For this week’s “blast from the past” Arrow season eight returns to the shindigs of season three. Oliver reunites with Thea in Nanda Parbat, John and Lyla go on a mission to save Ben Turner’s son in Kasnia and Team Arrow 2040 loses one of their own in “Leap of Faith”.
To learn more about the Monitor and his mission to save the world, Oliver decides to head to Nanda Parbat and seek the advice of some of the oldest manuscripts in the world. Once there he happens upon his little sister Thea, who, after successfully destroying the remaining Lazarus Pits, has now sworn to take revenge on the Thanatos Guild. The Guild, which was once founded by Malcolm Merlyn is currently under the leadership of Athena, who quickly becomes Thea’s sworn enemy.
Once reunited, Oliver fills Thea in on all she has missed – his family, Mia, and of course his mission with the Monitor. With Nyssa MIA and most former League of Assassins members dead, Oliver and Thea reach out to the next best of Ra’s al Ghul’s offsprings, Talia. With her help Oliver and Thea break into the League’s catacombs, where they come across the Thanatos Guild and Athena.
Oliver may be after information on the monitor, but both Talia and Athena are after the sword of Ra’s al Ghul, which is said to give whoever wields it command over the League of Assassins. Oliver, Thea and Talia are ultimately captured by the Guild and used to explore the tomb which holds both ancient scriptures as well as the sword.
The trio are eventually able to shake off the Guild. When Talia finds Ra’s sword, Thea, as Malcolm’s daughter and the heir to the demon, challenges the other woman to a duel and wins, claiming the sword as her own. In a position of power, Thea proposes a deal – she and Talia will work together to create a new League. The League of Heroes.
In the tomb, Oliver finds a book detailing that the Monitor “will bring forth the end of times”. Oliver realises that the Monitor isn’t prevent the crisis of the multiverse, but will be the one to cause it. He bids a teary farewell to his sister, knowing this is likely the last time he will see her before completing his mission and facing certain death.
Meanwhile Lyla has asked John to accompany her to Kasnia, rather than join Oliver in Nanda Parbat. The family of Ben Turner, who is currently on an undercover mission for ARGUS, has failed to complete their regular check-in with Lyla, who is worried that Sandra and Connor Hawke have been taken.
They follow a lead to Farzad Qadir, the son of drug lord Gholem Kadir who was killed by Turner several years ago. Farzad is now looking for vengeance for his father’s death. Lyla decides to use herself as bait, knowing Farzad would recognize her, while John is able to rescue Sandra and Connor.
In 2040 Team Arrow re-assess their situation following JJ Diggle’s attack on the bunker and William. They find out that JJs plan is to destroy the union movement within Star City by taking out key players. Against the remaining team members’ wishes, Mia decides to once again attack JJ directly, even though Zoe reminds her that this strategy did not work out the first time around.
In battle, JJ is about to kill Mia when Zoe steps in and momentarily intercepts. In a moment of negligence Zoe lets her guard down, and JJ rams a sword through her chest, before fleeing. Connor Is about to kill JJ, while Mia is left with a dying Zoe in her arms when a bright gleam enlightens the scene. Seconds later, Mia, Connor and William find themselves in the bunker facing a confused Dinah, Rene, John and Oliver.
Episode 8.03 itself is a bit of a doozy which doesn’t really move any of the storylines along. For one, we already knew the Monitor was dirty and somehow involved with the end of the world, so a confirmation was unnecessary. Thea is sent on another random quest we will never get to see on screen that seems beneath her –Arrow fails to pay her (and Willa Holland) the respect she deserves. And John and Lyla are clearly headed for danger, and we know Connor’s parents likely won’t survive, ergo Connor living with the Diggles in the future.
And while this episode took us back to the dire badlands of Nanda Parbat, it does set up a much more exciting undertaking – Oliver’s reunion with William and his first meeting with daughter Mia. Is it Tuesday yet?
Catch Arrow Tuesdays at 9/8 ct on The CW.
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