Nov 22, 2019
Arrow: Trying Out a New Position
Previously on Arrow: The Lazarus Pit can heal all wounds, Ra’s wants Oliver to take his place, Ra’s will do anything to make Oliver take his place, Ra’s impaled Thea to make Oliver take his place.
Thea is not quite dead yet and has managed to crawl a few feet across the glass-strewn floor to find her phone. Oliver gets home right before she reaches it, though, and quickly calls 911; Thea passes out and he picks her up, though I’m not sure what that accomplishes. At the hospital, the ED staff work on Thea while Oliver watches from just outside the trauma room. She flatlines through defibrillation, but CPR does manage to re-start her heart. For now.
Oliver paces in the hospital hallway, but when the doctor emerges from Thea’s room, she doesn’t have good news. She thinks it’s unlikely that Thea will ever regain consciousness, and there wasn’t much they could do for her extensive injuries. Oliver heads into her room to cry, and Malcolm arrives—how did he know? Where has he been? How is he able to walk into hospitals? I have so many Malcolm questions. Anyway, he cries too. So much manpain, so little time.
On Island Time, Oliver, Tatsu, and Maseo watch Gen. Shrieve and his men move crates around in a loading dock. Then, in the middle of the loading dock and not in a secure lab or anything, they put the vials of Alpha and Omega in some device to combine them. Presumably, they’ll then take the combined bioweapon to somewhere densely populated to release. Tatsu and Maseo muse about how to stop the truck, and Oliver heads off to steal a car. They pile inside and take off after the truck.
Oliver has moved his moping into the hospital hallway, for some reason, and Felicity and John arrive. He tells them what happened, kind of, and then paces to the window, where black smoke is rising over the city. John suggest the League can go fuck themselves while Team Arrow comes up with a plan, but Oliver says Ra’s has won and there is no plan, except for Felicity and John to stay to with Thea. When Oliver reaches the League’s site, he greets Maseo with a punch to the face. Maseo exposits what the rest of us already know: that if Oliver takes his place as nuRa’s, he can bring Thea back with the Lazarus Pit.
Felicity and John, who apparently did not stay with Thea, come into Oliver’s apartment to see him packing. Malcolm shows up too, to corroborate Oliver’s description of the Lazarus Pit (Felicity is skeptical), then he warns Oliver that getting revived by said Lazarus Pit “changes” a person. Then he gets blamed by Oliver for Thea’s death in the first place, which is fair. Oliver wonders if they can save the “please don’t go” lecture this time, and Felicity says yes, because they’re coming along. Because someone has to bring Thea home after they creepily revive her with soul-changing magic.
Felicity comes to ask Ray if they can use his jet to get to Nanda Parbat, but he’s less concerned about lending out the jet and more concerned about Felicity and Oliver flying off into the sunset (with Thea’s deadish body). The night before, when he’d watched Oliver and Felicity interact, he realized that she was totally still in love with him. He’s not a dick about it or anything—and nothing is particularly finalized between them—but she apologizes so he tells her to take the jet.
Paramedics load comatose!Thea onto the plane (Felicity told them she was being taken to STAR Labs) while Malcolm repeats his warning to Oliver about the soul-sucking danger of the Lazarus Pit. Oliver does not care and orders Malcolm onto the plane.
En route, Felicity comes to sit with Oliver, and he monologues some manpain at her. He tells her about the time he came back to Starling City during the five years he was missing (with ARGUS) and how he saw Thea and broke some drug dealer’s neck trying to protect her. Because he always wanted to protect her, and he failed.
Island time. Oliver, Tatsu, and Maseo follow the truck containing the armed Alpha/Omega bioweapon. They get in a shootout with the soldiers in the back of the truck, and even though no less than three highly-trained soldiers are shooting at them with automatic weapons, they do not blow any tires or break the windshield, and in fact Oliver is able to climb out of the car, onto the roof, and jump into the truck without being shot. Tatsu takes over driving the truck, having also leapt over, but when Oliver opens the case, the Alpha/Omega is missing.
Oliver carries Thea’s body as he, Felicity, John, and Malcolm approach the gates to Nanda Parbat…only to find the entire League of Assassins standing outside. Ra’s, flanked by Maseo and a woman I don’t recognize (IMDB tells me she is “The Priestess”), approach. Ra’s tells him welcome home, and the League ninjas all drop to one knee.
Maseo takes Thea’s body to “prepare her for the ritual” and leads John to guest quarters. John takes the opportunity to call Maseo out on allegedly being Oliver’s friend and yet working for Ra’s, but Maseo persists that taking over the League is what’s best for Oliver. John needles him a bit, saying that though the League is seen as brave and powerful, there seems to be a trend of it being filled with people who are running away from their lives and problems; cowards. Maseo confirms what we all probably knew to be true—Akio is dead, and so until John loses a kid, he shouldn’t presume to know Maseo’s life.
The Priestess chants the ritual of resurrection while Oliver, John, Maseo, and Malcolm lower Thea’s body into the pit…and in a few seconds, she leaps out like some sort of demon spawn, alive and well. Or, maybe not well. She leaps at Oliver, tackling him and screaming, and two League minions pull her away. Rather than eating Oliver’s face, which is what I expected, she passes out.
Thea wakes up again in a bed with Team Arrow milling around. She doesn’t recognize Oliver, but she seems to know Malcolm; she calls him “dad”…and then asks for her mother a few second later and drifts off again when Malcolm assures her she’s safe. Oliver says Ra’s claimed the confusion would pass, but Malcolm is still angry; he doesn’t think Thea will ever be the same. Oliver says he, John, and Felicity will take Thea home and she’ll recover, but Felicity’s angry, too, that Oliver is giving in to Ra’s demands. Felicity, he will literally firebomb Starling City if Oliver refuses, don’t be an idiot.
Felicity, being an idiot, marches in to tell Ra’s to his face that what he’s doing is wrong. Ra’s is obviously not impressed by Felicity’s threats; instead he tells a story of how he used to be married with two kids and was all happy and shit when a man came to his door and told him he had to leave right then or see his kids tortured in front of him. So he did, to become Ra’s. He tells Felicity that the best she can do for Oliver is tell him goodbye properly. Basically he tells her to go get laid.
Oliver is brooding when Felicity comes in to see him. He has more stories about how much he loves Thea, and Felicity assures him he’ll see Thea again after now, too. Oliver is realizing that everything he’s done has led him to this moment, so he doesn’t know what it was all for. She tries to give him a pep talk, but it’s really just about sex. She says she loves him, and they kiss. Et cetera. Mystical music plays so you know it’s special and powerful and shit. Mostly, I find it boring.
Island time, thank god. The Alpha/Omega isn’t in the truck, so Tatsu interrogates-slash-tortures one of the soldiers to find out where the weapon is: it’s in a food cart. We’re back in our favorite Island Time venue, a crowded Asian market. They’re going to split up to try and find the weapon.
Thankfully redressed, Felicity and Oliver are glad they fucked, and they drink weird League liquor. Or Oliver does—because Felicity has drugged it. Oliver passes out. John and Malcolm think this is just as good an idea as I do: they’re basically all going to get killed.
But Felicity says they have to try, so Malcolm retrieves Thea, John carries Oliver’s body, and they start to fight their way out through the catacombs, with surprise help from Maseo. But they get caught one more time, and with three archers trained on them and Thea in some sort of distress, they’re stuck—until Oliver wakes up. He orders the archers to stop as Heir to the Demon, and they do.
Oliver blandly thanks Felicity for trying, but he tells Felicity there’s only one end. John says that it’s only a mile to the plane, but Oliver asks where exactly they’re going to fly that Ra’s won’t find them. He says goodbye to Thea and sends her off with Malcolm. He tells John he’s the best man he’s ever known, and they hug. Felicity doesn’t think she can forgive herself for leaving Oliver behind, but he reminds her that she said she wants more from life than he can give her. They kiss one more time, and Oliver returns to Nanda Parbat.
Back in Starling City, Thea wakes up in her apartment, confused, and Malcolm recaps the last few days to her. She’s more like herself, but she doesn’t remember what happened. She’s obviously upset when she realizes Oliver traded his life for hers—and incredulous that Malcolm seems to think he can make up for all the shitty things he’s done. But Malcolm says he’s free of the League’s vendetta now: he can do anything he wants, and he wants to take care of Thea.
Felicity goes to see Laurel and break the news. They hug. I wish there was more I could say about that scene.
In Nanda Parbat, Ra’s is angry that Oliver let his friends go after they “spilled League blood,” but Oliver claims that since he honored their agreement and stayed behind, Ra’s has forfeited the right to touch anyone close to him again. Ra’s asks who helped them escape, because they couldn’t have done it without help. Oliver says he doesn’t know (which is true, he was unconscious), but Maseo gives himself up and offers Ra’s his sword, saying he deserves death for killing three League minions. Ra’s spares him, though, saying that Maseo’s transgressions were vestiges of his old life, and besides, he’ll need Maseo to help Oliver.
In the crowded Asian market, Oliver sees a cart guarded by men with earpieces; the cook behind it is about to pour the vial into the food. Oliver takes down the soldiers with a good old-fashioned shooting, but the cook is a ninja, apparently; they fight, and the vial falls to the pavement and breaks.
In Nanda Parbat, Oliver endures a lecture on the etymology of the word “assassin,” and then he undergoes the ritual branding: the mark of the League over his shoulderblade. Oliver doesn’t scream.
And when he dresses again, Oliver Queen is dead; Al Sah-him, the Arrow, Heir to the Demon, remains.