Arrow: “Al Sah-him” Review
Arrow Season 3 Episode 21
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Joining the League of Assassins looked kind of like a sweet deal for Ollie. Sure, he’d have to leave behind his loved ones for the time being, but you’d imagine the “Demon’s Head” would be able to take the odd vacation here and there. There’s also the whole assassin part, but again, the head honcho would surely be able to shift the mandate of the organization a little bit. Of course it was never going to be that easy, and Ollie’s decision to take Ra’s’s offer carried with it a side-helping of brainwashing. We needed something radical to happen to really raise the stakes yet again this season, but as I’ll discuss a little later, it’s not without its drawbacks.
Ollie’s transformation into a cold-blooded assassin was rather jarring at first, but I kind of like it. From the very off, I didn’t get the sense that Ollie was acting here at all. Ra’s’s brainwashing regime had worked, and the Ollie we know and love has been well and truly extinguished. Of course he’ll return to the normal at some stage, but there’s actually no telling how much damage he will have caused in his life by then—or whether things can ever go back to the way they were. This new dynamic of Ollie being the villain was used very effectively, and we knew we had really reached the point of no return when he kidnapped Lyla.
Nyssa has been used rather sparingly since she left the League, but now she found herself thrust right into the middle of the story. Her initial scenes with Laurel were actually quite good. She continues to be the stern teacher, but we also got to see her in a more relaxed setting, which I admit was bizarre at first. I’m just not used to seeing Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter dipping fries into milkshakes. Everything quickly turned to hell, however, with Ollie back in town on a mission to remove his only rival as “Heir to the Demon.” The gang all got together to try and defeat Ollie (including Thea in full costume!), but in the end, there was nothing that could be done.
Now I’m fully on board with having our main character go dark for a while, but unfortunately they’ve already telegraphed his return to the light side. It was always going to happen, but now that we know Ra’s wants Ollie to kill every person inside Star City, we know his return to Team Arrow is going to be sooner rather than later. The city has already been ravaged twice, first by the earthquake machine and then by Slade and his army. If something catastrophic were to happen there for a third season in a row, Ollie should pack his bags and head back to the island for good.
Arrow introduced a new, darker spin for our lead character this week, and it lead to some great conflict between the team. It remains to be seen whether Ollie’s action can ever be forgiven, but that point will be moot if he follows through with Ra’s’s plan to release the Alpha and Omega virus in Star City. Before all of that happens, though, there’s the small matter of Ollie’s upcoming marriage to Nyssa to deal with. Oh lord, imagine the angst party that’s going to take place between Ollie, Nyssa, Felicity and maybe even Laurel.
80/100 – Great
Will Star City suffer a third devastating attack in three seasons, or will Ollie return to Team Arrow just in the nick of time? Tweet me @OldSnake24. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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