Arrow

Arrow 3×22 – This Is Your Sword

"No offense, none of you are particularly good actors."

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As climactic as this penultimate episode was, This Is Your Sword shot itself in the foot with the early reveal of Ollie’s devious machinations. If the writers had kept our hero’s true motives ambiguous, the episode’s final sequence with Team Arrow “dying” would have been infinitely more powerful. Sadly, the ending we got was robbed of any kind of tension or suspense, and that’s a real pity.

Now for the good stuff. Watching Team Arrow kick ass in broad daylight was absolutely incredible, and a welcome change from the alley skirmishes we’ve been getting all season long. Of course there’s the far-fetched notion of Laurel and the gang taking out a dozen League warriors at a time (when only one was enough to kick Ollie’s ass in the past), but the contrivance was worth it just to witness the expertly-choreogarphed battle. And the cherry on top? A fully-attired Tatsu (or should I say Katana?) engaging in a riveting sword fight with her husband Maseo. Truth be told, Maseo’s death is the only satisfying way this storyline COULD have ended, and it created a beautiful parallel with Tatsu cradling both her husband and her son as they had their last breaths. Stunning.

Just as I predicted, Thea visited Roy and basically ended up getting his blessing to become Team Arrow’s newest member. Although this subplot somewhat halted the hour’s momentum, I didn’t mind the two sharing some positive, less-angsty moments for once. Goodbye Roy, hopefully Thea can finally start becoming a useful part of the show.

As for next week’s season finale, I’m hoping it can cohesively bring this uneven season to a close. A proper and affecting death could do wonders in that regards, although Malcolm is the only character I can see getting offed at this point. Better than nothing right? Here’s hoping Arrow takes some risks and sets the stage for a promising fourth season.

Also, Nyssa – full time cast-member. Now. 

Bits & Arrows

– Very cool to see Laurel utilize the Canary Cry again. I particularly enjoyed watching her and Diggle kick ass side-by-side.

– Was anyone else disturbed by Ra’s basically telling Nyssa that he raped her mother and that she would have to suffer the same fate (with Ollie)?

– So first it was Ra’s who was urging Felicity to get together with Ollie, and now it’s Tatsu? Talk about forced.

– It was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but Ray basically signed over his company to an unknowing Felicity. I guess you can’t have baggage when you’re moving on to your spinoff (and yup, Legends of Tomorrow has been officially picked up for next season).

– Genuinely loved the sweeping crane shots of the gang fighting in the open. Other super nifty moments in the fight: Malcolm saving Laurel (who is ungrateful about it), and Felicity hilariously thinking she took out an assassin by flinging her iPad (“okay that makes more sense“). Also, that haunting music was perfect.

– Tatsu singing to Maseo was really touching wasn’t it?

– Ray coming to the team’s rescue was super awesome. Although he’s still far too similar to Iron Man, the CGI was on-point and felt very blockbuster-ish.

– Diggle’s hate for Ollie is a bit much no? I get why he’s mad, but Ollie would never have let anything happen to Lyla.

– The acting was pretty cringeworthy with the Team calling out to Ollie to save them from the virus. I don’t know why, but it felt really off. However, intercutting their supposed deaths with Ollie and Nyssa’s wedding was a great choice.

– Although she tried to stab her way through the wedding, Nyssa was enormously wasted in this episode. Why is she always so unsuccessful in everything the writers have her do? Not cool.

Starling Quips

Diggle: Thanks for coming in through the back. With Sara and Lyla gone, the last thing I need are the neighbors talking.
Laurel: About some strange woman dressed in all black leather, Yeah.

Merlyn: I’m sorry. I forgot the flag.
Laurel: That’s too bad. I would have told you where you can put it.

Felicity: He is a mass murderer who has lied to us so many times it should be a drinking game.

Felicity: Next time, we should really look into getting some horses. You think they rent horses here?

Maseo: Tell Akio… I love him.
Tatsu: You tell him for both of us.

Conclusion
This could have been an all-time great episode, but thanks to an ill-advised writing choice, it ended up settling for pretty good.

Nad Rating
A-

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