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TV Review: Arrow - Season 3 Episode 21 "Al Sah-him"

04.29.2015

Join us each week as we review the latest episode of ARROW. Warning: the following review contains major spoilers for the newest episode of the show.

Episode 21: "Al Sah-him"

Synopsis: Oliver goes through a rigorous transformation. The League of Assassins sets their sites on Nyssa, who is back in Starling City training Laurel. When Nyssa realizes they are coming, she arms up to face them alone but Laurel asks Felicity and Diggle to help protect her new friend.

In Starling City: Oliver's training to take the place of R'as Al Ghul has begun and includes rigourous fighring and torturous conditions but, after only three weeks, Oliver readily calls himself Al Sah-him and murders a man despite thinking he was John Diggle. R'as then gives Oliver another mission: to kill Damien Dark. Dark was a fellow League member with R'as and the two clashed over who would lead the League. Dark has apparently had involvement in events going back to season one and it is up to Oliver to take him down.

Back at home, Laurel is still kicking ass as Canary while under the training of Nyssa Al Ghul. Laurel gets tutoring from Nyssa while in exchange the two begin a friendship. Laurel also reveals that Oliver has accepted the offer to become the next R'as and Nyssa is shocked and leaves immediately. Laurel demands to know what is bothering her: Oliver is heading to Starling to kill Nyssa.

The rest of the former Team Arrow mourn Oliver and are surprised to hear that he has been brainwashed and is coming for Nyssa. Nyssa prepares to face her destiny and the team argues about what they should do next. They prepare to face Oliver and hold out hope he has not turned. As Diggle and Laurel wait, Felicity informs Thea about Oliver's potential return. Thea asks to join the team to help but Felicity tries to keep her out. On the rooftop where Sara died, Oliver faces off against Nyssa. After dueling, Oliver has her at knifepoint when Laurel sets off her new Canary Call. Diggle holds Oliver at gunpoint and the brainwashed former Arrow jumps from the roof and disappears.

Thea calls Malcolm Merlyn and asks for help in saving Oliver. Malcolm cautions her against it but accepts her request. Diggle and Felicity return home to find the baby crying when Oliver calls. He has Lyla and promises no harm will come to her as long as they provide Nyssa. They meet and Nyssa agrees to turn herself over to the League to save Lyla. Lyla tries to talk some sense into Oliver but it comes to no avail. The two sides meet and exchange Lyla for Nyssa, but guns are pulled and a fight ensues. Diggle is injured and Oliver is prepared to deliver a death blow when an arrow shoots out of the sky and into his arm. It is Thea, dressed in an archer suit, and threatens Oliver. Oliver and the League leave with Nyssa and team Arrow regroups.

The team resigns themselves to the fact that Oliver is gone but promise to work on in his memory. Back at Nanda Parbat, R'as meets with Nyssa. He doesn't intend to kill her but instead needs something she possessed. In the blade of her knife, R'as finds what he was looking for. Nyssa tells her father she no longer fears him and R'as commands Oliver to kill her. As he prepares, R'as stops him and says he no longer needs to kill Nyssa but will instead marry Oliver and become Bride of the Demon. Back in Starling, Thea and Felicity discuss memories of Oliver and Felicity reveals that Roy is still alive.

The episode ends with R'as informing Oliver that his final act of ascension to his new role will be to wipe clean a city as an example of his power.He asks Oliver if he knew what Nyssa had hidden and he reveals it was Omega, the same pathogen from Hong Kong. R'as then tells him to take his place he must unleash it on Starling City, killing everyone in it.

Flashbacks: In Hong Kong, the release of Omega begins to kill those on the street as Oliver, Tatsu, and Maseo make their way back to Akio. Chaos engulfs the streets and the military begins handing out treatment for the illness.Oliver and friends step in and destroy the fake cure. They arrive back to the apartment and reunite with Akio and formulate a plan to escape. As they make their way through the city, Tatsu turns to see Akio is bleeding from his mouth, a symptom of Omega.

Review: After tonight,there are only two episodes left and holy crap if the show didn't just find some serious momentum. I wasn't sure if Oliver going to join the League was the best decision for the series, but damn if Oliver isn't a good villain. I have no doubt that he will not be releasing Omega on his hometown, but with how close he got to killing Diggle tonight, you can never be sure. Laurel is coming into her own as Canary and now Thea looks like she is finally ready to join Team Arrow herself, maybe using the classic DC Comics moniker of Speedy. This was a good hour and one that sets up some cool possibilities for the final episodes of the season.

Final Verdict:

Next on ARROW: "This Is Your Sword" airs May 6th: Oliver/Al Sah-him finishes his training and is left with two final tasks to become the next Ra’s al Ghul. Ra's threatens Nyssa and delivers some shocking news. Meanwhile, Malcolm makes a surprising offer to Team Arrow and Thea goes to see Roy.

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:47PM on 04/30/2015
lol I didn't expect so much hate for this ep.

I still say Flashpoint is going to change everything.
lol I didn't expect so much hate for this ep.

I still say Flashpoint is going to change everything.
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11:44PM on 04/30/2015
I've thought that ever since Lance went after Oliver, but now I'm starting to think the idiot writers are actually going to attempt to salvage this mess and turn it into Season 4.
I've thought that ever since Lance went after Oliver, but now I'm starting to think the idiot writers are actually going to attempt to salvage this mess and turn it into Season 4.
5:01PM on 04/30/2015

Sorry guys

Is there a new team of writers creating the dialogue in this show? I've seen and mostly enjoyed every episode of Arrow. But recently, the dialogue and character situations have gone from "off" to "terrible" I know I'm not the only one who thinks this considering all the red. I also have to agree with CMontyLovesMovies. I don't think you reviewers are actually watching this show. I still find it entertaining but it has been subpar since the mid season finale.
Is there a new team of writers creating the dialogue in this show? I've seen and mostly enjoyed every episode of Arrow. But recently, the dialogue and character situations have gone from "off" to "terrible" I know I'm not the only one who thinks this considering all the red. I also have to agree with CMontyLovesMovies. I don't think you reviewers are actually watching this show. I still find it entertaining but it has been subpar since the mid season finale.
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+3
4:46PM on 04/30/2015

So.....so....bad....

WTF happened to this show? Felicity spends 1/4 of every episode crying, Diggle is running away from fights, the only person intelligent enough to use a gun (let alone explosives or something more high-tech) is Diggle's wife, who immediately drops the guns she just used to kill 2 assassins at once and fights hand to hand instead, Nyssa has been leading teams of assassins for months (years), but suddenly loses every fight, Laurel's getting her ass kicked (well, at least that part is okay), and
WTF happened to this show? Felicity spends 1/4 of every episode crying, Diggle is running away from fights, the only person intelligent enough to use a gun (let alone explosives or something more high-tech) is Diggle's wife, who immediately drops the guns she just used to kill 2 assassins at once and fights hand to hand instead, Nyssa has been leading teams of assassins for months (years), but suddenly loses every fight, Laurel's getting her ass kicked (well, at least that part is okay), and they are STILL devoting 1/3 of every show to flashbacks that are irrelevant to the storyline.

But now we need a demon wedding.....you know, because the lesbian daughter of Ra's needs to marry a dude to "join their families".....despite the fact that he's retiring and no mention of a Mrs Al Ghul has ever been uttered before.

WTF?????
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3:37PM on 04/30/2015

I don't understand...

... how this show keeps consistently getting high ratings from you guys. Everything they've done since the "Oliver vs. Ra's" episode in before the winter break has been absolutely terrible. The complete 180 on the quality of writing on this show is worse than Heroes. It has gotten to "Gotham" levels of stupid. How are you giving this episode an 8/10? This episode deserved a 3 or 4 at best.
... how this show keeps consistently getting high ratings from you guys. Everything they've done since the "Oliver vs. Ra's" episode in before the winter break has been absolutely terrible. The complete 180 on the quality of writing on this show is worse than Heroes. It has gotten to "Gotham" levels of stupid. How are you giving this episode an 8/10? This episode deserved a 3 or 4 at best.
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5:22PM on 04/30/2015
"Gotham levels of stupid" I wasn't going to go that far with Arrow, but OK. I can't refute it.
"Gotham levels of stupid" I wasn't going to go that far with Arrow, but OK. I can't refute it.
1:02PM on 04/30/2015
8/10 for me as well. I wonder how it would all end up by the time season 3 is over.
8/10 for me as well. I wonder how it would all end up by the time season 3 is over.
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+2
5:06AM on 04/30/2015
I don't like the Ra's storylines. It's getting away from how the show started. The episode kind of sucked.
I don't like the Ra's storylines. It's getting away from how the show started. The episode kind of sucked.
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-2
1:07AM on 04/30/2015

This episode like this review was awesome!

Not gonna lie Al Sahim was great. Diggle was perfect. Thea was so badass and just cool. Laurel and Nyssa's opposite friendship (and the cry) was so nice and even heartwarming to watch. Seeing Oliver as a villain was really well done and great way to improve his skills and drive the tension (wonder if like the theory- he really is faking). And we now see Ra's at his mass murdering best! Can't wait for the rest.
Not gonna lie Al Sahim was great. Diggle was perfect. Thea was so badass and just cool. Laurel and Nyssa's opposite friendship (and the cry) was so nice and even heartwarming to watch. Seeing Oliver as a villain was really well done and great way to improve his skills and drive the tension (wonder if like the theory- he really is faking). And we now see Ra's at his mass murdering best! Can't wait for the rest.
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4:48PM on 04/30/2015
Thank you, Alex Maidy's mom!
Thank you, Alex Maidy's mom!
12:11AM on 04/30/2015
I geeked out hard when Laurel let loose the Canary Cry! Everything is tying up nicely. Have a feeling that Maseo will turn against the League due to the Omega killing his son, but you never know? He may already know about it. Loved that in the preview for next week we saw Katana in full costume!!! Oliver does make a good villain....man did he go to the darkside this week,
I geeked out hard when Laurel let loose the Canary Cry! Everything is tying up nicely. Have a feeling that Maseo will turn against the League due to the Omega killing his son, but you never know? He may already know about it. Loved that in the preview for next week we saw Katana in full costume!!! Oliver does make a good villain....man did he go to the darkside this week,
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11:45PM on 04/29/2015
I'd love to see one more showdown between Oliver and Ray before the season is over.
I'd love to see one more showdown between Oliver and Ray before the season is over.
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4:54PM on 04/30/2015
I'd like to see the show grow a brain. The League is about to try to murder millions, when they all live in a house at the bottom of a mountain that everyone important knows the location of (you know, two members of a government hit squad). One drone strike (against the guys whose only weapons are flying drapes, arrows and swords) and the show could move on to a plot that is actually interesting.

BTW, where did they find the fire pits for their Starling City warehouse lair? Lair's-R-Us?
I'd like to see the show grow a brain. The League is about to try to murder millions, when they all live in a house at the bottom of a mountain that everyone important knows the location of (you know, two members of a government hit squad). One drone strike (against the guys whose only weapons are flying drapes, arrows and swords) and the show could move on to a plot that is actually interesting.

BTW, where did they find the fire pits for their Starling City warehouse lair? Lair's-R-Us?
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