Monday, May 11, 2015

Arrow S03 E22: "This Is Your Sword"

And just one more thing. R'as Al Ghul, in this incarnation at least, seems to be one of those guys who never finishes ordering in a restaurant. He keeps adding on to the deal made with Oliver. First Oliver has to take over as the Demon's Head, then he has to train, then he has to kill his friends, then he has marry Nyssa, then he has to destroy his city. It never ends.

At least in the opening scene this episode, yet another titled from a Bruce Springsteen song, Oliver briefly expressed surprise that it was Maseo who brought the Alpha Omega virus to R'as. It wasn't that I thought Oliver's training was slipping, it was the first time it occurred to me he might be playing along and have a plan after all. Was this all a ruse to trick R'as?

As far as the Alpha Omega virus goes, perhaps I was wrong with my Superboy paradox theory. It sure looks like Flashback Hong Kong is getting hosed. Has the show ever mentioned New York or Los Angeles in three seasons? For all we know, they might be gone as well. At least Team Arrow didn't believe it happened either.

Team Arrow is getting along as well as they can. I loved Diggle's plan with the gang and letting Black Canary clean them up with her scream. I'm still iffy on the sound the Canary Cry makes. I have always thought it like a very loud musical note or an ultrasonic tone. This sounds sorta like someone's killing a cat. Still it was sweet seeing Canary fight four guys at once. Diggle on the other hand is still freaked by Oliver's transformation and losing control a bit. If Oliver has a plan, I guess he's kept it to himself.

How the hell does Malcolm Merlyn get from Starling City saying goodbye to Thea in one scene to Nanda Parbat in Tibet in the next?? Did the Flash help him? Either way, I called it, moments before it was revealed, that Oliver was playing opossum. I just can't get it through my head why Oliver would cooperate with Malcolm over Team Arrow.

So Malcolm speeds mysteriously back to Starling to try to convince Team Arrow that Oliver is faking being R'as' heir and has a plan. Naturally they won't believe a liar, sociopath, and super-villain they know - so he brings in a future super-heroine they don't know - Katana. Somehow, her, they believe. How I'm supposed to believe Ferris Air offers such frequent flights to Tibet however...

The mid-episode fight between Team Arrow and the League of Assassins was pretty awesome. I would have liked more of Katana, the Atom, and the Black Canary in a mask, but I got was good. And John Barrowman was in exceptional fighting prime as well as the Magician. Katana's costume, even though it's roughly the New 52 version, looks great. I hope she stays around for a while now that she is finally here.

Meanwhile Thea goes to be with Roy, living undercover as Jason in an auto shop in Monument Point. Is Roy really gone, and will Thea finally become Speedy now? Comics readers might remember Monument Point is a city of secrets that once headquartered the Justice Society of America for a time in their last days. This isn't the only comics reference in this episode. Other than Ferris which has become a mainstay of the Arrowverse, there's also I believe the first mention of Nyssa's last name, Raatko, and dressing her in one of Neal Adams' Talia outfits.

This is quite a cliffhanger ending, both nail-biting and completely diffused as well. I mean, come on, they're not going to kill off 90% of the cast. I suspect Katana inoculated everyone before they got to Nanda Parbat. The real cliffhanger, is how is Team Arrow going to get away from R'as and the League of Assassins?

Next: "My Name Is Oliver Queen!"

For my other reviews of the entire "Arrow" series, click here. And if you'd like to discuss this episode and anything else in the Arrowverse, please join the Arrow Discussion Group on Facebook.

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