Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is not dead. He is, however, playing a less than successful con game.
Let’s bitch it out…
Let’s break down some of the big developments in the penultimate episode of Arrow‘s third season, shall we?
Loss of trust and respect
It’s clear pretty early on that Diggle (David Ramsey) is working out his issues when he almost beats a random thug to death in the street. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) accuses him of being angry and he admits that he is; he’s flat out pissed about what happened with Lyla when Al Sah-him came to Starling City last week. Makes sense, but even after discovering that Oliver is playing a long con on Ra’s (Matt Nable), it doesn’t repair the damage. Things aren’t likely to be much better after Oliver, in an effort to preserve his image with Ra’s, locks everyone in a dungeon with a dose of the virus. Sure, it’s obviously a fake cliffhanger (that is immediately spoiled by the teaser for next week’s finale), but something tells me this is a grudge that Diggle will hold onto even after the Team inevitability saves the day.
Further Olicity pain
Hope you weren’t expecting fireworks and puppies when Oliver and Felicity meet up again, because news of his betrothal to Nyssa (Katrina Law) comes out almost immediately. It’s a bitter pill to swallow considering Tatsu emotionally blackmailed Felicity into joining the mission, but this is in keeping with what happens to Felicity these days. After nearly an entire season of having Felicity play the emotional wreck, I can honestly say that I’m pretty much over it; when the dust settles after next week’s finale, let’s all hope that the Arrow writers will finally let Felicity regain some spring in her step. There’s been too much waterworks this season.
Tatsu & Maseo
For once the flashbacks and the present tense finally work as a pair. Although we’ve known for some time that Akio would die from his exposure to the Alpha/Omega virus, watching Tatsu (Rila Fukushima) and Maseo’s (Karl Yune) relationship come full circle feels like solid payoff. Tatsu returns to Nanda Parbat to release her former husband from his “prison”, a self-imposed purgatory he has willingly stayed in despite similar offers of freedom by Oliver on several occasions. It makes sense that Maseo would finally succumb to his wife – his life ended that day in the flashback when Akio died in Tatsu’s arms and he’s been living as a hollowed shell ever since. The only person who could truly free him is the only other person who knows what it feels like to lose their child.
Now if only we could do away with these flashbacks…
- Thea (Willa Holland) gets her own B-plot seeking out
RoyJason (Colton Haynes) and, in the process, closure for their aborted relationship. They make out, she shares the news about Oliver and then in the morning he bails on her to send her back to Starling with her own leather suit. Welcome to the team, Speedy and see you later, Roy. You were always milquetoast, so it’s hard to argue that the show has lost anything aside from man candy as a result of your departure.
- Side Bar: Haynes clearly spent his few weeks off the show somewhere nice because Roy was looking surprisingly tanned for an auto mechanic. Perhaps he should have been working on a dude ranch?
- Anyone else get the impression that Malcolm (John Barrowman) is not long for this world? His role has been especially iffy this season – I still think that after everything he’s done, the gang would have thrown him in solitary with Slade by now. After spending nearly the entire episode proving he’s trustworthy, the writers fall back on a classic betrayal when the stakes are at their highest <shocker> This kind of weak willed response doesn’t resonate with Ra’s, who I imagine will eliminate Malcolm once and for all in the finale.
- Poor Ray (Brandon Routh): he nearly dies taking out a jet only to discover that it was a fake designed to sniff their presence at Nanda Partbat out. Add to that, his sacrifice still doesn’t sway Felicity’s googly-eyed love for Oliver. This guy needs his own spin-off, STAT!
- Points for the wedding attire. I totally approve of Nyssa’s dress, headress and dagger. Using said dagger to try and stab your fiancé during the ceremony, however? That’s a bit gauche.
- Side Bar: So now that Oliver is married, does this mean Nyssa is sticking around? They wouldn’t marry him off and then kill his wife the next episode, right? This isn’t How I Met Your Mother
- Finally, while I appreciate that it wouldn’t do to have someone die in a random scuffle, it sure seems like someone – say Laurel (Katie Cassidy) – would have perished when the group finds themselves grossly outnumbered by assassins. Also: the ease with which the League’s men are dispatched really makes me question the quality of their training. Alsox2: Team Arrow really needs to work on their stealth mode because that entrance was a bit janky.
- Laurel (when Malcolm admits he forgot the white flag): “I would have told you where to put it.”
- Felicity (to Laurel, after meeting Tatsu for the first time): “We never met her, right?”
- Felicity (challenging their belief in Malcolm): “He is a mass murderer who has lied to us so many times it should be a drinking game.”
Your turn: Are you surprised that Oliver has been undercover this whole time? Does Diggle have the right to be mad? Are you hoping Malcolm dies? Glad to see Roy again? Will Nyssa stick around as Oliver’s wife? Sound off below.
Arrow airs its season finale next Wednesday at 8pm EST on The CW. Next week Starling City is in danger of being destroyed…again. Getting a little repetitive here, Arrow.