By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
After a short hiatus, Arrow is back and doesn’t give fans much time to catch their breath. When Arrow last left off, Oliver (Stephen Amell) was offered to become the next Ra’s al Ghul, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) crawled into bed with Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), Thea (Willa Holland) let Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) free and Diggle (David Ramsey) asked Oliver to be his best man. With all the characters in precarious situations, this weeks episode entitled “The Offer” picks up moments later.
Stephen Amell delivers one of his best emotionally driven episodes of Arrow. This episode there weren’t too many huge stunt sequences like fans have seen in recent weeks. Arrow got back to its roots, which was refreshing. Yes, the gang still battled Murmur (Adrian Glynn McMorran), the precinct got shot to smithereens and Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) was almost choked to death, but emotions drove this episode. After Ra’s al Ghul offers Oliver the most powerful and dangerous position in history, he returns to Starling City to ponder his answer. One question Oliver pondered a lot this episode was why he is The Arrow? Amell does an impeccable job of showing the heartache, desperation and vulnerability that lays just under the surface of Oliver’s hardened exterior. Amell begun Arrow as a relatively new actor and has grown so much. He has always exceeded in the stunt aspects of Arrow but this episode showed his emotional growth. If there are two characters on Arrow that were going to help Oliver make a decision this big it would be Diggle and Felicity.
Diggle has always been Oliver’s conscience and this episode continued that trend. After being chained together in Nanda Parbat last episode, Diggle, Oliver and Malcolm (John Barrowman) were willingly released by Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable). Diggle has played a backseat on Arrow this season and has become the stable character. Whenever Oliver needs a good heart-to-heart, Diggle is always lurking in the distance. This episode Ramsey and Amell showed their incredible bromance once again when Oliver discusses his doubts at continuing his quest as The Arrow. In one of their classic bromance moments, Diggle reassures Oliver that his work as The Arrow is helping Starling City and although “Felicity is momentarily unavailable,” he will find love and he will continue to save the city. Ramsey and Amell play very well off of each other and continue to create some of the most memorable scene on Arrow.
Of course the most emotional and heart-pounding scenes were between Felicity and Oliver. With Felicity and Ray officially becoming an item, fans waited on the edge of their seats for Oliver Queen to find out. This episode delivered the fallout and showed one of the most emotional sides to Oliver ever. When Oliver wanders into Palmer Technologies and sees Felicity and Ray, his facial expression instantaneously changes. Amell does an amazing job at playing a character who is achining on the inside but maintains a stable and stoic front. Rickards and Amell are the basic definition of “sexual tension” in this episode.
Rickards has always delivered her lines with a layer of flirtation and heartache and this episode of Arrow may have been her best. There were three important Oliver and Felicity scenes this episode but the most passionate and emotional came towards the end of the episode after Oliver finally realizes what he’s fighting for. Felicity tells Oliver, “You’re always saying how you want me to be happy? Well the thing is, as long as you’re in my life I am.” Whoever writes Felicity Smoak’s dialogue should win an award because her ability to leave fans and Oliver Queen hanging on her every word is not only a testament to Rickards acting but also the writing. In an episode purely driven by dialogue and emotion, Rickards and Amell’s growth as actors took center stage.
Although Oliver was the main character of tonights episode, Laurel (Katie Cassidy), Nyssa, Thea and Captain Lance played pivotal roles. Laurel and Thea have always had a sisterly relationship and this episode expanded upon that even more. In one of the best action scenes of the night, Laurel and Roy (Colton Haynes) take on Nyssa when she almost attacks Thea. Cassidy continues to astound in her new role as the Black Canary and her character has grown more likeable as season three progresses. Laurel isn’t the only Lance family member that shines this week though.
Paul Blackthorne gives an amazing performance during his scenes. After finding out Sara (Caity Lotz) is dead and Laurel has become the Black Canary, Captain Lance rightly feels betrayed. In one of this best scenes to date, Captain Lance confronts The Arrow about his knowledge of Sara’s death. He says, “I trusted you. I see the man under the hood now. He lies and keeps secrets. Also he doesn’t have to carry around the weight of his decisions. And I’m done with him.” Blackthorne does an exceptional job of showing the pain Lance feels while maintaining his composure.
A lot happened during this week’s Arrow episode. Oliver turned down Ra’s al Ghul’s offer, Thea and Roy kissed, Nyssa left The League of Assassins and offers to train Laurel and most importantly Thea bought Malcolm some soup. Also, it wouldn’t be an Arrow episode these days without the last minutes delivering a huge and crushing event. This week Ra’s al Ghul comes to Starling City masked as The Arrow to kill people and turn the city against Oliver. Looks like things are heating up more, if that’s even possible.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8/9c on the CW.
Overall Grade: A