TV - Arrow Season 3, Episode 15

Arrow

Steve Taylor-Bryant sits through a lot of emotion this week (whiny people) but does he see the end coming in Nanda Parbat?...

"It's your choice, but I highly recommend option two, because this whole situation has gone from endearingly eccentric to creepily not okay."

The shadow cast by Sara’s death weighs heavy this week as the guilt and vengeance is felt by just about everybody. Thea can no longer lie to people and tells Laurel the truth, that it was Malcolm Merlyn using drugs that caused Thea to kill her friend. Laurel is quite quick on the forgiveness front but hates Oliver for keeping it from her and vows her vengeance. Whilst taking on Malcolm in a dark alley dressed as Black Canary, Laurel has a chance to shoot Malcolm before Nyssa and The League of Assassins intervene, first knocking out and then taking Malcolm. Oliver’s plan though riles everyone. Diggle and Felicity are happy that Ra’s now has Merlyn and Laurel is almost cock-a-hoop until Oliver states that they need to go and save Malcolm. Thea has given him up and she is angry but Oliver, knowing a little of guilt, knows she will eventually come to regret what she has done.

Oliver rushes to the Starling Helipad and launches a rescue attempt. Whilst he can’t stop The League disappearing in a helicopter with Malcolm as their captive, he does manage to injure Nyssa who is now stuck in Starling City with him. Back in the ArrowCave Nyssa is captive in a cell and Oliver clears everyone out, as he doesn’t want them to be party to any torture he may have to carry out in his quest to find Nanda Parbat. Although no torture is necessary as Nyssa wants him to go there and die at the hands of her father. Whilst everyone is against Oliver going on a suicide mission, and Diggle believes there is more to it than that, Oliver is adamant he knows what he has to do.

Meanwhile over at Palmer Technologies the C.E.O., presumed missing, is in fact in a state of desperate exhaustion battling with every ounce of his being to finish a task. Yes, Ray Palmer wants his Atom suit finished but he is worrying Felicity as much as Oliver does, with his gung-ho way about working. To try and help, Felicity locks him out of his own server to slow his work rate and then tries to explain why. Ray agrees that he may have gone from eccentric cute to smelly weirdo and stops work for a few hours to grab some sleep and a shower.

Diggle is at home explaining to Lyla that the favour he wanted to ask couldn’t happen at the moment as Oliver is so driven by the thought of Nanda Parbat. Lyla, quite to Diggle’s surprise, tells him that he has to go with Oliver. The guilt he felt last time when he thought Oliver was dead was too much for their family to bear. Diggle doesn’t give Oliver a choice and they embark on their journey to Nanda Parbat where a less cocky Malcolm Merlyn has turned into a snivelling, creepy softie as he begs for his life.

A rejuvenated Ray apologises to Felicity for being such an idiot and explains how much he trusts her judgement, whilst forgetting that he is wearing no clothes. Felicity does what we’ve been expecting for a while and leaps right in for the kiss. Elsewhere Oliver is under attack in both Nanda Parbat and the flashbacks, as Waller doesn’t want his release, and in the ArrowCave Nyssa and Laurel share happy memories of Sara.

Diggle and Oliver make it into the temple, taking out a lot of League guards on the way and find a tortured Merlyn strung above hot coals like a lump of Doner meat. This however is just a trap and the iron gates drop leaving Ra’s the other side of the now imprisoned Arrow and his colleagues. Oliver and Diggle awake to find they are chained to the floor with no hope of escape. During a chat, Oliver states that his intentions weren’t just to protect Thea but were egotistical as well, knowing someone had beaten him gave him nightmares. Diggle understands and knew there was something else, and explains Oliver is no different to a soldier in combat believing he will make it home, before asking if he’d be his best man should they survive. Thea and Roy park outside the family of the policeman he murdered when he was under the influence of Mirakuru and have a similar heart-to-heart, but Thea is resigned to the fact she is a killer.

After sex, Ray’s mind is clear and the formula he was looking for to fix his suit comes to him so he sets to work whilst Felicity sleeps. His calculations work and The Atom is born as Ray takes the suit on a test flight (seeing Brandon Routh fly again is pretty cool especially as his Ray Palmer is not the dull dishwater as his Clark Kent was). Thea meanwhile just can’t stop telling people she killed Sara, this time she tells Nyssa and releases her, gives her back her weapon and tells her to take her vengeance. Then back at Nanda Parbat Oliver is thrown to the mercy of Ra’s. He asks Ra’s to kill him but spare Diggle. Ra’s tells Oliver he doesn’t want him dead, he wants him to replace him and become the next Ra’s al Ghul.

Right, I did not see that ending coming. Between the humorous side of Ray flying to the serious overtones of Ra’s offer the episode took off in last few minutes. I’ll be honest I was a little tired of all the emotional stuff this week. Laurel had turned soft, Malcolm had turned soft, Roy had turned soft, if anyone was on a suicide mission it was Thea who couldn’t keep her mouth shut but sounded really whiny doing it. I know that sometimes consequence and death have to be faced, even/especially in Comic Book shows, but this week just seemed a little over the top, right until the last quarter where Oliver and Diggle talked in the cell. That was the only emotional scene that I bought. Oh, and Superman has a new suit so that’s all good.

A strange episode that was neither great nor bad, but had elements of epic in the mix.

Image - IMDb.