Comic book tv shows

Arrow 3×21 Discussion: Brainwashing now huh?

arrow season 3 episode 21 brainwashing oliver

Arrow season 3 episode 21 presented us with Dark Oliver, the brainwashed turned evil Oliver Queen. Yeah Ra’s is a pretty evil guy for brainwashing Oliver, but forcing his daughter to marry Al Sah-him as well, that’s just cruel!!! So let’s discuss Arrow season 3 episode 21!

Spoilers follow.

So looking through the internet after this episode aired, it seemed like everyone was loving this episode a lot, I have to say, I did not have too much love for this episode. 

First the good: Laurel. I know, what the heck? But I’m weirdly starting to like Laurel’s character more than Felicity’s right now. Last week on The Flash, Laurel was great, and in episode 21, she was pretty great as well. Her and Nyssa training and chilling together, are a pretty good combination.

Side note: is dipping fried chips in milkshakes actually a thing????

Laurel may not be the best Black Canary right now, but she’s not annoying anymore! For once she doesn’t seem like the biggest whinger, she may wear her heart on her sleeve, but she’s still trying to be better, which I appreciate. She seems to be the only one thinking a little clearly within Team Arrow. Also she finally used her canary cry, which was pretty cool!

arrow season 3 episode 21 laurel

Anyways let’s get to the brainwashing part of Arrow season 3 episode 21. I feel like, if they wanted to go through with this Dark Oliver route, there should have been a little bit more of a lead up. One minute he’s normal, next episode he’s evil. Perhaps taking an episode to show the brainwashing slowly starting to kick in, before going full on Dark Oliver would have been better.

I just found it almost laughable this entire episode, how Oliver, or should I say Al Sah-him, was kidnapping wives and almost stabbing best friends, whereas last week he was quite normal. I guess that’s just comic book TV shows for you, so I can’t complain. I just found this episode to be a little odd.

Of course we know that by the season finale Dark Oliver will be no more, so it will be interesting to see how he will break out of his brainwashing.

Ra’s continues to be cruel as he is now forcing his daughter to marry Al Sah-him! Now that is one uncomfortable couple. But I guess it’s nicer than killing your own daughter…


Oh and finally the flashbacks that have been dragging out for the last few weeks tie into the larger story. Ra’s wants to unleash the virus on Starling City. (In next week’s promo we also see Katana in present day in costume, which will be great, her costume looks pretty sweet as well).

Well this has all become a little Batman Begins like. Although in Batman Begins Ra’s’ motivations were clear. He wanted to destroy Gotham City so he could rebuild it again anew. I’m not sure if this Ra’s has made his motivations clear yet, but I’m guessing it’s a similar motivation. That or he just wants to mess around more with Oliver’s head.

Oh and as for the Damien Darhk Ra’s mentioned, he is a member of H.I.V.E. If you remember in season one, Diggle found a connection between his brother’s murder and H.I.V.E. H.I.V.E is essentially this evil organisation that trains assassins and mercenaries. Deadshot on Arrow had connections to the organisation, as we saw in his flashbacks.

Overall Arrow season 3 episode 21 felt like an odd episode to me. The quick transformation to Dark Oliver took me aback. I’ve seemed to be having a hot and cold relationship with Arrow season 3, but I’m hoping that the last few episodes will finish strong, with Oliver Queen returning a better man and hero than he was before this whole Al Sah-him dilemma.

7 replies »

  1. I was thinking the whole episode maybe Oliver is just playing along. I mean after everything he has been through he could be changed so much in three weeks is ridiculous. But alas it seems he is not as strong as we thought but I see the destroying the city he is supposed to be protecting as what snaps him back.

    And what is with this kinder Ra’s Al Ghul? He doesn’t kill anybody anymore? Oh it was your old life coming back so I forgive you, then he let everyone go then he didn’t kill his daughter because she was broken? What the heck does that mean? She didn’t look broken to me just more pissed.


    • That was what I was thinking too! I thought surely he has some kind of plan, but apparently not.
      Yeah Ra’s character confuses me sometimes, I feel like they need to make his motivations a little clearer, because right now he’s just doing stuff and we’re all just like, huh?


  2. Hey we can’t have batman on television so green arrow will do, besides, shooting arrows is cooler than throwing batarangs right? Batman begins immediately came to my mind when Ra’s told Oliver to poison Starling City with the Omega. Starting next fall were going have to decide which shows to follow, there’s going be so many shows. Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Flash, Arrow, Gotham, Preacher, Krypton, Constantine and DMZ, and all of the Marvel shows on ABC and Netflix.

    The titans show or whatever they end up naming it will have an issue with villains. Arrow has Deathstroke, H.I.V.E has been introduced and Damian Dark.


    • Haha, yeah well I just hope they don’t forget that they are dealing with Arrow not Batman. Yeah there’s going to be a lot of shows, but hopefully they air them throughout the year, not all at the same time. That way there’s always something to watch, particularly if they air a couple of the shows during the Summer period.

      Yes that ‘Blackbirds’ show, if it’s not connected to Arrow/Flash then there will probably be an overlap of villains.


      • The 3 best things that wb dc has done with their properties in the past decade is 1. Give batman to chris nolan 2. Rebooting dc comics with the new 52. Changing wonder womans origin, getting rid of martian manhunter, fixing the timelines etc. 3. Putting arrow on the cw with a new actor instead of bringing back justin hartley. The guy did fine in smallville, but bringing him back would’ve tied them to that shows characters for ever and ever.

        Regardless of what anyone tells you, wb dc is in good shape right now. It’s just about execution from this point on.


      • Oh I agree that DC are on the right track, however you can’t help but feel like things are a little messy with the multiple live-action universes and overlapping of characters. But i’ve got faith that they know what they are doing


      • It seems a bit messy only because marvel has everything connected so everyone feels dc wb should do the same. The truth is that it wouldn’t work for dc. Their characters are just too different. Batman, Superman, and Wonder woman are serious characters.

        Can you imagine firestorm from the cw in the same universe as Snyder’s batman and superman? The answer is no, it wont work. Also, Chris nolan showed them that sidekicks are silly in a serious universe. It’s fine for t.v., but that’s it. Characters like supergirl, nightwing need to be on t.v and t.v only.

        The reason the flash is on t.v is because they realize that the characters a much better fit for t.v. So they gave him a show on the cw and cast a great actor to play him in the movie verse. That’s a brilliant move.

        Wb knows exactly what theyre doing with dc properties. Everything else you hear is just noise.

        Liked by 1 person

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