The gang wrestles with Oliver’s twisted choice.
In an episode sure to excite the fans, full of tears, action, and new mysteries to be explored, ‘Arrow’ officially began its endgame for the season, as from this point forward, there are only 3 episodes left in Season 3.
Jumping in, the episode opens right where ‘Broken Arrow’ left off, with Thea dying on the floor of the Queen apartment. Oliver finds her there and in terror rushes her to the hospital, where they do everything they can for her, but tell Oliver she is still going to die. Malcolm joins Oliver waiting by Thea’s bedside, clearly torn up about his daughter and the fact that his decisions led Thea to this point. Diggle and Felicity hear about what’s happening and come by to comfort Oliver, just as he sees purple smoke from a nearby building, the calling card of the League of Assassins. Asking his friends to keep an eye on Thea, Oliver finds Maseo waiting for him near the smoke, with Oliver instantly punching his old friend on the chance he was the one who dealt Thea her mortal wound. Maseo tells him there’s a way to save Thea, but only if Oliver takes up the Ras Al Ghul mantle. He is of course speaking of the Lazarus Pit, which has kept current Ras Al Ghul alive for over 100 years.
Oliver reluctantly agrees to finally take the deal, and he informs his friends of his plans, to which both Felicity and Diggle are not happy. Knowing Oliver needs a ride to get to Nanda Parbat, Felicity visits Ray, who has had his eyes opened the previous night (when Felicity and Oliver were saying goodbye to Roy), and knows Felicity still loves Oliver, and that was the reason why she could not return Ray’s “I love you.” After she apologizes, and they essentially decide to be friends, she asks Ray for a favor, needing his private jet. Because Ray is a stand up guy, he lets his ex-girlfriend who he just broke up with borrow his private jet, and the group is ready to go.
Malcolm is against the venture, warning Oliver that people that go into the Lazarus Pit come out changed, it alters their soul. Oliver won’t hear any of it, and orders Malcolm onto the plane without another word. Not wanting to be left behind this time, Felicity comes with as well, having a quiet moment on the ride to Nanda Parbat with Oliver, wherein he tells her the story of his secret visit to Starling City before his official return, and of killing Thea’s drug dealer in order to protect her.
They arrive to Nanda Parbat to find Ras and the League waiting eagerly for them, all of the assassins laid out in a kind of formal procession before the doors of their headquarters as Oliver carries Thea inside, followed by his wary friends (and Malcolm!). Inside, he hands Thea to Maseo, who promises to take care of her like his own family, and Ras and Oliver talk business, briefly. Soon enough, Thea is being lowered into the Lazarus Pit, with an unnamed woman (potentially Talia Al Ghul?) presiding over the ceremony. She is dunked into the waters, and after a few seconds submerged, she leaps out in a primal rage, knocking down Oliver. The League subdues her and administers a sleeping agent to calm her, but Oliver is satisfied, she is alive.
They take Thea to a guest bedroom, and when she awakens, she does not recognize Oliver, but knows Malcolm, and asks where Moira is. She falls back asleep, and Malcolm is worried that her memories will not return, and he will have to tell her about Moira. Oliver is confident Thea’s memories will be restored, and tasks Malcolm and his friends with taking care of her, since he cannot leave Nanda Parbat. In a fury, Felicity storms off to confront Ras, demanding to know how he could do this to someone. Ras tells her the story of his own ascension to the League, how he was given the choice of leaving his family without saying goodbye, or staying and watching them be slaughtered. He tells Felicity to take advantage of the opportunity to say goodbye to Oliver, as he himself was never given that chance.
Taking Ras’ advice, Felicity visits Oliver, professes her love for him, and in the biggest moment of the night, the two finally give into their passion and sleep together. Afterwards Felicity sums it up perfectly (well for her character) with, “Well, that happened.” Even more determined to not let Oliver go now, Felicity offers him a drink, which Oliver takes, passing out shortly afterward, as Felicity had drugged the beverage. She gathers the team, including a confused Thea, and they make their escape, with Felicity demanding Malcolm to lead them out using a secret exit, which she guesses he is aware of because he spent so many years as Ras’ “number 1 stooge.”
They are aided in their escape by Maseo, who earlier that night had received a scolding from Diggle for supposedly being Oliver’s friend and allowing all of this to happen, with Diggle calling Maseo and the rest of the League cowards, running from their lives and their problems instead of facing them. (though we did get official confirmation from present Maseo that his son died, which seems to be his biggest reason for joining the League). Maseo shoots down three League men chasing the group, and urges them to hurry. Felicity leads the group through the catacombs beneath the fortress, but they are too slow, and are eventually caught by the League. Before anyone can fire a shot however, Oliver is awake, and in his first act as the new Heir to the Demon, he orders his men to stand down. He escorts his friends out of Nanda Parbat, saying tearful goodbyes to all, especially Felicity, who is not happy to be leaving him behind. Thea still does not remember him, but Oliver tells her to remember that he loves her, if nothing else. Oliver then tells Diggle that he is the best man he has ever known, and no matter what happens, they’ll always be brothers.
Oliver returns to Ras, who is angry that Felicity and company took League members lives in their escape attempt. Maseo fesses up that he helped them, but he is forgiven by Ras, who says Maseo betrayed him, not the League identity, Al-Sarab. Furthermore, he states the Oliver will needs Al-Sarab during his coming transition, so he spares Maseo’s life. He then turns to Oliver and tells him from this point forward, Oliver Queen is dead, and will have to be completed erased. They brand Oliver’s back with a familiar looking arrow symbol (hello explanation for the opening logo), and Ras declares that Oliver Queen is dead, there is only the Arrow now, or in their tongue, Al-Sahim. A fresh pair of clothes and a menacing look later, and it seems that Oliver Queen is, indeed dead.
In tonight’s flashbacks, we see Maseo, Tatsu and Oliver go after General Shrieve’s men to get the Alpha-Omega toxin back, but their first attempt, hijacking the truck supposedly carrying the bio-weapon, is a failure, as the vial was actually smuggled out via a food cart. Eventually they track down the vendor in a populated area of the city, where the vendor is about to unleash the green weapon. A fight ensues, with Maseo and Tatsu holding off Shrieve’s men while Oliver tussles with the burly vendor, both grabbing for the vial of Alpha-Omega. During the scuffle, the vial is dropped, and it shatters onto the ground, unleashing its deadly contents.
In the episode aftermath, Thea awakens, seemingly herself again in the Queen apartment, though she cannot remember anything past being stabbed by Ras. She finds Malcolm watching over her, who tells her what happened, and promises to be there for her through everything. Felicity visits Laurel, and in a tearful scene, catches her up on what happened, with Laurel comforting the woman.
– Is the Alpha-Omega actually unleashed? Could that vial have been a fake?
– Is Maseo’s son truly dead? They been hinting at it all season, and he confirmed it tonight, but there might be a chance for a surprise re-union, potentially Team Arrow finds the kid and using him to get Maseo onto their side, and he helps them save Oliver.
– What could we see happen to Thea now that she’s been through the pit? I doubt temporary memory loss will be the worst of her side-effects. Perhaps she will become the new Dark Archer, following in her father’s footsteps?
It was amazing to finally see Oliver and Felicity give in to their passion for one-another, even if it was bittersweet, and I really enjoy how strong Felicity’s character has become this season. She was always the heart of the team, but more and more it seems (to me at least) that she is becoming the leader as well, sometimes even over Oliver. Can’t wait to see how they wrap everything up in the last 3 episodes, and very exciting for the finale, in which ‘Arrow’ always delivers an exciting ride!