Josh recaps Season 3 Episode 21 of Arrow, titled Al Sah-him, where Ra’s al Ghul sends Oliver to Starling City to eliminate his biggest threat to ascending to the title of Ra’s al Ghul — Nyssa. Following the recap, both Josh and Violet share their thoughts about the episode.
Don’t need the Arrow episode recap for Al Sah-Him? Click here to jump directly to Violet’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Josh’s thoughts on this week’s Arrow episode, Al Sah-Him, click here to get directly there!
Episode Recap of Arrow, Season 3 Episode 21: Al Sah-Him
This episode of Arrow opens with Arrow training with Ra’s Al Ghul, with swords. We see him being converted over the course of three weeks into his new persona, Al Sah-Him. His life seems to be training and being a prisoner at the moment. He is then given a test of his new loyalty–to assassinate a captive of the League. This captive is Diggle, or so it seems. Oliver seems to be seeing things, and kills this “traitor.” Luckily, this person is a random guy. I guess Oliver won’t feel quite as guilty when he comes around.
Ra’s then takes a walk with Oliver, and discusses his own ascension to power. He had beaten a fellow competitor for the throne, and he let him live. Damien is this person, and he stole some of the Lazarus Pit’s water. Ra’s warns Oliver to not let the same thing to happen to him–Nyssa. Ra’s tells him to eliminate this threat.
Back in Starling City, Laurel is fighting another dirtbag of Starling City. Nyssa shows up in time to save Laurel from a shanking. After this rescue, Laurel tells Nyssa they should get some food and milkshakes. Laurel then breaks the news about Oliver going to the League. Nyssa freaks out and realizes that she is on the hunt list for Oliver.
At Diggle’s house, Thea and Felicity have been hanging out while Diggle fills in for Oliver taking down the criminals of the city. Thea and Felicity discuss how much they miss Oliver, and they seem to think he might be really gone.
Laurel meets up with Nyssa at what appears to be her secret lair. Oliver then shows up in Starling City with some League members with the intent to hunt down Nyssa. Nyssa and Laurel tell Felicity and Diggle about what Nyssa suspects will be happening. Diggle and Felicity don’t really think Oliver would falter. Laurel wants some help to save Nyssa, but the other two aren’t too excited to help. Laurel convinces them though, but more so to help Oliver. Felicity begins looking for Oliver on her computers at Palmer Technologies, and Thea shows up. She wants to dress up and play hero, but Felicity isn’t really excited to put Thea in harm’s way.
Oliver then confronts Nyssa, and Oliver attempts to capture her. Nyssa gets in some trouble, but Laurel and Diggle show up. Oliver flees to fight another day. Nyssa is annoyed with Laurel’s interference, and seems resolved to die. Meanwhile, Felicity and Diggle try to wrap their head around Oliver’s change.
Oliver returns to the League, and he gets some help to take Nyssa down. Thea invites Malcolm Merlyn to her place, and wants to figure out a way to save Oliver. Then back at Diggle’s house, Felicity is staying there for safety. But there’s a problem. Lyla has been taken. Oliver calls Diggle and tells him to bring Nyssa to him in 30 minutes or Lyla dies. So Diggle confronts Nyssa and tells her to turn herself in. Nyssa agrees to.
Oliver shows up with Lyla, and they make the exchange. Oliver seems still stone cold League.
Lyla goes to Diggle and hugs him, then when she moves to hug Felicity, Lyla grabs some weapons that Felicity had stashed on her. Fights break out to try to save Nyssa, but it doesn’t look good for the good guys. The League manages to take Nyssa, and Oliver holds his sword to kill Diggle, but an arrow pierces Oliver’s wrist. Thea has shown up, and shot the arrow. Thea tells him to leave, and Oliver does. He already has Nyssa anyway.
Back with the League, Oliver provides Nyssa as his captive. Turns out Ra’s doesn’t want her dead after all. He wants Nyssa and Oliver to get married. Back at Palmer’s place, former Team Arrow mourn what they feel is the final loss of Oliver. Back at Thea’s place, Thea and Felicity talk about the loss of Oliver. Thea then learns from Felicity that Roy is alive, and that Thea might want to go find Roy and start a new life with him. The rest of the team seems broken, mourning the loss of Oliver still.
The episode ends with Ra’s meeting with Oliver again. Turns out Oliver is going to use a vial–one from the flashbacks–to poison Starling City.
In the flashbacks, the virus that has been unleashed on the city is causing a panic and a lot of death. Oliver is beating himself over the vial shattering. Moving through Hong Kong, they find a group of men providing fake vaccines to the disease, but in actuality, it is men spreading the virus more. Oliver tries to stop them, and a fire fight breaks out between the three and the army soldiers. After clearing the vehicle, Oliver blows up the van providing the fake inoculations. Tatsu, Maseo, Akio, and Oliver make their escape from Hong Kong, but there is a problem–Akio seems to be getting the virus as well.
Josh’s Thoughts: Arrow, Season 3 Episode 21: Al Sah-Him
I like Felicity’s description of Oliver this episode–Darth Oliver. It certainly feels that way this episode. As of right now, there is nothing but Al Sah-Him showing through Oliver’s mind. Since we know that eventually Oliver will come back from this, I am wondering what the catalyst will be. Given how hard Oliver wanted to protect Starling City, I wonder if this plan of Ra’s will be enough to snap Oliver out of his hypnosis.
I am a little surprised it only took 3 weeks to break Oliver. I would think he would be able to resist for at least a little bit of time. I guess Ra’s is pretty convincing.
We got to see Cisco’s new invention for the Canary used today. It is a bit cheesy to me, but comic fans of Canary probably enjoyed seeing it. Speaking of new heroes though, Felicity’s mention of getting Diggle a costume was fun. Hopefully Diggle will come around to the idea eventually!
I have to say, I believe Thea’s action scene this episode a whole lot more than I buy Laurel’s. Thea actually seemed pretty cool this episode using Merlyn’s costume. The only odd thing was how the costume fit. I think some sizes might need adjusting there.
I am kind over the Ra’s Al Ghul story. I hope we get normal Oliver back soon. I have a feeling we will by the end of the season, given the name of the last episode for season 3.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 3 Episode 21 of Arrow: Al Sah-Him
I was of the same mentality as Felicity and Diggle: that Oliver would be able to withstand the brainwashing, that he wouldn’t let himself succumb to it that easily. But it only took 3 weeks, and the Oliver Queen that we knew is now gone. This is evident at the very beginning of the episode, when he thinks that he is killing Diggle, but does it anyway, without any real hesitation. During the scene, when “Diggle” said that he had been there for the whole 3 weeks and never made it home, I knew this couldn’t be real. It had to be a dream or something, because we saw when Felicity returned home that she went to see Laurel. If Diggle had been taken captive, we would have known.
However, it turns out that it wasn’t a dream, it was real, except that it wasn’t really Diggle. So Oliver did in fact kill an innocent person. Regardless, he actually believed it was Diggle. Oliver would never do that. So Oliver must be gone. Or hidden away for now at least. But we know with what happened to “Sarab” when Maseo came back up to the surface, so it’s definitely possible for a League member’s old self to emerge. How long will it take for Oliver to become his old self again, and what will it take to trigger that? When it happens, will it stick? Or will it only be temporary and he will revert to Al Sah-him. I’m going to guess that once he realizes he has been brainwashed, he will fight against it, and be able to overcome it. Of course, then there’s still Ra’s al Ghul to deal with, as well as the deal that he made with him, so it’s left to be seen how he’ll handle that.
I enjoyed seeing Thea in action. This really should have happened a long time ago, her being part of the team. It seems like it’s temporary, for now, because it looks like she’s going to go visit Roy, and possibly start a new life. But I have a feeling that’ll be short lived, for whatever reason, and that she’ll be back. Maybe Roy will be back too, and that whole thing about him leaving for good was just a ruse? That would be cool. But not likely.
So Laurel’s still training with Nyssa. Actually, this is really the first time we’ve seen her training with Nyssa since we’ve heard about it. Which wasn’t too long ago, actually. It doesn’t seem like she’s gotten much better, considering that she almost let a common thug get the best of her. However, somehow, she’s still able to take on several League of Assassins members. Right. Pretty much the show is contradicting itself about Laurel’s abilities in the same episode. Which is yet another reason why I can’t get on board with Laurel being Black Canary and being so active with the team. I guess they’re down Roy now, so they don’t have much of a choice. But at this point, I would choose Thea over Laurel any day.
Is this marriage between Oliver and Nyssa actually going to happen? Or will it be stopped just in the nick of time? It looks like the Arrow team will be going to Nanda Parbat, presumably to stop the wedding and/or attempt to rescue Oliver and/or Nyssa. Or maybe they somehow find out about the plans for the bioweapon to be released, and they’re trying to stop that. If the wedding does happen, I suppose it can be annulled later due to Oliver being mind controlled.
Scenes from Arrow, Season 3 Episode 22: This is Your Sword
Here are scenes from the next episode of Arrow, titled This is Your Sword:
What did you think of Season 3 Episode 21 of Arrow, titled Al Sah-Him? Let us know in the comments below!