written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
This week on Batman, the death of someone close to our hero is given a second chance thanks to the Lazarus pit… oh wait, this is Arrow. Last week came to a close when Ra’s al Ghul confronts Thea in her luxurious loft and promptly runs her through with his sword. As Ollie returns home, he and Team Arrow rush Thea to the hospital where her condition proves to be far worse than they hoped, though her body was still alive… he’s told she would never wake up. This of course brings us to the final chapter of Ra’s al Ghul’s plot to make Oliver his heir. I know if my sister was run through by a homicidal maniac with a penchant for not dying, I’d go to the ends of the earth to get her back. To Ollie this involves going to Nanda Parbat and submerging Thea in the rejuvenating waters of the Lazarus Pit.
First going in to the positives, I’m glad that they didn’t shy away from the more unbelievable aspects of the Ra’s al Ghul mythos. The inclusion of the Lazarus Pit as a rejuvenating pool of mystical energy sits high on my list of positives, though this was confirmed early on, this is the first chance we truly get to see what the Lazarus Pit can do… as well as the madness it causes to those that bath in it. Negatives, more Batman-ing on Arrow. I get it, Batman has a fantastic list of rogues and many of them like Deathstroke and Ra’s al Ghul have crossed over into Green Arrow’s list of rogues, but since Oliver first uttered “you have failed this city” in a guttural voice reminiscent of Christian Bale’s Batman screaming “where is he!” I’ve seen the Starling vigilante who traditionally cracks wise with a sarcasm as pinpoint as his aim transform into a dark, brooding, humorless version of the Oliver Queen I’ve grown up reading.
When Team Arrow makes their way to Nanda Parbat, Thea’s quick dip leaves her a feral beast… leaping out of the pool in a visceral rage reminiscent of the scene where Jason Todd leaps from the Lazarus Pit in Under the Red Hood. While I’ve been critical of Batman-ing on Arrow, it honestly stops there with the majority of the episode’s current events focusing on Ollie’s decision to become the next Ra’s. He’s given a new name, Al Sah-Him… Arabic for “Arrow”… and is more so set to become the next Ra’s al Ghul.
For fans of the “Olicity” pairing (which I personally am not) you’ll get a nice little surprise this episode, which can perfectly set up the eventual departure of Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer for Arrow to his own show. Felicity is of course going to stick by Team Arrow so we all knew Ralicity/Felipalmer had an expiration date. But call me old fashioned but I still feel the need to ship Ollie with Laurel, Black Canary is end game for the Emerald Archer… so whether it’s sooner or later, I’ll still be rooting for them to become an item.
The last few episodes of Arrow have been a mix of sporadic highs and lows, I’ve been just as much disappointed by the last few episodes as I’ve been elated, but this has turned out to be the most satisfying episode yet. Even the flashbacks were entertaining, General Shrieve’s plan to unleash all manner of chemical destruction made for an exciting reprieve from the somber tone of present days events.
After the episode closes and the eventual turn for Oliver, my excitement for the series is in effect rejuvenated. Only a few episodes remain and we’re no closer to a resolution, hoe do they plan to get out of this pickle? We’ll find out in the next three episodes.
The big take-away from “The Fallen?” What happens in Nanda Parbat stays in Nanda Parbat.