We’re back to more drama, angst and almost-deaths in the closing few episodes of Arrow‘s third season. With Oliver apparently brainwashed, what remains of Team Arrow are forced to confront their friend’s new alter ego. Meanwhile Nyssa struggles between happiness and facing her father’s decision.
It’s been at least two episodes since a relationship has been destroyed or disrupted, so I was far from surprised when Oliver’s latest ventures into becoming heir to Ra’s al Ghul tests Diggle’s trust, and the team’s loyalties towards their ex-leader. This episode shows us Oliver’s torturous path in Nanda Parbat. Clearly dedicated, Oliver is unknowingly drugged and forced to face his past once and for all to satisfy Ra’s al Ghul. Don’t you just love assassins?
During this time, Team Arrow unite to mourn their friend’s departure. Again. It seems like just yesterday that the group were crying over Oliver, and we’re back to square one as Diggle, Felicity, Thea and Lyla band together to stick it out. There were many small family moments that made up for the angsty drama, so that was rather nice. We see the team having dinner together and raising a toast to Oliver, as well as Nyssa and Laurel continuing to bond and train. It’s great that despite Sara’s death, the pair have united to make their loved one proud.
However, things soon get interesting when Oliver is instructed by Ra’s to return to Starling City and capture Nyssa, who threatens Oliver’s status as heir with every moment she’s alive. Diggle’s loyalty is tested when Oliver kidnaps Lyla to motivate the team to surrender Nyssa in exchange. Of course, Diggle is furious, and makes no hesitation in demanding Nyssa’s surrender, but Laurel steps in and defends her new friend.
I wasn’t sure if Oliver would actually harm Lyla. Even brainwashed, there still seems to be some moral goodness within Oliver’s expressions and actions. He never harmed anyone unless it was necessary, nor was he gleeful or cold. I’ve seen some theories that he may be acting brainwashed and secretly planning to strike against Ra’s, which would be awesome. But leaving baby Sara alone was a bad move. Brainwashed or not, Oliver is going to have to grovel and apologise to earn his friend’s forgiveness for that one.
Coming to a standstill, the team meet with Oliver and his team of assassins for the exchange, but once Lyla is handed over, all hell breaks loose. The team put up a valiant fight, especially against crazy-dedicated assassins, but Nyssa is still dragged back to Nanda Parbat and the team are back to mourning their friend. The biggest surprise comes from Ra’s shocking demand that Nyssa must marry the man her father has decided to appoint heir. How charming this show is.
Flashbacks are kept to a minimum as we see Oliver, Maseo and Tatsu running around Hong Kong, trying to prevent that damn virus from spreading. Everyone starts dropping dead and the group quickly put stop to an army group before rushing back to get Akio the hell away from China. Just at the end we see blood dripping from Akio’s nose, which can only mean that the inevitable death of the season is fast approaching.
I’m really not in the mood to witness Tatsu and Maseo watching their kid die. Not now, not ever. Can’t we put Akio in the resurrection pool? Yes? Good.