written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Arrow, like many other superhero TV shows, tend to follow a “villain-of-the-week” formula and what makes the most recent episode of Arrow so interesting was that instead of another member of Green Arrow’s (or Batman’s as the show has been so keen on using) rogues gallery, we instead get Oliver Queen… now operating as Al Sah-Him and seemingly has fully forsaken his former life as Starling City’s protector for his new role as the heir to the League of Assassins.
Arrow this season has had a serious case of ups and downs, and I’m not just talking about the happenings on the show. I’ve been incredibly vocal about how this season has had some amazing highs with incredible lows. It took our hero taking a turn for team villain to rejuvenate the series in its final episodes.
The best part of this episode was the change of heart with Nyssa, going from cold blooded devotee to the League to actually seeming like a regular woman. Trading evening rooftop battles for late night junk food runs feel like the results of Laurel Lance’s influence in the past few weeks.
With Ollie back home and playing the villain role, this switch of roles make for some impressive television. Ra’s al Ghul continues his training to create a true successor, training Oliver to give up his life as the hero of Starling City. Ollie’s fall to the dark side sends ripples through his former allies, tasking him to dispatch the one rival to his ascension while laying waste to his former city. This puts Nyssa firmly in Ollie’s crosshairs since she stands as the one rival to Ollie as the next Ra’s al Ghul.
Oliver giving in to his anger made for one of the most impressive villains this entire season since Daniel Brickwell. The no nonsense Oliver Queen turns cold, facing off against his former team with reckless abandon. In a surprise twist, Thea Queen channels her inner vigilante when she dons a hood to face off against her brother. Malcolm Merlyn has come full circle this episode, acting more like a hero than he’s been all series.
While this season has been frustrating to watch, this villainous turn for the titular hero makes the most sense for this particular chapter. What better way to break the Arrow than to force him to destroy any and all he once stood for. My frustration of this season continues with more Batman-ing as the episode closes and flashback sequences that continue to bore me.
Keep an eye out though, looks like Black Canary's "Canary Cry" has evolved to become more comic faithful.