Monday, May 04, 2015

Arrow S03 E21: "Al Sah-Him"

We get cool freshness in the opening seconds, a new spin on Stephen Amell's usual voiceover narrative, that indicates Oliver has entered a phase of his life, that of becoming the new R'as Al Ghul. In exchange for Thea's life, he has given himself over to Demon's training. Shortly after finally consummating Olicity, our hero is getting a buzzcut and a branding, as well as a new name, Al Sah-Him, which is, ironically enough, Arabic for 'The Arrow.' All this happened last episode.

What is most intriguing about the opening scenes of this episode is the discussion of a character called Damien Darhk during a heart to heart chat between R'as and Oliver. Darhk considered himself R'as' rival and equal, and his hesitation to kill him years ago has made a thorn in R'as' side ever since. This Darhk has not only his own hive of operatives, and some water from the Lazerus Pit, but has been involved in Oliver's affairs as well.

Notably, according to R'as of course, Darhk has tried to purchase Malcolm Merlyn's earthquake generator, has had dealings with Markovia, and was involved with that incident with Mark Shaw. R'as makes it clear - Damien Darhk is not just his enemy but Oliver's as well. This enemy must be eliminated.

Now there is not just one comics precedent to this character, but two, and they both fit. There was a Doctor Ebeneezer Daark who R'as put in charge of the League of Assassins, but eventually turned against the Demon. And then there's the closer name approximation, Damien Darhk, who was one of the leaders of the criminal organization called the H.I.V.E., who menaced the Teen Titans for years. Rumors say the H.I.V.E. will be baddies next season, and it wouldn't be the first time Arrow fought Titans villains... so perhaps this Darhk is a mix of the two.

As many of you may or may not know, I maintain a blog about French fries, so when we dropped in on Laurel and Nyssa discussing, eating, and dipping French fries into milkshakes - yeah, I was loving it. I have never really been a fan of Katie Cassidy, up until her recent appearance on "The Flash," and here bonding with Nyssa. Or maybe I just like her in this scene because fries are involved. Anyone who dips their fries in their shake is okay in my book.

Darhk and fries aside, the main plot of this episode revolves around Oliver returning to Starling City to kill Nyssa and basically erase all vestiges of his former life. This drags on seemingly forever. I liked the bits with Team Arrow re-shifting to adjust the absences of Oliver and Roy, and I dug the dinner at Dig and Lyla's. I hated that Oliver kidnapped Lyla. The only real good part is the debut, finally, of the second Speedy, even if it's Thea instead of Mia.

In Flashback Hong Kong, that we know is going to be all right because of 'the Superboy paradox' that I touched on here and explained here on The GAR! Podcast, but we see that characters can be markedly different on TV than they are in the comics. Case in point - General Shrieve, who is sooo not a villain. All I'm watching the flashbacks (or is it coming in the present day?) for is to finally see Katana in costume. At least now we know where this storyline is going.

Okay, show of hands, who else is done with this whole R'as Al Ghul storyline?

Next: The Bride of the Demon

For my other reviews of the entire "Arrow" series, click here. And if you'd like to discuss this episode and anything else in the Arrowverse, please join the Arrow Discussion Group on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty much done with this storyline. I think it veered into unintentional comedy when dramatic music was played as a backdrop to Ra's telling Nyssa she had to marry Oliver. Oh no, gorgeous people are forced to marry each other! The horror!