Arrow Fall Finale First Look: Oliver's Chilly Battle With Ra's al Ghul

On a snowy winter day, Oliver Queen climbed a mountain to fight Ra’s al Ghul — without a shirt, naturally.

That’s the easiest way to sum up the following photos from Arrow‘s fall finale (airing next Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW), in which the hero sets a fateful meeting with the League of Assassins baddie.

But first, Nyssa (returning guest star Katrina Law) shows up in Starling City with a deadline for the crimefighter, from her father: find Sara’s killer in 48 hours or the city’s citizens will start going bye-bye faster than Oliver’s clothes. (Not that we’re complaining, mind you!)

Click through the gallery to get a sneak peek, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the face-off!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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61 Comments
  1. Azerty says:

    These photos remind me of an episode of the 90s cartoon Batman the animated serie in which a shirtless and capeless Batman fights Ra’s al Ghul (in the end Bat’ won and kissed Talia).

    • Carla Krae says:

      I loved the Ra’s arc on that show.

    • The Kaibosh says:

      I’m glad someone else has seen the similarity. I’ve been commenting and largely lamenting this for some time. Don’t get me wrong, I like the show. Its a lot better than I first thought it would be. But I’ve been kind of bummed at how much it resembles a Batman show because given the choice I would love to watch a real, honest to goodness serious Batman show. Yes, I know movie rights, legal reasons etc etc. But I think people should call this for what it is if I could use a sports metaphor: a minor league team. That’s what Arrow is. Its meant to resemble Batman And look: we have a shirtless Bruce Wayne err Oliver Queen sword fighting with Batman’s err Green Arrow’s arch nemesis: Ra’s Al Ghul. When people want a major league team they demand one in their city and work towards it. People want a proper Batman show. Give us a Batman show. Don’t give us what are clearly characters and situations out of Batman stories and call it Green Arrow.

      • Rob Watkins says:

        Ra’s isn’t limited to Batman, and Oliver is still changing more and more into the man from the comic book Green Arrow. Lastly, Ra’s isn’t Batman’s arch nemesis.

        • The Kaibosh says:

          Like I said. I do enjoy the show and yes, Ra’s isn’t limited to Batman but he was created in a Batman title and all of his greatest stories have been in Batman stories: Detective Comics #411, Batman #232 (Daughter of the Demon – first appearance) and of course there is Batman #243 (The Lazarus Pit) and finally for now for the sake of timing Batman #244 (The Demon Lives Again): 244 is particularly interesting because in the animated series that Azerty is referring to, the episode in question takes those scenes directly out of this issue where Batman and Ra’s sword fight shirtless with Talia watching They then share a passionate kiss at the end. So keep telling yourself that Ra’s isn’t Batman’s arch nemesis (one of many I may add) we both know that’s not true. My point is that if Arrow is going to rip off from Batman, people should be at peace that this where the inspiration is coming from.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            The Joker is Batman’s arch nemesis, not Ra’s. I’m well aware of Batman’s history with Ra’s, but being a long time villain doesn’t equate to arch-nemesis, you only get one individual or group. I’m more than at peace with Arrow ripping off Batman, but that’s been the case since his inception, and it’s not limited to Arrow.

      • Jaymee says:

        I agree that sometimes they are just flat out similar.

      • Harvey says:

        You know after all the films of Batman, the TV series of Batman actually won’t suit it. Major leagues can’t come on TV like this, and on TV, Arrow is actually quite the major at the time at least. And, it’s good actually, Batman can’t come, but with Arrow and Ra’s Al Ghul, a hint of Batman is there, something that makes it all more exciting.

        • Anne says:

          I agree. I don’t want to see batman on tv. There are already plenty of interpretations of that story.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Comics, animated and film. TV is so much better than film right now, so I don’t see why there’s an aversion to putting him in even a cameo on a TV series. These ridiculous restrictions always come from the feature division and not the other way around. If a character is on a kid’s underwear, he/she ain’t too big for TV.

          • Briggs says:

            They’d have their work cut out for them, with Batman in the movies, still. I think DC wants him where he’ll make the most money and right now, that’s on the big screen.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Briggs, a true Batman series wouldn’t have that big a hill to climb. Yeah, the movies are there, but TV is the better storytelling medium, and it’s not clear that film is necessarily where Batman would make the most money. TV is also the more profitable medium, and who says you can’t do both simultaneously?

          • Briggs says:

            I think they don’t want there to be any confusion. I know when I started to watch both Bones and Castle, I had issues remembering who had what case, and that was with two shows that had no chars in common. Now, true, one’s TV and one’s in the movie, but I honestly don’t think they’re going to put him on TV if he’s still bringing in big box office bucks. Arrow works as a TV property *because* he’s been in no movies. Even if they aren’t connecting the movie and TV universes, I don’t see this happening. Especially with Gotham on the air featuring a *very* young Bruce Wayne.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Obviously they aren’t going to have a Batman show on when Gotham is, but that feels like they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. I don’t think people would be that confused by having a Batman show and a Batman movie all at the same time. There’s going to be a Flash show and Flash movie happening concurrently, and Arrow doesn’t work because there’s not a movie franchise, it works as a TV show because it’s a good TV show. I know this is all hypothetical, but Batman has such a great rogues gallery but not all of them can carry a film, plus it sucks that my favorite comic book character is confined to only animated films and a movie that happens once every three years if we’re lucky.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            It’s not about people being “confused.” It’s about devaluing the movie franchise product. Same reason Smallville was restricted in trotting out Superman, had limited Lois usage in early seasons, etc.

          • Briggs says:

            Thanks, Matt. I didn’t realize that was the problem in Smallville, btw. Now I know why it took 10 years!

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Did it really devalue the movie franchise? Superman hadn’t been on the big screen in years, and the reason SR didn’t do well had nothing to do with Smallville. As for Superman not being on the show, it was a show about how Clark matured into Superman, so I fail to see your point. Even if we never got a Batman series, we’ve never even gotten a Bruce Wayne cameo. All of these edicts, including the limitation on Lois in Smallville, seem to always be coming from insecure people in the feature division.

          • Briggs says:

            Rob, I love Batman, too. I have since I was 9 and the animated series came on. But at this point, he may well overshadow all the other superhero shows on TV right now, which isn’t fair to them. This, and every other reason given to you, is still valid, even if you disagree. Not only that, but I’ve already pointed out the very young Bruce Wayne on Gotham. So, we do have one. He’s just not old enough to drive the Batmobile, let alone become Batman.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            I know about Gotham, I fail to see your point about that. I simply said I want Batman proper, and there’s no evidence that Batman would overshadow ALL comic book shows. In what way would he adversely affect Arrow if instead of Gotham we got an actual Batman show? One could argue the Arrow writers would have to differentiate Oliver from Bruce because right now, he’s taking a lot of attribute from the dark knight. He’d be popular but it’s not like it would affect the ratings much if at all for those other shows. There’s little reason to think that Batman should be “saved” for film just because he’s a popular character in another medium. Superman is just as iconic and he has had several different series over the years. Batman’s had one, which by the way is largely responsible for making Batman the icon he is today.

          • Briggs says:

            Rob, I’m forced to conclude that all you want is a fight. Batman doesn’t need another series. I’ve already stated my reasons for thinking so, and you aren’t changing my mind. Batman isn’t coming to television as an adult with Gotham on the air *still in the first season*. I know that’s disappointing. I will now make my curtsy (like the lady I am, name notwithstanding), and bid you goodnight.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            How many times must I say that I understand that a Batman series isn’t coming to television as long as Gotham is on the air? I don’t know how much clearer I could’ve been short of using neon letters. I’m saying that I would rather a true Batman series than Gotham which is WB giving us a Batman series without Batman. Ra’s Al Ghul is a great villain and I look forward to seeing what they do with him on Arrow, but the writers clearly have used both the Batman comics and the Nolan films as big inspirations. They are fighting in snowy mountains with swords and their shirts off. That’s straight out Batman Begins and “The Demon Lives Again”. I’m just hoping they don’t have Oliver kiss Nyssa after the fight.

          • Briggs says:

            The last line brought me back, for reasons which will become clear. :) Gotham is Gordon’s story, as you might know, and while i don’t watch it myself, I understand it’s doing well, and I wish cast and crew the best of luck. If it leads to a Batman show, I’m not against it, but it’s not happening as long as there’s something else to compete with it. Seeing as you were arguing so forcefully for a Batman show, I genuinely thought that was the whole problem.
            .
            I struggled with the comparison between this storyline and the one in the cartoon, and now I know why. Ra’s wanted Batman to get with Talia and breed up strong grandsons. Here, he wants Arrow to find Sara’s killer. Something that makes no sense to me whatsoever, since he made no secret he didn’t really care for her one way or another, but the story is still different. You don’t have to worry about him kissing Nyssa, in other words. Not only does he not like her (even when she helped him during the siege), but she’s the one LGBT character they have left. True, they haven’t outright said she’s not into men, but she clearly has a thing for blonde women, if Sara and Felicty are anything to go by…

          • Rob Watkins says:

            I’m well aware of what Gotham is, but it often comes across as Gordon in the de facto Batman role. Either he succeeds in his mission, in which case there’s no need for Batman, or he doesn’t, and there’s a lack of catharsis. Still, the series is finding its footing.

            As for Ra’s, the cartoon episodes you are referring to were more or less adapted straight from the comics, down to them being written by Denny O’Neill. Ra’s didn’t want Batman to simply give him grandchildren, he wanted him to marry Talia and takeover his organization (not just the League), which might be the case here. I know I don’t have to worry about Nyssa, I was being a tad facetious. My point was that the scene of Oliver and Ra’s al Ghul fighting is very familiar, with Oliver filling in for Bruce Wayne.

          • Briggs says:

            I love Gordon but… he’s Gordon. If he’s Batman, that might make Bullock Robin , and… well, that’s an image… (Again, not saying the show is bad, just not seeing the comparison, here. Let Gordon be Gordon, he’s cool enough all by himself.)
            .
            I oversimplified. In my defense, Damian has been on my brain, lately. I don’t think that’s where it’s going, though. He may have taken offense to Oliver coming between him and Malcolm, the reason Sara was in Starling, to begin with. The 48-hour thing may just be to pacify Nyssa. The fight itself may be to remind Oliver who the big man on campus really is. Before he kills him and goes after Malcolm, himself. The last line being his plan and not what actually happens, this being a fall finale and not a series finale.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            You’re right, Rob. I only covered Smallville for 10 years. What could I possibly know/have heard.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            It wasn’t a secret, I heard those same things as well. I don’t know why you’re arguing that point. I’m pointing out that I don’t think the feature division’s rationale holds up to scrutiny.

          • Briggs says:

            A little friendly advice, Rob? Let it go. Matt’s a lot closer to the sources than you are, and therefore knows more whereof he speaks. He wouldn’t still have his job if he didn’t.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Your comment is odd, I in no way disagreed with what he said. Look back and try to find it. I didn’t. I’m well aware of the reasons they gave, Matt didn’t report anything I haven’t known for a decade now. I’m disagreeing with the PTB who make such ridiculous edicts like Bruce Wayne can’t be mentioned on shows like Smallville or Arrow. The closest we got was the Wayne Tech thing in The Flash. Why are they worried that an appearance on a TV show will hurt the profitability of Batman movies? Batman’s on everything but live action TV shows, including kids’ underoos, yet somehow a mention would devalue him?

          • Briggs says:

            Matt didn’t take it that way, He might actually have been offended. Hence my comment.
            .
            BTW, your definition of ‘disagree’ varies from mine. And, apparently, Matt’s.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Briggs, honestly look back and try to find where I disagreed with him. I didn’t because I’m well aware of the limits WB put on shows like Smallville.

    • Shelley says:

      Personally, never followed the comics or cartoons for any of the(se) heros of TV or the movies. I just enjoy them. I love The Arrow. All the characters. And I love how the show has its own agenda. Not too lose to the comics. Not a real fan of Laurel, yet as The Canary, but I’ll give it time. As for Ra’s al Ghul I’ll see how the story goes. Love the fight scenes. Well choreographed. Can’t wait for this episode. Shirtless Oliver is pleasing to the eye.

  2. Riana says:

    Ra’s is probably the one who had her killed.

  3. Steve F. says:

    Great, Oliver’s going up against the former Champion of Capua… we know he makes it, but how is the question?

  4. Elena says:

    Is anyone else wondering if Oliver is going to get captured in the mid-season finale? Just some of the spoilers (like Katie Cassidy’s increased role in 3.10-3.13) along with Stephen Amell’s reduced work hours the past month make it seem like something along those lines is happening. I could be totally wrong, but that would be an interesting turn to take at the winter break.

    • Azerty says:

      He is either captured, left for dead or he leaves with LoA on his own will but Oliver is definitely missing from Starling in 3×10-3×13. And like you said that would be the perfect moment for Laurel to become the Canary to defend the city. I just wonder if Diggle will wear the hood while Oliver is missing. I thought Ollie could be locked in the prison on Lian Yu and escaped with the help of Slade, but Slade is scheduled for 3×14 and I heard Ollie would be back for 3×13. I guess they can still explain where he was in flashbacks and include Slade in those flashbacks.

      • Briggs says:

        Stephen Amell said it wasn’t a kidnapping, so it’s one of the other options. Though what the case actually is may still be up for grabs.

  5. M3rc Nate says:

    That fight on the snow top looks awesome, especially cause of the people up there with him (Nyssa, the asian guy hes with in the flash backs)

    • John NYC says:

      I don’t think that’s Karl Yune (Maseo Yamashiro in the flashbacks to Hong Kong) with Katrina. Does A.R.G.U.S. and the League of Assassins overlap?

      • Rob Watkins says:

        That looks like Maseo. No, ARGUS isn’t affiliated with the League, but I think that’s the point. We’re supposed to wonder how he got from point A to B. I think that’s how the Hong Kong flashbacks are linked to the present story. I wonder what will happen to Katana.

      • SonOfCoul says:

        That’s definitely Maseo with Nyssa, Oliver and Ra’s in those shots….the fact that all four of them are together means it can’t be flashbacks either, because Oliver has not met Ra’s in person yet.
        I am thinking that maybe The League of Assassins are the “bad people” that Tatsu mentioned they are running from? Maybe Maseo agrees to re-join the league or something in exchange for his wife and son’s safety?

  6. ArrowFan says:

    Can’t wait. In my humble opinion, I would rather see this Arrow than Batman any day! (And I liked the Batman movies.)

  7. Rob Watkins says:

    I’m happy to see movement on the Ra’s Al Ghul front. It looks like things are beginning to dovetail with the different storylines. I’m happy we’re getting to see one of my favorite villains in comics. I would’ve preferred more of this than seeing Felicity’s ex-boyfriend, but I’ll take what I can get. I know many are talking about the obvious parallels to Batman, but I don’t mind that. If you are going to do an homage, take from the best.

  8. Luis says:

    Looking forward to Ra’s Al Ghul becoming a m ore active participant in the proceedings, though I’m not sure why Oliver would imagine he might survive hand-to-hand combat with the Demon. I like the idea of Oliver being absent from SC for a period, forcing others to step up in his absence; its a good opportunity to show some character development.

  9. Joey Padron says:

    Good photos from fall finale episode. It does remind me of animated Batman series. Can’t wait to see Oliver & Ra al Ghul’s fighting scenes!

    • Jean-paul Mallette says:

      Hope to see Oliver back in the nex season.Because I do not like the last épisode that Oliver looses again’s Ra al Ghul’ is the won who should have lost the fight.

      • Harvey says:

        How should he have won? Merlyn was one man that was trained in the League of Assassins, he was too big for Oliver a lot of times, and a guy who actually trained them all and can beat all so easily would lose

  10. Briggs says:

    I have a question: if Ra’s didn’t think Sara was really one of them, why is he a) going after her killer via Oliver and b) giving Oliver a time limit to do so? The good news is, this might mean we find out Sara’s killer. I’m so ready for that mystery to be over.

  11. Jaymee says:

    Whoa!! Looks like some serious butt-kicking is gonna happen.

  12. Ella says:

    Hmm, interesting to see Maseo Yamashiro in the present – if I remember correctly, in the comics he’s killed by his brother, isn’t he? Prompting his wife to move to the US?

  13. Rick Katze says:

    Not having read the comic book, I am happy to see Arrow travel his road without pre-knowledge. I tend to agree that it will be a cliffhanger because that is the new trend in TV. Not that I like it. If I like the show, I do not need that type of tease to come back after the repeats end but the suits “know” what they are doing. olive, shirtless, reminds me of the idiots we see on TV at football games when the weather is below 10 degrees F. Fortunately we don’t see them the next day when they are in the hospital emergency room paying for their 5 seconds of fame.
    Ending with my usual refrain: Where is John Barrowman.

  14. Anne says:

    I’m wondering how they’re going to explain why/how ras went from not caring that Sarah was dead to threatenting Oliver to find her killer. The fight looks epic.

  15. Eugen says:

    So, Oliver + Nyssa each have a plan to resurrect somebody. No?

    • Briggs says:

      Personally? I think it’s Malcolm who has the plan, since he’s the one who sent Oliver off to his death. But I’m still working up that theory.