I’m pretty much at a loss over what’s happening. Last week I started my review with a little joke, “As the Arrow turns…,” and this week, I do feel like I’m watching a bad soap opera. What the hell is Ra’s Al Ghul smoking and how much of it did Oliver actually enjoy? Plus, did anyone really think this story through?
I do understand that this is a “personal journey” story of Oliver’s. Heck, the whole series is, but this entire League of Assassins sideswipe feels off, and the more time we spend in the belly of the beast, the more I think that we’re need a bunch of psychotropics in order to believe what we are actually seeing.
For one, I don’t get that Oliver could be so weak minded that he loses everything he is so quickly. It’s almost like he is choosing to forget who Oliver Queen is because he realizes his life sucks or something like that. Except it doesn’t, and he has a bunch of loyal friends and loved ones back in Starling City to prove it. Life is worth fighting for, and if the filler flashbacks don’t accent that, I don’t know what does. So yeah, after a few turns of sleep deprivation Oliver turns into a mindless drone that will kill his best friend AND his family, I just don’t know what to think anymore. It feels disjointed and forced and just plain wrong.
Speaking of disjointed and forced, how is Felicity back at the new Arrow cave (thank you Ray Palmer!) worrying about Oliver and being a basket case helping anyone? What happened to that spunk from last week where she fights for her man and won’t back down? Wringing her hands isn’t her style, but then again some weeks it is, because honestly TPTB don’t know how to write her half the time. We’ll call this week’s Felicity flailing in “Barbie” mode. Plastic and pretty, but not much use.
The only redeeming parts of the episode came from Diggle and the strange friendship of Laurel and Nyssa. I like seeing how Laurel is still a pretty weak fighter and Nyssa hasn’t given up on her. I would have thought that Laurel would have annoyed the s*** out of her by now like she has all of us. But their scenes together were sweet and quite watchable. The lesson is while Laurel learns how to fight from a very skilled master, Nyssa learns about what a normal life is like. It’s nice to watch these two see the world from each other’s eyes. It all would have been perfect too if it hadn’t resulted in that absolutely ludicrous ending.
As for Diggle, oh man, I wanted him to kill Oliver, and I really wish Thea did. I don’t give a damn how mindless or programmed Oliver is, there are certain lines that cannot be crossed. You do not go after the family of the guy that is your best friend. Diggle was furious and rightfully so (well played by David Ramsey). And this is where I question WTF Ra’s Al Ghul is doing. This is exactly why he’s not working as a character. There’s no rhyme or reason to what he does. This isn’t justice or what the League is all about. This is attacking a man’s innocent family for no good reason other than he can. I would think that the League, even though their purpose is to kill, would have some moral ground and work off of some sort of code. We’ve gotten hints before that they do work like that. To push Oliver that far that fast just doesn’t feel natural. It’s been too soon. He left a baby alone without its momma! How about a simple warning first? It’s reprehensible and anything the writers hoped to achieve in shock value failed for me. It’s just plain stupid.
Nyssa had it right, she wasn’t going down without a fight. She even picked the perfect spot for her fall, the same rooftop ledge where her beloved Sara was killed. She was ready to die with the honor she deserved, and Oliver took that away from her too. And, we’re back to rhyme and reason. First Ra’s wants Nyssa dead, and when Oliver is about to mindlessly do the deed suddenly Nyssa is to become his wife? That way the two parts of Ra’s house have merged? What??? What two parts? Oliver is a freaking outsider with no lineage at all to the League. He became the heir because some watery tart came out of the water with a sword (Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference, but you get my point). The mere fact that he’s the heir at all is all based in one man’s crazy delusion of how things should be. So yeah, this marriage makes about as much sense as forming a whole system of government because some strange woman lying a pond creates a farcical aquatic ceremony. And don’t get me started on this whole “releasing the virus” thing. That’s even more random than a so called royal wedding of a drone and a dyke.
No more personal journeys for Oliver please, ever. He sucks at them. And way to not only diminish the hero, but totally obliterate him. At this point, I don’t care if we get Oliver back. Stripping all redeemable qualities from him means that he’s irredeemable. Even Maseo showed internal conflict over what he had become. Heck, even Darth Vader showed some remorse over watching his son get tortured by the Emperor. What we have is someone I cannot back as my savior of the city, ever. He’s failing way more than the city, he’s failing life. We needed to see at least a tiny glimpse of a human inside, like perhaps him hesitating before he tried to kill Diggle and Lyla, especially when he was the best man at their wedding a short while ago. Now he’s just a monster we don’t like. Felicity saying there is good in him is not enough.
At this point, I’m ready to see Oliver beheaded and we can carry on with the rest of Team Arrow without him. They’re more awesome anyway. Even Laurel has won me over. Nyssa has to come back though, because Laurel needs more work and Nyssa really should enjoy more milkshakes and French fries. Felicity should go back to Ray because he is clearly the better man and Thea becomes the new Arrow, with Malcolm Merlyn as the new cave boss in charge of awesome Ninja training. That outcome sounds far better and more plausible than what we’ve been given so far this season.
Time to do better show.