Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Arrow 3x23 "My Name Is Oliver Queen" (What's In A Name?)


"My Name Is Oliver Queen"
Original Airdate: May 13, 2015

My parents had three different names picked out for me before I was born and they debated the merits and cons of each with their family members. Initially, my mom and dad liked the name "Jessica." My nana -- my dad's mom -- vetoed that one, saying that my nickname would be "Jessie" and that just sounded like a boy's name. My parents were also a fan of the name "Nicole," but at the time they lived in a little house on a street called Nicole Place, so that one was out simply because it was too ironic and could lend itself to confusion. And then, they settled on the name "Jennifer" and gave me the same middle name as my maternal grandmother ("Marie") in order to honor her. My brother, meanwhile, is "Daniel James" -- the first name was the name of my maternal grandfather; his middle name the first name of my father. By the time my parents named my sister, they didn't name her after any family members -- they simply picked out the first and middle names of "Kristin Leigh" because they liked how they sounded together.

We place a lot of importance on names, honestly, and it's not even just when we name our children. We have to pick out the perfect name for our pets, too, because we want the name to reflect the personality of whoever inhabits it. We know that names MEAN something to us -- not just that they have literal meanings and places of origin, but that they exemplify and embody the name they're meant to become. Nowadays, a lot of people -- especially celebrities -- name their children because they like the way a name sounds together. They like the flow of the first, middle, and last name. Some people name their children eccentric or odd names. Some name them after family members. Some after their favorite literary characters or an inspirational teacher or after a character on a television show. The reason that we choose a name isn't often tied to the actual origin of the name itself, not like it used to be anyway.

As someone who loves and is fascinated with the Bible, it's really cool to me that God chose and people chose to name their children very specifically. In Genesis 17, God changed Abram's name to "Abraham": because he would be the father of many nations. In Acts, Saul's name becomes Paul -- he transforms from a traditional Roman name and adopts the name of a Gentile instead after his conversion. Names in the Bible were really important. They told the story of who you were and who you would become. Jacob's name was both literal and figurative -- he grasped at the heel of his brother, Esau, but he was also a deceiver. Esther means "star" and she was a woman who saved the Jewish people. Moses was named what he was because he was literally pulled from a reed basket in the water.

Names are important and though your identity doesn't have to be inherently tied to your name, it is a part of you. And it's an integral part of the season finale of Arrow -- a season swimming with identity crises -- as the title "My Name Is Oliver Queen" might suggest. So let's discuss identity, what it means to choose your name and to choose -- actively -- who you will become.

Oliver Queen

Before we talk about the season finale and the culmination of twenty-three episodes' worth of identity crises, let's do a bit more digging into what words and names mean, shall we? After consulting the Interwebz, I learned a few things about the name "Oliver." First, it's most likely a form of a Germanic name like "Alfar" a cognate of "Alvar" which -- combined -- means "elf" and "army, warrior." What's interesting though is when you trace the name back again, you realize that its spelling was altered so that it is associated with the Latin "oliva" which means "olive tree." This might all seem very odd and kind of pointless but I think it's important. Do you notice anything significant in the Latin and Germanic definitions of the name "Oliver"? I do. There's a duality there. You see, olive trees are symbolically used to represent peace. That's why we have the imagery of extending an olive branch to someone (deriving all the way back to Roman and Christian mythology) in order to indicate peace or a truce. And yet, part of the Germanic meaning of "Oliver" is "army, warrior." See? Duality.

I think that this is important even if (and let's be honest, here, Oliver Queen's name was probably not given THIS much thought or research) the naming of our hero was unintentional, given what has transpired throughout Arrow's third season. Oliver's name is literally divided -- it's a combination of both peace AND war; of insignificance and importance. It stands to reason, then, that his character would be divided, too. Oliver's lived by a lot of names over the past three years and each one of them was significant. Let's break them down, shall we?


The Vigilante -- When we began this journey with Arrow, Oliver Queen had returned from The Island/Hong Kong and was damaged. Moreover, he was damaged and angry and he wanted vengeance for those who were named in his father's book. For a long time, The Vigilante Carried around scars and dropped a lot of bodies. Season one of this series was dark, as Oliver struggled to figure out who he was, apart from the masked vigilante, this hooded figure who brought down criminals and bad guys but who did so in the bleakest, most tormented of ways. The Vigilante wasn't a villain, but he also wasn't admirable all the time. And yet there is still a part of Oliver that is The Vigilante -- a part of his soul that is darkened and haunted and... that's okay. Darkness is okay. Scars are okay. But they don't define him anymore and he's learned, thanks to his relationships with Diggle and Felicity, how to slowly heal. This led him to becoming... 


The Arrow -- One of my favorite moments is when Felicity places a mask on Oliver's face and when he asks how he looks, she tells him that he looks "like a hero." The truth is that there was a switch that flipped in Oliver after Tommy died. All of the darkness and pain within him became too much to bear and he shut down. He ran away. And he came back because sometimes when you're in darkness, you need people who forcibly drag you back into the light. Those people for Oliver are Diggle and Felicity, as we already know. Felicity (which, by the way, means "happiness" and "good luck, fortune") was the harnesser of light, able to see in Oliver what he could not see in himself, what he did not want to believe. His relationship with her -- and her belief in him -- altered the very fabric of Arrow and it also altered who Oliver Queen believed he could become. At his darkest, Oliver believed he would always be a killer. He believed he could never have happiness, never do true good. Felicity showed him the way back to the light he thought was unattainable. She was -- and is -- his path toward becoming a hero.

But The Arrow struggled, too, and at the beginning of season three, we saw Oliver grapple with the decision to embody, totally, the hood or the man beneath it. In "The Calm," Oliver seemingly chose to embrace his humanity -- of a life of happiness and normalcy. ... Until Felicity was injured during their date. It was then that Oliver made the (incorrect) assumption that he had to choose between the two. And he ended up choosing The Arrow. But while The Arrow is a hero and is a part of Oliver Queen, just like The Vigilante is, Oliver's assumption that he had to choose between one facet of himself or another propelled the entire theme and trajectory of this season. This entire year has been about watching Oliver struggle with who he is and with who -- or what -- he has become. He admits to Diggle that he doesn't want to die down in the foundry. Diggle's response to him? "Then don't."

The Arrow is a hero, but The Arrow is also damaged. He isolates himself from his team and makes decisions for them rather than with them. Though The Arrow is a hero, he's also a lone wolf in the way that a lot of heroes are. He believes he cannot be with the woman he loves because he has put her in danger before and cannot do that again. He believes he knows what is best for the people he cares about and he acts accordingly. Throughout this year of Arrow, I think some of the problems that I've had with Oliver Queen's decision-making process were misplaced: I had problems with The Arrow, not necessarily with Oliver. The Arrow was the one calling the shots, as he was the one who was chosen in "The Calm" over Oliver Queen.

The Arrow is the most prominent facet of Oliver's personality this year. Shades of Oliver Queen -- the man who is vulnerable and soft and human -- began to reemerge as he repaired his relationship with Felicity and Diggle, allowed the team to save HIM, and realized why, exactly, he fought for Starling City. But just as quickly as Oliver Queen reemerged, he disappeared and so did The Arrow (both literally, because of Quentin's manhunt, Roy's imprisonment, and the demolition of the foundry). With the disappearance of the hero and the disappearance of the humanity from Oliver, we were met with...


Al Sah-Him -- I know that Al Sah-Him is technically a ruse, but I think that it's an important ruse because this is a part of Oliver's identity, still: this darkness, this anger, this isolation? All of it still exists within Oliver's soul and he sold a part of that soul in order to save the people he loves most, regardless of whether or not it was under the guise of a mission. Because Oliver chose to become Al Sah-Him, he also chose to fracture some relationships in his life as a result. Al Sah-Him is the darkest part of Oliver: the part that he fears within his soul; the part he hides so that no one else can see is unearthed in this manifestation of his personality. Because that is what Oliver has struggled with all season and comes to grips with in this finale. He struggles with whether or not he can abandon parts of himself -- if he can fracture and split the part of him that is human away from the part of him that fights crime and went through hell on Lian-Yu. Can he remove himself from The Vigilante and Al Sah-Him and The Arrow? Can any of those die so that Oliver Queen can live? And at what cost?

The "at what cost" is the really important part here. Remember in "The Calm," how Oliver tells Felicity that he thought he could be Oliver Queen and The Arrow but realized he couldn't? Well, the fact that he didn't split those two identities cost him Felicity and happiness. It cost him, very nearly, his life. Oliver makes the exact same judgment call when he chooses to become Al Sah-Him: he "splits" his life and pretends to become the next Ra's, only, but really... he is faking brainwashing and does the exact same thing that he did in "The Calm." Except this time, Oliver still is splitting himself into three parts -- Oliver Queen, The Arrow, and Al Sah-Him.

Instead of choosing the man and the humanity -- instead of embracing his need for help, for grounding in the form of his team and the people he loves -- Oliver once again embarks on a one-man mission to save the people he cares about, whatever the cost, whether they like it or not. Sound familiar? It seems we've cycled back to the mindset that Oliver had when he donned grease paint and a hood and become The Vigilante. That was the darkest we'd ever seen Oliver and I'll argue that there's distinct parallelism in watching the Al Sah-Him part of Oliver manifest itself toward the end of this season: we saw a darker version of Oliver than we ever thought possible.


Oliver Queen -- So here's the question, then: how do you reclaim your humanity? How do you become the person you want to be -- the person you were meant to be -- when your soul is divided? The simple answer is that you choose, once and for all, which part of you to embrace. You succumb totally and fully to one part of yourself -- or unearth a new part of yourself you didn't know existed. And "My Name Is Oliver Queen" is a cute title for a finale because it's obviously a tongue-in-cheek reference to the narrative that overlays every episode. But it's much more than that and the writers know it. That is a declaration. It's a statement. It's Oliver finally and truly making a choice in how he identifies himself. The title is not "My Name Is The Arrow" or "My Name Is The Vigilante" or even "My Name Is the Green Arrow." No, it's significant because this is the moment in which Oliver makes the decision that has been percolating in his mind since the moment he told Diggle that he didn't want to die in the foundry. It's an active choice, not a passive one.

And the question, then, is this: If Oliver Queen is finally choosing to embrace what he dismissed in "The Calm," who, exactly (or what) is he embracing? What is the cost of embracing whoever he is? And what, exactly, does this mean for the other people in his life? Before we discuss that, let's recap our plot of the episode, briefly: Oliver's plan was to have Malcolm administer an antidote of the virus to everyone in the dungeon, then have Barry come and rescue them all in Nanda Parbat. He initially planned to take down the entire plane with the virus on it by sabotaging the engines, but once that failed, Ra's escaped and landed in Starling City with the virus and four horsemen of the Apocalypse to distribute it. Oliver and Nyssa land in Starling shortly thereafter, to the chagrin of Team Arrow (spearheaded now by Malcolm) and try to find the four men before it's too late. Only one man ends up dispersing the virus which Ray is able to contain using his nanobots. Meanwhile, Oliver and Ra's duel and Oliver kills him, is shot by some cops, falls off a dam, and is rescued by Felicity, flying in the ATOM suit. Once the city is safe, Oliver decides to give up his life in Starling, embark on a new one with Felicity, hand over the keys to the League of Assassins to Malcolm, and drive into the sunset.

WHEW.

Oliver/Felicity

I love parallelism, mostly because I'm a writer and also because I'm a huge dork. There was a lot of important Oliver/Felicity parallelism in this episode, specifically callbacks to "Streets of Fire" and "Unthinkable." Do you remember what the most important characteristic about Felicity Smoak is? I'll tell you: it's her unwavering faith in others, her desire to constantly fight for goodness, and her stubborn clinging to hope and happy endings. I love that about Felicity. I really do. I love that she is the person who tells Oliver what he needs to hear most, in the most loving and firm way possible. I love that she doesn't take any of Oliver's crap -- that she doesn't idly sit by and watch him ruin his life. If she has any say in it, if she has any PART in it, he will at least think about her words.

When Oliver was convinced that his battle with Slade would only end once he was dead, he was willing to hand himself over as a sacrificial lamb. It's a fact that Oliver utters, finally, in "My Name Is Oliver Queen." He vocalizes to his team that he's learned time and time again that he needs people and that he cannot be a one-man army. He admits he was wrong about that, admits to knowing now how much he actually needs others. So when he returns to Starling and tells Diggle and Felicity of the plan he initially had -- the suicide mission to save them, the city, and eliminate Ra's in the process -- Diggle and Felicity are horrified, no one more so than the blonde. She cannot believe that Oliver would be willing to do the exact same thing he almost did the year prior. Oliver Queen is the kind of person my sister is: these kinds of people only learn their lessons when they're forced to learn them multiple times and are forced to learn them the hard way each time.

Felicity is understandably irate because last year, she told Oliver that there was always another way. But Oliver cannot see the forest for the trees, cannot see the light in the darkness, cannot see the hope in the most desolate places. And that is why he NEEDS Felicity. He needs her because without her, all he sees are pain and scars. With her, he sees the way home. In "Streets of Fire," Felicity made an amazing speech, you'll recall. I want you all to relive it, so listen up:



Does any of that sound familiar? It should, because Felicity confronts Oliver in "My Name Is Oliver Queen" and delivers a speech that is nearly identical in tone and message to this one. "Streets of Fire" was the episode in which Oliver realized he loved Felicity. It's also the episode in which he realized exactly what he would have to do to beat Slade. During their scene in this finale, Oliver confesses to Felicity that he has the same dream, every single night: he's going off to face Ra's, as he did in "The Climb" and she asks him to stay. He always says yes, but sometimes the dream ends with the sword still through his chest. And sometimes it ends with him and Felicity driving off into the unknown together.

Felicity's words to Oliver are always very deliberate and they're always very powerful because she tells him what he does not dare to believe about himself. She tells him in this episode that he needs to stop viewing his fights as death marches, like he did in "Streets of Fire." He needs to stop embarking on suicide missions. He needs to fight, yes. But he needs to fight in order to LIVE, not to die. And what does Oliver Queen need to keep him alive?

I'll give you a hint: it's a four-letter word that rhymes with "dove." Yes, as Oliver and Ra's duel, the latter notices a change in his apprentice's style. That's because Oliver is doing exactly what he did in "Unthinkable": he is fighting to live and fighting because the love of Felicity Smoak is propelling him. He's fighting to have a future. He's fighting because Felicity believes in him and that is all he ever needs, really. The last time Oliver picked up the sword that he uses in this episode, he was prepared to die and his last thought before dying was of the life he could have had with Felicity. When Oliver is dueling against Ra's in this episode, he's fighting so that he can have a future with Felicity.

While I don't agree with all of Oliver's decisions throughout this season or even like most of them, I will say that I am happy he finally decided what he wants out of life ("Life is precious and I want so much more out of mine than this") and decided to actively pursue it. Was Oliver right in embarking on his one-man mission? Not at all. Should Felicity be a bit harder on him? Ehhh, probably a bit, yes. At least keep giving him crap for a few more hours on that drive about marrying Nyssa please, girl. Does Oliver love Felicity? Absolutely. Does Felicity love Oliver? Without a doubt.

"We are all fools in love," Jane Austen once wrote in Pride and Prejudice. This season ends with Oliver owning up to his mistakes and trying to make amends for what he can. It sees him choosing Felicity -- a life with her, above everything and anything else. He hangs up his hood and his mask, dons a leather jacket and grabs the closest sports car and her hand. Oliver spent the entirety of the third season surviving -- he was never truly LIVING. And now he's finally lived in the moment. And in the moment, Greendale is where he belongs.

... Wait. SORRY. WRONG OTP.

At any rate, Felicity is who saved Oliver, really. Felicity is who constantly saves Oliver. You can say what you want and wax poetic about Oliver Queen/The Arrow/The Vigilante being a hero. But the real hero is the woman who can fight a war without using a weapon, who can cripple her enemies with her words, and who can save the man that she loves when he didn't even realize he needed saving. That's a hero. And Oliver knows it, by the end of the season. He realizes where his happiness is -- where his LIFE is -- and he seizes the chance to be with her. Because when you're someone like Oliver Queen and you find that kind of happiness, you would be a complete and utter idiot to let it go.

Team Arrow 8.0 (or something like that)

We're on about version eight of Team Arrow which should now be called Team Speedy And Her Gaggle of Vigilantes. First of all: Thea Queen is the hero that we all deserve. Her arc this year was fantastic and at the end of this finale, she finally was able to procure a bit of hope in her otherwise hopeless world -- in spite of all of the horrible things that Malcolm did to her, she survived. She became a stronger, more resilient (albeit damaged) person. So he gets credit for that, at least. Team Arrow isn't exactly all sunshine and rainbows, though, and as Thea picks up a mask, another member of the team is walks out of the door temporarily.

What Oliver did to Diggle was horrible and unthinkable and I'm glad that he punched him in the face. Diggle and Felicity are horrified when they realize what Oliver did and how he trusted Malcolm above them. Oliver's go-to excuse? He just wanted to protect them. That is all he wanted to do in his mission. Felicity is peeved for a while, but Diggle is the one who was most affected by the Al Sah-Him ruse because it was LYLA who was taken. I think that Oliver is the kind of person we have seen repeatedly who allows the ends to justify the means. He'll do whatever -- WHATEVER -- it takes to save his city and his family and the people he loves. For Diggle, there is always a code. There is always a line. And Oliver crossed that line when he laid a hand on Lyla, when he left baby Sara screaming in her crib.

And that's not an easy thing to come back from, nor should it be. I'm glad that Diggle and Oliver's relationship is left in slight disarray in the finale. Though Oliver apologizes and apologizes, Dig reminds him that this betrayal is not one he will be over anytime soon. It's not even something Diggle knows he CAN return from. For Diggle, there is nothing more important and sacred to him than a code or a bond of trust. Oliver broke both of those things. He broke more than a friendship -- he broke a foundation.

So as Oliver leaves to explore a new life with Felicity, Diggle walks away from Oliver, still cold and not forgetful of what transpired. I'm definitely interested to see Diggle in season four and how his relationship with Oliver will be. As much as I love Diggle and Oliver being best friends, I think Dig is MORE than justified in how he feels and more than justified in being angry, hurt, and grieving over the loss of trust. It'll be interesting to see what this does to him as a character, struggling to forgive his brother for an injustice, but I think it will provide some amazing layers that David Ramsey can work with in Diggle's character.

Team Lance

Well, Team Lance is crumbling pretty hard and fast. Quentin is drinking again. It's not really surprising. Tragedy and chaos tend to spiral us closer to those things that we find most comfortable -- the things that are familiar and only appealing when we are at rock bottom. Quentin and Laurel are alcoholics. It is a part of who they are. There's no such thing, Laurel tells her father, as "only two drinks" for them. What they have? It's a crutch and an addiction. It's the thing that they think steadies them and really unravels them. And Laurel offers some very brilliant, harsh, and sobering -- no pun intended -- words to her father: he can blame her and Oliver and everyone else in the world for Sara's death. He can choose to believe whatever he wants to believe. He can hate her forever and refuse to forgive her.

But she will never be held responsible for how he responds after that. Drinking? That part is on HIM. It's the part that he controls and there's something so alluring about the false notion of control whenever you feel utterly powerless and out of control that drives addicts toward their comfort zones. I love that Laurel stood up to her father in the same way that Felicity so often stands up to Oliver -- in love, but with firmness, compassion, and concern. Laurel has gone through her fair share of trials in this season and I really do think that the writers did a pretty good job at developing her into a better, more well-rounded character for them. I'm really proud of her for finding her own voice and allowing others to teach her. Laurel isn't without her issues or her mistakes. No character this season was. 

In fact, our characters made a LOT of mistakes this year. They were often reckless and selfish, which drove them into really dark places. Our favorite characters hurt each other, both unintentionally and intentionally. They lied. They fought. They killed. They double and triple-crossed. They withheld information. They kept secrets. They broke promises. They yelled and screamed and cried.

But... they also loved. They laughed. They forgave. They mended fences where they could. They severed relationships that just weren't working. They healed. They helped. They challenged each other. They stood up for each other. They stuck to their morals. They developed consciences. They learned from each other.

They drove themselves out of the darkness and into the light, scars and all, and they begged each other to do similarly. Oliver found his home and though he's unsure of who he is, all he knows now is where he wants to be and who he wants to be with. Thea found her strength. Diggle found his heart and his "do not cross" line. Malcolm found his power. Laurel found her voice. Felicity found her place. Roy found his new adventure. Ray found his goal.

"My Name Is Oliver Queen" doesn't seek to solve all the problems that this season of Arrow unearthed. (And there were problems, both with the writing and also with the characters, themselves, being flawed.) I don't think it could have possibly created an answer to every problem. But what it did do -- and why it works as a season finale -- is this: it provided us with a new page for our characters. With the pen hovering just above the paper, all we are left to do is ask: "Where do we go from here?"

The answer?

Anywhere, really.

Observations & favorite moments:
  • Can you believe I've reviewed an entire season of Arrow? I can't! It has been really exciting to watch this show and review it with you all this season. I will see all of you back here in the fall when we kick off Arrow's fourth season and more reviews together! :)
  • It seems appropriate that my review of "The Calm" began with an Oliver/Felicity still and the season finale's review ends with one. #FullCircleBaby
  • Rankings for my favorite characters at the end of the season? 1) Thea, 2) Roy, 3) Felicity, 4) Diggle, 5) Nyssa, 6) Laurel, 7) Oliver, 8) Malcolm, 9) Quentin, 10) Ray, 11) Ra's
  • MVP of this episode goes to the always outstanding Stephen Amell. Someone hand this man an awards for all of the emotional energy, physical strength, and mental capacity he gives Oliver Queen every single week he's on this show. I can't imagine the toll that this season took on him -- this role was a LOT to carry and the season careened into some pretty dark corners for Stephen to inhabit -- but he managed to play his character with honesty, vulnerability, and believability. As I said: I don't agree with all Oliver did this year. I don't think he was right for a lot of the season and I hope (HOPE) he learned his lesson. It seems he did. Stephen Amell did such a fantastic job and apart from being extremely talented, he's also extremely gracious and humbled as a human being. He's a great example of the kind of actor and person that others should inspire to emulate. Thank you, Stephen, for carrying the weight of Oliver/The Arrow/Al Sah-Him this season, for taking every punch -- literal and figurative -- thrown at you, and for doing it all with such grace. Bravo.
  • Ra's sure did love to monologue a lot. I won't miss that.
  • "Which I guess brings us back to: why aren't we dead? Not that I'm complaining." Okay, Ray was pretty endearing in Nanda Parbat. I won't lie.
  • "I believe the words you're searching for are 'thank' and 'you.'" Malcolm, you are such a sassy little minx.
  • Can we please keep Grant Gustin? Please? Pretty please?
  • "WOW. I mean, this is like a real dungeon."
  • "Barry!" "... Thank you, Felicity. You just outed my identity to a super villain."
  • "I'll never get used to that." David Ramsey, you're my favorite. Don't tell the others.
  • I guess there was only one parachute on the plane because Oliver planned on killing everyone and letting Nyssa take it and get out alive? Rae helped me realize that, so thank you to our wonderful new contributing writer for pointing it out!
  • "I'm sorry, did I mumble?" MALCOLM IS THE SASSIEST OF ALL THE SASSYPANTS.
  • I was really happy that Diggle punched Oliver.
  • Let us all take a moment to appreciate the amazing emotional work Emily Bett Rickards did this season. Because she was fantastic in this episode, too. What a precious unicorn of a human being.
  • So DAMIAN WAS IN STARLING CITY. I SMELL A BIG BAD FOR SEASON FOUR. HE ALSO SMELLS LIKE SMOAK. HAAAAAA, GET IT?
  • "That is remarkably ruthless and cold-blooded. I approve." Okay, but Malcolm got all the great lines this episode.
  • Ra's released four people into the city with four bioweapons on them. There was a lot of spiritual imagery with Ra's (constantly saying "my will be done"). Essentially, he believed himself to be God which was why Satan was kicked out of heaven. He then unleashed the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in this episode, too, furthering the theory that Ra's basically was the devil. The end.
  • "The city's under attack, huh? Must be May." #meta
  • "I love you." "I'm not worthy of that love." :(
  • GUESS WHAT? HONG KONG IS FINALLY DONE YOU GUYS. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. I didn't bother to pay attention tonight. Oliver tortured someone. Tatsu and Maseo split up. And Oliver left Hong Kong. That's all you need to remember.
  • Can we please give some credit to James Bamford and his team for the amazing stunt work they've done this season? Because it's been truly exceptional. That sword fight atop the dam was really, really cool. Also a shout-out to Blake Neely whose score has been SO on-point this season. The score when Ra's and Oliver are dueling? Absolutely epic. I love how Blake constantly weaves in themes too, into his pieces. Well done to both of you for truly making this show what it is.
  • "Don't fight to die. Fight to live."
  • A rando in a League hood approaches Oliver and warns him of Ra's' plan. My bet is that it was Damian in disguise. AS YOU WERE.
  • Tiny thing: I love that Malcolm calls Felicity "Miss Smoak."
  • Ahem, the fact that FELICITY FLIES TO RESCUE OLIVER IN THE ATOM SUIT PROVES WHY SHE IS THE HERO OF THIS WHOLE STORY. Actually, all the ladies are pretty kick-butt heroes. But seriously, Felicity Meghan Smoak for the win.
  • "It's true. This city isn't lacking masks." "Heroes."
  • "Try to imagine my profound disappointment." SASS QUEEN, THEA. She truly is her father's daughter in that regard.
  • RAY BLEW UP PALMER TECHNOLOGIES? FELICITY IS LITERALLY GONE FOR LIKE, TWO MINUTES AND YOU BLEW IT UP. Sheesh. MEN.
  • Oliver's deal was that Malcolm would become the next Ra's. I mean, because why wouldn't you give power to the most power-hungry, devious villain on this show? That's like handing Slade a sharpened sword and saying: "Now, you're only allowed to use this to chop down trees, not to chop off heads." *rolls eyes* BAD MOVE, DUDE. BAD MOVE.
  • Oliver's new voiceover at the end was really great.
  • "Can I say something strange? I'm happy." WELL IT WAS ABOUT DANG TIME.
Okay, folks, there you are! That's the last Arrow review from me this season. You know the drill: hit up the comments below with your thoughts. Stick around this summer for some more fun things (like a re-watch and review schedule of The Flash, among others) at the site. Until then! :)

25 comments:

  1. Great review. I spent about 15 minutes ranting about the complete ridonkulousness of the bioweapon plot. A chemical weapon would have worked SO MUCH BETTER. Seriously, Ra's - you have a bioweapon in aerosol form, and then you decide to release it as a blood borne pathogen? Is that right? The horsemen would have to bleed into the open wounds or the open orifices of the people around them, then? Unless it's transmitted both by air and by bodily fluids. What a mess.

    I did not see the Malcolm as Ra's twist coming, although it makes sense that there was something in it for him. I was expecting Malcolm to have some connection to Damien Dahrk - which would explain why he allowed Felicity to repeatedly mouth off to him and tell him what to do. That this is not the case tells me that he just likes her as HBIC apparently. I mean, he physically protected her WITH HIS BODY in Nanda Parbat. Is there MORE to this story? Felicity is apparently supervillain catnip as well.

    Every time I think about how Felicity saved Oliver that stupid speech Rose gives at the end of Titanic goes through my mind and I think about how there was more than enough room for Jack on that door. Dingbat.

    There was seriously nowhere near enough making out in this episode. I'm going to need a fanfic fix for that.

    At least we know that now that Malcolm is the head of the LOA, getting Oliver's annulment won't be too difficult a process. When exactly do Tommy's bones get dipped in the Lazarus Pit? After all, Thea seems to have come out okay. Right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, fiacresgirl and thank you again for your comments! :D

      I spent about 15 minutes ranting about the complete ridonkulousness of the bioweapon plot. A chemical weapon would have worked SO MUCH BETTER. Seriously, Ra's - you have a bioweapon in aerosol form, and then you decide to release it as a blood borne pathogen? Is that right? The horsemen would have to bleed into the open wounds or the open orifices of the people around them, then? Unless it's transmitted both by air and by bodily fluids. What a mess.

      Yeahhhhhhhhh that seemed like kind of a last minute string that the writers tied onto the plot and it really didn't do much of anything to make sense of an already kinda crumbly plot. I also don't understand how it supposedly worked and I think there was a hasty explanation there, but I didn't really catch it.

      I did not see the Malcolm as Ra's twist coming, although it makes sense that there was something in it for him. I was expecting Malcolm to have some connection to Damien Dahrk - which would explain why he allowed Felicity to repeatedly mouth off to him and tell him what to do. That this is not the case tells me that he just likes her as HBIC apparently. I mean, he physically protected her WITH HIS BODY in Nanda Parbat. Is there MORE to this story? Felicity is apparently supervillain catnip as well.

      TOTALLY did not see the Malcolm-as-Ra's thing coming and REALLY, OLIVER? WHY? WHYYYY WOULD YOU AGREE TO DO THAT? I kind of had hoped it would have been Nyssa, but alas -- I hope she takes down Malcolm next season. Can I just say how much I love Malcolm/Felicity and need all of it in my life? Villains worship her. Heroes love her. IS THERE ANYBODY THAT GIRL DOES NOT AFFECT?

      There was seriously nowhere near enough making out in this episode. I'm going to need a fanfic fix for that.

      PREACH IT.

      When exactly do Tommy's bones get dipped in the Lazarus Pit? After all, Thea seems to have come out okay. Right?

      The lack of ANY Tommy mention in this episode especially when Malcolm told Oliver he was like a son to him (OH, YOU MEAN JUST LIKE THE SON YOU ACTUALLY HAD WHO REALLY DIED?) makes me sad. I love Tommy. Please come back to me.

      Thanks again for your comments and thoughts! :)

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  2. I watched the episode, I read everything and re-read it to make sure I understood it..and I still walk away feeling disappointed. I want to talk about everything else, anything else because for all the other comments I kept mentioning Ray when its about Oliver and his journey. But Palmer Technologies blowing up and ending on that note ......I felt an arrow pierce my heart and left me cold..I couldn't even enjoy Oliver being happy..I should but I can't. I wonder what that says about me?

    This episode was good we got Barry he destroyed the League if he didn't have Reverse Flash business Barry would have solved the problem tonight and made a boring show. Still Thea looks strange in the Arsenal suit prefer the other one. I`m glad Oliver is finally happy and is going to be with Felicity and its going to be interesting seeing Malcolm Merlyn the new Ra's Al Ghul.

    This was a good episode and finally Oliver Queen can be Oliver Queen, Olicity wins and Diggle is crossed and may or may not be coming back, hopefully he joins the Squad permanently. But damn how it ended with Ray that explosion...it couldn't have ended on any other note it had to end that way....yes there is a spin off but its like everyone got a happy ending and Ray got the shaft. I`m sorry but that image is going to be stuck in my mind forever and it taints my feelings of this episode. I think I`m too attached to Ray..still liked that Felicity got to wear the suit that was funny.

    Diggle is the closet to representing my feelings that he is happy for them but its tainted by something. Still can't wait for Season 4 or Legends of Tomorrow to explain this.

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    1. It just means that you identified with Ray Palmer more than with Oliver Queen. There's nothing wrong with that.

      Would it help you to imagine that explosion as the beginning of Ray Palmer's story as a superhero? He's had his tragedy with the death of his fiancee, he's had the development bits with the suit and those difficulties but he's hasn't got any powers. If the spin-off wants to truly make him the ATOM he'll need shrinking powers and that explosion due to nano technology is the perfect way to do that. It's his equivalent of Barry getting hit by lightening and dark energy. He didn't get the shaft. He is being transformed. Does that make sense?

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    2. This episode was good we got Barry he destroyed the League if he didn't have Reverse Flash business Barry would have solved the problem tonight and made a boring show.

      Well thank goodness for crises in Central City, otherwise this episode would have been five minutes long, haha. Barry was like "Yeah, I got this," which made me happy. I wish he could have stayed around for like... a scene or two longer.

      I'm glad that Oliver is happy because he's finally allowed himself to be after all this time. I think he finally realized life is short and he wants to spend his LIVING, not just existing. I, too, loved all the Diggle angst because it's going to make for such a cooler and more layered dynamic next season.

      Ray may have blown up Palmer Technologies, but I think as Becca said, this is a step in him becoming the hero he wants to be and needs to be in order to find his own happiness. If that makes sense.

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    3. That makes sense in the superhero context and Ray does need his powers if he will fully become the ATOM. It just in the context of the episode it felt like mood whiplash and took me out of it.

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  3. Also I`m just wondering the Flash is time traveling for the season finale...how is that going to affect Arrow?

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    1. GOOD QUESTION. That might be something to pose to one of the showrunners, haha. ;)

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  4. I'm glad they started right away with Oliver trying to foil R'as, we've had enough of the secrecy. I wonder how much Oliver kinda wanted to die. His plan was to go down with that plane. We've certainly seen some self-hatred. How much of that has turned into a death wish? There is, of course, a large part of Oliver that wants to live (How touching will it be to watch eps from this season again knowing that every night Oliver is dreaming of trying to escape with Felicity?) but we've also seen him walking into death over and over. It is his go-to plan almost as much as shutting people out and trying to do it all alone. I think that we saw Oliver come to a bit of realisation about that this episode. He has seemed to learn things before but the fact that he actually leaves Starling for awhile could be healthy, allow him to actually let some self-knowledge and learning sink in instead of jumping from one crisis to another.

    So, if I've got this straight- Oliver's original plan (in conjunction with Malcolm) was to have months of time learning from R'as and taking down the League from the inside. Then the timeline got way faster than either of them had anticipated so they had to get help from the team in Starling City and the objective was to destroy the bioweapon and plane in Nanda Parbat before it ever left. Then R'as defeated that and Oliver had to show loyalty by letting his friends die and marrying Nyssa. He was prepared to inoculate his friends against the bioweapon (that at least was some good forward planning) but he couldn't see a way out of the whole wedding thing. Then the plan changed to become taking the plane down with both he and R'as on it (with a parachute for Nyssa) and the team in Starling as backup in case he failed. Not horrible I guess and the “going down with the plane” plan looks like a last resort at least. What I found most hopeful about Oliver was that he didn't have a go at Thea for suiting up. He didn't sound enthusiastic about it but he didn't fight her either. He just told her to be safe out there. He gave a nod of blessing to both Laurel and Palmer in their efforts to be heroes too. He lets go of control of his mission, acknowledges that Thea has chosen to be part of it and then actually really lets go by leaving the mission to others completely. I was impressed by that and really pleased to see him say that he was happy by the end, so surprised by his own peace and happiness it feels strange to him. I wonder how long it's been since he really felt anything like that? Now we just have to wait and see how he gets sucked back in.

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    1. BECCA. LET'S DIVE INTO THIS COMMENT-FEST, SHALL WE?

      I think that we saw Oliver come to a bit of realisation about that this episode. He has seemed to learn things before but the fact that he actually leaves Starling for awhile could be healthy, allow him to actually let some self-knowledge and learning sink in instead of jumping from one crisis to another.

      I like that before, he always said that the city was safe in the hands of the team but those were just words. Now, you can tell, he actually and truly BELIEVES it. He hangs up his hood and entrusts that the city will be safe because of them -- that he is safe and alive because of THEM. All of them. I loved that he respected everyone enough to acknowledge how they're each so important.

      What I found most hopeful about Oliver was that he didn't have a go at Thea for suiting up. He didn't sound enthusiastic about it but he didn't fight her either. He just told her to be safe out there. He gave a nod of blessing to both Laurel and Palmer in their efforts to be heroes too. He lets go of control of his mission, acknowledges that Thea has chosen to be part of it and then actually really lets go by leaving the mission to others completely. I was impressed by that and really pleased to see him say that he was happy by the end, so surprised by his own peace and happiness it feels strange to him. I wonder how long it's been since he really felt anything like that? Now we just have to wait and see how he gets sucked back in.

      1) Your recap of the plan was great and wonderful. 2) I did love the little noise Amell made when he turns to Willa's character because it was approving but like, in such a great big brother way. I loved that Oliver finally learned to loosen control and let other people save the city because he finally knew what he needed and wanted. I doubt either he or Felicity can stay away from Starling for very long. I mean, I'm totally down for a road trip and I hope they spend their much-needed time away from their city traveling the country and spending as much time with each other as possible. Seriously, it's like their own honeymoon.

      So I wonder what will pull him back and how he will get pulled back into the hero business.

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  5. I thought these were some of the more effective flash backs this season. It was actually more painful watching Maseo leave because we knew Tatsu would be forced to kill him in the future. And when he said he didn't deserve her love I wanted to shake him. We don't love because it is deserved. We love people (and forgive them) because we decide to and it is a gift. And it reminded me of Oliver. Whenever he tells Felicity “you deserve better” he is telling her he doesn't deserve her love. But that is not his decision to make. Watching Maseo shut his wife out seemed a good lesson for Oliver to be reflecting upon right before his heart to heart with Felicity. We got to see Oliver using the line “failed this city” for the first time. And we also got to see Oliver get possibly the darkest we've seen in the flashbacks. Amanda Waller taught him how to torture and we see him embrace that wholeheartedly with Shreve (and not for any real purpose that I could see, there was no life-saving information to get). He says he tortured Shreve for hours and we got to see him sitting there covered in the man's blood and holding a creepy hammer. That is pretty bad stuff, way worse than anything we saw on the Island. No wonder he doesn't want to return to Starling. I knew that the choice not to go home would have to come from Oliver and not yet another “imprisonment”. I think it is more interesting to see him decide that he is too messed up to go home, that he needs to be alone (a decision he finally really reverses in this episode) and I wonder where that ship will take him (getting on another tanker seems ominous though). And I also wonder what they will do for his “flash back hair” next season. Is that just me? Maybe go full ponytail? I would laugh so hard.

    The talk between Felicity and Oliver in the office was wonderfully done. Oliver has been fighting so that other people can have a life for so long while believing that he himself was not allowed one. He has been fighting to die essentially and I think it was great that Felicity saw that. She saw it back in ep 2 after Sara died and she still sees that. I loved how she gently put her hand on his face as they were switching back to action mode and I loved how simply he thanked her. The fact that Felicity saved him from his Fall this time was a nice echo back to the midseason finale. (It's ridiculous to think that Ray's suit would fit her or that Roy's suit would fit Thea but I'm willing to overlook those things.) And the look on her face when he asked her to go away with him was priceless. I thought all the Felicity and Oliver moments in the ep were very well done.

    I thought the talk between Oliver and Diggle at the end was beautiful. There was no glossing over all the hurt, no big talk of brotherhood but there was also hope. Diggle has been deeply hurt (Oliver's plan to keep him out of danger then went on to put his family directly in danger which is way worse) and Oliver knows that. I love how they still had a handshake, how Diggle still said Oliver deserved to be happy, how they wished each other well, how Oliver gently suggested identity concealment. That relationship is wounded but will come back. I could feel it.

    An issue that pulled me out of the story: How exactly was this virus supposed to work? It took awhile for Akio to succumb but it knocked everyone in the dungeon unconscious immediately? And fiacresgirl is right; the whole blood to air thing makes no sense whatsoever. And why was Dig rushing people away from the dead body when it was likely they would merely spread whatever it was they had been exposed to? It really bothered me but maybe that's because I spent two years as a biochem major before making a huge switch to religious studies and literature (just like my computer scientist/engineer husband rolls his eyes at most representations of tech in movies and tv).

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    1. Watching Maseo shut his wife out seemed a good lesson for Oliver to be reflecting upon right before his heart to heart with Felicity. We got to see Oliver using the line “failed this city” for the first time.

      LOVELY observation there, Becca. And it's true -- I think he actually learned something in this episode and he learned a lot about himself in the flashbacks. I didn't care for the flashbacks themselves this season, really, because I don't think they detracted from the story, more often than not (especially in episodes like "Nanda Parbat"), but the resolution did set up the next phase in Oliver's journey, really.

      Also I love that heartbreaking revelation he had about Maseo/Tatsu, however sad the resolution to their story was. I did like that Tatsu went back to solitude now, especially after what she had to do to Maseo.

      The fact that Felicity saved him from his Fall this time was a nice echo back to the midseason finale. (It's ridiculous to think that Ray's suit would fit her or that Roy's suit would fit Thea but I'm willing to overlook those things.)

      YES. SO SIGNIFICANT. She's the one who constantly saves him, literally and metaphorically. I loved his face when he realized it was her, too (also yeah uh that suit would not be built to fit her tiny frame, but shhhh we can gloss over that because ~romance~). You could see he was in awe of her and so delighted that she was the one to save him and that smile and laugh was wonderful because it was like he was falling in love with her all over again. Like: "This woman is so amazing, how did it take me forever to get here?"

      I thought the talk between Oliver and Diggle at the end was beautiful. There was no glossing over all the hurt, no big talk of brotherhood but there was also hope.

      I did like that. The handshake was good, but firm and cold. Dig had a barely-there smile when Oliver suggested getting himself a costume. I think the relationship needs to take a while to be repaired.

      An issue that pulled me out of the story: How exactly was this virus supposed to work? It took awhile for Akio to succumb but it knocked everyone in the dungeon unconscious immediately?

      IT'S A MYSTERY, APPARENTLY! No one actually knows how this virus was supposed to work because it seems like they didn't really think it all the way through.

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    2. Nothing about the virus was thought through. Immunization doesn't work like antibiotics. The body has to create its own army of antibodies to fight off the designated virus. And it can't easily be mass produced and disseminated or else we wouldn't have a flu shot shortage every other year. Look at the panic over Ebola. This is a virus that has been around for decades and doctors and scientists know exactly how it works, yet there is no vaccine and no cure and even when a cure was attempted, the media stated that it couldn't be mass produced in any short amount of time. Ironically, it appears that Ebola does have multiple and not fully understood routes of transmission.

      Usually a virus has a specific type of transmission - water, air, blood, bodily fluids. It doesn't jump around from possibility to possibility because the virus mutates to accommodate conditions within the body and strengthen its chance of reproduction.

      I was a language major, and I still get that a shadowy organization that apparently has yet to electrify its base of operations probably doesn't have the tech know how to modify the DNA of a virus for faster spreading in a specified target.

      *rolls eyes so hard they got stuck in the back of my head for a sec. ouch*

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  6. - “All we have to do is wait...The Thunder” Was it just me or should that be Barry's new nickname?
    - I love how Barry and Felicity both mock the Lazarus Pit as a hot tub.
    - Cool to see Oliver so calmly taking control of the crashing plane. I look forward to seeing him learn to fly at some point.
    - I loved watching them ignore Malcolm's orders until Dig told them to do follow for now. He is everybody's rock and leader.
    - It was also great that Ray prompted everyone to leave after Dig punched Oliver. Good awareness of social cues there Ray. And everyone obviously knew that original Team Arrow needed to talk.
    - I love that Team Arrow can be super mad at each other but still get the job done. No matter what they are feeling they stay focused which is why they work and why they get my respect as grown ups. And Nyssa worked with Malcolm and didn't say a word even though she loathes the man.
    - And how amazing was it to see Nyssa and Malcolm talking in Nanda Parbat. She fully intends to kill him and he fully expects her to try but also expects that she will kneel for now. Very interesting dynamic. I don't want Malcolm or the League to be the focus next year but I like that they've kept Nyssa and Malcolm in play in very interesting and believable ways.
    - R'as and his non-tech way of doing things vs. Felicity and her tech way of solving problems was a good impasse. And I was SOOOO glad that R'as had a plan outside of destroying Oliver's home. Damian Darhk was his real target and gave some credence to why he wanted Starling destroyed so badly. He's been battling the guy for who knows how many decades and took a crazy stab when he saw it. Which Darhk outwitted. It sets Damian up as a formidable and interesting villain.
    - “My father doesn't frequent hotels.”
    - The team's infiltration of the hotel was my favourite action bit (especially Dig kicking butt at the elevator). I so enjoyed watching them all work together.
    - It was great that Laurel talked to her father for less than a minute before realising he was drinking again. She knows all the signs so well and she was right on in how she talked to him. I really liked that scene. I was happy to see Lance back and I hope some space will let him sort through things so we can get a lot of him next year. (Tangent: realising that Laurel is choosing to take a beating for the city when she knows she cannot use any major painkillers because of her addiction issues made me understand her better, her desire for some self-punishment as well as her bravery.)
    - “..You could tune the quad band to search for it. Which is what you've been doing for the last five minutes.” “Your nanotech. Can you make them airborne?” “That is what I'm trying to do.” I do enjoy watching Ray and Felicity have the same thoughts and rock all the tech. It's really helped me to warm up to Ray.
    - Was anyone else super relieved to see Felicity and Captain Lance talking again? I actually clapped.
    - Seeing Malcolm fighting for the city (even if he and Oliver had made the whole succession deal) was nice to see. Malcolm will probably never redeem himself in my eyes but helping others wouldn't hurt. And when he calls Felicity “Miss Smoak” and she tells him not to kill anyone else I laughed.

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    1. I love how Barry and Felicity both mock the Lazarus Pit as a hot tub.

      I need 100000% more Barry/Felicity in my life. And I need a lot more Barry in this show. His scene was so quick but so perfect. And FUNNY.

      And how amazing was it to see Nyssa and Malcolm talking in Nanda Parbat. She fully intends to kill him and he fully expects her to try but also expects that she will kneel for now. Very interesting dynamic. I don't want Malcolm or the League to be the focus next year but I like that they've kept Nyssa and Malcolm in play in very interesting and believable ways.

      I like Malcom's dynamic with everyone, especially in this episode. I think Nyssa is such an amazing character and I can't wait for her to bond more with Laurel, hopefully, in season four and also figure out a way to decimate Malcolm. COME ON, LADIES. TAKE HIM DOWN.

      The team's infiltration of the hotel was my favourite action bit (especially Dig kicking butt at the elevator). I so enjoyed watching them all work together.

      I loved Malcolm and Nyssa shooting people and then being like: "YUP, OUR SIDE IS GOOD." They were all so fantastic working together. They really were.

      (Tangent: realising that Laurel is choosing to take a beating for the city when she knows she cannot use any major painkillers because of her addiction issues made me understand her better, her desire for some self-punishment as well as her bravery.)

      Heyyyyy I never thought of that before but wow, that makes me actually respect Laurel Lance a whole lot more now than I had before this season. I'm really starting to love her because she's coming into her own. And you're so right in that scene with Quentin -- what a great moment to really exemplify how alike they are and the choices he has ahead of him.

      Was anyone else super relieved to see Felicity and Captain Lance talking again? I actually clapped.

      YUUUUUUUUUUUUP. And I love that he just says: "your guy" repeatedly to her. Lovely.

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    2. I am so SO grateful we can take Lance off of the death watch, and I need Donna Smoak to come to town and lighten up his life while simultaneously straightening him out. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease.

      I am also very happy that this season ended without the death of a major (good) character. Ra's needed to die, and I was pretty sure Oliver would kill him both because it was necessary to restore some of his faith in his abilities and because Felicity told him to way back in 3x09, and most of the time he does what Felicity says. I didn't think Nyssa would be the one to do it because Oliver likes to spare the women in his life the hassle of killing their fathers or father figures (Malcolm, Ivo, Ra's). It's a thing with him.

      I also really liked Thea's repurposed suit - love the way the leather fades from red to black around the waistline. They took out a lot of extraneous lacing too.

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  7. - We didn't get to see a lot of Thea but what we did get was awesome. And she saved Dig's life for a second time and they so obviously get along that my little heart was warmed.
    - I liked that R'as felt he would win whether Oliver killed him or not. He still sees himself as controlling events and felt a certain satisfaction in Oliver killing him. (I kinda wished Nyssa did that too but Oliver had to have a duel with his big bad of the season so I knew it wasn't going to happen.) Too bad R'as died before knowing that Malcolm was taking his place. R'as saw only two options for Oliver, death or ascension, which is quite narrow-sighted. (Nice watching Oliver recreate all of the injuries R'as gave him on the mountain.) Giving Malcolm the leadership of the League kinda felt like a big middle finger to R'as (even if it means handing that organisation over to another evil guy.)
    - “I've been a most excellent trainer.” I loved Nyssa's satisfaction at that and seeing Laurel grow as a fighter was good.
    - “We've got a problem.” “You're going to have to be a lot more specific.”
    - Making Ray and his nanotech necessary to saving the city was an effective and believable reason to keep him out of the fight and it gave Felicity her saving moment. Watching him blow himself up later reminded me of the time Felicity stopped him from doing just that a few months ago (he really is a mad scientist type always on the verge of a great invention or something disastrous) and it gives a good beginning to any superpowers he might develop and a way to get him a completely different storyline. (Watching him talk to his suit was a cute moment) Nice transition there. I just hope no one else was injured in the blast.
    - The genuine grins from Felicity and Oliver after she saves him were wonderful and I agree, there was not enough making out in the ep :)
    - I love how Felicity's reaction to Oliver's invite to go with him was just helplessly and quietly collapsing on his shoulder.

    There are still issues with the storytelling this season but this particular ep did a pretty good job of wrapping most things up in a satisfying way, giving a good climax and leaving interesting possibilities open for the future which is the job of a season finale. I look forward to reading everyone's thoughts and see you all next season!

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    1. We didn't get to see a lot of Thea but what we did get was awesome. And she saved Dig's life for a second time and they so obviously get along that my little heart was warmed.

      YES, THIS. I hope it becomes a running thing with them -- like: "Hey, remember how I saved your life twice? Yeah, so let me have the last cookie, Mr. Diggle." Thea became so wonderful and amazing this year and I just want to wrap her up and hug her.

      I've been a most excellent trainer.” I loved Nyssa's satisfaction at that and seeing Laurel grow as a fighter was good.

      Nyssa is such a precious beam of sunshine and I hope we get a lot more of her next season.

      I love how Felicity's reaction to Oliver's invite to go with him was just helplessly and quietly collapsing on his shoulder.

      I love that moment SO much. It's so domestic and like, natural. And clearly it's not scripted or anything. I think it's just a choice EBR makes. But you can tell how much she just wants to be close to him forever and the little nose nuzzle was adorable. They're so cute and HAPPY. Thank god.

      BECCA. Thank you, seriously, for being such a great commenter this season. I'm so excited you found the site and we can have great discussions. See you this summer on here. ;)

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  8. Hi Jennifer Marie

    I can't believe it's the end of Season 3! What a season it's been. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders that I didn't know was there lol. A bit dramatic, but my gosh, it feels SO GOOD to have a happy ending after the rollercoaster of a season.

    I got a little emotional when Oliver was talking to the team towards the end, even though many have alluded to him choosing Oliver Queen, to see it actually happen was a beautiful sense of release and contentment, and I am SO HAPPY to see Oliver for once in an incredibly long time sooo truly happy.

    There was so much in this episode and yet, it kind of all worked with the urgency of situation to Starling City (even though there were a few little things, I can let those slide).
    The action and fight sequences in the episode were top notch, the scene on the plane, the Team co-ordinating to get DD and the fight scene with Ra's. I cannot believe that Oliver finally killed him! Yet I did let out a little gasp and internal 'not again' when he fell into the dam.

    The flashbacks were ok, I liked seeing how Oliver got to that extreme point so when they flashback in season 4, he really will be a in darker place than before. It really makes you appreciate the ranges Stephen Amell has had to go through this season, he has been absolutely tremendous.

    I loved seeing Oliver and Nyssa work together, they were actually rather cute yet badass in how well they co-ordinated with each other.

    Felicity Meghan Smoak. If she couldn't be any more badass. Let's not forget she's not a fan of heights either so that was something saving 'her guy'.

    There is something about Ray blowing up Palmer Technologies that feels fitting for his character and it's quite a way to begin afresh for his spin-off like a phoenix from the ashes.

    Diggle punching Oliver and their talk was great, it will be really interesting to see how this affects them in the new season.

    So glad Nyssa is not dead (and for that matter, all the core characters, as I was a bit worried at a few points in the episode).

    Did not see the deal with Merlyn coming, but really glad of the new developments as Malcolm was on absolute fire this episode.

    I would agree with a bit more physical interaction between Oliver and Felicity. I loved the subtle touches here and there, and I didn't mind if it wasn't a kiss, maybe just as they drove away them holding hands, a hug or something but I can't complain with the beautiful ending we got, they looked so happy - Oliver looking hot as hell (loved that leather jacket and tee ensemble), and Felicity with her signature bright red lip.

    I would agree with the producers that this felt like the end of a chapter in Arrow rather than just this season, and they left it in a good place where the possibilities are endless for Season 4.

    Also just wanted to say a big Thank You Jennifer Marie for all your episode reviews, it's been so much fun commenting on the episodes and reading everyone's thoughts.

    Sitara x

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  10. Loved your review! Especially the name analysis at the beginning -- I have a thing for name origins and meanings. I've got a cheesy one to add: Oliver - r = Olive = (a shade of) green, which is perfect since he's becoming "something else" who is both OLIVEr and the ARROW. ;-) (Sorry, I'll see myself out now. See you next season!)

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  11. Hello Jennifer!! Great review, so detailed! I don´t know how you remember everything of the season or past seasons….. I sometimes forget things about the episode and I remember them reading your blog…

    Last episode… I can´t believe we have to wait more than three months to watch all those lovely characters again……. Oh well! I thought I couldn´t survive winter break and it passed and the season is already finished so I´m guessing we´ll be back here in less time than we think.

    Well this is my opinion of the episode/season:

    I liked Ra´s a lot this season, finally someone bad but not tiresome….. and lately I changed my mind: I was getting tired of his “someone once told me…” I mean, I get he´s 100 years old, and there´s been a lot of” someones” in his life telling him a lot of “somethings”….. but come on!

    You know that something is wrong with a show when your favorite moments of the season finale are of Ray and Barry… well and Nyssa and Malcolm were really funny today too (my father doesn´t frequent hotels, I approve…).

    Vaccinate them cutaneously?? Really?? Anything else? An unicorn that opens the door in case Barry is busy?? That was too elaborate, wasn´t it? (I love the flash, so I´m sooo in favor of Arrow helping his spin off develop… but please, not at cost of losing a lot of quality).

    The flashbacks have been out of place most part of the season, but today they were extremely wrong! We didn´t learn anything new from them…. And they didn´t tell what happened to Maseo that made him take the virus and give it to Ra´s (which could have been what made sense for today´s flashbacks) ….. so, totally senseless today more than ever. Although, I have to say Tatsu was great on them!

    I really liked Nyssa teaming with Oliver… I want more of that!

    Damien…… oh Damien… I expected him to be the bad guy of season 4 (although I don´t want that if it´s going to be like this season all over again)... and I´m completely sure he was the one telling Oliver to go meet Ra´s… I get that Maseo, who was the postman till now, is dead, but Ra´s would have used the phone or maybe owls from Hogwarts… not a new messenger, right?

    Lance is drinking again……. Noooo!!! But he helped team arrow eventually, so he´s on the right path again, yay!! Go Lance!

    Call me crazy, but… don´t you think Nyssa and Ray would make a great couple? Ray babbles all the time, and Nyssa is more quiet and serious…. They´re perfect for each other like Olicity! :) (I know, she likes women… but it crossed my mind watching them in the same team today).

    I don´t know if Oliver learnt something more from Maseo, but he certainly learnt the “ I’m not worthy of your love”. So sad, but so nerve racking!

    I love Jane Austen novels… I´m a romantic I can´t help it, and one of my favorite moments from them are when the main characters touch their fingers while passing a cup of coffee or something similar... so when Felicity brought Oliver the coffee and they almost touched… <3

    Bri

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    1. And I´m so glad they are together, and I´m so happy Oliver finally decided to go see the world with Felicity, and that they had THE conversation, and that he shows her how much he loves her, and that he´s happy, and that she saved him (I was already shouting Oliver:” shut up and get down, someone is going to shoot you!!” When Atom came and took him away after he was shot and I was hugging a cushion like there was no tomorrow, in shock…… and then they focus on Atom… and it´s Felicity!!! Hahahaha I almost fell from the sofa!), but a kiss, al little kiss, or them holding hands, or something……. I really missed that something! (And I´m going to frame Felicity´s speech “don´t fight to die, fight to live” because it was awesome! Since the cup of coffee moment.)

      And as you say it´s about closure, they close the circle of the season…. So where is my Fern!!! I don´t ask them to be in the back seat of the car, but replanted somewhere maybe?

      I don´t think Oliver trusted Malcolm over Felicity and Diggle… I think he did what he had to do. Not telling Felicity and Diggle wasn´t a matter of trust, he thought the plan would be more air tight if less people knew about it…. That said… I think Diggle is totally right being mad with him… and Felicity should have made him beg a lot more before being all smiles. I think in season four we are going to have the roles changed: Felicity will be “the Diggle” of the season trying to bring Oliver and Diggle together. And it´s going to be great! Looking forward to it!

      And as a season finale I didn´t like it much. Ok, they completed the arc about why Oliver was working with Malcolm, what was Malcolm´s goal since he made Thea kill Sara, the identity thing, no more Ra, introducing the new bad guy... but for me it didn´t feel like a season finale…. And I know they don´t tend to close the season with a big cliff hanger… but I was expecting something else. I have to say I love some parts of course, Olicity, funny moments, Diggle being present more than all the season altogether, Lance coming back from the dark side… But I needed something extra… maybe it´s what I´ve been missing since 3x09…. That spark that made me what to tattoo an arrow in my arm every time a episode finished.

      But what´s done it´s done, and that´s all. Let´s hope season four is as good and a little better related to the plot. And let´s hope Stephen gets the awards you talk about, because he deserves them big time!

      This is getting too long already so that´s my cue to stop writing. I´m really going to miss this every Thursday/Friday but I´ll keep coming as regularly as I can. It´s been great discovering this post and being able to participate.
      Thank you! Read you soon.

      Bri

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  12. Hey Jenn, great review, as always! You're writting is so inspiring...

    I really liked your analysis on Oliver’s journey. It’s basically what kept me watching a season that we'll all agree had its ups and downs... I think the closure for the Identity theme was to be expected and I loved it. Oliver deserves some happiness after such suffering and pain, please!!! And we really needed a happy ending fafetr all we've been through this season. It's been quite a dark one.

    I've been wanting this for Oliver since the beginning, so watching him accept his humanitiy and let himself to feel was so rewarding for me. If you let me I'd like to make a parallelism with Harvey from Suits. They're of course very different shows but I think that both characters are in a very similar journey right now. Oliver made a huge step forward letting himself to feel things. We don't know about Harvey yet but I'm positive that the new season will explore his issues with allowing himself to feel and express his love to others. Like Felicity said in the finale: "you've allowed yourself to feel something. I know you think that's a weakness but it's not". It's practically the same sentence that Jessica said to Harvey in 2x07 during the mock trial.

    Anyway, back to "Arrow"... I really enjoyed the finale but I have to admit that there were two things that needed further explanation or some sort of closure like:

    -Felicity signing the transfer of ownership last week. I was expecting a conversation between Ray and Felicity about that... And since Ray "dies", what happened to the these documents?
    -Nyssa’s and Oliver’s marriage is still on, I guess, since there was no especific mention to its annulment? Or what happens in Nanda Parbat stays in Nanda Parbat? ;)

    Well, Jenn, as I told yo before, thank you for discovering Arrow to me. I had no idea it’d become such a favorite show for me. I guess I’ll “see you” again when the new season of Suits premieres. I can’t wait to read your reviews and comment again!

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