Well, now I've caught by breath after tonight's episode of Arrow, it seems it's well and truly time for a trailer breakdown! Here's the trailer for Arrow's next episode- The Offer. Which, if you watched Nanda Parbat, is extremely clear in the meaning of its title.
So, we're not going to be spending a long time in Nanda Parbat, even though The Offer will open right where we left off (the producers have confirmed this). Let's break it down and see what's to come.
So, to clarify- what is Ra's al Ghul's offer?
In case you weren't watching, or for some bizarre reason couldn't work out what Ra's offer was, let's get the dialogue here:
You have shown tremendous strength. Fortitude. Power.
No, Mr Queen, I don't want to kill you- I want you to take my place.
I want you to become the next Ra's al Ghul.
Now, to anyone unfamiliar with the source material, that line may be a tad confusing- isn't that his name? Basically, "Ra's al Ghul" is a title, literally meaning 'Head of the Demon' in translation. While the man in the picture above had a name once, it's been so long that Ra's al Ghul has just become his name now, any remnants of what he was once called long forgotten.
It's not an unfamiliar offer. Past just Bruce Wayne, Ra's has also offered his daughters, Lady Shiva, Bane, and more to take his place. He really wants a worthy successor, but he can't find that many worthy people, it seems.
Will Oliver accept it?
Well, guess we'll just have to wait and see, hmm?
In all seriousness, while the likelihood is no, the fact Oliver is even considering this puts him in a very different position from Batman. What's more, him walking the halls of Nanda Parbat with Ra's and being allowed to return home safely shows that he must be really getting on Ra's' good side.
Is the debut of the Lazarus Pit FINALLY upon us?
Well, in all honesty, it's likely been here all along, like I called it. We knew it existed when Ra's made his reference to being over 80 years old in The Climb, but I suppose if we were very lenient that might be somehow possible with a good dermatologist, diet and fitness regime. Any hope of that was crushed in this episode, when Ra's mentioned encountering a magician in 1854 in Vienna. So that makes him at least 161.
Luckily, that's all going to be explained, it looks like. And not just in terms of granting Ra's his longevity...
...but the healing powers of the Lazarus Pit as well. Remember we heard from Nyssa about the 'demonstration of his power?' which he presents initiates with? Oliver seems to be an initiate now, and this may well be the display of power Ra's presents. Healing a cut hand with liquid is always very impressive.
Where does Nyssa head from here?
Nyssa is now a captive of Team [Arrow](series:720988). What's more, she's been offered a huge ultimatum by Thea- take justice for Sara's killer by killing Thea, or leave peacefully. I have very little doubt Thea will survive, but it's great development for both characters for sure. Also, if you look at the promo-
- she'll make it back to Nanda Parbat next week. Interviews have teased that Nyssa will end up with her own mini-arc for the rest of the season. Unsurprisingly, the Heir to the Demon isn't exactly delighted at the concept of being usurped by an outsider.
Someone's out to get Merlyn...
So Malcolm makes it home, which means Oliver must have made Ra's really happy. Him at least seriously considering the offer becomes more and more likely at this point. Who's targetting Merlyn? I'm leaning towards Thea, as she has to confront him at some point, but I don't think she'll kill him.
What's going on in the Foundry?
I don't think it'll be Nyssa escaping, because if she doesn't kill Thea she'll probably just walk out. With the super security now surrounding the lair, it seems unlikely someone could have broken in, but perhaps that must be the case. Let's consider a line-
"Your closest allies will call you a criminal."
We're already seeing discontent among Team Arrow, but this line, and the line "your city will turn on you...you will be scorned, and hunted," really seems to mean big things for the rest of the season as well. Note Detective Lance turning away from the Arrow, too, as has been hinted might happen.
You might remember these set photos from a future episode, with the police against the Arrow (and someone particular beneath that hood).
What's odd is that Ra's line almost directly aligns with what I would say would be the premise for an episode called "Public Enemy" - Episode 18, in other words.
It's been a while since we've seen a minor villain from the comics get the Arrow treatment (Arrowfied, as we say), so this should be fun. In the comics, respected surgeon Michael Amar goes crazy and begins a killing spree to stop the voices in his head- after being caught, it's discovered Amar's blood is abnormal, and that lethal injection can't kill him. In Iron Heights (to pass the time?), he cuts out his tongue and sews his mouth shut, becoming the villain known as Murmur.
We know he'll be called Michael Amar and go by Murmur in Arrow, but the kind of trouble he'll stir up we don't really know at this point.
Okay. It seems remiss, what with some minor fan outcry, not to address the following point, and settle something for good:
Are we going down a Batman path? Not a ripoff, is it?
The short answer is- no! Of course not! The writers would not just rip off a Batman story. What they're doing is paying homage to these stories, taking elements from them and then adapting them using Oliver Queen, a character already quite similar to Batman, particularly on the show- but we know that it'll end up in a very different place, with Oliver very much like the Oliver Queen in the comics. The writers have confirmed that countless times.
Regardless of what the outcry of rabid Batman-purist fans will tell you on the internet, old Bruce, while Ra's is particularly fond of him, is not the only person ever to be offered command of The League of Assassins. Neglecting obvious answers Nyssa and Talia, his daughters, several others in the comics have also been offered the position.
One of them, as was loosely shown in The Dark Knight Rises, but more thoroughly in the Legacy storyline, was none other than Bane, who impressed Ra's so much he also offered him to replace him as the head of the League. In reality, it turned out the offer was to spite Batman, but this only further demonstrates in a way how whimsically Ra's does this kind of thing. It is not exclusive to Batman. The second person you probably know best from Arkham Origins, if you're not a comic reader.
Lady Shiva has also been, alongside Nyssa, in charge of the League of Assassins in the comics before. The point of the matter is that Ra's' search for his successor (as one would think 'search' suggests) does not merely refer to Batman alone. Oliver Queen, particularly in Arrow, fits the criteria needed by Ra's. You can be quite certain, though, you'll see Oliver take it in a way no other characters ever have. The fact he's even considering Ra's' offer in The Offer already puts him on a very different playing field to Batman, which many purists ignore.
Furthering this, for all we know Oliver might actually come close to accepting Ra's' offer- for all we know, indeed, Bruce Wayne has been offered this role in the past. We know he exists in the Arrow/Flash universe, after all. However, even if they chose to adapt Batman's story, why should that be a point of complaint for you? With DC's properties existing in a comfortable multiverse, Warner Bros has opted not to allow Batman on the small screen. In all practicality, seeing every Batman arc adapted to the big screen is impossible- so I say, why not just have an arc adapted slightly differently using a similar character so we can see something resembling it come to life? It's not like Ra's is exclusively a Batman villain, and neither are his desires limited to those comics.
Too long didn't read version, perhaps? No, they are not ripping off Batman, not even close to it. Green Arrow and Batman are similar characters, but not once have we seen an exclusive Batman villain appear in Arrow, nor have we seen a storyline from the Batman comics adapted to the show. Don't stress. We're seeing something new!
In the meantime, we must wait until March 18- three whole weeks from today. That's just evil. Then, no doubt soon after, we'll see Arrow probably take another week off so The Flash can catch up. Oh well- this episode will be worth the wait!
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