Arrow Round Table: Is Oliver Queen Broken?

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On the Round Table for Arrow Season 3 Episode 21 the team discusses Laurel and Nyssa's relationship, whether Oliver Queen has been broken, the possibility of a wedding and what it could mean and more.

Ready to jump into the debate with TV Fanatics Lindsay MacDonald, Allison Nichols, Hank Otero, Carissa Pavlica and Carla Day? Let's do this...

Arrow RT 1-27-15 - depreciated -

What do you think of Laurel and Nyssa's relationship?

Lindsay: I don't totally buy it. I get the reasoning behind it, but it still felt very contrived for the purpose of making someone care about the fact that Nyssa's life is in danger.

Allison: I've enjoyed their relationship a lot. It's one of the few times that I am excited to see Laurel on screen. I hope to see more of them together.

Hank: I love it and can honestly say this is the most I've enjoyed the Laurel character. Training with someone like Nyssa makes me believe in her skills now. I wasn't buying her as Canary during the whole Wildcat thing. What was that all about anyway? I think ever since Laurel joined the team and connected with Felicity, she really started to work on the show.

Carissa: It's one of my favorites. I don't have any desire for it to go beyond friendship. It's fine where it is and it feels natural for them both. It's enjoyable for them to have someone to reach out to. As a commenter pointed out, neither has anyone reaching out to them, so turning to each other makes sense.

Carla: I'm loving it. It's nice to see Laurel in a strong friendship with another female. Their funny banter was a pleasant offset to some of the darker aspect of the episode. After Sara's death, it makes sense that Nyssa would help Laurel train to become Black Canary. Do I want to see them become romantic? No, that would feel false. A deep friendship feels authentic and pleasantly real.

Has Oliver Queen been broken? Support your answer with your best evidence.

Lindsay: Totally. I think that whatever mind tricks Ra's has got have worked their magic, and Oliver is buried deep beneath Al Sah-Him. That being said, we saw a flicker of the old Oliver when Thea showed up, so if anyone is going to bring him back, it's her.

Allison: Definitely. I don't doubt that the League has perfected the art of brainwashing over the centuries. I agree with Lindsay that remnants of Oliver Queen still remain. He agreed to Felicity not being searched. However, whatever he feels is best for the league or is his duty as the next Ra's, he will do, even if that means killing Diggle.

Hank: Nope, as Lindsay and Allison mentioned there are remnants of Oliver Queen there. That's all the proof we need that he hasn't been broken. Why is he playing along? Well, that's a whole other story. Hopefully, (and I'm not counting on it) everything will become clear in the finale.

Carissa: No way. Each time Al Sah-Him came close to someone he cared for, it felt as though he was pushing through. When he killed the fake Diggle, I believe he knew it wasn't Diggle. He knew he cared for Felicity and didn't frisk her, nor did he hurt Lyla, for whom he should have felt nothing. All was done on a calulated basis and while it was seeing Thea see him in that mode that threw him the most, it was just another indicator. He's in control.

Carla: Absolutely not. The only time that he appears to have been broken was when he killed "Diggle." I can buy that he thought it was Diggle, but if that's true it was also what broke Oliver free from Al Sah-Him mode. As Carissa mentioned, Oliver didn't hurt anyone he cared about. He could have killed Nyssa on that rooftop, but instead he jumped off and left his friends alive. The biggest clue was that he allowed Felicity to go unfrisked and then left Thea unharmed. Oliver is still very much in control.

Should Nyssa and Al Sah-Him marry and why or why not?

Lindsay: Ummm no. Besides the fact that Nyssa is into girls, I'm not a huge fan of forcing marriage on a guy who can barely remember his own name. It brings up too many consent and sexuality issues that don't fit in with the tone of the show. Besides, the whole "uniting the families" argument was weak. There's no actual reason to marry these two, the engagement is just for dramatic effect.

Allison: I can't get over their reactions when the wedding news was dropped. They would both rather die. I don't think they should. I mean I get why Ra's thinks it is a good idea, but no. It is just going to force to people to be unhappy together.

Hank: It's a very Game of Thrones move, isn't it? Yup, politics nothing more and if they go through with it, I think the partnership will be very interesting. Of course, I doubt the marriage will actually take place. Guess we'll see in a few days.

Carissa: Yes. Not because of anything related to love, but purely for political purposes and to beat Ra's at his own game. They can beat al Ghul at his own game and rebuild the League from within.

Carla: Do I want them to be married? No. Should they go through with the marriage? Absolutely. At the end of the day, both Oliver and Nyssa want the same thing. Neither of them wants Oliver to become Ra's al Ghul. After everything her father did, I believe Nyssa would side with Oliver and Team Arrow over taking over the League of Assassins now. The marriage, even as a ruse, is the move they need to make.

If the wedding goes in whatever way you suggest, how will it happen and what's next?

Lindsay: I expect it to get called off at the last minute, with the real Oliver taking control in the scuffle between Team Arrow and the League. At least I hope it does...

Allison: Is it really bad that I want it to happen? I mean it would be interesting to watch them be married. It would be like not being able to turn away from a wreck. If it does get called off, I'd like it to be because of either Nyssa or Oliver, or both of them. I don't want it to be some external force that kills Nyssa, so that is why they don't get married.

Hank: I love that Allison – "not being able to turn away from a wreck." As I said, I doubt the wedding will actually take place, but it would be fun to see those two deal not just with each other, but "League business" as well. I think there might be some interesting stories there.

Carissa: If the wedding takes place, it will be a temporary measure to redefine the League of Assassins. It will reestablish Oliver Queen's motives to seek justice in the world and take the show to a completely new level. Nyssa, too, would have a purpose, which I'd welcome. The producers promised to shake things up and never look back. This would do it.

Carla: Oliver and Nyssa will be a power couple that will change the course of history regarding the League of Assassins. Nyssa's been changed by her time with Sara and Team Arrow. Together Oliver and Nyssa will save the world with the help of Team Arrow. Ra's... he will be betrayed by both.

Who would you like to see added as a series regular next year?

Lindsay: You know, I really love Cupid. She's crazy in all the best ways, and I can see the Arrow writers having a lot of fun with her.

Allison: I love Nyssa. I have enjoyed her sticking around, and I would love for her to be on my screen every week.

Hank: Sorry Lindsay, it's no secret I despise Cupid... so not her! Nyssa is awesome and I love Katrina Law's take on the character. It would be so cool if she became a series regular as Oliver's wife. I think that's the unpredictable option and the Arrow writers love to surprise us. I think Ray's time on the show is over, looking forward to seeing him on the spinoff. I'm also hoping Merlyn is out next year, that character is so played out.

Carissa: I'd love to see Nyssa, but I think she's already got a chance, so I'm throwing my weight behind Tatsu Yamashiro. I didn't know Katana was once in the Birds of Prey. I'd like to see them and a new recruit, Nyssa, form their own kick ass girl group to pound the pavement on Arrow.

Carla: I'll miss Ray, but with the spin-off all but officially announced for mid-season, he's out. I love Nyssa. At this point, she would be a good replacement for Roy on the team and actually a huge step up. Her history with Sara and the League of Assassins allow her to be an intriguing addition to the show.

Here is your first look at Arrow Season 3 Episode 22:

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer 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.

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Arrow Season 3 Episode 21 Quotes

Laurel: I have to admit, it's fun seeing you like this.
Nyssa: Like what?
Laurel: Like a normal person.
Nyssa: I am a normal person.

Nyssa: I never understood your country's need to fry everything.
Laurel: That's because everything tastes better that way.
Nyssa: This is more oil than potato.
Laurel: Put it in your milkshake.
Nyssa: I sense you mocking me.