Oliver Queen has a bad habit of thinking it's all about him.
What's all about him? Well, pretty much everything. That attitude gets him into a lot of trouble, as witnessed in Arrow Season 3 Episode 16 and in numerous previous installments with regards to secrets and lies and love and more.
As easy as it would be to feel for Oliver and the predicament he's found himself in, the path he's traveled is so well worn, it's really impossible at this juncture not to do exactly what Diggle did when he learned Oliver was actually considering "The Offer" – put both hands to the side of your head in frustration.
First of all, in honor of Oliver Queen, let me take a moment. I wasn't completely nuts when I questioned how the whole passing of the torch was going to go when I wondered if Ra's al Ghul was a name or a position. They used it as if it was a position about a dozen times, so that must be the way it's looked upon in the series.
Oliver: He said I can do more as the new Ra's than I could ever do as Oliver Queen or the Arrow. That I would have unlimited resources. That I could make a difference, not just a dent.
Diggle: You aren't really considering this, just because Capt. Lance is angry and Felicity is momentarily unavailable?
Although it was used many times, let's choose that Arrow quote as a starting point because what Diggle said is so indicative of what's wrong with Oliver. He makes reactionary decisions based upon the most ridiculous reasons. Granted, in the end Felicity talked him off the cliff, but because he didn't have what he wanted, he was looking to run.
What kind of a hero does that? The longer Arrow airs, the more likely Oliver is to make poor choices, and it should be the opposite. The more experience and training he has the better decisions he should be making. Instead, since he's fighting battles and not winning the war, he's always questioning his purpose.
He does that more than anyone else around him, including one Laurel Lance who has only been doing this for months and about whom viewers rail against as if she's out of her mind. Oliver should be the support; he shouldn't need the support.
That said, Felicity was there for him, as she is there for everyone. Diggle was there, but Oliver didn't hear him. Felicity reminded him he shouldn't need a thank you for what he does and they aren't together because of a choice he made.
When we thought you were dead, each one of us had to figure out why we were doing all this. Seems like it's your turn.Felicity
Of course, by the time he took her advice, it was too late. It was always too late, because his arrogance in thinking he needed to fight Ra's al Ghul in the first place in order to save his sister when he could have turned over Sara's killer, Malcolm, is what got them into this mess in the first place.
Going to save Malcolm for Thea was really to prove to himself that Ra's didn't best him. Again, about Oliver. Oliver keeps missing the signs of what's ahead. He's getting himself into pickle after pickle. Once he gets there, instead of battling on, he gets frustrated and wants to turn tail and run and hide. It's his thing.
Felicity talked him out of it, but she's also doing really well without him. She's flirty and happy being with Ray. She's completely different with Oliver now merely from the fact that she's with someone else. You will all say Ray's priming her for Oliver, but I still cannot understand why we'd wish her upon Oliver. Someone has to point out his merits, because I'm unsure of them.
Sadly, everyone was right, and Oliver's in a heap of trouble. Ra's is angry, and he's masquerading as the Arrow (and since nobody ever recognizes Oliver, they'll never know it's not the real deal) killing people. With Capt. Lance already on the warpath against him, it will solidify the future Ra's foretold for Oliver. Everyone will turn against Arrow, forcing his hand to become the new Ra's or to try harder to kill him.
The best development was Nyssa walking away from her old man. Suddenly she was in the fray at the precinct. I assume she checked in with Felicity and hightailed it over to the scene of the crime. How wonderful! We assumed she'd eventually befriend and train Laurel, and it's happening. Hallelujah!
Otherwise we had a lot of moments. Such as:
- We finally saw a Lazarus Pit and learned Oliver wasn't cured by it, but by pure determination to live, which is what really turned Ra's head.
- Shado is either alive, has a twin or Oliver had a hallucination during a flashback. It better be the latter, considering he never told Slade either of the others, which may have calmed his Mirakuru rage.
- Thea finally turned to Roy. They're sweet together. They make sense.
- I still cannot take Roy's mask and his raccoon eyes, and I hated that a scene called for Black Canary to stand in front of a moving truck so that Arrow could rescue her. Way too scripted.
- There's no way Capt. Lance is going to stay angry at Laurel forever. She's right.
Next week on Arrow Season 3 Episode 17, Diggle gets married. It's going to be difficult to transition from the darkness of this hour to the light of that one, but I'm ready for it. Diggle has figured out how to make life and love work. Maybe Oliver will learn something other than "Suicidal Tendencies" during the installment!
If you've missed any of the season so far, you can watch Arrow online via TV Fanatic to catch up. See you next week!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.