Arrow: “Al Sah-him” – Review
By Afolabi Thomas
The start of the episode briefly covers the training of Oliver in becoming the ‘heir to the demom’. We are shown scenes of him sparring with Ra’s as well as scenes including his sleeping regimen, which involved him sleeping on solid concrete and feeling disorientated at times as if he had been drugged. Hint. Towards the end of one day, Maseo interrupts Oliver and Ra’s and reports that a man who is known to Oliver Queen had been tresspassing on Nanda Parbat. The cover is lifted off the man’s head and Oliver sees John Diggle, who tells Oliver that the League are lying to him and that they held him at Nanda Parbat as hostage for weeks.
Now Ra’s tells Oliver that this is a test of identity, and that he should battle John to the death in order to accept himself as Al Sah-him. Oliver quickly disarms John and stabs him right through the heart, and right when the body hits the floor Oliver rolls over the body to see that the face of John has changed into someone else. Ra’s reveals to Oliver that he had been exposed to a drug that left him susceptible to persuation, including orders of killing those near to him. At first when Oliver killed the man who appeared as Diggle, it really made me think that has Oliver really accepted his position fully as a member of the League? Later on in the episode I was able piece together what could potentially happen in future episodes.
After that saga, Ra’s takes Oliver on a Journey to the old ruins of a League headquarters. He tells him the story of when he was en route to becoming the ‘heir to the demon’, which starts in these old ruins. He lived in the 1600s, and worked with a man named Damien Darhk, another prospect to becoming the next heir. When appointed ‘heir to the demon’, Ra’s al Ghul was meant to kill the rival assassin (Damien Darhk), but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Left alive, Damien Darhk was able to create his own “hive”*Hint* of assassin’s placed around the world. He was like a second Ra’s al Ghul.
In the comic books, Damien held a major role in the criminal Organization, H.I.V.E., and could have quite an interesting integration to season 4. The ‘Arrow’ directors have been hinting at the addition of H.I.V.E. for a while so it would make complete sense to finally include them as a reoccuring role in the next season. As for any other characters to come, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Oliver is now left with the final task of killing his rival, Nessa al Ghul. We see Nessa enjoying her time hanging out with Laurel, and as well as training her to becoming an active fighter in crime. All those little moments with her eating burgers and fries was kinda sad considering we were expecting her to die later in the episode. Laurel finally reveals to Nessa that Oliver has accepted his position as Al Sah-him, and of course Nessa completely rebels that decision and accepts her fate as rival to the heir. Expecting that Nessa would eventually face Oliver, Laurel plants a tracking device on her and follows her with Diggle as back up. Oliver was so close to ending the battle but Diggle interrupts with warning shots.
Later on in the episode, as they try to place protection for each other including Nessa, Lyla is captured as hostage by the League and would be returned in exchange for Nessa. Whilst this is going on Thea is learning from Malcolm of how to fight and be a true Assassin, which we later see in the epidsode. It was during the exchange Felicity has dual pistols had brought which Lyla took to fire at the assassins. Everyone breaks off into their own mini battles, including Felicity which surprised me a little bit, and John and Oliver face off. Similar to the begining of the episode, Oliver disarms John and has him at execution point. Refusing to listen to any of Johns reasoning Oliver goes through with killing him, but is interfered by a shot through his arm by Thea. Oliver leaves after a warning from his sister, clearly showing that it his sister that can truly get to him. It also displays that there really is no other bond like a family bond.
Oliver arrives with Nessa to Nanda Parbat, and in front of Ra’s he was meant to kill Nessa. We see that truly what Ra’s was after was hidden in the handle of Nessa’s sword. The vile which contained the Alpha and Omega. Oliver continues with the execution, however, he is stopped by Ra’s who says that it would be gluttony for him to spill the blood of his rival after he had defeated her. Instead. Ra’s plans on having Al Sah-him and Nessa to get married. Yeah, I said it. Married. What the hell?! I really didn’t see that coming at all, but thats not all Ra’s plans. He also wants Oliver to release the Alpha and Omega virus on Starling City. Now if any of you guys are following the flashbacks, this virus could potentially kill millions in a single city and only General Matthew Shrieve had the cure for it.
There is a lot to come in the future episodes, not to mention many potential seasons to this amazing comic book adaptation.