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Our name was Arrow Squad. But in order to continue on, we had to become something else. We are now the Al Sah-Him Squad! Which is still Arrow Squad, just in a different language and no memory of our former existence. Whatever our name is, we are here discussing season 3 episode 21 of Arrow entitled, “Al Sah-Him” which originally aired on April 29, 2015.
Who knew Arrow could get more emotional than last week’s heart-wrenching installment, wherein Oliver gave himself up to being heir to the Demon in order to directly save the life of his sister, and indirectly protect everyone he loves? This story has been unraveling since the mid-season finale and to see it play out in this way is both incredibly fulfilling and incredibly frustrating. It’s difficult to see Oliver turn into Warith Al Ghul, heir to the Demon, abandoning his friends and family and former vigilante status for kingship amongst a league of psychotic murderers.
I’ll admit, the entire episode I was expecting Oliver to find a moment to break character and reveal to his friends that he was still inside Al Sah-Him. I was expecting him to use Lyla as a chance to overcome the league. But, upon reflection, I do see that his situation is no different now that in was in previous episodes. To give up his rightful place as heir to the demon will still put everyone he loves in harm’s way; nothing has changed. Except Oliver, of course.
I asked the question on Twitter last night: Is Oliver faking it? Because I want him to be faking it, of course. I want him to have this elaborate game plan. But the only scenario in which Oliver is truly free of the threat on his family is when he becomes the Demon’s head. And yet, there was a moment he broke face—and if you’ve seen the episode, then surely you know the moment I’m referring to—when Ra’s told Oliver and Nyssa that they were to become husband and wife and unite the predecessor and original heir to the demon with the successor.
A marriage? I’m not at all surprised, not really, knowing Ra’s. He’s going to execute as much power over Oliver, break him of everything his heart holds onto, before abdicating his throne. But a marriage! Talk about a low blow. This is the worst arranged marriage ever. Two people who share a former lover and a severe animosity toward one another are to be united in (un)holy matrimony.
With Felicity’s new brazen personality, I would not want to be in the same room as her when she is told Oliver is marrying Nyssa.
Know what I would love? I would love for the wedding ceremony, if it is as soon as next week, to be a prime opportunity for us to see that Oliver is still inside Al Sah-Him. Visually, it would be incredibly cool to see Oliver [mentally] sort through all of the things he’s giving up by entering into this marriage. Perhaps he sees flashes of Felicity as Nyssa is walking down the aisle (are you giggling? I’m giggling… I can’t see Nyssa decked out in white). Perhaps he sees flashes of Diggle and Lyla’s wedding. Perhaps he will realize that to become the Demon’s Head, he is essentially giving up love. And maybe that will save his soul.
Honestly, if they consummate this marriage, Felicity will never forgive him. And then where will we be? This will be season 3 of Alias, in which Vaughn marries the duplicitous Lauren, after they presumed Sydney was dead. Only, she wasn’t dead, right? The Convenant TRIED to brainwash her (but, c’mon, it’s Sydney Freaking Bristow). Of course, in this scenario, then, Oliver is both Sydney and Vaughn, so I’m not sure where I was going with this analogy, other than an opportunity to mention Alias.
There is a lot working against Oliver right now, leading into the final two episodes of Season 3. I keep theorizing and telling myself, “If he’s faking it…….” But, at this point, it’s only wishful thinking. Every action he’s taken thus far, as Al Sah-Him, has been decisive and unwavering. But, if he truly is not faking his conversion, then he has created a lot of enemies out of his former friends, people who love him, and yet, people whom he’s now betrayed. He hasn’t gone beyond all hope of being forgiven, particularly if he is brainwashed, but things won’t be normal for a long time.
Question Of The Week
Is Oliver faking it?! Please, please tell us he’s faking it.
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There are TWO episodes of Arrow season 3 remaining! Next week is episode 22 and is entitled This Is Your Sword.