Hello Arrow fans in all your dwindling splendor! It’s time to review Arrow’s most recent episode, 3×21, “Al Sah-Him,” also known as “Isn’t This Season Over Yet?”
Deep sigh. Two more. So! Important things that happened in this episode:
- Oliver is psychologically reprogrammed to become the demon heir
- This includes things like eating crappy food and killing innocent people
- It was super weird that we were supposed to be relieved about the not-Diggle reveal
- “Oh thank heavens! Diggle isn’t dead! Luckily just some random other nice-looking person has been stabbed through the chest. Whew!”
- A body count still counts if they don’t have names, guys. Even if they’re brown.
- Ray is away on business because it would suck if we had to deal with the consequences of our actions and also if we had to give up all his rad tech
- Laurel and Nyssa do some adorable bonding that still somehow winds up being about Oliver
- Diggle and Lila and Felicity and Thea do some adorable bonding that still somehow winds up being about Oliver
- Thea isn’t allowed to have feelings about her resurrection, just about her dead brother
- More on that later
- The flashbacks finally kill the eight-year-old
- It’s pretty gross that they made us wait for the other shoe to drop on that. For months. Literally my least favorite part of this show was waiting for the kid to die.
- And there it is
- He’s little and helpless what’s wrong with you
- Oliver has to kill Nyssa
- For some reason
- Oh naturally it’s because we’ve got a Cain-and-Abel-esque baddie who has… never been mentioned before ever
- That…. seems suspicious
- Looks like the writers didn’t really plan that at all to be honest
- Thea starts to forgive Malcolm (please don’t do that)
- Nyssa loses a fight to Oliver, which is laughable
- Come on, Nyssa is way better
- Oliver’s Al Sah-Him face is also laughable
- The League of Assassins goes from being Jason Bourne to the Keystone Cops
- Thea dons a hood, which is awesome
- Oliver has to marry Nyssa, which is obviously meant to punish her for her sexuality because we didn’t do enough of that already when we killed her girlfriend
- The fake married trope is only fun when one of the characters hasn’t lost her status, her father, her girlfriend, and her freedom because of her sexuality
- I feel you, Nyssa.
- Everyone is sad about Oliver
- For a while
- Like for a yawn-worthy amount of time
- Oliver must destroy Starling City to become the demon apparently
- And that’s why we spent a year’s worth of flashbacks establishing the existence of neurotoxin
- Kingsman: The Secret Service talked about neurotoxin for like, six seconds, and it was still an effective part of the plot. An entire year really wasn’t necessary.
- I’m so happy this season is almost over.
The usual sloppy writing is so usual that it’s barely worth commenting on. The only thing worth commenting on is how every single woman’s story, in this one episode, is steamrolled by Oliver’s disproportionate role in the narrative.
This could be an ensemble piece. It could. We could focus on Nyssa being a normal person for more than an episode. We could give Felicity a plotline that doesn’t revolve around the guys she dates. We could give Lila something to do past dwelling on her mom duties. We could let Thea finish her sentences about what it was like to be resurrected and lose half your memories.
Seriously. I might have shouted at my screen when this stellar piece of writing happened:
Diggle: How you doing?
Thea: Having never been resurrected before, I don’t really have anything to compare it to.
Diggle: I mean, about Oliver.
Really? There was an entire episode about how scary-awful-bad it would be if Thea was put in the pit, and now we are just going to skate over that with one vague line.
Oops sorry, I forgot. The almighty plot must be about Oliver.
The only person of import in this entire cast of ten-plus people.