What do get the man who has everything? What do you give the man who has seen everything? If we have learned anything from “The Offer” the answer is no the word no as Ra’s has finally started to make a major play in Oliver’s life. This is what I wanted Ra’s being Ra’s and actually threatening Ollie’s life in a way that Slade and Malcolm never could, and at the same time giving Oliver a perspective on the world he can’t fully comprehend. Arrow, like all shows is only as strong as it’s components and where the show tend to suffer is that it needs to constantly redefine who Oliver is as a person. In season one he was a vengeful murderer, in season two he was a confused and fearful vigilante, but in season three we are still struggling to define who our hero is as a person and that will ultimately define whether this season is a success or not.
Drama is a necessity in this type of show so Oliver struggling to define who he is and what his mission is is not unheard of, but in the end we eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. This episode more than any last season exemplifies Slade’s speech at the end of “Three Ghosts” Oliver’s world is not what he wants or thinks it should and for Ra’s to give him by all accounts a golden ticket to his empire was a solid development. What makes Ra’s offer so tempting is that for better or worse he and Oliver are very much alike whether it be in their mission to safe the world or just their basic outlook on life. Ra’s very much wants to save the world, sure it is through his own psychopathic way but at the end of the day the world will be saved.
Ra’s knows better than anyone else that the weight his title hold is a more powerful tool than anything Oliver can imagine, and Oliver can see the good he could possibly accomplish if given the chance to take the reins. Oliver can see that eventually his world may indeed fall apart as no one on his team is entirely listening to him and they are even questioning his resolve to lead them. That manages to send a really strong message about who Oliver is in comparison to Ra’s especially now that he has lost his most valuable ally in Captain Lance. No matter what anyone says even Oliver himself knows that he needs Lance to be his support system because Lance is the stop gap incase Oliver or his team ever manage to go to far. That scene between Oliver and Lance really nailed that fact home as Lance had tricked himself into trusting Oliver and believing that the Arrow was a true form of justice. Now if their relationship develops in an entirely different way Lance can truly be that stop gap in a way Diggle and the rest of Team Arrow couldn’t be.
Similarly Ra’s offer really gives other characters a chance to flourish under this new direction specifically Nyssa who has kind of been stuck in a rut since Sara died. Having her whine about how she was entitled to be Ra’s heir and to finally come to the realization that she needed to branch out from the league is a nice change in direction. It is interesting that Laurel is seemingly abandoning Ted Grant in favor of a more well known teacher which frustrates me since he never got a fair shake at actually teaching her. I just hope this Nyssa plot does not completely reform her and she makes an actual attempt to reclaim her title as heir to the demon, she is clearly competent enough to give Oliver a run for his money so lets actually see that.
As far as the aspect of the episode that just didn’t work for me it was the fact that everyone was just second guessing Oliver about Ra’s offer and basically trashing on him for even considering. Sure I know we can’t a hundred percent trust Ra’s on the fact that if Oliver took over and said no more murder that the league would indeed stop, but Oliver is a grown ass man. I am fairly confident that Oliver was going to turn down Ra’s no matter what anyone else said, but at least hear out everything Oliver was told before you jump to the screw that guy conclusion. I know Ollie was nearly killed by Ra’s, but up to this point in the season Ra’s has been a man of his word and we have no reason to doubt that he was not telling the truth. Especially since we knew Ra’s offer was more of a demand and he will do everything in his power to get what he wants.
Overall it was a solid return, but I really jus want to see where this builds to from here.
Final Grade B
+Great performances from Stephen Amell and Paul Blackthorne
+Nice new direction for Nyssa
+Murmur was a cool Villain
+Matt Nable continues to kill it as Ra’s
-Why does everyone need to second guess Oliver
-Flashbacks are really non cohesive this year
-So at least we can slightly figure out where Slade got that creepy video of Shado last year.
-I actually like the fact that Ra’s is personally screwing up Oliver’s reputation, it makes Oliver’s rejection of the offer feel much more personal
-Ray was literally only in this episode in order to make things awkward for Ollie and Felicity, which means he was absolutely useless
-Ollie talks about how everyone was at the precinct including Diggle. Diggle was not there just an FYI he was probably safe in the van.
-Seriously WTF happened to Ted Grant after the fight in The Glades? Is he dead?