlyn about Ra’s offer. Merlyn tells Oliver that his offer is not a request, as much as a demand and that there will be repercussions if he declines. Oliver gets called back to the Arrow cave and he and Felicity have it out about him considering Ra’s offer. Oliver expresses that he doesn’t know why he’s still the Arrow anymore. The sentiment is very similar to what the rest of the team went through when they thought Oliver was dead and were considering quitting. She once again becomes his conscience when she reminds him that he’s not doing this for “thank you’s” and that he was the one who decided they shouldn’t be together. Their conversation is interrupted when Roy and Diggle return. They piece together that Murmur is going to attack the police.
Felicity tries to let Lance know that the attack is coming, but he’s still freezing Team Arrow out. He and Laurel are in his office arguing about when he’s going to forgive her. Murmur and his men burst into the station with diamond tipped bullets and pin down the cops. The Lances fight back a little but are outgunned. Nyssa arrives and helps Laurel before the rest of Team Arrow shows up to take Murmur down. The Arrow leaves him in an alley for Captain Lance, who’s still being standoffish, but lets the Arrow leave peacefully. With everything over, Team Arrow returns to the cave. Nyssa meets with Laurel and offers to train her. Later, Thea heads to Roy’s place in the Glades for comfort. She asks if she can stay the night with him and kisses him. Oliver thanks Felicity for giving him some perspective. He tells her that the fight reminded him that he does this to save people and that he wants to continue his work. Unfortunately for him, Ra’s has also made a move. Dressed as the Arrow, he drops in on some bad guys and murders them, but leaves one alive to tell people about it.
The Island / Hong Kong / Flashback
Oliver and Maseo’s son are on the run from the ARGUS agents tracking them. During their escape Oliver runs into a woman that appears to be Shado.
- “An ‘I was wrong’ and a ‘thank you’? I should be recording this”
It’s clear that Felicity’s job is to be the moral compass for Team Arrow so her “do the right thing” speeches can start to feel a little routine. Still, there was some really good emotion in her scenes with Oliver. There even seemed to be a bit of a flirtation after he decided to stay.
I’m not a fan of the flashbacks, but that was a huge “what” moment in the episode. In none of Oliver’s interactions with Slade did he ever let on that Shado didn’t die on the island. Unless this is a hallucination there’s got to be one big reason for him to not have addressed this before.
- Everyone has daddy issues
There are times that I haven’t bought Thea being serious, but this was not one of those times. While Thea growling at Slade made me chuckle a little, her confrontation with her father about how messed up she was really drew me in. I also like Merlyn’s reaction of trying to encourage her, even if that meant her killing him. The same could be said for Laurel and her father. While I’m not thrilled about Quentin’s character basically reverting back to who his was in earlier seasons, the conflict is palpable.
This wasn’t the most action packed episode. The whole thing really hinged on Oliver considering Ra’s offer and his friends pretty much talking him out of it. Still, it sets up some big things going forward. We now know that Ra’s is going to try to isolate Oliver and turn the city against the Arrow. We also know that Laurel’s going to get trained by Nyssa. That should make her much more formidable. The question is, how quick will she get better. Then there’s Roy and Thea getting back together. That seems like it’s going to make things more complicated as Thea gets more drawn into the action. I don’t know that those two could exist on Team Arrow together. With all this stuff going on, something’s gonna give on Arrow before the season ends. Probably in the form of someone getting killed.