By: Casey (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead.
“Gone,but not forgotten” was Team Arrow’s mantra for Oliver tonight (how could they forget him while he was running Starling City trying to kill everyone?). I’ve spent so much time these past few weeks trying to figure out how the League could work for Oliver that I forgot how the League could make Oliver work for them. That answer was brainwashing. Oliver has been in Nanda Parbat for three weeks, and in that time Ra’s al Ghul has managed to strip from Oliver any conscious remains of his former self. Oliver Queen is gone. It was difficult to watch, but the writers did an excellent job of showing just how far he has fallen with the kidnapping of Lyla. That had to feel like the ultimate betrayal for Diggle. Still, I couldn’t help but think that a very small part of the old Oliver still remains. We caught glimpses of it when he allowed Maseo to not search Felicity, and when he saw that it was Thea that shot him with her arrow. Were those bits and pieces of Oliver surfacing, or was that simply Al Sah-Him being pragmatic?
Ra’s al Ghul
I haven’t thought about it much until now, but Ra’s al Ghul is the ultimate Machiavellian character. His main concern is power, and the ends will always justify the means for him. Nyssa is a threat to him and Oliver. It doesn’t matter that she’s his daughter; she betrayed him so she must be dealt with accordingly. Breaking her will was enough for him. Arranging a marriage between her and Oliver consolidates his power, and that’s his main concern.
Having Oliver release the Alpha-Omega weapon on Starling City is shrewd move, and I’m wondering if it’s something that Ra’s intends to see to the end. We already saw that his order to kill Nyssa was a test. This could be the same. The League is shrouded in secrecy, and killing everyone in a major city seems like something that would draw much unwanted attention. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Ra’s does not intend for Oliver to carry out this mission to the end.
Tonight was a real gut punch for the whole crew. The group has so much faith in Oliver, but seeing just how far gone he is forced them all to face reality. While Oliver’s current condition is not permanent (he’s not becoming the bad guy on his own show), everyone has seemingly accepted the fact that they are now Arrow-less. As I suspected, Diggle is stepping up and becoming the leader of the group. These are tough times and Diggle is a strong person. Under him, the group will persevere and ultimately figure out a way to save Oliver in the end.
Thanks for reading!