TV Club: Arrow dives back into League of Assassins politics, for better or worse

You know, if there’s anyone on this planet who should know better than to make an “emptyhanded” joke, it’s the former Robert Quarles.

Justified references aside, there’s a cruel, Old Testament kind of elegance to Oliver Queen’s solution to tonight’s problem. Nyssa won’t save Thea unless Malcolm gives up the ring that symbolizes his position as Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins. Malcolm refuses to do so, ruling out any diplomatic solution. Oliver refuses to kill, yet he accepts there is no way to satisfy Nyssa and Malcolm without the use of force. So he splits the difference by literally removing the ring from Malcolm. It’s a brutal final step to take, but his leaving Malcolm alive implicitly rebuts the argument Malcolm made—and more than backed up—during their battles in the show’s first season. Back then …

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