Ra’s al Ghul mobilizes his revenge and kidnaps Malcolm Merlyn. Meanwhile, Ray Palmer is close to finishing the Atom suit, but Felicity fears he is becoming consumed like Oliver and tries to stop him. Spoilers ahead.
Thea, distraught after learning that Merlyn used her, reveals the truth to Roy and Laurel. Not satisfied, she contacts the League of Assassins, who capture Merlyn to face justice. Oliver is furious about this, and intends to rescue Merlyn so Thea will not feel guilty about killing her own father.
Oliver’s decision, while noble from a moral standpoint, is frustrating. Merlyn has killed dozens of people and brought much suffering to Team Arrow. Not to mention Thea’s actions would have effectively gotten Ra’s al Ghul and the League off their backs. Sure, she might have regretted it on the long-term, but for the moment, it made sense for everyone’s safety. The reveal that Oliver partly did it because of his arrogance following his “death” rationalizes it, but does not bring any sympathy to him. It feels like it artificially continues the arc instead of being an organic plot development.
The other characters, however, get to shine. Laurel and Roy handle Thea’s revelations emotionally, but also with common sense, and realize that Thea is not to blame for Sara’s death. One of the best scenes in the episode involves Roy’s accidental murder of a cop under Mirikuru influence. This subplot was ignored a couple of times, so it was great to see that back. Diggle also gets more involved as he goes to Nanda Parbat with Oliver.
Ray Palmer also activates the Atom suit. It is rather nice to see, but the effects for the flight scene were a bit unrefined and clashed with the rest of the show.
The episode ends on a couple of small cliffhangers. Thea is driven to guilt rather quick and lets a captured Nyssa try to kill her, while Ra’s wants Oliver to take his place as the leader of the League of Assassins.
“Nanda Parbat” deprives the viewers from a quick solution to the season’s problems on a rather flimsy manner. Oliver’s ego extends the plot on a contrived manner. But the supporting characters save his episode and elevate it above last week’s “The Return”. The rest of the season seems like it will have the focus that most of the season lacked. It is a shame that it had to come so late in the game.
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