Legion contributor Andrea Levine is recapping and reviewing Arrow for us this season. Follow her on Twitter @wysefyre!
It’s been three weeks since Oliver stayed in Nanda Parbat, agreeing to become the Heir to the Demon. Oliver has been training hard and being brainwashed even harder. Last night’s episode opens with Oliver alternating between training with Ra’s and being chained in a cell, hearing “Oliver Queen is alive only in the past. He is forgotten,” over and over again. Ra’s finally decides he’s had enough and lets Oliver out. They go outside, and Maseo arrives with what appears to be Diggle, claiming he never made it back to Starling City. Ra’s commands Oliver to kill him. Diggle tries to reason with Oliver, reminding him that when he joined Oliver’s mission, he’d be there to remind Oliver who he was if he became something else. It doesn’t work. Oliver stabs him. Luckily, it wasn’t Diggle. Turns out, Ra’s has been doping Oliver with a rare herb that brings a person’s conscious to the forefront. He asks Oliver whom he saw, but Oliver says nothing.
Later, Ra’s takes Oliver to a ravaged village. Only the dead live there. He tells Oliver the story of Damien Darhk (possible Damien Wayne shout out?). They climbed the ranks in the League together, became that Ra’s’ horsemen. Damien thought he should be the next Heir to the Demon, but that honor was bestowed to Ra’s. Damien didn’t take it well, and Ra’s was commanded to kill him; only he hesitated, and Damien escaped, taking with him loyal followers and Lazarus Pit water. He has his own version of the League, but it’s more self-serving. The point of the story is a lot of people died because Ra’s hesitated, and Oliver can’t when he goes to kill the former Heir to the Demon – Nyssa.
Back in Starling, we see Laurel going after a mugger. She’s improved considerably, but he still gets the upper hand, until Nyssa arrives and finishes the job. She scolds Laurel for not being more aware of her surroundings. After she’s done, Laurel takes her to have her very first black and white milkshake.
During the time Laurel has been training with Nyssa, they’ve developed a real friendship as witnessed at the diner, when Laurel teaches Nyssa about the simple pleasures in life, such as fries dipped in a black and white shake (That moment had me craving a Frosty and fries from Wendy’s). Unfortunately, the moment is ruined when Laurel tells Nyssa about Oliver. Nyssa knows he’s going to be coming for her and must prepare.
Over at Diggle and Lyla’s, Thea and Felicity are feeding Sara. Felicity gets the award for the best line of the episode: “Here comes the CAT-5 prong into the Ethernet port.” Diggle returns from patrolling just in time for dinner. Felicity suggests it might be time for Diggle to start wearing “identity concealment” if he’s going to continue. He changes the subject and focuses Thea. She’s struggling, but feels better with them. Diggle offers a toast to Oliver, “Gone but never forgotten.”
The new Arrow Cave is currently located at Palmer Technologies. That’s where Laurel and Nyssa meet up with Diggle and Felicity to explain the situation. They don’t believe Nyssa, and she realizes by telling them about Oliver’s brainwashing, she’s tarnishing their memories of him. She appears to genuinely feel bad about that and goes off to face him alone. Laurel lays into Diggle and Felicity about not helping Nyssa. She knows underneath all the League training, Nyssa is a good person. She changes their minds.
Nyssa goes to the spot Sara died. Oliver is there. She tries to both goad him into killing her as well as remind him of whom he is. They fight, and Oliver comes out on top, He’s about to kill her, but Laurel arrives with Diggle, and gives Oliver a taste of the new and improved Canary Cry. Oliver jumps of the roof.
Nyssa is not happy Laurel interfered, but Laurel doesn’t want to lose her. She wants Nyssa to have happiness, but Nyssa believes she’s not destined for it. Meanwhile, Diggle and Felicity struggle with the realization that Nyssa was right; Oliver is no more. Felicity could handle Oliver’s sacrifice when she thought it was just his life being given to Ra’s, but not his soul. This devastates her.
Thea calls Malcolm to the loft. She found out about Oliver being back, and she wants answers. Malcolm confirms her fears. She wants to fight, but just as everyone else has done, he points out Oliver would not want her to, BUT unlike everyone else, Malcolm knows Thea has tremendous amount of strength, and asks what he can do for her.
Felicity and Diggle go to his place, and they discover Oliver sunk to a new low. He took Lyla, and left Sara alone. Diggle is understandably pissed. Oliver calls Diggle and tells him to bring Nyssa, and he’ll get his wife back. Naturally, he goes to do so. She regrets the situation, and will give herself up. Again, Laurel is furious. She thinks if Diggle allows Nyssa, a good person and for once, sort of innocent, to die in exchange for Lyla, he will lose his soul.
Lyla tries to get through to Oliver. She tells him about how Diggle was lost after his brother’s death, and it wasn’t until Oliver came along that he had hope and a purpose again. She doesn’t say it, but the implication of Oliver and Diggle being brothers is there. It’s a little hard to miss. But before they can go on, Maseo interrupts. It’s time.
At the meeting spot, what’s left of Team Arrow arrives with Nyssa. Felicity tries to use her hero whisperer powers, but no dice. Nyssa is bound, and Lyla is freed. Lyla embraces Diggle and hugs Felicity. Then the shooting begins, because hugging Felicity is the gift that keeps on giving. In this case, guns.
Everyone starts fighting, and for a brief moment, it looks like Team Arrow might be winning, but a moment’s distraction causes Nyssa to be bested. Blame Laurel. Nyssa was more concerned with her safety. Oliver had been fighting Diggle, and overpowers him. Up until the very end, Diggle believes Oliver won’t kill him, but Oliver raises his sword. Luckily, an unexpected arrow goes through Oliver’s arm. It’s Thea to the rescue. She makes Oliver leave, taking Nyssa with them. And Team Arrow is left to grieve their lost leader.
Later, Felicity goes to visit Thea. They talk about Oliver. Thea finds out about Felicity and Oliver. They’re going to try to remember the best parts of Ollie. And, Felicity finally gets a chance to tell Thea about Roy. She hands Thea a paper with his new identity, phone number, or address. We don’t find out, but Felicity encourages Thea to use it to find him if she wants.
Oliver brings Nyssa back to Nanda Parbat. He finds out there’s more to Nyssa’s story. She took something from Ra’s. Oliver steps up to kill her, but Ra’s stops him. He’s decided instead of killing her, she would be more useful if she were to wed Oliver and become the Bride of the Demon. Both Nyssa and Oliver don’t take this well, but other than one protest from Nyssa, they stay silent. Their faces say it all.
After dropping that bomb on Oliver, Ra’s tells him about the final act of ascension, the destruction of his home. He shows Oliver what Nyssa took. It’s the Alpha/Omega virus. Oliver is to unleash it on Starling City.
This helps us finally understand the flashbacks in the last few episodes. This week’s flashback has Oliver, Maseo, and Tatsu trying to get back to Akio. They stumble upon an army truck giving people shots. The people think it’s a vaccine or medicine, but Oliver and co. know it’s the virus. They attack the truck and blow it up. They get back to the apartment to find the lady looking after Akio is infected. They grab him and go to find a way out of Hong Kong. They find a car to “borrow” and as they’re driving off, Tatsu promises Akio everything will be all right. Except it won’t because the bit of blood coming out of Akio’s mouth tells us otherwise.
I know they’re setting Oliver up to be the Big Bad for the finale, but I wonder about it. Whenever he’s been asked questions about his friends, he’s remained silent. It could be he’s forgotten them, or could be he’s holding on to the tiniest shred of their memory. And if he is good and truly brainwashed, then I think Maseo is going to end up the hero because he’s proven that there’s still some good left in him. I know I’m speculating, but I think Ra’s made a mistake with the Alpha/Omega. He should’ve used something else, anything other than the Alpha/Omega virus. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.
What did you guys think of last night’s episode?