Arrow: Nanda Parbat Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

I was so worried about Arrow going into the notorious “sophomore slump” that I would’ve never seen the “junior slump” coming. It’s hard to point to one definite thing as the reason for season’s largely uneven episodes. “Nanda Parbat” was one of the strongest episodes of the season so far. It was full of revelations, a surprising ending, and a new hero was born.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

One of the problems I’ve had with the season is the series treatment of, or really lack of, Ra’s al Ghul. He’s been largely absent from the screen. Overall I would like to guess he’s had maybe ten minutes of screen time. Both the audience and the characters hear so much about the menacing, treacherous, and dangerous Ra’s al Ghul but he’s rarely on screen. You can talk up a character as much as you want but if you don’t follow through it feels hollow and means absolutely nothing. And it feels as if there’s no compelling urgency to the Demon’s threatening nature. Up until this episode it’s driven me nuts.

I think I finally understand why Arrow has kept him off screen. From the final scene, Ra’s is ready to retire and give over the League of Assassins. It now kind of makes sense why they cast such a hardened, downtrodden, and tired looking actor to play Ra’s because the character has been beaten up by the world and finally wants to be free of his mantel. He’s had enough.

From the moment we met Nyssa she has identified herself as the “Heir to the Demon.” Well, daddy dearest has different plans. It’s as if stabbing and kicking Oliver off the side of a cliff was a job interview. I’m excited to see more of Nyssa and her reaction to not being her father’s first choice as his successor.

Oh Laurel, Laurel. You’ve been watching Malcolm fight both Oliver and Thea down in Verdant’s basement. Why on Earth do you think you can take him on? I know you finally learned the truth about your sister’s murder, but you’re not going to win in a fight so just find another way to deal with your anger.

The moment between Oliver and Diggle was so heartwarming. Here’s Oliver, a guy who’s having a tough time living a normal human life and right now Diggle is his only tether to humanity. These are two guys who are far from normal, but Diggle asks him to be his best man. One of the most normal things a person can do.

It kind of feels like Team Arrow is breaking up. Laurel is trying to do her own thing, Roy’s concerned about Thea, Diggle’s rarely in the field anymore because of baby Sara, and Felicity is having a difficult time agreeing with Oliver’s decisions, to say the least. With Oliver’s team slowly floating apart I could see how Ra’s al Ghul’s offer would be tempting.

At this point it’s hard to root for Oliver. His character is problematic. Consistently, episode after episode he’s lying to the people closest to him. He keeps making horrible decisions, which is why you see the team questioning him and Felicity drifting away from Team Arrow.

After a few episodes of watching Ray toy around with his A.T.O.M suit, he finally got the thing to work. He had a full blown hero’s moment with a full look at the suit on Ray and a nice demonstration of its flying abilities.

I do have to say watching it in action was quite impressive, especially for a television series. In the comics the character shrinks down to a smaller size, much like Ant Man, but we didn’t see that feature. Suspiciously, it looks a lot like the Iron Man suit.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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