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Warning: Full Spoilers Ahead
Details from the flashbacks emerge in the current timeline and Oliver Queen made his heel turn this week as he began his transformation into the episode title’s namesake “Al Sah-Him”.
The direction the show took this episode was one I really did not see coming. From the jump we see the grueling training regimen Ra’s has set for Oliver. Though he seemed to be struggling with his new life there wasn’t any indication of any brainwashing going on during the process. So when brought Diggle out and had Oliver execute him that really took me by surprise. I had assumed that it was really Diggle we were seeing in those moments and Oliver has concocted a plan to fake his death and revive him via Lazarus Pits. Of course this lead to the reveal that it was all a part of the brainwashing technique Ra’s had implemented. It still was hard for me to believe that Oliver had completely transformed into another person although the signs should have been more obvious. Even if he knew it was an illusion the fact that he just killed another man in cold blood, something he had sworn himself not to do, should have been the first red herring.
In contrast of the training Ra’s was putting Oliver to, we got to finally see the training Nyssa had been putting Laurel through. Although Laurel had taken on the mantle of Black Canary she still had been portrayed as being very green in regards to combat. I’m glad they touched on her training instead of making Laurel suddenly become an elite fighter. The real important takeaway from the scenes featuring these two was Nyssa’s own transformation into a “normal person”. It was delightful seeing Nyssa enjoy the simple things in life like milkshake dipped fries. She really has come a long way from his first appearance as a villain in the show and has become one of the more intriguing characters outside of the main cast.
The world’s collided in a major way with the battles. In a twist we see Oliver fighting for evil while Nyssa fought alongside the good guys. The Nyssa vs. Oliver rooftop battle was great as always is whenever those two face off. More interesting was the battle at the garage. Great matchups in that fight as we had Laurel vs. two League assassins, Nyssa vs. Maseo, and Oliver vs. Diggle. Nyssa’s training must be working out because Laurel was more than holding her own against the League agents. Diggle hardly ever gets to showcase his fighting ability so him dueling Oliver with two swords was a big surprise. He’s definitely made huge strides since first joining Team Arrow but we’d be amiss if we think he’d be a match for Oliver.
As expected things don’t go well for the heroes and Nyssa gets captured. Oliver, tasked to end her life, was ready to carry the out deed in full until, of course, Ra’s stopped him. For someone who is supposed to be pure evil he has shown himself to be really forgiving. It was really only at that point that I realized that Oliver might be lost to the brainwashing.
So what to look forward to? Oliver has to destroy his old home as a final test to prove himself worthy of his position. Oliver really should have read the fine print on that contract to become Ra’s Al Ghul because I’m not so sure he’d be so willing to give up this much, even with Thea’s life on the line. Also, how in the world did Nyssa get her hands on the Alpha-Omega virus? I understand that this plot device is supposed to cross the flashbacks and the present day timeline but theres a big missing piece of information there that I hope gets covered.
I’m really curious what Team Arrow’s next move against the League will be. Without their leader and being severely undermanned, things aren’t looking up for them.
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- Climactic battle sequences
- Nyssa/Laurel dynamic