By Keifer Knight
Refusing Ra’s al Ghul has its consequences. Week after week Oliver resisted and lost more of himself. Betrayal, death, an allies departure… but nothing could prepare Ollie for finding Thea beaten and bloodied.
From the opening scene onward, Stephen Amell showed the Arrow’s audience of what it was like to have everything stripped away from him. Defeated and desperate, Oliver would sacrifice himself to not allow his sister to become another victim, because of his resistance to Ra’s al Ghul.
It was clear that modern medicine wasn’t going to save Thea. It is at this point Sarab was sent to give Oliver a message — hope from Ra’s. The waters of the Lazarus Pit can heal Thea if Ollie finally agrees to become Al Sah-him, heir to the Dragon Head. I have to say if I was in Oliver’s shoes, I can’t imagine making any other choice to save someone I loved.
Every one of us knew where this episode was going. Team Arrow’s journey to Nanda Parbat easily set up the rest of this season. From Malcolm’s foreshadowing of the Lazarus Pit changing Thea in her soul, to Oliver’s preparing himself to say goodbye to everything he knew, and everyone he cared about.
Though Thea’s resurrection was the buildup, it was nearly anticlimactic. Her wounds were healed, and other than moments of being confused and delirious she was herself by the end of the episode. I am hoping this will be a plot point, showing lasting ramifications on Thea for at least the rest of the season. Malcolm after all foreshadowed her death last week. I don’t think he’s wrong when he said the waters change a person’s soul.
“The Fallen” continued to be a powerfully emotional episode between each of the members of Team Arrow. On the surface level, a brother is doing whatever he can to save the only blood family he has left, the sister he swore millions of times to protect. To some degree Malcom tries to be a father for Thea. Grieving her death, but warning everyone what will happen if she undergoes the Lazarus Pit.
Diggle and Felicity both were looking for ways to help Oliver not have to sacrifice his life to Ra’s al Ghul. I really liked how you can tell their determination to save their friend knew no boundaries. They planned an escape that seemed nearly futile, and Diggle trying to bring out Sarab’s friendship with Oliver. You could see that they weren’t giving up on Oliver, even as Oliver himself had already given up.
My favorite was Felicity’s argument with Ra’s al Ghul. She is no longer a shy, awkward computer hacker, but instead a determined sage for both Team Arrow and Team Flash. Even though her motives were emotionally driven, she continued to control the room first with Malcolm and then Ra’s. Her best moment this week was what many fans have been awaiting for years. With almost no hope, she and Oliver give into their feeling for one another. The scene showed their passion for one another. In the end, neither had any regrets admitting their love for the other.
Of course, there had to be an escape attempt, and of course we knew that it would be ineffectual. One of the attention-grabbing parts of the escape was not only Sarab helping Oliver to escape, but Ra’s forgiveness of him after he killed members of the league. Ra’s told him that he would not punish Sarab for a transgression committed by Maseo.
I think every Arrow fan knew tonight was happening sometime this season. The promo from The Flash showed Oliver in his League of Assassin battle armor. I am glad that Oliver’s journey of Al Sa-him begins with a few episodes left. I am hoping two things, one that this journey continues into next season, and that at the end of this season Oliver is NOT Ra’s al Ghul.
I have to talk about a few other things that happened NOT within this main storyline. Felicity and Ray talked about her feelings for Oliver before Team Arrow left for Nanda Parbat in his jet, and will have big ramifications on their relationship, if it still exists. Also there was of absence of Lances this week and the strife in their father/daughter bond (though they were featured in this week’s The Flash. Check out my review).
What comes next week? Truly an Arrowless Arrow – Al Sa-him begins his training including hunting down his friends, and the execution of John Diggle! Don’t know about all that, but that is what next week’s promo shows.