Synopsis of 3×16: Oliver learns a new villain and his crew have been terrorizing Starling City; Nyssa and Laurel bond over their issues; Lance shuts out the Arrow and Laurel.
So as episodes go, “The Offer” was more of a conclusion to the events of “Nanda Parbat” rather than a stand alone episode.
After being given the chance to succeed Ra’s as the Demon’s Head aka the leader of the League, Oliver rejects Ra’s offer. Although it’s clearly not going to be as cut and dry and Oliver seems to think, Ra’s seems unfazed and allows Oliver, Malcolm, and Diggle to leave Nanda Parbat, settling all blood debts.
Ra’s shows Oliver his Lazarus Pit (still unnamed, but obvious with it’s healing properties and spa-like nature) and shows him that as the leader of the League, he will be able to do things that he isn’t able to do as the Arrow in Starling City, given his split between being the Arrow and Oliver Queen. This offer doesn’t seem to surprise Malcolm Merlyn when Oliver confides in him, as Malcolm replies that, not only is it prophesied that Ra’s will be succeeded by someone who survives a duel with him but also that his offer is more of a command, and that Oliver is not off the hook.
When he returns to Starling, it seems that everything Ra’s has said about his life in his city is coming true. The city’s crime rates are still up, Felicity is unattainable once more because of her relationship with Ray, and Quentin has turned against vigilantism again in the wake of Sara’s death. Realizing these changes, he considers donning the mantle though both Diggle and Felicity speak out against it. Felicity tells him about his time away, that in that time the team had to figure out what they were fighting for when he wasn’t around. He needs to figure out what he’s fighting for.
It seems, he’s still fighting for his city. After breaking apart an ambush on the police station he realizes that he’s there to protect the people, even those like the police, who might be able to protect themselves. Obviously his rejection of the mantle of the Demon’s Head is going to have repercussions and we’ll see them in the following weeks, but it’s good to see Oliver get back to his city and stand on some solid mental ground.
While Felicity has separated from the team, it seems she doesn’t want to turn away Oliver. Once again we watch as Oliver has to face first-hand what he missed out on when he visits Palmer Technologies and sees Ray and Felicity together. It’s funny to hear Oliver’s voice revert to his Arrow timbre when he is addressing the chipper Ray. Ray is ever the literal ray of sunshine, and seeing Oliver in the same scenes with him is always a treat.
Despite her relationship with Ray and her separation from the team, it was still a win for any Olicity fans out there. The episode was rife with Oliver and Felicity scenes that indicate that not all hope is lost.
The season has been running a good thematic storyline with fathers and daughters, and it reiterates itself in this episode. As Thea comes to grips with the fact that she must face Malcolm after he is spared by the League, she seems reluctant but unwilling to give into her desire for revenge against her father.
On the other hand, Laurel is bent on gaining back her relationship with Quentin, who seems to have no only pushed away Team Arrow but also Laurel. You can’t blame him after he’s been kept in the dark from Sara’s death, but at the same time, it’s frustrating to watch as he pushes Laurel away. God knows what will happen to her in the next weeks that might traumatically bring Quentin back to her side.
And of course, Nyssa’s relationship with Ra’s comes to a head as she finds out that Ra’s has made Oliver his heir. We’ve known for a while that Ra’s never approved of Nyssa’s relationship with Sara, in this episode he cites it as a weakness, one that Oliver seems to be able to quell given his distance from Felicity. And while Ra’s is certainly powerful, this act not only pushes Nyssa away from him but pushes her towards Oliver, who does not want the title of his heir.
It already seems like she’s beginning an alliance, when we see her friendship with Laurel in the end of the episode. I’m sure that has a possibility of extending to the rest of the team should the going get tough. It’ll be nice to see Ra’s get slapped in the face with some of that “weakness” that makes the team so strong.
Bonus things that I enjoyed in this episode was the Hong Kong flashback and seeing Oliver with Akio. He’s like the world’s worse babysitter, from losing the kid within ten seconds to running into his supposed-dead ex-girlfriend while escaping henchmen. Seriously, if they’re going to bring Shado back, can we get Tommy back too? It’s also hilarious to hear Oliver speak Mandarin. Any Mandarin speakers out there will know how grammatically incorrect his “everything is going to be hao ba” is, but it was endearing none the less.
Next week, we get to see Lyla and Diggle get married (again), which I am so excited for. They are the strongest couple on this show right now. Though they seem like they’re going to run into some issues with the Suicide Squad making their first appearance. Not only that, but it seems Ray Palmer is going to find out Oliver’s not-so-big secret, and don his ATOM suit in battle.