written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
After Oliver’s turn as the villain of the week, the allies he left behind are noticeably shaken. Team Arrow-less Arrow is still fighting crime minus their duo of archers. Diggle is hit hardest, after facing Oliver in the last episode when the League kidnapped Lyla. His best friend turned against everything he once stood for and became merely a shell of the man who stood by his side on his wedding day. On a routine bust, Diggle gets a little too overzealous on a street punk, beating him till his knuckles bled.
Back in Nanda Parbat, a newly captured Nyssa is betrothed to Al Sah-Him. Hoping to ensure his legacy, Ra’s hopes that Nyssa and Al-Sah-Him will bear an heir to continue the work of the League. Personally, this whole betrothal bit didn’t sit well with me. I’ve been vocal all season about the whole Batman-ing in this series, while much is more subtle, this was the most direct. I can see Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul being all like “they’re stealing our storyline, what the hell CW!”
Much like we all assumed, the whole Al Sah-Him bit is a farce. From the beginning, Oliver understood that in order to beat Ra’s he had to BE Ra’s. Accepting the offer to be Ra’s al Ghul’s heir solely to dismantle the league from the inside. Thinking he had months to accomplish this, the time table is considerably moved up when Ra’s tasks Oliver with the destruction of his beloved city at the hands of the Alpha Omega, the same deadly compound that decimated a city in Hong Kong. Unbeknownst to team Arrow, Ollie’s been working with Malcolm Merlyn the entire time. Of course this doesn't sit well with the rest of the team, aside from not being able to trust Malcolm, the circle of trust has become strained when it comes to all things Oliver Queen. A familiar face from Ollie’s past comes out to play, and we finally get to see Tatsu in full Katana regalia.
Setting up the finale in epic fashion, this is the episode I’ve been wanting all season. I’ve been vocal about how let down the season has left me… what with the constant Batman-ing, boring episodes, and Colton Haynes leaving the show… this series will seriously need to pull out all the stops to keep me interested.
The flashback sequences continue to be exciting, over the span of the last couple episodes... Hong Kong FINALLY became exciting. General Schrieve proves to be a certifiable ass and absolutely fits the stereotype of the power hungry military villain. Plus, while it's been pretty much determined that Akio meets his end before Oliver Queen comes back to Starling City, seeing his death and how much it devastated Tatsu and Maseo made my heart ache. Another reason to hate the flashback villain of the season.
This episode did have one of the best fight scenes all season! In an attempt to infiltrate the League stronghold, Merlyn and company with Katana in tow battle league forces while Ray Palmer again goes all Iron Man on a plane… which still makes me wonder, are they holding off on making the Atom like his comic book counterpart until the spin off series launches?
Back on the homefront, Colton Haynes is back this episode having vanished and changed his name to Jason (btw, I would’ve lost my shit if his last name was Todd… #jessaying). Thea tracks him down hoping to give him the Arsenal costume. It was nice seeing mister unnecessary parkour back, I’m still puzzled that they didn’t renew Colton Haynes’ contract, there was so much build up to him becoming Arsenal yet he was largely unused this season. The episode did prove one of my big predictions this season, that Thea will eventually take on the mantle of Ollie’s sidekick.
Ending on a cliffhanger and a wedding, I’m befuddled how the eventual end will come… I know Ra’s al Ghul’s judgement is coming for Starling City and Oliver Queen will need to stand up against yet ANOTHER terrorist attack in his city. One more episode left, hopefully it’ll end on a high note.