It’s intriguing how a big bad like Ra’s al Ghul, one who’s invested in ensuring Oliver Queen lives, is turning out to be his most dangerous foe yet.
Ra’s is a man who’s lived for quite a long time — with help from the Lazarus Pit — but his immortality of sores is beginning to fade. It’s why he’s looking for his successor. And Ra’s is deadset on Oliver because of a legend that says the man who does not die at the sword of Ra’s al Ghul will become Ra’s al Ghul. The only thing is Oliver wants none of it.
At the beginning of “The Offer,” it looked like Oliver was primed to accept. During his pitch, Ra’s predicted that the city would turn against Oliver and that he would die alone. When Oliver first returns home, Captain Lance has turned his back against him, and Oliver saw Felicity with Ray Palmer. Ra’s predictions were coming true.
But then something changed.
Thanks to some nudging from his girl Felicity, Oliver was able to reexamine why he’s fighting for Starling City; why he’s the Arrow. He’s rediscovered his purpose and found some hope that things with Felicity might work out in the end.
But there are no happy endings on Arrow.
In the final scene of last Wednesday’s episode, a man dressed like the Arrow shot and killed some bad guys, leaving one to go and tell that he had witnessed the Arrow killing again. And who was the man behind the green hood? Ra’s al Ghul.
Now, here comes the interesting part. After Oliver turned down Ra’s, he’s going to make sure that Oliver accepts no matter what. That offer was an offer in name only.
I started to think about the consequences of Oliver turning Ra’s down, and after watching “The Offer” it was made blatantly clear what Ra’s intends to do: force Oliver to accept by destroying both the Arrow and Oliver Queen.
Phase One: Turn the City Against Him
Following the end of “The Offer,” it looks as if Ra’s has begun his destruction of Oliver Queen, beginning with the first of his dueling identities: the Arrow. With Ra’s posing as the Arrow and killing in his name — something Oliver hasn’t done since season one or that one time in season two when County Vertigo threatened to kill Felicity (“there was no choice to make”) — he’s ruining the Arrow’s name.
In several promos for upcoming episodes, we’ve seen several examples of how Ra’s is going about this. Whether it’s a newspaper article about the Arrow killing again or a shot of Oliver (as the Arrow) fighting other men dressed as the Arrow or, most importantly, Lance learning that Oliver the Arrow — and taking him down — seems like the Arrow name is in danger. No doubt Ra’s is the one who tells Lance that Oliver is the Arrow, and given Lance’s anger towards him for withholding information about Sara’s death, he’s going for the jugular.
So it sounds like Oliver will be jailed for being the Arrow, eventually breaking free (come on, this is Oliver Queen), and probably have to flee town. Phase one: complete.
Phase Two: Make Oliver Believe He’ll Die Alone
So what’s the second phase of Ra’s plan? That would be making sure Oliver believes he’s going to die alone. Remember the whole “he loves a woman he knows he cannot have?” Yeah, guys, I’m scared for Felicity.
Let’s be real, they’d never permanently kill Felicity, but my theory about her nearly dying or dying and being brought back with the Lazarus Pit is looking more and more likely.
Ra’s knows about Felicity (and what she means to Oliver), which is enough to make my skin crawl. So I have no doubt he’ll target Felicity in some way, whether it’s her safety or her belief in Oliver. Hell, maybe Ra’s will beat the crap out of Ray dressed as the Arrow to try and turn Felicity against Oliver. (Spoiler alert, buddy, it won’t work).
The other option deals with Ra’s using Felicity as a way to force Oliver to be his successor. In episode 3×19, Felicity is attacked by a metahuman named Deathbolt. Could Ra’s have something to do with it? We know someone will be in the ICU in episode 19/20, could it be Felicity?
While I’m not a fan of watching Felicity die in any way — even temporarily — it’s a possibility that she could be severely hurt that Oliver would have to beg Ra’s to let him use the Lazarus Pit to save her. I have no doubt the Lazarus Pit will be coming into play here real soon, as Oliver kept looking at it in “The Offer” (blatant foreshadowing). What would Ra’s ask for in return? Well, for Oliver to be his successor of course. Even if it’s not Felicity but someone else (I’ve seen a great theory about Thea that I think could turn out to be true), Oliver will somehow be tricked into accepting Ra’s offer.
While Ra’s isn’t actively trying to kill Oliver, make no mistake, Ra’s is the most dangerous villain Oliver’s ever gone up against.
He’s starting with destroying the Arrow’s reputation, followed by the man underneath the hood; Oliver Queen’s dialing identities that he’s been struggling with this season. While I have no doubt that Oliver will struggle with this, I have faith that he’ll come out victorious in the end. Somehow.
But that ominous quote from executive producer Andrew Kreisberg still rings loud in my head: ““After the end of season 3, the show will never be the same again.”
I’m terrified, intrigued and excited to see how this storyline and the remainder of the season plays out in a way that will forever alter Arrow.