Arrow Thoughts: Season 3 Episode 18 “Public Enemy”


By: Casey (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for this episode of Arrow as well as speculation on next week’s episode.

Not since season one have we seen the Arrow so hated in Starling City. Ra’s al Ghul’s plan went to the next level when he killed the mayor of Starling City. Now the Arrow is a wanted man. Left with no choice but to turn himself into the police, this episode ended with Oliver in the back of a police prisoner transport. It was a great end to what I thought was one of the best episodes in the whole series.


Oliver Queen is a desperate man. We pretty much knew that Ra’s al Ghul would not rest while Oliver refused to be the next leader of the League of Assassins. What Ra’s doesn’t understand is that Oliver loves Starling City, and he’s not going to abandon it after losing so much. To date, his father, mother, best friend, and love of his life have all given their lives as Oliver fights to protect his city from bad people. Ra’s al Ghul thinks he can make Starling City an untenable place for Oliver, but Oliver has accepted his place as a vigilante from the first day he got off the island and began fighting the very people who failed their city.

Unlike Oliver’s past adversaries, Ra’s al Ghul has many more skilled fighters on his side. This will not be easy for Team Arrow. However, also unlike his past adversaries, I’m not sure Ra’s al Ghul intends to kill Oliver. It’s something he’s willing to do, but I think Ra’s still has his mind set on Oliver becoming the next leader of the League. That is something that can work to Oliver’s advantage.

Captain Lance

On the last Hatertots podcast, I put Captain Lance on my list of people who wouldn’t make it out of this season alive. I didn’t want to spoil anything at the time, but I knew from an interview that Lance would find out the real identity of the Arrow. That was the biggest reasons I thought the character would die soon. Now I’m not so sure. I didn’t plan on Lance going on television and telling everyone that Oliver Queen was the Arrow. I certainly didn’t expect him to issue a warrant for his arrest. I think Lance might actually be safe for now.

Something that isn’t a surprise to me is the reaction of Captain Lance. He has spent the last three years hating Oliver Queen for taking Sara away from him. He hated the Arrow first for being a vigilante, then for hiding Sara’s death from him (her real death this time). I pretty much assumed that Lance would not take the news of Queen and Arrow being the same person well. Lance is on a rampage right now. He’s lost his daughter (again), he’s shut Laurel out of his life, and he’s listening to Ra’s al Ghul. It’s safe to say Lance is not thinking clearly at the moment. I’m not sure how he comes back from this, but the League of Assassins running around Starling City could give the writers a way for Lance to step back from the edge he’s currently standing on.

The End Game

Ra’s has demonstrated that he’s willing to give up Oliver’s identity to achieve his plans, and Oliver has shown that he’s not afraid of going to prison to avoid being the leader of a band of assassins. Based on the previews for next week, Oliver is no longer in police custody. He may be back in Nanda Parbat as a prisoner of the League of Assassins. What happens from here is anyone’s guess, but I don’t see this ending any other way than Oliver once again fighting Ra’s al Ghul. Last week’s episode contained a possible tease that happened so fast you could have missed it if you weren’t paying attention – Oliver was training with a sword. We almost never see that. Could that be a possible foreshadowing of another fight with Ra’s? I’m going to guess that the answer to that question is yes.

Thanks for reading!