“Arrow” – “This Is Your Sword” aired Wednesday, May 6th. (5 stars)
This is the one where all the heroes die at the end. Okay, maybe not all the heroes, but people are definitely killed off. While I won’t divulge on any specific spoilers, I would like to mention that this should be a show all of you tune in to. I can’t help but shake this feeling that the way families would watch “Batman” during the ’60’s should be the way people watch “Arrow.” It’s obviously a much better and more serious program based on a DC Comic hero, but it’s such a wildly engrossing series that it’d really be a shame if you’re missing out on the third season.
Ra’s Al Ghul wants Oliver Queen, now known as Al Sa-Him, to return to Starling City and destroy it. He has the Alpha/Omega bio-weapon and plans to unleash it on Oliver’s city. It plays like a much more reverential to the material than 2005’s “Batman Begins”, but still feels very much set in the same tone. We know Ra’s Al Ghul, we know his plots and plans, and this character should already be a household name courtesy of Christopher Nolan and Liam Neeson!
Ra’s plans on having Oliver marry his daughter, Nyssa (Katrina Law), against her wishes and for her to also bear his child. It plays out in a familiar way to those that have read Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams famous stories. Instead of Bruce Wayne and Talia, we get Oliver Queen and Nyssa. I’ve also begun to suspect that Maseo Yamashiro (Karl Yune) has fulfilled the role of Ra’s Al Ghul’s servant, Ubu. It works and upon my suspicions, I’m now more intrigued on re-watching this season once it becomes available as a box-set. After Oliver and Ra’s meeting, he heads out for some air and meets with – MALCOLM MERLYN (John Barrowman)!!! Yes, Oliver’s turn to the League of Assassins, becoming Heir to the Demon, and his impending betrothal to Nyssa is all a charade. He’s attempted to infiltrate the League and while its destroyed his relationships with Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), he’s done so to truly save his city.
The idea of Who is Oliver Queen? has been the main theme of the third season as we’ve explored Oliver’s quest to find meaning to his days spent as the Arrow. Ra’s Al Ghul has been the perfect villain to help place the character of Oliver Queen even more so under the microscope. As we are faced with the season finale next week, I could only imagine how this season will come to an end. There’s been talk that season three brings a sense of completion to the first three seasons of “Arrow” and that season four will be an entirely new version of the DC Comics hero. We’ve already seen several hints as to what that may entail and it makes season four even more exciting.
Merlyn and Team Arrow plan on heading back to Nanda Parbat to stop a plane carrying the Alpha/Omega. Before they head off, we do get another Easter Egg reference to Ferris Air, an element that’s been consistently teased on both “The Flash” and “Arrow” this year. Would anyone like to speculate that we might be seeing Carol Ferris and/or one of the Green Lanterns appear on one of the series? Possibly the spin-off which is set to feature Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, and Caity Lotz.
Team Arrow, along with Tatsu a.k.a Katana (Rila Fukushima) arrive at Nanda Parbat and battle with the League of Assasins. With help from The A.T.O.M. (Brandon Routh), they believe they have successfully stopped Ra’s plan to essentially immolate Starling City. Before we go any further, I’d like to point out the extreme makeover of Ray Palmer a.k.a. The A.T.O.M. In the DC Comics, Palmer was more of a Hank Pym/Ant-Man, but for “Arrow” he’s become a bit more like Tony Stark/Iron Man. It works and Routh is perfect as the good-natured, brilliant, but goofy scientist. But sometimes it feels as if they’re really trying to imitate Marvel’s Iron Man. Case in point, there’s a scene that involves Ray Palmer having Felicity sign a Transfer of Ownership document. She doesn’t see what she’s signing, but he (along with us) do. If Ray’s about to make Felicity Smoak the owner and CEO of Palmer Technologies, doesn’t that bring to mind a plot line from 2011’s “Iron Man 2”? How about that plane vs. A.T.O.M. fight scene? It’s a beautifully rendered and choreographed scene, perhaps the best usage of CGI on “Arrow”, but plays almost too much like 2008’s “Iron Man.”
Our heroes learn that it was all a trick and that Ra’s possessed the Alpha/Omega the entire time. He imprisons them in a holding cell and despite Merlyn’s attempts to give up Oliver, Ra’s still holds them as prisoners. He actually does something else, but I’d rather not ruin it. “This Is Your Sword” ends with the marriage of Nyssa Al Ghul and Oliver set to continue and our main heroes in peril. The end, especially knowing that the final episode “I Am Oliver Queen” airs on Wednesday, May 13th, certainly leaves you with the thought “This is it?!? It’s over already?!?”
As we are one week away from the season finale of season three, I truly believe “Arrow” will deliver on something very special for audiences. Something that will not only reward the longtime viewers, but new fans alike.
“Arrow” airs Wednesday nights at 8 pm. Check your local listings.