Could we soon be calling Oliver Queen the next Ra’s al Ghul?
That’s a question Arrow picks apart in its return episode, “The Offer.” After surviving Ra’s’ sword once before, Oliver skirts death a second time when the leader of the League of Assassins proposes that the Starling City hero take over the throne as head of the League. But like everything Ra’s does or says, there are strings attached.
“The thrust of the second part of the season is that it's not really an offer, it's a command,” Stephen Amell tells ETonline. “The legend says, if you survive the sword of Ra's al Ghul, you become Ra's al Ghul. He needs an heir and by right, it's me. He's not going to rest until I take it, willingly or unwillingly.”
Tonight’s episode picks up moments after Ra’s’ proposition, and it’s a “sales pitch that is going to be surprisingly compelling,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells ETonline. “Ra’s is going to make a very good argument in favor of the League of Assassins and Oliver is going to spend the episode far more tempted than you might expect.”
To make it worth his while, the idea is put into Oliver’s ear that he has the opportunity to potentially change the meaning of a position, often synonymous with cold-hearted villainy and bloodshed.
“The League does as you command, so if you say to them, ‘No more killing. We're going to do things differently,’ that will be the way. Oliver's sort of scratching his chin like, ‘I could see how that could work,’” Amell says.
If Oliver says no, however, it’s fair to assume there will be hell to pay in Starling City and beyond.
“I know what might happen if he doesn't, and Ra's has a point,” Guggenheim says of the episode, co-written by Brian Ford Sullivan and Beth Schwartz. “[Sullivan] wrote a beautiful speech for Ra’s and [afterward] you understand why Oliver is really seriously considering this.”
Thankfully, we’ll learn what Oliver decides by the end of the episode – and we’re siding with Team Arrow on this one!
“I'd rather he become president than become Ra's al Ghul,” Emily Bett Rickards admits to ETonline, likening the Oliver-Ra’s twist to Scandal. (Watch the video above to find out why!) “There's going to be a lot more danger in that occupation, harder choices. He might become a different person when put in that scenario.”
David Ramsey echoes Rickards’ sentiments, telling ETonline, “Does Diggle think he should? Absolutely not. There's an argument as to him being able to use the power to do good as Ra's. Diggle's not buying it."
Colton Haynes dropped a potential clue to Oliver’s thought process. “Oliver is going to make whatever decision is best for the team,” he hints. “There obviously is a standout decision, one that he should make, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Amell admits that there is a small part of him that desperately wants Oliver to take the mantle, if only to fulfill his own fanboy fantasy.
“I would love to see it happen,” he said enthusiastically. “I would love to be Ra's al Ghul, that'd be so awesome!”
We couldn't agree more.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.