- For the eponymous location, see Nanda Parbat (Earth-1).
- "You have shown tremendous strength, fortitude, power. No, Mr. Queen, I do not want to kill you. I want you take my place. I want you to become the next Ra's al Ghul."
- —Ra's al Ghul to Oliver Queen
"Nanda Parbat" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of , and the sixty-first episode overall. It aired on February 25, 2015.
|Malcolm is captured by Ra's al Ghul and taken to Nanda Parbat. Because of his love for Thea, Oliver considers saving Merlyn. Ray is obsessed with finishing his Atom suit so he can save the city but Felicity fears he is heading down the same path as Oliver and tries to pull him out of the lab.|
Ra's al Ghul soaks in water as Nyssa storms in, stating that Oliver is still alive and in Starling City. To her indignation she finds her father is already aware of this. She accuses him of not caring that Sara's killer walks free, though Ra's states his certainty that Oliver did not kill Sara. Nyssa suggests he simply doesn't care about Sara's death as he never condoned her relationship with Nyssa. Ra's explains he had guessed Sara would eventually leave the League of Assassins and, by extension, Nyssa; he never approved because he was certain the relationship would only end in heartbreak. Nyssa stubbornly argues that Oliver should still die because he challenged Ra's.
Oliver, Thea and Malcolm are training in the lair. Malcolm tells Oliver he needs to learn to fight with a sword, as his bow and arrow will not help him against Ra's. He also warns that they should learn to fight together so that the League will not overpower them. Diggle comes in saying that the lair is protected by extra security. Thea is still angry with Malcolm for having her kill Sara and blames him for the trouble they now face. Diggle becomes annoyed when Malcolm addresses him too formally and shuns him.
Felicity comes to check on Ray, who has not been into work for a week. She finds him obsessively working on the A.T.O.M. suit, having not shaved or slept in days; he does not even know how long he has been up. (He is so out of it that he nearly uses a drill on the suit that would blow up the building.) Felicity recognizes his obsession as being the same as Oliver's and tries to convince him to take a break. He refuses, however, never wanting to feel helpless again like he did the night his fiancée died.
Thea, unable to deal with the guilt of what she knows, tells Laurel about her killing Sara and begs for forgiveness, as she was unaware of what she was doing due to being drugged by her father. Laurel forgives her easily but asks her to make Merlyn pay, as it is in Thea's power.
Oliver continues to fight with a sword but he holds it like a bow and struggles. Laurel comes in with an air of vulnerability and mentions she does not remember Sara's smile or her laugh. She cryptically comments that she will feel better when Sara's killer is caught; Oliver maintains false ignorance and tries to soothe her. Affronted he could lie so easily to her, she confronts him about the truth. Oliver states he did not tell her for fear of how she would react, as her previous vengeful actions against the archer Simon Lacroix. Laurel is insulted he would think she would harm Thea and is disgusted when he defends Malcolm. She even questions why she ever loved him and storms out.
Oliver immediately goes to confront Thea on telling Laurel, though she is unremorseful about it. She becomes angry when he quotes Malcolm to her, though Oliver stresses that they need him for what's to come. However, Thea reveals that they no longer have to worry about the League, as she has turned her father over to them in return for protection.
Laurel, dressed as the Black Canary, attacks an amused Malcolm, but makes no impression on the more advanced fighter. They are interrupted when the League appears: they subdue Laurel and Nyssa personally fights Malcolm, under the impression he is the one who killed Sara (adding that she never believed he was not responsible). She defeats him and has him taken away, leaving Laurel behind.
In the Arrowcave an enraged Oliver confronts Laurel on her actions, chiding her for thinking she could take on Malcolm. He adds that he never tells her certain things because Laurel lets her emotions dictate her actions, though she is unapologetic. He wants to rescue Malcolm so that Thea will not have to live with the fact that she sentenced her father to death. The others are incredulous about this but understand his motives.
Nyssa and the assassins guide Malcolm to a helicopter, where she mocks him for what he will soon endure in Nanda Parbat. Malcolm in turn mocks her for how her father will never allow her to lead the League as a result of her relationship with Sara. The Arrow goes after the League, but is distracted by Nyssa. He is able to defeat her, but Malcolm is taken away after a brief struggle.
The Arrow takes Nyssa back to the lair and places her in a specially designed cage. She calmly meditates as the others contemplate what to do next. Oliver is still determined to save Malcolm, though the others are immediately wary of him facing Ra's again, since the last encounter ended badly. Felicity reminds Oliver that his determination did not help him in the end, and he is just going to get himself killed. Diggle suspects there is a deeper reason for Oliver's determination to go, but he denies it is anything more than saving Thea's soul. Nyssa is the only one who can tell him the location. The others leave so that Oliver can interrogate her by any means, but she willingly tells him - as she hopes he will die there before he can get to Malcolm.
Diggle wants to go with Oliver so that he has a better chance of winning. Lyla encourages him to do so, as he is at heart a soldier. Thea disagrees with Oliver going to Nanda Parbat to save her father, though Oliver warns her that while she may not believe it, she will eventually feel remorse and guilt for turning her father over to the assassins; Oliver knows because he feels guilt over his parents' deaths.
Malcolm is put before Ra's, who rejects Malcolm's pleas for mercy and offer to work for him. Ra's states that he takes no joy in what will be done to Malcolm, as he was one of his best students. He has a yelling Malcolm led away.
Felicity decides to check in on Ray, who is annoyed to find she has blocked him from finishing the suit by installing a password that will take him hours to crack. She refuses to let him go down a dark and destructive path as he forgets to enjoy his life, so she blackmails him into having dinner with her and showering. Too tired to fight, Ray agrees.
Oliver and Diggle approach Nanda Parbat with the intention of a sneak attack - only to be fired upon by flaming arrows. After some difficulty they are able to get to Malcolm, who is being held over a death trap. He is able to warn them of a trap before the gates close behind them, Ra's having suspected they would come. Oliver and Diggle are put on chains on the ground. Feeling remorseful about letting Diggle come with him, Oliver apologizes, though Diggle points out he chose to come. Oliver finally acknowledges that while one reason he came to Nanda Parbat was to save Malcolm, it was also because he hated the thought that he was beaten by Ra's. While he considers it egotistical and insane, Diggle says it was natural. He then asks Oliver for the favor he intended to ask earlier; if he would be Diggle's best man at his wedding. Oliver says he would be glad to.
Roy and Thea share in the grief that they both killed someone while under the influence of something; Roy tells her he had killed a police officer while injected with Mirakuru and heavily regrets it even though he was not in control. They visit the family of the police officer, who Roy occasionally visits under the guise of a friendly acquaintance. While Thea feels this is torture, Roy states he finds it helps to do something for them. Thea starts to feel bad about letting Malcolm into her life to begin with and asked to be taken home.
After eating and showering, Ray and Felicity bond over his love of artwork and kiss. They become intimate. Afterwards, Ray uses the password Felicity gave him and finally finishes the A.T.O.M. suit. He puts it on outside on the top of Palmer Industries and flies off.
Deciding to come clean to her, Thea visits Nyssa in the Arrowcave and tells her that while Malcolm did plan Sara's death and orchestrated events that led to it, it was ultimately her who killed Sara. She unlocks the cage and holds out a sword for Nyssa, giving her a chance to kill Sara's killer and exact revenge.
Oliver is taken by Maseo to Ra's, who comments on Oliver's previous close shave with death. Oliver is content with dying but asks Ra's to spare Diggle's life. However, Ra's reveals he does not intend to kill Oliver; he is impressed by the man's courage. Knowing that one day even he will have to die, Ra's has decided that he wants Oliver to be the successor of him as the next head of the League of Assassins - "the next Ra's al Ghul".
- Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Arrow
- Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
- David Ramsey as John Diggle
- Willa Holland as Thea Queen
- Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
- Colton Haynes as Roy Harper
- John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
- Paul Blackthorne (credit only)
Special guest star
- Matt Nable as Ra's al Ghul
- Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels
- Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul
- Karl Yune as Maseo Yamashiro
- Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro
- Marc Singer as General Matthew Shrieve
Preparation ran from December 11 until December 19, 2014. Filming ran from January 6 until January 15, 2015.
- In the very last scene, Ra's al Ghul states that he wants Oliver Queen to be the next Ra's al Ghul. This scenario is much like the comic book story of how Ra's asks the same of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
- This was the first episode to feature Ray Palmer in the A.T.O.M. suit.
- When Ra's al Ghul asks Oliver to take his place, he uses the correct pronunciation of his first name, "Raysh"/"Reysh", not "Raz".
- When Felicity visits Ray for the second time, she walks into a room with several paintings. Felicity asked if the big painting is a Van Gogh, to which Ray answered that it is painted by Johannes Vermeer. However, it is neither; the paining is The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt.
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