Apologies, kids. Two episodes of Arrow left in Season 3, so let’s recap the last two for you.
In “The Fallen,” Oliver finds a mortally wounded Thea just in time and when he’s asked to sign DNR forms, he crumbles. He decides to take her to Nanda Parbat and surrender himself to Ra’s in exchange for her survival. Malcolm brings up the salient point that they’ll get a Thea back, but perhaps not their Thea. Oliver’s OK with that, so off they go, with Diggle and Felicity in tow, because … plotty.
Before that, Felicity and Ray discuss that she’s in love with Oliver but they don’t formally break up, in my mind, which is a point of contention for me later.
Once at Nanda Parbat, Oliver re-pledges his troth to Ra’s and his priestess does some hocus pocus which brings back an amnesiac Thea who loves daddy Malcolm and wants to know where Moira is.
Felicity is livid that Oliver is signing his life over, so she (of course) confronts Ra’s, who actually doesn’t laugh or shout her out of his lair. Instead he commends her for her bravery and love of Oliver and suggests she close the deal (not really, but you know). So she goes to tell Oliver that she loves him, and he says he loves her, and they kiss and move things to bed for a sweet round of goodbye sex.
After which, she drugs him and barks at Diggle and Malcolm to help get him out of the fortress. They’re assisted by Maseo, and then busted. Ra’s surprisingly (again!) doesn’t kill Maseo for the betrayal. Then he lets Team Arrow leave. Oliver and Felicity kiss goodbye and she’s devastated enough that she seeks solace with Laurel when she gets home.
Ra’s announces they’ll begin and Oliver will renounce his Queen identity and become Al Sah-Him, which is the name of the episode that follows.
It picks up with Oliver being tested and bested and burnt and forced to kill a random who he hallucinates is Diggle. Back in Starling City, NotOliver returns to town to take on/out Nyssa because she’s the threat to his upcoming reign. Despite the Team’s general distrust of her, Laurel stakes her claim that they need to help her, and they do. Even Thea suits up as an archer, with Malcolm’s help.
When they all confront NotOliver on a roof, they realize he has been brainwashed into a new identity, which makes Felicity even more ragey because while she could live with Oliver confined to Nanda Parbat for the rest of his life, she hadn’t thought it would be at the cost of his soul. NotOliver loses out on his first attempt at Nyssa, so he kidnaps Lyla, forcing the Team to trade Nyssa for her. They try to turn that to their advantage with a double cross, but NOPE.
Once back on Nanda Parbat, Ra’s again, with the compassionate-ish behavior, says he won’t kill Nyssa. Instead he wants her to marry and rule alongside Al Sah-Him, which begets a hilarious “what now?” from the both of them. The other less compassionate piece of that is that Ra’s also wants NotOliver back in Starling City one more time to bid it adieu and burn it down on the way out, because, as luck has it, Nyssa’s been wandering the world with the very same virus he, Maseo, and Tatsu were hunting in Hong Kong.
Back at home, Felicity props up a defeated Thea with the news that Roy is alive and if she wants to be with him, she should go.
Both episodes piece together in flashbacks that Oliver & co. did not stop the spread of the virus, and all signs point to it being what killed Maseo and Tatsu’s son. But there’s also been no historical mention on the show of a raging Hong Kong epidemic, so what do I know.
And that leads us to tomorrow. All in all, we had a super ADHD collection of things going on, and honestly, y’all, I just wasn’t feeling any of it. I’m pretty sure we’re always going to get Oliver back, and that he will return home, even if he’s a CHANGED MAN. I wasn’t feeling the Felicity hook up because of the way things went with Ray, even if she thought it was goodbye forever, because, well, see my previous sentence. I was surprised more people didn’t bring up the Ross/Rachel “on a break” analogy because Felicity went willingly into a relationship with Ray when she was still very much into Oliver, so she was toying with him all along. Maybe that’s just me.
I am intrigued by Laurel’s friendship with Nyssa, and that Nyssa is sort of pushing her back to Quentin. That’s a win, unless it’s another backhanded way to hurt her by then taking Quentin out. I think I feel like Arrow has become so focused on a big bad threat, as so many of these shows do, when I actually enjoyed the MOTW (or VillianOTW) format. We’re almost wrapped for the season. We’ll see where they go. Tonight’s The Flash may have spoiled something by showing Oliver in town to help, in his new Al Sah-Him rig, yes, but somehow I doubt the LoA would help Barry out.
Here’s a sneak of tomorrow’s new episode of Arrow, “This is Your Sword.” We’re having another wedding!
Photo and video courtesy of The CW.