Friday, March 20, 2015

Arrow - The Offer

Oliver (Stephen Amell) returns home to Starling City with Diggle (David Ramsey) and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) to think long and hard about the offer from Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable). Receiving a frosty reception from Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne), who now knows the truth about Sara's death, watching Thea (Willa Holland) continue to struggle with what Malcolm has done to her, and learning about Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) romantic relationship with Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), combined with the self-doubt of whether or not he's actually made a difference in the city, lead Oliver to seriously consider Ra's offer to take his place as the new head of the League of Assassins.

"The Offer" is a tricky episode as the audience is keenly aware there is no possible way Oliver Queen is going to abandon his city in the middle of a season to lead a group of assassins. That said, Beth Schwartz and Brian Ford Sullivan do a pretty good job of imagining a scenario where Oliver might actually consider such and offer. The ramifications of Ra's offer also leave Nyssa (Katrina Law) untethered and seeking a new path separate from the League offering Laurel (Katie Cassidy) a willing mentor to help train the new Black Canary as she did her sister. The episode also ends with the ramifications of Oliver's refusal as Ra's, just as Merlyn warned, decides not to take no for an answer and begins his campaign to force Oliver to abandon his city.

With the Ra's storyline dominating the episode, "The Offer" doesn't have much time for a bad guy of the week giving us Adrian Glynn McMorran as the forgettable Murmur who attempts to take out his aggression on Starling City's finest. However, the flashacks to Hong Kong signal the return of Shado (Celina Jade) whose role in Oliver's life, despite what we've seen so far, apparently didn't end on the island after all. Although not entirely unexpected or unwelcome, Shado surviving the island certainly seems to contradict much of Season Two and Oliver's stance on the woman whose death he was responsible for (unless of course this isn't Shado or an end not dissimilar to that on the island is coming for her again).

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