Now that “Al Sah-him’ is over, there are only two Arrows left in the quiver. The superhero series’ third season has been a struggle, but this week was excellent, easily the best installment so far this year. Better late than never. And in step with the episode’s exciting yet streamlined storytelling, there might not have been many DCU references made in “Al Sah-him,” but those that were are very intriguing...
Hong Kong OliverLast week, I talked about how I could probably do without the flashbacks, but at least “Al Sah-Him” kept them to an absolute minimum. And thankfully, when we did cut to Hong Kong, most of that time was spent watching Tatsu carve up General Shrieve’s men with her katana. Oliver and Maseo were also there, engaged in yet another terribly choreographed shoot-out. The trio manage to stop the army from injecting more citizens with the Alpha and Omega bio-weapon, but by the time they decide to get out of dodge, Akio’s already been infected. A reveal that might have had more weight if we didn’t already know that he dies. I know the flashbacks are meant to show how awful it would be for Oliver to unleash the weapon on Starling but the scenes are so strung-out they’re a snooze.
The B-TeamFortunately for Arrow, the events in the present storyline are starting to get really interesting as we enter the homestretch. With Oliver away, the B-Team of Dig, Felicity and Laurel are doing their best to keep Starling City safe. I loved the suggestion that it’s time for John to ‘suit-up;’ too bad he shot that idea down. We also got our first look (or I should say listen) at the new Canary cry and it’s pretty rad. Cisco did a great job whipping that up for her on last week’s episode of The Flash. Laurel and Nyssa’s bond continues to strengthen and the latter name-drops Lian Yu when the pair are talking about Sara. And speaking of Saras, baby Diggle also makes an appearance when Lyla becomes Boliver’s (bad or bizarro Oliver) way of getting Nyssa without facing the B-Team in battle. The B-Team has other plans, of course, and Thea (or should I say Mia) shows up to save the day. Badass. I hope she doesn’t leave to be with Roy. She’s my favorite.
H.I.V.E. MindedOliver has really embraced his role as Heir to the Demon, spending three weeks training with (being brainwashed by) Ra’s al Ghul in Nanda Parbat. The League of Assassins’ initiation rituals reminded me a little too much of Batman Begins – (I mean, Arrow’s been the small-screen version of Nolan’s Batman since the beginning, but this borders on a straight-remake – but then Ra’s backstory made mention of Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E.. I’ve been waiting for the evil organization to show-up since Deadshot first referenced them when talking to Dig about his brother’s death. I was worried that with him off the table, Arrow might abandon that adversary. Nope. Darhk defected from the League, took with him some water from the Lazarus Pit and has since been wreaking havoc on the world. H.I.V.E. were involved with Merlyn’s earthquake machine (The Undertaking), the incident with Gholem Qadir in Markovia and Mark Shaw stealing A.R.G.U.S. files. To quote Moe Szyslak, “all this time, I knew it was them!”
Arrow continues with Episode 22, “This Is Your Sword,” next Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW. Created by Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, the DC Comics inspired series stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne and John Barrowman.