ARROW Season 8×03, “Leap of Faith” recap

31 Oct

Welcome back, Arrowheads! When last we left things, Ollie performed another task for The Monitor, but eventually got to realizing he knows nothing about the being sending him on these tasks. So, he’s going to find an organization with enough ancient ties to put together who The Monitor is, and that is visiting Nanda Parbat, the home of the destroyed League of Assassins! What he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only agent working for The Monitor’s goals, and that one is a very close ally: Diggle’s wife, Lyla! In the future, JJ, Diggle’s son, has put his Deathstroke gang onto a mission to kill the group trying to bring Star City and the Glades back together, and William is on that list! We’ll get to the future story eventually (and you’ll see why), but first…

Brother and Sister Reunion. On Nanda Parbat, a figure sitting down to rest for the night runs into another mysterious figure. Before we know it, they both recognize each other: it’s Ollie and Thea! Ollie has been looking for Thea in Nanda Parbat, since she’s been trying to dismantle the Thanatos Guild for killing Roy (he got better and worse, as you know from last season), and while Nyssa is off on some other mission, he needs her help. She doesn’t know much about this whole Mar Novu/Monitor stuff, and nothing has come up in all her encounters with the League or the Guild. So that means getting in touch with the only other remaining League of Assassins member they know of: Talia al Ghul!

They discover the camp where Talia is training some new disciples, and she agrees to help them as a debt she owes to Ollie. The only thing that may point to Mar Novu is likely located under the remains of the League’s old lair, in the crypt of its ancient rulers. While that is going on, Diggle gets some distressing news from Lyla, that Bronze Tiger’s wife and son have been kidnapped by someone who we later learn was the son of the criminal Tiger killed to save Lyla. So they are off on their own little side mission.

If it’s an ancient crypt, ALWAYS expect booby traps.

Scavenger Hunt. At the League’s old haunts, Ollie, Thea, and Talia head into the catacombs and find a scroll leading to a clue to the ancient crypt they need to find. Oddly enough, it is the only thing they find still there after the Thanatos Guild ransacked the place. Ollie figures out burning the scroll will reveal the clue, and it is an odd orb with all kinds of markings, ones that point to the creator of the League, his resources, and a sword that could be used to whoever wields it to rebuild the League. Sure enough, it’s a trap that Athena and her Thanatos Guild members have laid for someone who could decipher the clue in that scroll.

Our trio escapes, leaving the orb behind, but with Talia memorizing the orb’s details, realizes it points to another clue: a memorial not too far away from a mountain familiar to Ollie (he fell off it once). For Ollie though, he tells Thea to leave, knowing he’s walking with the only two heirs to the League, and that can only lead to trouble when they find that sword. While it seems Thea agrees to this, Ollie and Talia get to the memorial. After disabling a booby trap, they find a map, leading to an entryway on the top of the mountain. And then Talia knocks Ollie out.

The Trust of Thieves. Thea is there when Ollie comes to, ready to give him a nice “I told you so” about trusting Talia. The two figure out they have to scale the mountain itself to get ahead of Talia, and get to doing that. While resting, Ollie discusses how this whole mission and fear of losing his family and friends is weighing on him, and Thea is there to reassure her brother that he’ll get through this somehow. As they get up to the top of the mountain and find the entrance, they discover Athena and her soldiers have captured Talia, and intends to use her new prisoners to go through the booby trapped crypt.

“Did you hit this rock on the way down?” “Not funny, Thea.”

In Kasnia, Diggle and Lyla attend a party being held by the kidnappers, and find Turner’s wife and son being held inside the house, and surmise this is meant to get revenge of Bronze Tiger for killing the father of the terrorist that almost killed Lyla. Lyla suggests using herself to distract the kidnapper while Diggle saves the two, but he bristles at that. That experience watching Earth-2 has rattled him in a profound way, making him worry about losing Lyla and his son. But he goes along with it, and manages to save Turner’s wife and son, along with helping Lyla take down the terrorist’s son.

The Sword. Meantime, Ollie, Thea, and Talia somehow manages to survive getting killed by the booby traps in the crypt, and while Talia and Thea head to the crypt, Ollie sticks around as the Guild tries to follow them. Ollie manages to get a bow and some arrows, and thanks to them and those booby traps, Athena and her goons get killed. As for the sword, Talia finds it, and finds Thea ready to challenge her for it. It looks like Thea might be overmatched here, but she turns the tables and gets Talia to yield.

After that, Ollie learns from those archives that Mar Novu might be a harbinger of destruction rather than saving the multiverse, so this may be a problem later. Talia relinquishes command of her minions to Thea, but Thea suggests something different: forming a league dedicated to fighting crime with Talia as a co-ruler! Surprisingly, Talia agrees. As for Ollie, he says goodbye to Thea, and they have a nice little final goodbye that might make you sniffle a bit. Elsewhere, Diggle and Lyla help get Turner’s family to safety, and she assures Diggle that no matter what, they should enjoy the time they have. No, she does not bring up the whole “working for the Monitor” thing, but I’m sure it’ll come up eventually.

AND NOW…

Just a little rough housing between brothers with a knife to the throat as half-brothers tend to do.

 

The Future and The Present. In 2040, Future Team Arrow finds those Deathstroke goons dead, and William alive, thanks to him electrifying the floor of the Bunker. They figure out that JJ is going to wipe out people on this unification project, and are starting to do that as part of a coordinated strike. William suggest using himself as bait to draw out JJ, but Mia impulsively suggests going to their lair and just attacking them there. The Team sets up for their attack, and it goes tragically wrong. The Team fights the gang, and when it looks like Mia might get killed by JJ, Zoe saves her, only to get stabbed dead by JJ! Connor fights his half-brother and it looks like he’s going to kill him, when…a flash of light envelops our Team and JJ, and…

…we cut to the present, as Ollie has been teleported, likely by The Monitor, to the Arrow HQ, as Diggle, Dinah, and Rene are there too. He doesn’t know what’s going on, and neither does anyone else…especially when they all see 2040 era Mia, William, and Connor next to them! Yeah, our future heroes are in our present! Get ready for some awkward father meeting future offspring talk for next week.

–Series connections: So we get to go back up the mountain Ollie fell off of during season 3 in that brutal fight against Ra’s al Ghul. Obviously the Thanatos Guild is a callback to season 6 when Thea left, with Roy and Nyssa to destroy those Lazarus Pits, which we learned they were successful at.

–This marked Katie Cassidy’s (Evil Laurel) directing debut, which explains her lack of scenes in this episode. A solid debut, especially during the big emotional scenes with Ollie and Thea.

–While those in the know are aware The Monitor isn’t exactly the bad guy (more his opposite, in fact) to worry about, I just wonder how Ollie is going to deal with a godlike being who probably has dropped his grown up kids into his era for some reason.

–So, next week suggests that while our future heroes (minus dead Zoe, RIP) are in the present, so is future JJ, which…is probably going to be lots of drama there.

–Great bit of reaction comedy as Ollie figures out that they need to burn the scroll.

–“Yeah, we’ve pretty much killed all the League members, haven’t we?”

–“Wow, love what you haven’t done with the place.”

–“I just grew up a little bit.”

That’s it for now, but come back next week for the recap of “Present Tense”…

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