Warning: Spoilers ahead! Obviously. If you are not caught up on Arrow, you may not want to keep reading.
This week's Arrow was the show's 60th episode, and saw all kinds of secrets revealed. An episode heavy on the flashbacks, it reminded us of where we first came in, with Thea as a troubled teen, Tommy still alive, the Lance's before they got on the program and team Arrow before there was an Arrow that needed a team. Of course, the biggest shocker this week was Oliver telling Thea about her role in Sara's death. Coming right on the heels of Ollie's last revelation (that he is the Arrow), this is a lot of information to throw at Thea in one go. Add to that Merlyn's plot to release Deathstroke on the island with them as a test, and her relationship with her father seems to be unsalvageable.
So what's next for the Queen siblings? This trailer for next week's episode "Nanda Parbat" is absolutely packed with exciting possibilities!
First up: Ra's Al Ghul! He's back - unsurprisingly for an episode about Nanda Parbat. Since The Climb, we've been waiting for him to discover what really happened to Sara, and of course, what didn't happen to Oliver when he fell from that cliff. Ra's is not going to be pleased when he finds out that not only is Oliver alive, but he was protecting the daughter of Malcolm Merlyn.
It seems that Thea is not someone you want on your bad side, as she practically gift-wraps Merlyn to hand over to the League. The twist here is that rather than leaving Malcolm to his well-deserved fate (tied up, bleeding, for Ra's to play with), Oliver and Co rush out there to try and save him.
We can see Laurel in her Black Canary get up with a sword at her throat, Nyssa back and mid-battle, Oliver with both a sword and a bow (and with the line "I've been preparing for years to bring a bow to a swordfight"!), and Diggle sneaking through the hills around the compound with his favorite weapon - a big ol' gun! Noticeably absent from the fray are Thea and Roy. Thea, presumably, wants nothing to do with rescuing Malcolm from a punishment she sent him to, but where is Roy?
We see him along with Felicity and the rest of the team in the Arrow-cave at the start of the trailer, so perhaps he stays behind to protect the city while the rest head out to Nanda Parbat, or perhaps he stays to try and get back on Thea's good side and re-start their relationship. Secrets are all out in the open now, after all, and her last suitor was rapidly dispatched after he was discovered to be working for the league.
The big question, of course, is will they succeed? Despite Oliver's quasi-death at the mid-season finale, we haven't actually had a major character die for quite some time (not since Sara at the end of the last season!), so could this be the end for Malcolm Merlyn? Or, alternatively, the end for someone else? With the addition of Laurel and Thea, the arrow-cave is starting to look a little crowded, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if someone doesn't make it home alive.
The second, and by no means less important reveal from the trailer is Ray IN HIS ATOM SUIT!
We've seen the hologram, we know that Felicity is back to work helping him make the suit a reality, but now we will finally get a look at Ray going all super-hero. What better time? With (most of) Team Arrow away on Merlyn-rescuing duty, it's a perfect chance for Atom to suit up and get to crime-fighting.
I have a feeling that it will take Ray some time to really figure out what he's doing, and I'm hoping for the possibility of a few laughs at the bumbling hero as he messes up, the suit fails, or he faces other unexpected issues. More than that, I'm excited to see just what this suit can do! It doesn't look like we'll be getting the kind of shrinking ability we are used to from the comic books, so what will we get? I'm predicting flying, lasers, and some other fun stuff. Given Felicity's experience with crime-fighting vigilantes, she would be the person to ask about weaponry. (Not that Ray knows that, of course!).
I doubt that any of these events will be completely resolved within one episode (although the writers are incredibly skilled when it comes to cramming in a ridiculous amount of action!), and with the next episode entitled "The Offer", I have a feeling that this week may end with the team still in Nanda Parbat, ready to make some kind of a trade for Malcolm's life. Could Oliver end up in the pocket of the League, and working for them in Starling City? They have a very different idea of honor, and Detective Lance has previously made his feelings about the League being in town clear. Now that he knows about Sara's death, he is sure to blame Ra's for her loss, and it would create some serious conflict to have Oliver (and more importantly for him, Laurel!) working for the League.
This is definitely the season of R'as Al Ghul, in any case, and I have a feeling that Nanda Parbat is going to be setting us up for the final story arc, both with Ra's and the League, and with Ray and his ATOM suit. I can't wait to see more of Ra's and Nanda Parbat itself - and perhaps even the Lazarus Pit that we were all hoping would revive Oliver! It may be incredibly dark, but I want to see Malcolm being tortured to the point of death and then revived by the pit each time. *cue evil laugh
What do you think will happen in this week's Arrow? Can Malcolm be saved? Can Oliver beat Ra's Al Ghul in round two? Comment and let me know!
Nanda Parbat airs Wednesday, Feb 25th on the CW.
Promo Images via SuperheroHype.