Last week, we wrapped up with Ollie fully giving in to being "Al Sah-him," The Arrow, heir to Ra's al-Ghul, and giving up the identity of Ollie Queen entirely. That's a sentence I definitely didn't think I'd ever be typing back in the less-comicy days of season one, and I do appreciate it.
This episode flashes ahead to a few weeks later, and we see that Ollie has undergone some intense training and, as others call it throughout the episode, brainwashing. We see Ra's break him down with constant training, sensory deprivation and imprisonment, saying to him constantly, "Oliver Queen is alive only in the past. He is forgotten. You are Al Sah-him." Ra's observes that he no longer flinches at his new name. He also got a haircut. So changes all around.
Outside assassin HQ, Maseo and some other assassins drag Dig up to Ra's and Ollie, saying he was an intruder, possibly there to free Ollie again. Dig says they're lying and that he was never allowed to leave. Ollie orders the assassins to give Dig a sword and orders him to fight. Then he kills him full-on dead.
But, of course, it's not really Dig. Ra's reveals that he gave Ollie a drug that makes him see an important person to him. He asks who Ollie saw, and he doesn't answer. So Ra's asks him to go for a walk.
On their walk through some ruins, Ra's explains that he was one of two potential heirs picked by the last Ra's. The other one was Damien Darhk, which is full-on bananas. You know, Damien Darhk, the Titans crime boss villain who loved Wi-fi and worked for HIVE. That Damien Darhk. He was almost Ra's al-Ghul. But the last guy picked the current Ra's, and tasked him with killing Damien. Current Ra's (I really wish he had another name I could call him by) hesitated, though, and let Damien get away. He tells Ollie he needs to do what he couldn't, and "without mercy."
Now, I took this initially to mean that Ollie was going to go hunting for Damien Darhk, which would have been absolutely great. But what it actually meant is that Ollie had to go find the person he beat out to be the heir to the demon, Nyssa, and kill her. What a tease.
So Ollie and the assassins deploy to Starling City, and Nyssa is right there waiting for them. I'll get into her stuff with Laurel a little further down, but just know that Laurel took Nyssa to see Dig and Smoak at Palmer Tech to see if they could help stop Ollie from killing her. Dig and Smoak just couldn't believe Ollie would be there to kill Nyssa at all, so they kind of balk at the idea. Nyssa says, "Well, OK," and walks out to her doom. After she leaves, Laurel says, "Last time I checked, we help good people," which is...kinda true.
Laurel put a tracker on Nyssa, so she and Dig are waiting in a van when Ollie and Nyssa collide on a rooftop. After some tough talk from each (Stephen Amell chooses to make Evil Arrow sound drunk, more or less), they fight for a while. It's a pretty cool affair, with arrows and punching and smoke bombs. Evil Arrow gets Nyssa down on the edge of the rooftop and almost kills her, but Laurel stops them with a Canary cry. Dig says they can't let Ollie kill Nyssa, and he casually jumps off the roof.
Back at Palmer Tech, Team Arrow is having trouble processing what has happened to Ollie. Dig says Ollie's the strongest man he ever met, and didn't expect him to break like those highly trained soldiers he served with in Afghanistan. I know what he's trying to do there, but way to throw your band of brothers under the bus, Dig. Smoak says Ollie hasn't just given up his life, but his soul.
Meanwhile, in a hallway full of torches (the league's remote HQ), Ollie and Maseo come up with a pretty quick plan to lure Nyssa out: Kidnap Dig's wife, Harbinger.
At the same time Thea has asked Malcolm to meet her at Theapartment. She wants to challenge the League. Malcolm at first is pretty against the idea; after all, Ollie gave up his life to save hers. And if her problem is with Ollie killing people, well, he's the almost-leader of a League of Assassins. Eventually, though, he bends and asks her what she needs. He's a proud dad.
Dig and Smoak go to Dig's apartment to lay low, and when they get there, they find that Sara's crying and Harbinger is missing. Just then, Ollie calls and says he's kidnapped her. He tells Dig to bring him Nyssa in half an hour and it all ends.
Dig and Smoak go to the weird abandoned building/tent where Nyssa lives and tell Nyssa and Laurel the score. Also, Dig absolutely tears into Nyssa, blaming her for all this. Classic victim blaming. Dig, I thought you were better than that.
For her part, Nyssa says she's sorry and that she's ready to die, but Laurel won't hear it. She insists that they've got to be able to come up with a plan that doesn't involve just handing Nyssa over.
Back in the torch hallway, Harbinger asks Ollie how he's changed so much from the man who gave the just OK best man speech at her wedding. She also says nothing could really comfort Dig since his brother's death, except knowing Ollie. Ollie totally no-sells it and waits for Team Arrow to arrive.
Soon enough, they do, with Nyssa. Ollie orders that everyone be searched, and everyone is, except for Smoak, who says she doesn't want to be touched. Ollie allows it like he's Judge Wapner or something. Dig demands to see Harbinger, and the assassins bring her out.
They trade hostages. Ollie tells Nyssa to bow to him, and she refuses. Dig gives Harbinger a coded message about how Smoak wants this to be "just like Jakarta," so Harbinger goes over to the unsearched Smoak, and finds two hidden guns. Harbinger starts shooting, then everyone else does.
Things don't go well for Team Arrow in the scuffle, though. Nyssa gets dragged away by assassins, and Dig and Ollie end up fighting one another. Ollie gets the better of Dig and pulls out a sword to finish him off. Dig keeps reminding him that this isn't him, and just then Thea, in full Arrow regalia, shows up and shoots Ollie in the arm. (Yes, it's another Arrow doppelganger to go along with Proto Arrow, Dark Arrow, Lady Arrow, D'Arrow, Ra's Arrow Ghul and probably some others I'm forgetting. Let's call her Tarrow.)
Tarrow tells Ollie to get away from Dig or she'll put the next arrow in his eye. Ollie backs away and leaves.
The assassins return to Nanda Parbat with Nyssa. Ra's asks Maseo if he searched Nyssa and "found it." Maseo says he did not. So Ra's asks for her weapons.
Ollie looks confused, so Ra's explains that Nyssa used to be a really skilled thief, but she could never hide things from him. He says this as he pulls a mysterious vial out of the hilt of Nyssa's sword.
Just after that, he tells Ollie to do what he's got to do, and Ollie raises his sword to slice Nyssa's throat. Just as he's about to strike, Ra's stops him. Like God talking to Abraham, he says Ollie has proved his loyalty, so he doesn't have to kill Nyssa. He could do what Ra's couldn't, without hesitation.
In fact, he suggests, why not make this whole thing a family affair, and Ollie and Nyssa get married? Nyssa says no way; Ra's says it's not a choice. I honestly think that's the most evil thing about Ra's, that he wants to force his lesbian daughter to be straight.
Ollie and Nyssa look stunned.