I think Arrow has really started to find its footing since the reemergence of Ra’s. It’s given the show a little more focus, and a good source of tension to carry through week to week. If you’re familiar with my past takes on the show, you can probably guess what I’m going to say this week. There was entirely too much Laurel. This week, there may also have been a little too much of everyone moping around missing Oliver.
It may be a little unfair to knock them for the grief portrayed by Team Arrow. It’s only been a few weeks at this point, and not showing any mourning would be equally sloppy, but I can’t help but feel it might have been better to have something else for them to be doing.
To that end, I think it was too soon to bring Oliver back to Starling City. It was interesting to see a face-off with Diggle, and it was shocking to see Oliver act so brutally toward his friends, but I think it could have been better handled if they’d given it more time to breathe first. With that said, it’s still a nice upward trend in the show. We all know Oliver won’t last as Ra’s. That’s just obvious, but in the meantime, my hopes are on the rise for a great close to the season.
Laurel didn’t bother me as much this episode because even though everyone sported a hangdog look, she actually fought crime before Ollie came back to town. The rest of the cast was too verklempt.
I will knock the writers/directors/actors for the grief Team Arrow showed this episode because after the midseason break (when the team thought Ollie was dead), they continued the good fight. Did they grieve? Yes. But they could also get out of bed in the morning. Most of the mopey scenes in this week’s “Al Sah-Him” were over-the-top. I say most because the one at the end, after they found out that Ollie had changed and wasn’t just chilling in Nanda Parbat, made sense.
I agree that Ollie should’ve spent some time away from Starling. It took a few weeks for him to make it back home after he died (midseason) and this week fast forwarded three weeks—yet another reason to not believe Team Arrow’s deep depression: they’ve had more time with which to grieve. The Ra’s angle works – for the most part – and I liked the stinger at the end of the episode. The flashbacks finally tied into the greater arc for this season. But what of the season finale?
I’m afraid that anything Arrow comes up with for the finale will either be ludicrous and/or undermine the classic Batman – oh no, the “b” word – villain Ra’s Al Ghul. The only hope of a somewhat satisfying ending comes from Ra’s Al Ghul’s lengthy monologue–and that was a little too much exposition for me.
While the end of this season should be fun and action-packed, I’d have a hard time accepting Ra’s letting Ollie go or Ollie taking down the League of Assassins. The writers may have written themselves into a corner that I don’t think they can overcome with any style or grace. Still, I look forward to the twists and turns Arrow has in store for us.
No amount of moody blues could keep the action-fueled “Al Sah-Him” down. Arrow zings toward its season finale.
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