Arrow Review: “Al Sah-Him”

FELICITY: He’s out of town and how did you get in here?
THEA: My dad’s a super villain and you left your doors unlocked.

The man who was Oliver Queen takes on his former associates.

Title: “Al Sah-Him”

Cast and Crew
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Writers: Beth Scwartz, Brian Ford Sullivan, Emilio Ortega Aldrich

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Matt Nable as Ra’s al Ghul
Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul
David Ramsay as John Diggle
Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance / Black Canary
Karl Yune as Maseo Yamashiro
Willa Holland as Thea Queen
Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana
John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
Brandon Nomura as Akio Yamashiro

Premise

Oliver’s new role brings him into life-and-death conflict with his former associates.

High Point

The story features some interesting and well-realized insights into character. The Canary’s new partnership with Nyssa brings out the best in both characters, and makes Laurel more convincing as a superhero.

If I didn’t buy Ollie’s transformation, Ra’s’s efforts to create an heir out of a reluctant man do as much as his threat to Starling City to show the villain beneath the imperial robes and calm demeanor.

Low Point

Oliver Queen made a difficult decision when he chose to become Heir to the Demon, but he made that decision for reasons that make a kind of sense. However, it’s his show, he has to return as the Arrow—and so we’re getting some nonsense about magic brainwashing to explain his behavior. It completely weakens the conflict.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/5

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 The scenes involving Laurel and Nyssa work well, and Matt Nable remains strong as Ra’s. Some of the supporting cast don’t quite rise to the challenges of this episode. Most notably, Audrey Marie Anderson was a little flat as Lyla.

Story: 4/6

Given how effective the Canary scream appears to be, it’s odd that she only uses it once.

Emotional Response: 4/6 The Low Point and its handling blunt the emotional response. The show failed to sell me Ollie’s transformation, and therefore I could not feel the tension.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Al Sah-Him” receives 31/42

5 replies on “Arrow Review: “Al Sah-Him””

  1. pythor says:

    Most notably, Audrey Marie Anderson was a little flat as Lyla.

    Well, when you turn a member of an elite covert military team into a damsel in distress, it might give the actress some problems making things believable. It’s a good thing they didn’t kidnap her on screen, because there is no way to do that believably.

  2. Fez says:

    I’m also not buying the transition, but given the show this is, I’m guessing one of two things will happen:

    1. He was never transformed and was playing along, and this is part of a plan to take out Ra’s.
    2. The brainwashing will be “broken” by the team talking him down, probably Felicity and/or Thea.

    Ray/Atom was suspiciously absent at a time when he could have been quite useful. There was a brief glimpse of him flying on the suit in the promo for next week, though. Makes me wonder if he’s in on something with Oliver as part of a larger plan.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      I’m hoping your theories have some substance. Such an explanation would be convoluted, but it would make more sense than what we’re seeing here.

      • Fez says:

        Indeed. What I’d like to see happen as a part of #1, but probably won’t come to be, is that we find out The Alpha/Omega antidote taken by Maseo and Oliver also made them immune to the drugs/herbs/etc used in brainwashing, which would also explain Maseo being so familiar with his old life. If it was truly gone, Maseo’s behavior toward Oliver after his near-death experience would not have made sense. Building on that, Maseo and Oliver are working on a plan to take down Ra’s. — That would also tie the flashbacks in more closely to the central plot, and not be too convoluted. I’m not holding my breath though.

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