We pick up as we were left in the previous episode: Oliver on his knees before Ra’s, asking for Diggle to be spared and Ra’s revealing he wants Oliver to take his place and become the next Ra’s Al Ghul. The look on Oliver’s face is complete and utter ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’
Ra’s takes Oliver on a tour of all that can be his, leading him down a corridor to where a group of Leaguers are scrimmaging. When one falls and looks down the end of another’s blade, Ra’s steps in and shows him where he went wrong. Basically he pitches the LoA as not being all about murdering but about giving stragglers purpose and guidance. They don’t have to kill for him, he explains to a doubtful Oliver, they have to be willing to die for him.
Ra’s continues the soft sell at dinner. Oliver’s been struggling with his dual identity: Living as Oliver Queen or the Arrow. Neither give him what he craves. But the role as Ra’s Al Ghul can. Oliver actually seems to be considering this and we cut to-
Back in Starling, in the Arrow cave, Nyssa isn’t convinced Thea’s confession is legit but soon becomes a believer as Thea explains what went down and practically begs to be killed. Nyssa doesn’t take the bait: she’ll be happy with Malcolm’s death for Sara she won’t hurt Thea. But Roy and Laurel who come upon the scene, don’t believe that’s the case and subdue Nyssa, Thea allowing them to believe she escaped. Still lying, Thea? Not cool.
Back in Nanda Parbat, Ra’s shows Oliver the Lazarus Pit (boy he must be all in with Oliver if he’s showing him all the bells and whistles – or very sure he can kill him in the end to keep all this a secret). Oliver’s seen a lot of things so he’s not impressed by the magic of theses so called pits. Ra’s explains he needs an heir now that the pits’ powers are no longer working on him like they used to. And he thinks Oliver should be that heir. The League would be his army to do with as he wishes. Why confine his crusade to a single city? He can save the world! Oliver takes this in as Ra’s snaps his fingers and Maseo brings in Diggle and Malcolm and tells Oliver they’re free to go as a token of his good faith. Oliver thanks him but declines the offer. He’ll be going back to Starling City with them. The soft sell didn’t work and Ra’s is not a happy camper.
Starling City! Thea’s loft. Thea comes home to find Oliver and is delighted he’s alive. Then sees Malcolm on her couch and is bummed he isn’t dead. Oliver asks her to table her issues with Malcolm for now and to let him heal.
Flashback! Hong Kong! Oliver is on the run with Akio who wants his mom and dad. They bob and weave through the streets, but Oliver loses Akio and panics. Luckily the boy finds Oliver: he thought he saw his dad. Akio then remembers that his parents to ld him if he ever got lost from them that he should go to the botanical gardens. Akio and Oliver run off….
The Arrow Cave. Team Arrow wonders what went down in Nanda Parbat. So does Nyssa. He wasn’t supposed to come back alive. Oliver frees Nyssa who stalks out uneasily while Team Arrow waits for the lowdown. Oliver gives no answers, he just wants to get back to work which given the crime in Starling City is always an option.
Back in the saddle, as Arrow, Canary, and Arsenal break up a robbery in progress overseen by a rather odd fellow: his lips are sewn shut. They net several goons but fail to grab the ringleader. Arrow drops off the goons he did capture to Captain Lance but gets freezer burn off Lance’s cold shoulder. Arrow is puzzled until Lance clues him in on knowing about Sara and how the Arrow lied to him and led him on. He’s done with their working relationship. This leaves the Arrow looking a little hurt.
Meanwhile at Palmer Technologies, Felicity and Ray are working hard at working and flirting, when Oliver arrives and coughs politely to grab Felicity’s attention. Ray leaves them to chat and Felicity apologizes for not telling Oliver about her and Ray which he waves off as ‘As long as you’re happy’. They get down to Team Arrow work and she zeroes in on the ID of the leader of the thugs at the robbery: Murmur. Felicity notes Oliver seems upset about something and he talks to her about what Lance said and how it just sucks that that happened. Oliver backtracks, saying he’s fine, but it’s obvious he ain’t and obvious Felicity can’t help herself from wanting to be his emotional shoulder to lean on.
Elsewhere Laurel pays a visit to Thea, noting that Malcolm is still alive and that while she hates that, she’s glad Thea wasn’t responsible for his death. Thea laments that ever since learning Malcolm was her father, her life went to crap. Laurel offers a final bit of comfort before leaving when Malcolm stirs, obviously having heard all that was discussed. When he turns to face Thea, he tells her to go ahead and use the knife in her hand to kill him and end her misery once and for all. Thea declines and walks away, leaving Malcolm relieved? Disappointed? Not quite sure.
Nanda Parbat. Nyssa has made it home and Ra’s is happy to see her until she lashes into him: Why is Malcolm still alive? Ra’s reminds Nyssa to mind her tone and understand that Malcolm was a gift to Oliver – who he as picked as his heir. Is this because of my love for Sara? Nyssa hisses and swings out her dagger to strike Ra’s until he catchers her hand and tells her that his decision is final and if she doesn’t like it, she can leave.
If we needed any confirmation the pits work, Ra’s dips his injured hand in the waters and it heals. Now does it also bring the crazy?
Back at the Arrow lair, Oliver and Team Arrow do some sleuthing. Roy will track the fence for the stolen loot – diamonds while Diggle wonders about Oliver’s fidgetyness. Tell me what’s going on. Ra’s predicted this. The city will turn against me and I will die alone. Sounds like Ra’s is still in your head, Diggle observes. He wants me to take his place and that’s why he let us go, Oliver finally explains. Diggle balks. Is there a world where Oliver can imagine saying yes? Oliver’s sipping the Kool Aid: I could do good. Make a difference not just a dent. What have we accomplished? We put all these guys away and they got out. Is the city better off? The Arrow isn’t enough. Maybe I should say yes.
Thea’s Loft. Malcolm on the couch as Oliver arrives to meet with Thea. Thea doesn’t recognize the girl she used to be. She wanted to kill Malcolm and came close to it but didn’t because of Moira. She’s broken just like Malcolm and that won’t change. Thea leaves to go buy her evil dad some soup. Oliver wonders what the hell Malcolm said to Thea. Malcolm’s more concerned about what the conditions were for his release. Malcolm then enlightens us all about a missing piece of Ra’s logistics: There is a prophecy. The one who doesn’t perish at his blade, becomes Ra’s Al Ghul. Malcolm warns that what this offer isn’t really an offer but an order and that ultimately, Ra’s won’t give Oliver a choice in the matter.
Flashback! Hong Kong. Akio an Oliver at the gardens but there are more goons and Oliver flees with Akio as more bullets rain in their direction.
The Arrow Lair. Felicity needs to have a chat with Oliver. Diggle caught her up on Ra’s offer. Why is Oliver even considering it? Oliver laments that after all he’s tried to do to help, people still are getting hurt and dying. He doesn’t know why he’s doing this anymore. Felicity gives some good advice that when he was MIA after fighting Ra’s they all had to figure out why they were doing this, maybe it’s his turn to figure that out again.
Roy breaks up this nice moment with relevant plot news: the diamonds are being used to make diamond tipped bullets so that Murmur can get payback on the cops that set him up. Felicity tries to warn Lance but he’s not keen on Team Arrow and ignores the call. He’s ready to ignore Laurel too when she arrives to try to mend fences and says she won’t be giving up. Lance finally has to calmly but seriously spell it out for her: She can’t save this. He wants to forgive but he can’t. He’ll always love her but beyond that…
And this moment is interrupted by bullets flying in the precinct as Murmur and his men come in and what does Lance do? Immediately pull Laurel down and protect her from the bullets. It’s like he said, he’s mad but he still loves his little girl.
A firefight ensues as Murmur tries to take down the cops. Arrow and Arsenal arrive to help break up the fight, besting Murmur and saving Lance in the process. Quentin doesn’t offer up any thank yous and Arrow isn’t looking for one: He doesn’t do this for a thank you.
Team Arrow returns form a job well done, Oliver taking a moment to thank Felicity for her pep talk. He knows why he’s doing this and isn’t ready to give it up and take Ra’s offer. Felicity’s all smiles, ducking out when Ray calls and leaving Oliver beaming a little less brightly.
Flashback! Hong Kong! Oliver and Akio run from the goons who are closing in. They run into a woman who turns around to Oliver, he stopping dead in his tracks when he sees her face. “Shado?!”
Present Day. Arrow Lair Alley. Laurel wonders why Nyssa returned to Starling. Nyssa missed Sara and wanted to be close to someone who was close to her. They bond over their father issues and Laurel’s still not so great fighting style. Nyssa offers to teach her and the two ladies walk off into the night to continue their bonding.
Elsewhere in Starling, Maseo meets with Oliver who gives a final thanks but no thanks to Ra’s offer. Maseo warns him that there will be consequences. It is the will of Ra’s Al Ghul. Oliver shrugs. Not his problem.
Roy’s place! Thea pays Roy a visit after hours in need of someone to talk to after babysitting Malcolm for hours. The two end up doing more than talk as Thea kisses Roy, Roy kisses back and the onetime couple start to get hot and heavy.
Some random criminal den. A group thugs lament the assault on the cops being a failure. One of the main ranters gets an arrow to the chest, dropping him dead. The other thugs look up at the green hooded figure, shocked.
Tell everyone what you’ve seen here, the hooded figure orders, sending the remaining non-dead thugs running. As they leave the hooded figure is revealed to not be Oliver but Ra’s dressed as the Arrow. He’s moved on to the hard sell of his offer to Oliver – setting the Arrow up and turning the city against him!
Next week: Ra’s puts the screws to Oliver and Team Arrow but good.