Arrow – Season 3 Episode 16: “The Offer”

“I want you to be the next Ra’s al Ghul.” One dialogue caused a tsunami of anticipation as well as incredulity amongst millions of viewers of Arrow. The comic fanboys in particular were upset and they had all the right to be, Arrow up till the mid-season break could possibly not be more incoherent from the Green Arrow series in the DC comic universe. Arrow resumed its third season today, and to be honest I am ambivalent about this episode.

The Offer, is a justified capitulum because the entire episode revolves around the offer that Ra’s al Ghul (Played by Matt Nable) made to Oliver Queen AKA The Arrow (Played by Stephen Amell) before the mid-season break. The episode resumes from that point where Ra’s explains why Oliver is being offered his post and why he truly deserved it. He goes onto show Oliver the Lazarus Pit and goes onto give some exciting yet irrelevant historical tid-bits about it. For all those who don’t know what the Lazarus Pit is, it’s basically the fountain of youth, you saw in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, but a million times cooler and equally more powerful. Ra’s in the comics had used it to survive centuries of injuries and near death situations, but again in coherence with the comics he admits that the effects of the pit on him are fading. In the comics, he declares Bruce Wayne AKA Batman as the rightful heir to the League of Assassins (Ra’s’ crazy gang of psychopathic murders who know really cool parkour) and after him he declares Damian Wayne AKA the 4th Robin, Bruce’s son and his grandson as the heir. Along the way he also declares Talia al Ghul, Ra’s’ daughter as the heir, but always due to some circumstance no one could ever take his place. Offering Oliver his post is literally turning the script and story into a Batman show without Batman. Oliver declines the offer, but Ra’s predicts Oliver’s future, how he’d become an outcast and die alone if he didn’t become the next Ra’s.

“The man who survives Ra’s’ blade is destined to become his successor”

On returning to Starling City, Oliver starts to introspect and realises there has been nothing substantially beneficial that has come out his crusade as the Emerald Archer. He starts to question himself and actually gives Ra’s’ offer a strong consideration. Meanwhile a robbery takes place, where the thugs steal cheap, low-grade diamonds to make diamond head bullets that could tear through kevlar vests like paper. Michael Christian Amar AKA Murmur (Played by Adrian Glynn McMorran) is a ‘stitched mouth’ criminal mastermind, who had been given a short sentence after being coerced by the police for information. After he is released, he intends to avenge himself and launches an attack on the police station with his gang, using the aforementioned bullets to kill/maim the officers. The Arrow along with Arsenal AKA Roy Harper (Played by Colton Haynes) and The Canary AKA Laurel Lance (Played by Katie Cassidy) manage to subdue the threat. The intriguing part was how Nyssa, the other daughter of Ra’s al Ghul (Played by Katrina Law) comes to Starling City to help the Arrow and his team, after having a falling out with her father. She believed  she was rightful heir to his throne, but clearly he believed otherwise. We later see Nyssa and Laurel bonding over dinner. Seriously? Like why? Did she travel all the way from Nanda Parbat to Starling City to help the people who kept her in a cage for the past couple of episodes and then go out to dinner with Laurel to talk about their daddy issues? What in the world is going on? But I will say this, even though, this part was a complete no-no in my books, it didn’t have such a big impact on the episode as a whole. 

Speaking of Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, as I earlier mentioned Talia al Ghul is also one of his daughters. If you aren’t into comics, you might have seen her in The Dark Knight Rises. If you’re thinking about the psychotic chick who vows to blow up Gotham at the end, then you’re right on point. Yeah so getting back to the point, in the starting when Ra’s is giving Oliver a tour of Nanda Parbat, we see what seems like a random group of assassin’s training but then the protagonist in the training routine commits a mistake, and under the hood it seems like it was a girl. What’s even more intriguing is how suddenly Ra’s when teaching her how not to commit such mistakes turns from a martinet into a soft-hearted avuncular. It was almost as if he cared for her. In the comics this only happens to Ra’s when he is teaching/talking to his family, only his family. The producers and writers have said that they won’t be introducing Talia anytime soon, but they said the same thing about Harley Quinn, but that didn’t stop them from giving us an easter egg, did it?

The biggest disappointment of the episode was when Ra’s al Ghul comes to Starling City as the Arrow and kills a few thugs, causing the viewers to reminisce about the homicidal Oliver we see in season 1. Even though, this just made the plot so much more interesting and as an inveterate viewer I cannot wait to see what happens next, but as a comic book reader, this doesn’t bode well with me because, he is Ra’s al Ghul, the Demons Head, one of the most powerful beings in the DC universe, he doesn’t do his dirty work, he has millions of minions to do it for him, even if it has to do with finding a suitable heir. But I’m happy to see that the writers were able to capture the mysterious, unpredictable and vacillating nature of Ra’s al Ghul. I just hope the show doesn’t go off track any more. I want Oliver to become the Arrow we knew, the Arrow we deserve, the Arrow we need right now. (What up The Dark Knight Reference?).

My rating for Arrow – Season 3 Episode 16: 7.7/10

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. dreager1 says:

    Ra’s doing his own dirty work does sound like a bit of a stretch. Perhaps he just doesn’t trust any of his minions to perform the job without trying to back stab him or messing it up. It would certainly hurt his cause if the police found out that there was a fake Arrow running around. (Although they don’t know Arrow’s identity so that shouldn’t be a problem I suppose) Sounds like a decent episode, but I do agree that the whole successor to Ra’s thing seems rather odd. I would prefer that they just have Damian or Batman actually appear and it would set up an interesting rivalry.

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    1. What I particularly didn’t like was that the way they showed Ra’s coming all the way to Starling dressed as the Arrow. It makes him look desperate. Which is not something the comes to your mind when you think about him. Ra’s is probably the most equanimous villain in the DC universe

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      1. dreager1 says:

        That’s certainly true. Maybe he’s even closer to death than he’s letting on. Say he only has about a week left to live. That would make this more believable although I’m not sure if the show would go that route. This incarnation of Ra’s definitely doesn’t sound as menacing as he should be.

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      2. I just hope that the writers don’t push these twists too far.

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      3. dreager1 says:

        Definitely, it’s a bad sign when a show starts to want to shock the audience too often. That being said, the show has already made it to 3 seasons so the writers should have some kind of long term plan at this point. I certainly don’t see the show ending with this season and it could even crack 5 at this point. I suppose I should take it one season at a time though.

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      4. Yeah, this show has a lot of potential and with Flash booming, it definitely got a boost, I just hope they don’t give it any abrupt plot twists and stuff.

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