Sometimes, all it takes is one character to reinvigorate a show (temporarily at least).
As expected, Nyssa Al Ghoul MADE this episode. Although I hate that the writers insist on making her a weakling compared to Malcolm (wasn’t she trained by the League when she was still in the womb?), Katrina Law’s presence elevates Arrow in every way. Everything from her insistence on referring to Ollie as her husband (and Thea as her sister-in-law) to her troubled dynamic with Laurel was spot-on. In addition, her disbanding the League was a welcome and shocking move (unlike Malcolm’s arm which was spoiled for me on social media). The League outlived their usefulness long ago, and maybe now Nyssa can finally join the team? Pretty pretty please?
Sadly, Felicity’s subplot with her supervillain dad was an outright chore to watch. It distracted from the main event, and I found myself wishing it would just end (and it’s not like that arrest was particularly gripping). Why isolate Felicity with a story that has absolutely no stakes and which we are far from invested in?
Thankfully, the ending holds a lot of potential with a one-arm Malcolm approaching Damien Darhk and revealing the existence of Oliver’s son. That development adds a nice sense of urgency to the proceedings, and has me wondering if William is the one in the grave. And hey, if the show doesn’t want to go that dark, they can always kill off his mother.
Bits & Arrows
– Loved the continuity references in the Laurel/Nyssa scene. Not only did Nyssa ask about her “beloved”, but they discussed Thea shooting Sara way back in the season three premiere.
– So how does Nyssa train? She beats up her minions of course!
– Exciting little moment with Oliver, Laurel, and Diggle standing in Malcolm’s way and protecting Nyssa. Goosebumpy music!
– And in this week’s episode of inconsistent Canary Cry usage, we have League assassins grimacing in annoyance for all of ten seconds. Kill me now!
– I wanted to love that big battle in the street but it felt weirdly staged.
– Raisa reference! Remember her? Oliver’s maid from the pilot?
– Not that I’m complaining, but Oliver beat Malcolm far too easily.
– Touching scene with Nyssa being thankful for Laurel and Oliver. I particularly liked how Laurel’s speech (about Nyssa under Ra’s shadow) resonated with her.
– What did I learn from the flashbacks this week? Reiter is digging for something, and Tiana is still boring.
– Olicity wedding coming up soon! I’m pretty that fandom is erupting with delight!
– I don’t know if it’s just me, but the acting felt a bit shoddy this week. I love Katie Cassidy, but she barely emoted when Nyssa had her surrounded, while Stephen Amell just felt awkward in all his screaming matches with Malcolm.
Felicity: Bye. See you never.
Malcolm: I’ve been holding off telling you this for years, Oliver. You’re very handsome, not especially bright.
Oliver: Everything all right?
Felicity: No, not really. I mean, it’s not great. It’s just not quite at the level of “my sister’s on her deathbed” kind of bad, so.
Felicity: So much for the Gandhi method.
Felicity: (to Oliver) This is one of your crazier ideas, and that is a competitive field.
Malcolm: (to Oliver) I can’t believe it. You’ve grown even more foolish with experience.
Felicity: Doesn’t every long-awaited father-daughter reunion end with the dad being taken away in handcuffs.
Oliver: You don’t have to be funny for me. You know that, right?
Stronger than recent weeks, but Arrow can still do better.