Arrow, Season 6, Episode 16, “The Thanatos Guild”
Arrow returned from its basketball-related exile for another episode where the big bad conveniently takes the week off so Team Arrow can take care of some light housekeeping, namely sending Thea to the proverbial upstate farm. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Arrow:
What’s the scoop: Ninjas are the roaches of the vigilante world -– just when you think you’ve gotten rid of them, they return in seemingly greater numbers. All Thea wants right now is to get off the vigilante carousel and start a new life with Roy, but she’s got a nasty ninja infestation. An offshoot of the League of Assassins has discovered that Malcolm Merlyn created a scavenger hunt for some vital information, and being the apple of her daddy’s eye, Thea is the key to it all.
Meanwhile in B-plot land: Now that they are on the outs with Ollie and the gang, Curtis and Dinah are stuck doing the heavy plot lifting. They discover that Diaz has resurrected the drug Vertigo, and he has a big chunk of the Star City PD in his pocket to do so. Also, there’s a sub-subplot about how Ollie doesn’t really want to give up the hood, but, of course, doesn’t want to tell Diggle the real reasons why he is walking back his promise to turn the hood over to Digs. After all, keeping unnecessary secrets has worked so well for Ollie in the past.
Sex and the Olicity: This was a fun twist on the good ship Olicity. Nyssa’s arrival back in town served as a reminder that Ollie already had a wife. Sure, Ollie and Nyssa were married in a twisted rite of the League of Assassins, but dammit, a commitment is a commitment. Anyway, Felicity spends most of the episode being hyper-competitive, and engaging in a one-sided game of one-upsmanship with Nyssa, which Nyssa has no clue she’s playing. The bit is mainly played for laughs and almost, but doesn’t quite reach the point where you think Felicity will resort to peeing on Ollie in order to mark her territory.
What about the action: When you combine a deadly scavenger hunt with ninjas, you can’t help but get decent results. So there were a couple of larger set pieces which got the whole team involved. They didn’t rise to the level of big fights we’ve seen in the past, but they served as adequate obstructions to Thea’s new journey. When the dust settles, Thea finds out that Merlyn was going to start a new League in his own image, on the strength of finding three new Lazarus Pits. In an effort to atone for the sins of her father, Thea decides to join Nyssa (Roy tags along too) to scour the globe in an effort to destroy the other pits.
What’s next: Diggle and Ollie stage a realistic reenactment of Batman vs. Superman in the Arrowcave.
Last impressions: Thea didn’t die, and Roy once again left town with both arms intact. On the whole this should have felt like a win. The sentimentality was there but it was only half-hearted. Sure, Thea hasn’t had much to do the last couple of seasons, but this is still a character who has been around since the start, and who we’ve seen grow from a drugged out party girl to one of Ollie’s most trusted (and competent) advisers. Thea’s departure should pack more of an emotional punch. Here, you almost expected Ollie to give her a playful punch in the arm, and cheesy advice about not drinking the water in exotic places. Your sister isn’t backpacking around Europe, Ollie (and by extension the Arrow writing room), she’s embarking on a dangerous mission she might not come back from. Her departure deserves more than having her hair tousled and a “follow your dreams, kid” sendoff. Maybe down the line Thea’s presence will be missed, but in this episode it was handled more like checking the box next to the “write Willa Holland off the show” entry on the season to-do list.