So, Malcolm Merlyn is really a devious, dastardly son of a bitch, isn’t he?
It’s time to talk about Arrow, and yeah, it’s time for SPOILERS.
”It’s been 67 years since someone challenged me. You covet death so much?”
Indeed, Ra’s al Ghul’s reputation as a bad, bad man is protected in the Mid-Season finale of Arrow, an episode that put some considerable twists on DC Comics mythos, revealed secrets to characters and viewers alike, and finally made Merlyn irredeemable.
Yes, Sara Lance, the Canary’s killer was revealed. It was, technically, Thea Queen (caught on video no less) - but, she was under the control of Merlyn, thanks to a special drug/plant. She has no knowledge of the event, and still believes that Merlyn acts in her best interests. It’d be more tragic if she wasn’t just such a gullible moron.
As to that twist? In the comics, Katana goes off on her quest for vengeance because she loses her husband, Maseo. Here, Maseo goes and joins the League of Assassins after losing his wife. Now, we don’t know that she’s dead, but she’s certainly missing, taken by China White.
Oh, and another twist - Ray Palmer revealed his A.T.O.M. suit to Felicity - and that it’s based off Queen Consolidated’s previous O.M.A.C. project. Whew.
Of course, the big moment here came when Oliver dropped that L-word bomb on Felicity again, stopping her dead in her tracks with one final “I love you” before leaving to challenge Ra’s al Ghul. What, you thought we meant something else when we said “big moment?”
Okay, okay, the duel happened. Ra’s talked about killing a man for the first time, when he was 11 years old. Then it was time to fight, and it became clear within the first, oh, 3 secondds or so, that Oliver was sorely outmatched. Indeed, Ra’s likely had this battle won before swords were ever drawn. Oliver was hit swiftly in the throat, slashed in the side, and finally stabbed through the chest, before being pushed off a cliff.
That is… fairly dead, right?
Now, there’s an important factor to recall. While it’s a cold, snowy mountain, there is steam rising nearby, and Maseo (in his new League identity) did identify it as consecrated ground for their order. What does that mean? Well it means our minds at least go in the direction of Lazarus Pits. The mix of mystics and science, the pits are the source of Ra’s al Ghul’s longevity (see, that’s why we mentioned that quote earlier! It’s all connected! Wait, wrong franchise). Over the years, the pits have been known to heal Ra’s from any injury, and even brought Jason Todd back from the dead after the second Robin was beaten to death by the Joker (he was… only dead for a little bit?). So yes, there’s every possibility that with his seemingly dying breaths, Oliver will crawl his way toward this green hot spring and poof, he’s all better. Of course that could just be too easy for Arrow. The show has been all about the struggle and overcoming things with the sheer force of human perseverance. It’s also important to note, Lazarus Pits have a habit of driving people crazy - so even if he does use one, it could be an issue.
We also know that January 21st is the next episode of Arrow, and that Stephen Amell is still filming new episodes today. So yeah, one way or another, he’s not so much with the dead.
So what’s next in 2015? Well our outstanding mysteries are numerous. We all saw how upset and crazed Laurel got when she thought - with basically no proof - that Roy killed Sara. What will she do when she finds out, with all the proof, that it was Thea? Can Thea break free from under the thumb of Merlyn? And speaking of people finding out - we know Ra’s will, eventually. Ultimately, that's what will be fun here - when Laurel, Thea, and Ra's all see this video... and they will see the video.
It’s interesting, they solved the Sara mystery, but didn’t actually do much immediate follow-up; it’s also funny to say “Oliver being stabbed and pushed off a cliff isn’t much follow-up,” but that just speaks to the depth of the show. Of course, there’s also the looming Olicity craziness, actually dealing with Merlyn, and the A.T.O.M. For now, until January 21, 2015, Oliver Queen is dead.