ARROW Season 3 Episode 16 Review: The Offer

Arrow is back! And Margot Hitchock want to know which "offer" would you choose?

Alright, my friends. So it's been a few weeks since I've been able to indulge in my Oliver Queen fix, and the latest episode definitely has a lot to “offer” in furthering Team Arrow's characters' development for this season. (Please tell me you caught my hilariously awful pun I just made on the episode's title “The Offer.”) So let's dissect a little, shall we?

The major premise of this episode focuses on Ra's al Ghul (who remains all the more mysterious because there seems to be at least 3 different pronunciations of his name floating around this episode) offering Oliver his army of highly-trained killers, complete with a high-security, off-the-grid castle and a sweet, Fountain of Youth jacuzzi. Personally, at least this plot twist from last week offers the audience an out from all the impending doom the League has posed throughout like … the past 2 seasons. They were after Sara, they were after Oliver, they were after Merlyn. Now we can clear away all these revenge issues by simply having Ra's throw in the “clean slate clause” with the deal. Whew! That alone might be enough to make it worthwhile to viewers. Also, a vision of Oliver Queen only being allowed to duel shirtless for the rest of his life doesn't sound too shabby either. ;-) Need I remind anyone of this favorite:

But before I get too carried away …

In case you weren't convinced by Ra's all-too-perfect rant foreshadowing the events of the rest of the episode OR the super obvious “I'm walking with my hands behind my back and giving orders just like Ra's” moment that occurs back at the Arrowcave, Oliver “secretly” decides to consider the proposition (because let's face it, who would The Arrow be without at least one good secret per episode?). And to be perfectly honest, I was kind of convinced by the events of the rest of the episode to side with Ra's:

For instance, Team Arrow vs. The League of Assassins.

Let's just compare this for a moment. We've got Team Arrow with John, Roy, Felicity, and … I guess, Laurel? (Can we really count her as vigilante-worthy yet? I'm pretty sure girl got punched at least three times this episode. At the very least, she's like Rocky when it comes to taking hits.)

John is arguably the most sane and level-headed character in this entire show. I mean doesn't he ever wake up and think, “Wow, I'm tired of watching all these late 20-somethings/early 30-somethings run around causing useless drama and making rash decisions. I think I'm going to take my awesome wife and child and work for a slightly higher-thinking organization of crime-fighters.” I mean, the government can't be THAT bad. Comparatively, right? Are the Avengers hiring?

However, Diggle did allow Laurel to join in on the Team Arrow fun, so … nearly unforgivable.

Roy is actually pretty cool, too. He's definitely calmed down and wised up from last season (I hear the absence of mirakuru/superhero steroids does that for a person) and he's become an all-around dependable side-kick. However, the writers are still having some difficulty slipping in his “Arsenal” code name comfortably within the script. It's like when your friend's parents ask you to call them by their first name and you'd much rather just say, “Mrs. Smith,” but you don't want to disobey. Would it be appropriate to insert #awkward here? Well, I just did.

Then, of course, there are the females of the group. Felicity is an asset logistically, but this awkward “friend zone” she and Oliver experiment with is just too much. I just … can't. But we know Ray can't stay on this show forever, so I'm willing to wait it out for now. And then there's Laurel …

:: huge, deep sigh::

I have to agree with my fellow Arrow-reviewer, Brad Wilson, in my distaste for Laurel Lance. I know they're hopefully setting her up to finally become a decent superhero, as suggested by Oliver's comment that she “needs more training” and especially with her interesting “friend date” with Nyssa at the conclusion of the episode. However, they've almost done their job TOO well at exposing how awfully incompetent Laurel is as a member of Team Arrow. I cringe every time I see her enter a fight sequence. I don't even think it's Katie Cassidy's fault, but rather the whiny, stubborn attitude they've given Laurel throughout the series.

So, yes, compare these few individuals with a large number of silent, compliant, and highly-skilled assassins. Which group would you want to defend your hometown?

And not to mention, Oliver assuming the head of the League would probably restore the wealth and prestige he lost after losing his family's business, as well as allow him to delegate some responsibilities enough to finally start dating Felicity. Does this seem like a “win” to anyone else?

But, alas, in true sacrificial form, Oliver denies himself the opportunity to progress in the world and decides that, while waiting for a “Thank you” is “not the reason (he does) this,” at least being The Arrow allows him to exit the scene like...

So that's something worth fighting for, I suppose.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode because Stephen Amell was in most of it, and he's my favorite. While I wish there'd been more shirtless opportunities for him (I think all the Arrow fans are in need of a good workout montage soon, alright, CW?), it was definitely fun listening to him go back and forth between his Oliver and Arrow voice inconsistently. And Murmur was a pretty sweet villain this week – I hope he comes back and gets to be a little more menacing. The flashback sequences didn't offer much, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough just exactly what happened to Maseo's son.

But until then, we get a full week to ponder how exactly Ra's al Ghul will take down Oliver by being a total poser. And it also makes you wonder, did Nyssa really miss Sara, or is she in on her father's revenge, as well? I hope you're as pumped as I am to see what next week has to “offer”! And so ends my attempt at terrible puns ...

Margot is a huge supporter of all things relating to "nerd culture," in particular those involving superheroes and Disney. She loves books, movies, music and working out, and currently lives in Athens, GA, with her rabbit, Gigi. 
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