Welcome Home Oliver Queen

Arrow returned in fine form with “The Offer,” a crossroads episode in which Oliver Queen regains his equilibrium. Ra’s chooses Oliver to replace him as the “next Ra’s al Ghul” – this Ra’s needs to retire and he thinks Oliver would make an excellent Dread Pirate Roberts. The offer has the potential to unnerve Oliver and move him further away from his team and his family. Instead it has the opposite effect. The gravity of what Ra’s proposes jolts Oliver to a new sense of clarity – he “used to be an assassin,” he will not be one again.

http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow/ from Sandra
http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow/ from Sandra

Ra’s tries to persuade Oliver to claim his place as the head of “Evil Incorporated” by asking him the essential question all heroes have to answer at one point or another, “Is Sunnydale getting any better? Are they running out of vampires?” or similar. Ra’s presents a harsh truth: Oliver’s efforts to save Starling City from the bad guys are fruitless; there is no fruit for Oliver. That is what makes Ra’s al Ghul’s offer so attractive. He is fighting an uphill battle as a hero, a battle that he might not win. If Oliver could simply have access to a big drafty castle and a rejuvenating oil bath everything would be okay.

http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow/ from Sandra
http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow/ from Sandra

It seems the Lazarus Pit doesn’t give Ra’s the same immortal glow it once did, so he needs a replacement ASAP. To entice Oliver, Ra’s sweetens the deal with the promise of vast wealth and connections as well as access to legions of assassins who are willing to die for him. Declining this offer, according to Ra’s, represents Oliver’s worst nightmare – the prospect that all of his sacrifices are meaningless and that he will die alone. To his credit, Oliver’s instincts immediately kick in – this offer has evil written all over it.

Oliver refreshingly turns to Diggle and Felicity for advice. Diggle appears appalled that Oliver might accept what Ra’s is proposing. Yet Oliver demurs, perhaps the organization could be reformed, turned into a dynamic NGO that spreads peace the world over. Ra’s did suggest that Oliver could do whatever he liked with the LOA. Felicity points out the obvious, “League of Assassins” is “not the name of a nice group.” In a call back to their clock tower conversation in “Streets of Fire,” Felicity compels Oliver to fight on as a hero, not as an all-powerful assassin. She and Diggle reached their crossroads when Oliver “died,” and they chose to keep saving the city because it was the right thing to do. Now Oliver needs to make a similar choice. Blessedly, he does after a highly entertaining action sequence at the SCPD. Oliver confirms to Captain Lance that Felicity is right. He will remain a hero and he does not need “a thank you” to do so.

http://www.greenarrowtv.com/
http://www.greenarrowtv.com/

While Team Arrow bonds, nearly everyone else wrestles with daddy issues. Thea’s unwelcome house guest is her dear old “evil Dad”; the man who turned her into a killer and incidentally, still pays her rent. Young Akio chases a figment of his missing father through the market place. Nyssa fumes when her father casts her aside for a hunky American upstart and Laurel can’t get her father to pay attention to her unless diamond-tipped bullets are flying in her direction. In an unexpected twist, Laurel and Nyssa realize they have a lot in common and launch what might turn out to be the best female friendship in the Arrow-verse. Nyssa’s training can stop Laurel from looking like a battered rag doll dressed in little sister’s hand me downs and Laurel can listen as Nyssa complains about how her dad never understood her. They should invite Thea to join them for dinner since she could best Nyssa in the “my dad is the worst dad ever” competition. Move over Birds of Prey, this is the trio I want to see in action.

http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow/ from Sandra
http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow/ from Sandra

No review of “The Offer” would be complete without mention of the new dynamic at play between Felicity and Oliver. Felicity’s feelings toward him have evolved from anger to compassion. She displays all the flirty confidence of a woman who is enjoying some great sex, yet she does not want to torture Oliver by flaunting her relationship with Ray. Her happiness speech confirms that Oliver remains the most important person in her life despite her “momentarily unavailable” status. When Felicity turns out to be the one who convinces Oliver to follow his instincts and turn Ra’s down, he proves that she is the most important person in his.

http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow from Sandra
http://screencapped.net/tv/arrow from Sandra

The real Oliver Queen has finally come home. He shows a welcome maturity in turning down The Offer, and best of all, he does so after consulting his original team, the two people who have always steered him in the right direction. Ra’s al Ghul’s violent impersonation of the Arrow in the closing scene suggests that he will not go away quietly. Fortunately, Oliver will have Diggle and Felicity by his side as his fight to save Starling City continues. And if Felicity’s come hither saunter is any indication, Oliver’s Buttercup is only an arm’s length away. There might be fruit in Oliver’s future after all.

6 Comments »

  1. I agree with your opinion and take regarding Nyssa and Laurel. I have heard so many fans complain that Laurel just doesn’t feel or seem like the Black Canary. Having Nyssa train her could quell those complaints. Oliver really has seemed lost this year, even more than he normally has been. It was very rewarding to see him weigh all the options and listen to guidance from his friends before coming to a decision all on his own. This season really has been about teamwork and what the mission Oliver started really means for everyone involved. Once again, great post. I look forward to reading more.

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    • Oliver appears to have worked out most of his return-from-the-dead angst. Of course he still has all the rest of his baggage to deal with. If he didn’t the show would not be very much fun. I am thrilled to see him working with Felicity and Diggle again. They are the core trio for a reason. I hope the writers stick with the Nyssa-Laurel friendship and that it leads to good things for both characters. Nyssa has the potential to be quite interesting. Thanks for commenting. I always appreciate it.

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  2. I enjoyed the episode because it was a return to my core team. I’d been missing them so much, in my mind it will always be Dig, Oliver & Felicity with Roy being the adopted little brother/baby vigilante we didn’t know we wanted but we have learnt to love and are kinda protective over. Still not liking or feeling Laurel but I’ve accepted that there will always be a fly in my ointment, as long as she’s not the reason they kill off Roy as some rumours have it so she can be Oliver’s sidekick. Nyssa, love her, I hope they don’t water her down to make Laurel look good. I absolutely agree with Captain Lance and his anger towards Laurel, it would be heart breaking not being allowed to say goodbye to your child, a POV that Laurel wouldn’t have thought of. I love that Oliver is starting to listen to his two best friends, Felicity & Diggle have always been his voice of reason, common sense (which he chooses to ignore at times.) I also loved the return of the comfortable friendship that Oliver & Felicity have (though I feel the EP’s are setting up another calm before the storm situation. As for Ray & Felicity I think they have a convenient and comfortable ‘thing’ going on but it ain’t love. Looking forward to next episode with wedding and Suicide squard, yay 🙂

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    • I agree with you on all counts. I was pleased to see that the writers have not forgotten about Lance’s anger. That is something that should logically play out for months or years to come. With Arrow’s rapid story telling, however, it might be resolved more quickly than I would like. I doubt Nyssa’s fighting skills will be pulled back. The audience needs to see Laurel trained by someone more accomplished than she is. Nyssa fits the bill. Sometimes I think the writers move away from Team Arrow once in a while just to remind us why we like the show so much. I fear Roy will not be with us much longer. Laurel is not the ideal side-kick for Oliver. Black Canary probably shouldn’t be anyone’s side kick. She should be strong enough to stand on her own. I am also looking forward to the big wedding. Thanks you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

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