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S.C. O'Donnell

Disclaimer: Spoilers for Arrow Season 5 Episode 11 ahead — continue at your own risk!

This season has been a return to form for Arrow, and the show has been correcting the mistakes of past seasons. The flashbacks are finally beginning to have an impact on the seasonal arc, and Oliver is learning from his mistakes. Prometheus has been a big factor in the show's improvement, but in a more general sense, the show has gone back to the formula that made it successful in the first place.

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

Episode 11 of Season 5 titled ‘Second Chances’, brought two amazing females to the forefront of the show: Dinah Drake and Talia Al Ghul. Dinah is destined to be our new Black Canary, while Talia has an even bigger role to play. Talia might be the reason Oliver Queen became a vigilante in the first place, and may also be pivotal to the feud between Oliver and Prometheus.

'Second Chances'

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

This episode of took a break from the Prometheus storyline, and focused on the search for a new Black Canary. The main plot involves Oliver tracking down a woman named Tina Boland, who he thinks could be the next .

For more on the new Black Canary storyline, follow the link below:

While the Black Canary story is front and center, the flashbacks give us a look at Talia Al Ghul and her connection to Oliver. Talia has never been mentioned on the show before, but her impact on Oliver's past is tremendous. Not only does she save his life in Russia, but she also gives him the idea to put on the Arrow-suit. In her pro-vigilante speech, she also gives us the origin of the opening monologue of the show:

“No, you need to create one. You need to give the monster an identity. It’s only when the monster becomes someone else, something else, that you’re free to be Oliver Queen.”

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We know Talia Al Ghul is going to be involved with the present Prometheus storyline, we just don’t know the details yet. What we do know, that Talia is very influential to Oliver’s off-island journey. Their new-found alliance is going to take down Constantine Kovar, and in return they might set up a chain of events that will bear fruit to the present Arrow storyline.

How Much Will Talia Impact Oliver's Past?

Talia Al Ghul's influence is somewhat mind-boggling. Not only is she the one who influenced Oliver to become Green Arrow, but she does so on their first meeting. Talia and Oliver’s adventure in Russia has just begun,and she might have been the single greatest influence on Oliver prior to his return to Starling City.

There is one troubling plot hole in regards to Talia Al Ghul's appearance; in the past 5 seasons, Oliver has not mentioned her once. He’s met her sister and killed her father (Ra’s Al Ghul), but never thought to say anything. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly Marc Guggenheim spoke on this issue, and assured fans that there is an explanation for this:

“We’ll also be dealing very directly with the fairly obvious question, which is: Wait a second, when Oliver met Ra’s al Ghul, why didn’t he say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I think I met your daughter back in Russia!’ We have a very specific answer for that.”

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

Whether she used a different name, or never told Oliver who she is, Oliver has still never mentioned the woman who inspired him to become a vigilante. We also learned that she trained Yao Fei, and like her father, used the Lazarus Pit to stay young.

We've learned from past seasons that the flashbacks usually have a connection to the present-day plot. Talia’s appearance and influence leads me to believe Season 5 is going to introduce Prometheus — or his connection to Oliver — in the flashbacks. It seems likely that Arrow is going in the same direction as they did with Deathstroke in Season 2, and Prometheus will be an ally turned enemy, or something to that effect.

Watch the promo for "Bratva" below:

I'm still revealing from the reveal that Talia Al Ghul is the reason Oliver became the Green Arrow. This is a gigantic revelation, and we still have a lot of episodes left in Season 5. Her influence on Oliver has changed the lore of Green Arrow permanently. Who knows what else her and Oliver did in Russia? I would bet that we've only just scratched the surface of Talia Al Ghul. You can catch Arrow on Wednesdays at 8PM/ET on The CW.

Sound Off! What are your opinions on Talia Al Ghul's influence on Arrow ? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.


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