Arrow: Lead Up to the Finale

Arrow is flying towards it’s season 3 finale tomorrow night, and although this season has had it’s ups and downs, the stakes for Oliver Queen and his quirky band of misfits have never been higher. SPOILERS BELOW!

Arrow over the last couple of weeks has stepped up it’s game in the intrigue category.  Unfortunately, these were the two weeks I haven’t been able to do a review.  SORRY!  But I’ll make it up to you.  We’re going to recap Season 3 as a whole and get ready for what’s sure to be one HECK of a season finale because…well…if there’s one thing that Arrow does well, it’s season finales.

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Thea Queen is not dead.  I mean she was, but she isn’t anymore!:  In the grand superhero tradition of nobody actually staying dead (unless you’re Uncle Ben…sorry Uncle Ben.  I blame Tobey Maguire), Thea Queen was lowered into the Lazarus Pit and came back a cray cray version of herself (but only for that episode.  She’s fine now).  The catch?  Oliver must accept the “offer” from Ra’s Al Ghul to become his successor.  Oliver is willing to make that sacrifice for his sister, but only tells one person about his real plans while in the League of Assassins (we’ll get to that later).  Most everyone knew Thea wasn’t going to die, since the actress that portrays her, Willa Holland, posted a picture of her being fitted for her mask.  Unless they planned on burying her in a superhero costume, this was an indicator that she would survive, and most likely take her brother’s side as Speedy.  Will it happen this season?  I’m willing to bet we get a sneak peak of it by the end of the finale.

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Oliver as the new Ra’s has serious implications for Nissa Al Ghul:  As in, she can either marry Oliver and give them an heir to the throne, or she can be tortured in a way that is worse than “a million deaths” (her father’s words, to be exact).  Where does this leave her?  Well, between a rock and a hard place (and yes, I’m referring to Oliver as the hard place, AYO!)  She “agrees” to marry Al-Sahhim, which is the new name given to Oliver…or the name of his new death metal band.  I haven’t figured that part out yet.  Either way, the ceremony doesn’t happen without Nissa trying to kill him, but that didn’t go as planned, with Oliver foiling said plan.  As we all know that Oliver is playing both sides of this, I’m sure this marriage will mean next to nothing come next season, and was used as primarily as a “holy crap” moment in the show, and nothing more.

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Will the real Oliver Queen please stand up?:  Apparently, the only person other than Oliver who has any idea what the hell is going on is Malcolm Merlyn, and after last episode, we’re not even sure that’s the case.  Malcolm helps convince the rest of the gang that Oliver isn’t just a huge dick, but he has a method to his madness (which yes, included kidnapping Diggle’s wife) in order to trick Ra’s Al Ghul and ultimately destroy the League of Assassins.  But once Oliver relays this to his crew, Ra’s catches wind of it, interrogating Malcolm who reveals that Oliver is actually double crossing him.  Is this another double cross? Could be, since Malcolm has a history full of such betrayals.  Could this all be part of Oliver’s ultimate plan?  Very much so.  At this point, the gang was left in their cell to die from the plague Ra’s plans to unleash on Starling City, but previews show that Oliver throws in a counteracting agent to the poison, so they’ll be alright.  One thing is for sure… that we have no idea what is real and what is just a part of Oli’s plan at this point.

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Team Arrow is getting played…wait no they aren’t… wait, yes they are!…uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:  Team Arrow, which consists of Diggle, Felicity, Thea, at times Nissa, and KIND OF Malcolm Merlyn, have been through the ringer this back third of this season:  Diggle had his wife kidnapped by his best friend Oliver; the whole gang thought Oliver, and then Thea, were dead before making miraculous recoveries; Roy is in exile; and Sara Lance is ACTUALLY dead (until Legends of Tomorrow goes through the process of resurrecting her).  At this point, we don’t know what Oliver’s ultimate plan is, but I do know that all of season 4 will be called “Please Forgive Me!” since Oli will have a lot of bridges to rebuild.  We know Diggle punches him in the face in the season finale which, let’s be honest here, Oliver very much deserves.  I can’t imagine that after the events of the finale, his forgiveness, as well as the others, will be easy to earn back.  Not to mention Oliver and Felicity FINALLY GOT TOGETHER.  These events will make Felicity reconsider her feelings, which will lead to another season where they aren’t actually a couple.  Freakin’ Oliver, nice job.

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Is Roy really gone?: I’m sure we’ll see him in cameo type appearances, but rumor has it that he might a part of the new TNT series TITANS, based on the DC characters Teen Titans.  The Titans have had Harper as a part of their team before, and he could be one of the leaders on this show along with Dick Grayson, aka the first Robin, aka Nightwing.  I have high hopes for this show, so I’m hoping Roy shows up as a part of this team.

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And the award for Most Impactful Punch in the Feels goes to…:   This season has seen the loss of fan favorite Canary Sara Lance, as well as the (temporary) deaths of Oliver and Thea Queen.  Yet all of these pale in comparison to the death of Maseo, LoA member, one time member of ARGUS and friend of Oliver, at the hand of his estranged wife Tatsu.  There were teases throughout the season as to whether they might reconcile, since we saw them in happier times during Oliver’s Hong Kong flashbacks, but Maseo was torn between his friendship with Oliver and his love of Tatsu and his allegiance to the League of Assassins.  Ultimately, his guilt over the death of his child won out and he battled his wife, for the first time in her Katana garb, to the death.  Right before he was set to execute his wife, he told her to take care of their child in the afterlife.  Tatsu then turns the tide and puts her katana straight through her husband, as she tells him that he must take care of their son.  He then thanks her for freeing him as she begins to sob and scream in mourning.  At this point, I start doing wind sprints in my front yard because I don’t know how to handle my emotions.

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Writing this recap has just gotten me super excited about what’s coming in the season finale.  Previews reveal that Oliver and Nissa have a stand off with Ra’s Al Ghul, in which he utters the famous line “My name is Oliver Queen!” as opposed to his new name, Heir to the Demon, Al-Sahhim.  I personally feel like this season finale might be the highlight of a season that had its ups and downs.  What will become of Oliver Queen and Team Arrow.  How will the immortal Ra’s Al Ghul be defeated?  Will Laurel’s hair still look perfect even though she spent 2 days locked in a dungeon?  Stay tuned guys! It’s going down in Nanda Parbat, bitch!

FINAL SCORE:

8.0/10

+ the final duel between Maseo and Tatsu.  Heart-wrenching!

+ the twists and turns of the last few episodes

+ how awesome Malcolm Merlyn is, thanks to John Barrowman.  I have a bad feeling he’s not making it out of the finale, but I for one am hoping to see him for years perfecting this character.

– Roy leaving Thea again. I get man, but c’mon, at least have the conversation in person.

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