Oh lord, Nyssa (Katrina Law) is back and acting irrational as usual.
Let’s bitch it out…
The hunt for Sara’s (Caity Lotz) killer continues as Nyssa arrives in Starling City, determined to avenge her dead love. Although she receives a rocky reception from Laurel (Katie Cassidy), the two eventually come to terms when the focus of the witch hunt zeroes in on Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). I say witch hunt because it seems clear from the start that Malcolm was not the individual responsible for Sara’s murder (partially because last week it was suggested that he and Thea have spent the last six months in Corto Maltese and partially because the law of murder mysteries suggests that the first suspect is never the villain). As a result ‘The Magician’ suffers* because it feels like a bunch of angry, irrational people making off-the-cuff uninformed decisions.
*I concede that it may not have been the same experience for other people.
With that said, the shifting alliances between Nyssa, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and the rest of Team Arrow is entertaining enough. And the three-way fight scene between Oliver, Nyssa and Malcolm at the episode’s climax reinforces why Arrow is the show to beat for stunt work (Side Note: do not even get me started on the fact that this show wasn’t nominated for stunt coordination at the Golden Globes).
The other significant aspect of the episode is the ongoing battle for Thea’s (Willa Holland) soul. As of now, Malcolm continues to hold sway, which makes sense given that Oliver has yet to reveal any kind of information to his sister. They have two separate conversations in this episode and while Oliver continues to question Thea about how she is different, his refusal to address the very topics that drove her away kinda justifies her decision to keep secrets from him. Thea is older and stronger, but aside from that nothing has changed between the Queen siblings from last season – their relationship remains grounded in lies. The refusal of both to move forever will continue to cause strife – not just between them, but more broadly speaking for the Arrow and Starling City. Ollie’s decision to protect his sister by going against Nyssa and the League of Assassins has put him and the city he’s so desperate to protect into the cross-hairs of the League, all but guaranteeing that hell will rain down on Starling. Now that we’ve met Ra’s Al Ghul (Matt Nable), we know who is coming.
- Diggle (David Ramsey) speaks the truth when he argues that regardless of whether Malcolm killed Sara, the world is a better place without him in it. It’s strange to me that until this point no one else mentions that they have zero proof that Malcolm is guilty except for the fact that Sara was looking for him. His name on a piece of paper is not proof!
- Those overhead birds eye shots when Ollie meets Malcolm in a public forum = pretty, but unnecessary.
- Can we all agree that the speed with which Nyssa takes out Roy (Colton Haynes) is absolutely hilarious? He flips over the car, gets tranked and goes down hard. What. A. Loser.
- Roy fares much better out of costume as he and Thea (semi-)rekindle their relationship, at least in a platonic business-partners-at-Verdant sense.
- Thea’s upside down hair is quite fetching. She should consider wearing it like that all of the time.
- Laurel still refuses to tell Lance (Paul Blackthorne) that his youngest daughter is dead, which is starting to border on sadistic. Her rationale that he has a heart condition is laughable, but sure Laurel…we’ll all respect your methods for handling this.
- While I do think that Barrowman chews the scenery a bit too much during his big preachy speech at the climax, I did appreciate his comment that no prison can hold him. Every individual trained by the League of Assassins has more than proven their ability to escape from confined areas. Score one for having a “bad” guy explicitly reinforce a point of continuity.
- In the Hong Kong flashbacks, Oliver summons Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) after he kills a man threatening to expose her secrets. Turns out that Waller was not only watching Oliver during his tenure on Purgatory Island, she was behind Flyers’ attempt to shoot down the plane. Apparently this was all in service of eliminating…China White (Kelly Hu)?! Random.
- Finally, Oliver bartering computer privileges for candy with Maseo’s (Karl Yune) son is amusing. If there’s ever a CW Seed spin-off, the network could do worse than a series of adorable videos of Stephen Amell trading quips with kids.
- Lance (to Nyssa): “Hey, I almost didn’t recognize you without your Halloween costume.”
- Diggle (upon learning that Felicity’s program can be run by an idiot): “I will try very hard not to take that personally.”
- Oliver (after Nyssa punches him for letting Malcolm go): “I may have deserved that.”
Your turn: Did you question whether Malcolm was responsible for Sara’s death or were you convinced of his innocence? Will Laurel and Nyssa team up? How long before Lance discovers the truth? Is Roy the worst member of Team Arrow? And what did you make of your first glimpse of Ra’s? Sound off below.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW. Next week we’ll finally get our long-awaited glimpse into the background of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Here’s a preview: