And so ends Season 3 of Arrow. To be fair, most of us probably saw this coming from halfway through the Fall Season: Oliver fights Ras, looses the first time – because Ras is THAT good – but then comes back and defeats him in the end. Though despite the predictability – and a LOT of time spent of Olicity – this was still a fun season and a spectacular season finale. In many ways, it could have been considered a Series Finale.
But it’s not, so let’s take a closer look at what happened this episode and see what’s coming next and how long this ‘peace’ will last.
“My Name Is Oliver Queen” – A Man Cannot Live By Two Names:
This season has dealt heavily with the idea of a man living by two names. Maseo choose ‘Sarab’ – the Phantom – over his real name. Oliver picked ‘The Arrow’ over the simple life as Oliver Queen. Though this all changed for Oliver when Ras came into the picture. After stripping away Oliver Queen and the Arrow, Ras thought this would turn Oliver into Al Sah Him, but in the end Oliver chose to become ‘something’ else.
It was because of this initial defeat at the hands of Ras that Oliver sought to defeat him. He had to make the nightmares stop and as Malcolm said, no one can defeat the Master except the student. This words became stunningly clear as during the opening moments of the episode we see Oliver actually stand his ground pretty well against Ras on the plane. Even later in the episode, we see Ras openly challenge Oliver to a sword fight – rather than Ras go in empty handed. Sure Ras still fought some of the battle with a hand cockily behind his back, but in the end it was Oliver who would be victorious. He wouldn’t fall for the same sword attacks twice, so all he had to do watch catch the sword and run Ras through with his own blade – exactly what Ras did to Oliver in the midseason finale.
With Ras dead, Oliver begins a task he didn’t imagine he’d live long enough to see – repairing his relationships. Felicity is super quick to forgive and forget, but Diggle’s trust isn’t as easy to win back. Maybe it’s for the best Oliver is taking some time off. Although what about that pesky ‘become Ras al Ghul’ matter?
A Prophecy Manipulated – Malcolm’s Ascension:
It turns out prophecies are a funny thing. Remember a few episodes ago we Thea called the League on Malcolm and Ras tortured him, only to later release him free of charge to persuade Oliver into becoming the next Ras? Well it turns out that being tortured by the blade of Ras al Ghul is still considered surviving it. And now with the emblem ring in his possession, Malcolm Merlyn is now the new leader of the League of Assassins.
So does this make Malcolm evil again? Well considering all the character growth Malcolm went through this spring season (ie: Thea, finding his wife’s true killer, etc), I’m willing to bet that he’ll stay (somewhat) good. Then again, old habits die hard and with the full power of the league at his disposal, would we really be surprised if Malcolm starts another ‘undertaking’. Though judging by what we learned in this season finale, it’s possible that a new villain could arise before Malcolm ever has a chance to regress.
A Darhk Future For The League?:
It turns out that Ras planned on killing two birds with one bio-chemical stone. Not only would gassing Starling City result in Oliver’s ascension to Ras al Ghul; but it would also take out Ras’s chief competition to the throne, Damien Darhk. As it turns out Darhk wasn’t in Starling since he got wind of Ras plan before it happened. So if Darhk knew that, who’s to say he doesn’t also know about the League of Assassin’s new leadership.
With Malcolm as the new Ras, this could be Darhk’s chance to absorb – or destroy – what remains of the League. Darhk has already been confirmed as a major Season 4 bad, so it is very possible this could all come to pass next season. These attacks could also be what galvanizes Oliver back into the hero-busines. Though he won’t be alone.
The New Team Arrow – Speedy, Black Canary & Diggle’s Identity Concealer:
It was amazing seeing Thea suit up as Speedy. Roy was right, red really does suit her. Thankfully she doesn’t have to do it alone as Black Canary more than showed her worth the past few episodes and even earned praise from Nyssa during the final battles. So where does that leave Diggle? Well again we hear about him needing an identity concealer, which makes us ponder more and more WHO he becomes from the comics. Though until Oliver comes back, Team Arrow will also be missing their tech angle, Felicity – for obvious reasons – and Palmer.
Palmer’s Accident – A Familiar Farewell & What It Means:
If you thought just because Palmer was last seen in a fiery explosion he was dead, oh honey. What ACTUALLY happened was this: he shrunk. We saw him getting ready to test those features right before it happened so obviously that what happened – just a little more explosive that first anticipated. Additionally, if you don’t believe me, just check out the new First Look at Legends of Tomorrow, where he reveals that he did just shrink – which I’ll be analyzing in a bit.
Though Palmer’s explosive shrinkage – that sounds wrong – does mean something else for Arrowverse. He’s presumed dead, and as we saw last episode he was in the process of turning over his company. This is most likely how Oliver Queen gets his company back and Season 4 could bring the return of Businessman/Hero Oliver Queen.
Rapid Fire – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:
- “Survive this and I will come for you again and again until your end of days. But first, your city will perish” – Ras is such a cheery guy
- As anticipated, selling out Oliver was all part of Malcolm’s plan to help earn Ras trust 100%. Thankfully, Malcolm knew some people to synthesize an immunity patch for the crew.
- Oliver’s plan to take out the Bio-Weapon in a sabotaged plane explosion was actually used in the comics. Though instead of Ras it was an environmental terrorist, and the plan did work which explains why the comic was known as the “Death Of Green Arrow”
- This is the first time we hear Oliver say “He failed this city”
- Did anyone else think Roy when Malcolm told Diggle to get the status of “arsenal”?
- 4 Instruments of Death? Looks like Ras really likes the idea of Four Horsemen … just minus the horses.
- When Captain Lance is yelling about the Andreyko case, this could be a nod to comic book writer and screenwriter Marc Andreyko who was famous for creating the Manhunter character
- Laurel told her father “WE’RE alcoholics”, which shows that it’s still a problem Laurel fights with but thanks to all her training and new purpose, she has under control.
- “What, the city’s under attack? Must be May” Wow, it’s almost like Quentin knows it’s Season Finale time again. Lol
- Is a STRANGE way, when Felicity told Oliver that his strength over Ras was that he left himself “feel something”, this explains why Oliver’s last minutes idea to suffer the pain of catching the blade and then turning it against Ras.
- Oliver falls off the waterfall, a similar image to him falling off a snowy cliff.
- This isn’t the first time a girl has put on the Atom suit. The most famous of which is how Palmer’s ex used the suit to kill someone in Identity Crisis series.
- Though seriously, did anyone else get really pissed off when Felicity didn’t flinch for a second at the thought of sacrificing thousands of people to save Oliver. #EnoughWithTheFelicityStuff #WeGetIt
- Looks like Coast City is up next for Oliver’s Flashbacks. Though if he wanted to be alone I don’t know why he wouldn’t just return to Lian Yu.
- Additionally, the boat name ‘Triton’s Daughter’, Triton is an Aquaman villain. Also, considering he is the son of the Olympian Poseidon, it’s also a slight nod to Wonder Woman mythos since she is usually associated with Olympians.
- Quotes of the Episode:
- “I believe the words you’re looking for are ‘Thank’ and ‘You’” – Malcolm
- “You guys have a hot tub? Nice!” – The Flash
- “Now this is like a real dungeon” – The Flash
- “Thank you Felicity. You just outed my secret identity to a super villain… no offense” – The Flash
- “Can I say something strange, I’m happy”
Considering all that is going to happen and be set up, we know Oliver and Felicity’s “honeymoon” trip won’t last long: a few minutes, an episode, who knows? Hopefully this little romantic getaway gets the whole OLICITY thing out of the show’s system so it can go back to more important matters. Season 3 was basically the season of Olicity (started with a date now ending with a romantic getaway) and this show shouldn’t be framed by a romance. Romance can certainly be a part of the show but it shouldn’t be the most important part of the show.
So here’s to Season 4 and all the new adventures and battles it shall bring. In the mean time, stay tuned here for next week’s Flash Season Finale as well as more information about the next Arrowverse show, Legends of Tomorrow – featuring Hawkgirl … THAT’S RIGHT!!!!! 😀