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Arrow: Six Burning Questions (and Answers!) About Ra's al Ghul and the Atom

Arrow: Six Burning Questions (and Answers!) About Ra's...

By Tim Beedle Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

SPOILER ALERT: This article goes into detail about some of twists and surprises in Episode 15 of Arrow, “Nanda Parbat.” Consider yourself warned!

Yes, Arrow fans, we feel your pain. That was a bombshell of an episode, and perhaps the only thing more surprising than that final twist is that we now have to wait three weeks to learn what happens next. It’s unfair! It’s excruciating! How are we fans supposed to survive?!

Well, calm down and for heaven’s sake, put down those bows (you may hurt yourself!). We went straight to the source—namely Arrow Executive Producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg and actress Katrina Law (Nyssa al Ghul)—to get some real answers to some of this episode’s burning questions.

What’s some of the fallout from Ra’s al Ghul’s offer?

Andrew Kreisberg: Oliver is completely taken aback. He wasn’t expecting that to be the case.

 It was something that Greg, Marc and I talked about, how it was important to have a different villain this year, somebody who was going to be doing something completely different. So to have Ra’s, who’s this giant malevolent force, come up and basically offer the keys to the kingdom to our hero. It just felt like such a different way to go, and such a different relationship for Oliver to have with the villain.

What Oliver’s reaction to it is, what Nyssa’s reaction to it is, what everyone’s reaction to it is makes up the bulk of the next run of episodes—what his answer is and what that prompts all the other characters to do.

Katrina Law: Nyssa is pleasantly surprised.

AK: Nyssa is the heir to the demon, so you can imagine how she feels when she finds out that what she would consider to be her birthright is being handed over to Oliver.

But Oliver would never actually accept Ra’s al Ghul’s offer, would he? Wouldn’t his humanity prevent him from leading the League of Assassins?

Marc Guggenheim: Ra’s has an interesting perspective on that question, which you’ll get in . One of the things we reveal in episode 3.20 is where the name “League of Assassins” came from, and what it means to be an “assassin.” If you’re a historian you’ll know that it has a different meaning than what it’s become in the modern day.

How is the Atom’s presence in Starling City going to change things?

MG: Well, I think episode 3.17 is definitely the episode you’ll want to check out first in terms of that question because obviously, it’s not just the Felicity/Ray/Oliver love triangle that’s in play. It’s that there’s a new super hero in town, and he’s going to go about things in a very different way than the Arrow does. He’s not a part of Team Arrow. Right now he’s just a very smart guy in a very, very powerful suit. Oliver’s definitely going to have an opinion, and the first instance of that will be episode 3.17.

Speaking of that love triangle, how serious are things going to get between Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer? Isn’t Felicity in love with Oliver?

AK: There are a lot of people who believe that Oliver and Laurel should be together, and people who believe that Oliver and Felicity should be together. We’re not sure how it’s all going to end up, we just do what’s right at the time.

For right now, Oliver has decided that he can’t do this, and Felicity’s not just going to sit around waiting for him. She’s probably the most healthy of all of them. Oliver’s the one shutting himself down emotionally when he has this amazing person who’s basically offering him hope, guidance, friendship and love. He doesn’t feel he deserves it and that is what’s best for her, whether she agrees with it or not. Then you’ve got Ray, who in a lot of ways is a real analog to Oliver. He’s had a tragedy and he’s trying to do right by it, but he’s opening his heart to her. And he’s Brandon Routh! How can you blame her?

When we left Nyssa, Thea Queen had just released her from her cell. What’s next for her?

KL: I think Nyssa’s journey going forward is going to be really interesting, just because she was so dead set on who she was and where she was going to be. How she had laid out her future for herself. Now everything’s been thrown up in the air. She’s no longer heir to the demon. She no longer has her lover, whom I’m sure she was thinking about keeping around forever. She’s essentially lost everything.

I think for the first time in her life she’s vulnerable. She feels weak and useless. She doesn’t know where she stands or who she is at the moment. It’s very jarring for her because she’s never had to go through that in any capacity in her life before. You’re going to see Nyssa trying to figure out who she is and what she stands for now.

Ra’s al Ghul talks about meeting someone in the 1800s in this episode. Clearly, he’s lived a much longer than average time. So…any chance we’ll be seeing a Lazarus Pit?

MG: Truth be told, I think all the answers to that question have already been presented on the show. You’ve seen everything you need to see to know where we’re headed .

AK: Let’s just say that our version of Ra’s al Ghul on the TV show is a lot closer to the comic books than you’ve seen in other live action adaptations.

MG: We had said in “The Climb” that no one has challenged Ra’s al Ghul in something like sixty-three years. There are plenty of auditory and visual clues that we’ve planted throughout the season and we encourage everyone to play along.

Arrow returns to The CW on Wednesday, March 18th with an episode entitled "The Offer."