Arrow: Nanda Parbat
February 26, 2015 7:46 AM - Season 3, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Merlyn is captured by the League. Ray becomes obsessed with finishing the A.T.O.M. suit.

Thea tells Laurel that she was the person who killed Sara. Laurel absolves Thea of responsibility because she was under the influence of Merlyn, but says that she does have a choice about working with Merlyn going forward. After Thea tells Roy, then he admits to her that he killed a cop last year under the influence of mirakuru and he wished he didn't know. Thea makes a deal with the League of Assassins to hand over Merlyn. Laurel confronts Merlyn as the Canary, but she is interrupted by Nyssa and the League before she can pull the trigger. Thea confesses the truth to a captive Nyssa, offering her a chance at vengeance, but Nyssa also absolves her of guilt. Oliver and Diggle travel to Nanda Parbat to rescue Merlyn in an attempt to protect Thea from feeling guilty over sentencing her father to death, but they walk into a trap set by Ra's who offers Oliver a chance to take over the League.

Meanwhile, Ray becomes obsessed with finishing the A.T.O.M. suit, but Felicity becomes concerned about him overextending himself. After she mandates a rest period and they sleep together, Ray finishes the exosuit and flies away.

Five years ago, General Shrieve debriefs Oliver and says he can return home if he wishes. On the way to the boat, Waller's forces attack Oliver and the Yamashiros. In the confusion, Oliver escapes with the Yamashiros' son.
posted by inturnaround (17 comments total)
Man, I pretty much hated this episode except it had Brandon Routh shirtless and at this point I am like, "Felicity, GO GET SOME, bugger off Arrow." Shit is getting ridiculous.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:13 AM on February 26, 2015

Yeah, the whole "Oliver decides something the whole team is against" thing is soooo old. And why do the "Oliver is going home!" thing in flashbacks when we know it won't happen.

The Thea/Roy stuff was good, though. Really good human, character moment.
posted by inturnaround at 9:28 AM on February 26, 2015

The more recent version of Felicity has rubbed off on the entire cast, so everyone is disapproving of what everyone else is doing at all times. This episode was way, way too soapy. An odd complaint about a CW show, but post-season 1 Arrow has handled it better than most shows.

I'm not sure what to make of Ra's al Ghul's offer. Is it part of a larger scheme? If not, I have no earthly idea why he would choose Oliver. His first conflict ended with Oliver perforated at the bottom of a cliff and the second ended with Oliver and Diggle in chains. Ollie hasn't made a good showing of himself.
posted by brundlefly at 10:00 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Regarding the flashbacks (ugh) I've been assuming that the Yamashiros' son will end up dead somehow, hence their estrangement. However, watching this episode I started thinking about the time difference between the flashbacks and modern day. Is it still five years? If so, maybe the kid will show up as an ass-kicking teenager?
posted by brundlefly at 10:05 AM on February 26, 2015

I actually didn't mind Laurel in this episode, which was a blessed relief. Confronting Ollie on his constant lying to everyone was nice. A little soap opera, but that's part of comics. Thea also had a nice role in this, and I'm glad to see her becoming more a member of the team. It was also cool to see the Atom for the first time, but when are we going to get shrinking! The Atom is about shrinking, not being rip off Iron Man.

Ra's offer doesn't make a lot of sense, and wasn't really well set up, but we did see a Lazarus Pit, right? We're all assuming that's what that was, right?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

That was my assumption.
posted by brundlefly at 11:37 AM on February 26, 2015

When Nyssa absolved Thea, I tried to do a quick inventory of how many assumptions have turned out to be dead wrong so far this season. I lost count, but I think the answer might be "all of them," and it's starting to make the whole thing seem like a lot of pointless flailing.
posted by gimli at 11:46 AM on February 26, 2015

Yeah, they all assumed Ra's still wanted Oliver dead after he "killed" him. They all assumed Thea was going to be in danger because she fired the arrows. Instead, we get the story that Merlyn overstated the risk to Thea to save himself, a heel move on top of the heel move of using Thea to kill Sara. None of it makes any sense.

They don't need Merlyn and they never did. Oliver was wrong and just got it proved this week.
posted by inturnaround at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

With regards to flashback timelines, there was an onscreen timeframe given just prior to Ollie's secret return to Starling City - and I think it was "2.5 years ago".

If I'm remembering that correctly, doesn't that sort of imply that the flashback is really close to the start of S1 (assuming linear passage of time in subsequent seasons)?
posted by coriolisdave at 4:18 PM on February 26, 2015

The ending tells me once again that this show is called Arrow but it really is functionally Batman. I'm glad that we're to the point where all the pointless dissimulations are getting unwound and shit is finally getting real even if only in the soap opera fashion that it does in comics.

For all that Brandon Routh is very decorative with his shirt off, and they have definitely gone some of the way to making him less of a creeper with Felicity, I'm still not delighted about her decision to get it. She still deserves better than either Roy or Oliver.

Favorite moments were Thea & Roy, which was lovely, and Digg & Ollie. Diggle and Felicity are both so well-played that they bring out the best in anyone who acts opposite them. We need more Diggle in this show.
posted by immlass at 7:23 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

With regards to flashback timelines, there was an onscreen timeframe given just prior to Ollie's secret return to Starling City - and I think it was "2.5 years ago".

I don't remember that, but I remember the sign Oliver saw which noted Starling City's centennial...1910 to 2010. So, it's 2010, roughly 2 years before the beginning of season 1, but 5 years from the events of this season.
posted by inturnaround at 9:16 PM on February 26, 2015

The flashbacks are always five years back. They move forward as we do, and the events in Arrow more or less do as well.
posted by phearlez at 6:22 AM on February 27, 2015

I can't help but look at this episode and think this is where the writers, having realized that none of the shit they were working on this season has gelled at all, took a sharp left turn and tried to save what they would have crumpled up and throw in the bin if it had been an unfilmed script. I liked several bits of it, actually, but viewed in the whole? A big "what the hell are you doing here?"

In the comic vein, it makes me think a lot of the whackadoodle you get sometimes when a writer quits/is fired with a long arc uncompleted. Did someone tell the writing team they couldn't have Ollie meet Jesus on the cross?
posted by phearlez at 9:25 AM on February 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Nthing the like for Thea and Roy lately - it's like they suddenly grew up in the last few episodes, going from "surly self-centered teenager" to "mature thoughtful adult." At this point I'd be willing to see Oliver go off and be Angst al Ghul and Laurel should go be a corporate counsel for Palmer Industries and we can just start over with Roy as Arrow and Thea as Canary and have some actual complex emotional storylines rather than melodrama.

And the flashbacks, again (STILL) are just blah. It's all been a tangled mess whose apparent only purpose was to give Arrow some torture experience and to introduce (in an extremely roundabout way) Maseo - who's really only around to provide another connection between Oliver and The League. (I'm assuming he'll be involved in their escape in the next episode or two.) They should've left Ollie on the island, I'd rather be watching him learning how to survive physically & psychologically while completely isolated there rather than the gobbldegook that's been on screen so far.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:31 PM on February 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Everyone here seems to be pretty down on this episode, but I thought it was a lot of fun. I may have a very high tolerance for melodrama, however.

The problem with shirtless Brandon Routh is that his torso is so enormous that it made his head look tiny. I'm pleased with Felicity/Ray because it prevents Felicity/Oliver, though.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:12 AM on March 7, 2015

Remember when this show was about crimefighting?

At this point, it's all about interteam squabbling and vendettas between superheroes and supervillains. The fact that there's actually a city there with problems that could use help is increasingly incidental.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:14 PM on March 7, 2015

Remember when this show was about crimefighting?

Kinda? But when was it not also - maybe mostly - a soap with costumes?
posted by phearlez at 6:58 PM on March 8, 2015

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