Arrow Season 3 Episode 16 – TV Review
What happened to the days of putting a horse’s head in a bed to have someone accept an offer they can’t refuse?
Why does everything have to be a costume party?
TL;DR Oliver considers but eventually declines Ra’s offer to be his successor; Nyssa doesn’t take to the news of the offer too well; the Super Friends take down some arbitrary villain-of-the-week; Thea struggles with having Malcolm back at her place; flashback Oliver is still on the run with Maseo and Tatsu’s son, and he also bumps into a not-dead Shadow.
My money’s on evil twin.
So the episode is titled “The Offer,” which means Oliver spends the whole thing trying to decide whether or not to take up Ra’s offer of becoming the next Ra’s al Ghul. He moans a lot about how he hasn’t really achieved anything as the Arrow, and people he loved have died. The rest of the Super Friends are appropriately dumbfounded. Ultimately, the tussle with the villain-of-the-week, and a few kind words from Felicity, bring him back to the sane side, and Oliver turns down the offer. Meanwhile, the villain-of-the-week is hellbent on killing cops or whatever. He eventually launches an assault on the police station, but is subdued by a combined effort from the Super Friends, Quentin, Laurel, and Nyssa. In other subplots, Nyssa, having fucked off Ra’s for his betrayal, comes back to Starling to train Laurel; Quentin refuses to forgive Laurel for keeping Sara’s death from him; Thea hates having Malcolm at her apartment; Thea goes into Roy’s arms for consolation (and sex); and Ra’s turns up at the end of the episode posing as the Arrow, and kills a few gangsters. He commands the surviving gangster to spread the word: the Arrow is killing again. And in some minor flashbacks, Oliver still has the son on the run. A failed rendezvous leads them into a busy market, where they bump into Shadow.
Fine, I’ll name upgrade her to Shado. But I won’t like it.
This episode is simple, Arrow formula goodness. We’ve got our villain-of-the-week action plot complemented by the arc-relevant plot with Oliver’s consideration of the offer.
The other subplots keep their respective arcs moving, too.
So all in all, not a bad week for the Arrow crew.
Why I hate this episode:
I can understand Oliver’s disillusion with his vigilante work, but in what way is becoming the head of the League of Assassins an improvement? Instead of ineffectively trying to be a hero, you will just directly be a villain? Huh?
Oliver rediscovers his passion for vigilantism after he takes down Murmur (the villain-of-the-week) and doesn’t get a thank you from Quentin. Which is pretty much exactly what has happened in any given episode (Quentin is sometimes grateful). Did Oliver literally just forget what being the Arrow is like?
Quentin picks up some serious demerit points this episode. He starts off by severing his alliance with the Arrow because he kept Sara’s death from him. Then he later takes the same dump on Laurel. She comes to his office and does her best to initiate a reconciliation, but he just says he’ll never forgive her. Full stop. Oh, shut up. We know you will.
Sometimes I forget how hard Arrow tried to push Oliver and Felicity’s romance. Like in this episode, when Oliver is absolutely crushed to find out she and Ray are official. Laurel’s totally available, Oliver.
Malcolm encourages Thea to murder him, but she won’t. How disappointing.
Oh, and Thea’s crying run to Roy’s arms (and bed) is so utterly predictable. You’re going backwards, baby.
But it’s not all bad:
At least Thea is resolute in her disdain for Malcolm. Although she won’t kill him herself, she doesn’t feel bad about tipping off the League about him. And she fully regrets everything that’s happened in her life since she went with him at the end of last season. As she should.
And thank goodness Oliver decided to turn down the offer. I don’t think Arrow could have handled the burden of the kind of magnitude of stupidity involved had he accepted it.
The stuff with Murmur plays out pretty much how you’d expect. First, the Super Friends botch an attempt to thwart a robbery of some diamonds. Murmur then makes hilariously awesome diamond-tipped bullets out of them so he can shoot through bullet proof vests. Things converge during the assault on the police station, and Murmur and his gang manage to kill a respectable quantity of police officers before they are subdued.
Laurel happens to be at the station at the time, and despite Quentin having just told her he’ll never forgive her, he does man up and do his best to get her to safety. Thankfully, Nyssa intervenes at the right time and helps Laurel, too. Then the two girls, Quentin, and the Super Friends (once they’ve arrived) take care of the goons.
The flashbacks are limited this episode, and I appreciate it. All they show is Oliver and the son going to a rendezvous point that Maseo and Tatsu had organised for a situation like this. When they get there, it’s swarming with ARGUS agents, so they leg it. Which is when they bump into Shado. Keeping it simple works.
Ra’s plan to pose as the Arrow and kill people seems a bit basic, but I’m sure it’ll get the job done.
Malcolm tells Oliver that there’s a prophecy which states that a man who survives Ra’s’ sword will become his successor. Of course there’s a prophecy.
Nyssa doesn’t kill Thea off the bat this episode because she doesn’t believe her confession. And even when she does, she maintains that Malcolm is truly to blame. It’s refreshing to see a bit of rationality from Nyssa about Sara.
Nyssa wants to hang out with Laurel, and she offers to train her. Good.
Oh, and Felicity still likes flirting with Oliver. But in a good-natured way. Not in an obnoxious, cock-tease way.