Arrow, S3 Ep22 – This Is Your Sword

Every thing that has been occurring in the flashback sequences on Arrow is finally lining up with the events taking place in present day Starling, as it’s been revealed that Ra’s al Ghul has his hands on the Alpha/Omega virus. “This Is Your Sword” continues to chronicle Oliver Queen’s ascension to becoming the next Ra’s al Ghul, but as the episode progresses we learn not everything is as it seems. While there is effort on all sides to stop Ra’s from executing a sinister plan, time is not on our heroes’ side as he plans on unleashing the Alpha/Omega on Starling.

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Ra’s al Ghul confronts Team Arrow

When it’s revealed that Maseo was the one who turned over the Alpha/Omega to Ra’s, we can see a slight look of surprise and confusion in Ollie’s (or Al Sah-him’s) face. Originally I had thought that the mention of the Alpha/Omega might have somehow knocked Ollie out of whatever trance Ra’s had him in. As it turns out, Ollie has been in control of his actions this whole time. With the virus now in play, Ollie is no longer able to continue his plan of becoming Ra’s and breaking down the League of Assassins from the inside. He must call in his friends.

With Merlyn being the only one who knows of Ollie’s true intentions, Ollie tells him to tell the rest of Team Arrow what’s really happening. While I understand everything Ollie has done in the past two episodes was to gain Ra’s al Ghul’s trust, I highly doubt Team Arrow will forgive him completely for his acts. When Merlyn tells Team Arrow the truth they unsurprisingly don’t believe him. It takes only the possibility of the Alpha/Omega virus being real and the words of Ollie’s friend from Shanghai, Tatsu Yamashiro, to convince the team into going to war with the League with hopes of stopping this catastrophe.

I enjoyed watching the team struggle with coming to grips with their current predicament. They displayed a multitude of emotions including grief, confusion, denial, and anger. Diggle especially demonstrated how angry he’s become by violently beating criminals to a pulp.

What made this week’s episode especially satisfying was the inclusion of Tatsu Yamashrio’s costumed persona, Katana. When the team makes their way to Nanda Parbat to put an end to Ra’s al Ghul’s plans, Tatsu joins them in her full Katana attire. We’re then treated to fun action sequences as the team faces off against assassins. Felicity even humorously uses her tablet as a weapon and Ray Palmer/The Atom flies through and blows up a jet. When it was originally announced that the DC character, Katana, would join the show I was happy to hear it, but as this season has progressed we have barely had a chance to see her. She has appeared more often in the flashback sequences lately, but never in costume until now. I have to say she looks pretty much on point with her actual comic book appearance.

As the battle between Team Arrow and the League ensues, a very emotional confrontation between Tatsu and Maseo occurs. Tatsu is given no choice but to kill her husband. His death is tragic, yet bittersweet as he is finally released of his obligation to the league. As Tatsu holds her dead husband in her arms, the death mirrors that of their son’s as Tatsu heartbreakingly sobs and sings. A lot of credit has to go to Rila Fukushima for her performance.

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Team Arrow is later captured as their mission to destroy the Alpha/Omega fails. Ollie continues to put on his ruse, pretending to be loyal to Ra’s. By the end of the episode Merlyn reveals to Ra’s that Ollie is a traitor, leading to Ollie having to prove himself yet again to Ra’s by releasing the Alpha/Omega in the cell containing his friends. While this serves as a cliffhanger, we all know that his friends won’t actually die, even without watching the promo for next week’s episode. That being said, Ollie is certainly putting his friends though a lot of emotional turmoil just to carry out his plan. I’m sure by the end of the season all will work out, but his friends are probably going to have a difficult time readjusting to being Team Arrow again.

Knowing that Ollie is faking his allegiance to Ra’s, we most don’t have to worry much about his marriage to Nyssa bearing any weight in the series. The marriage subplot did allow for some good scenes between Nyssa and Ra’s as Nyssa continues to display her defiance towards her father’s demands. Perhaps Ollie should have let her in on the plan as well. It would be nice for him to have some additional backup.

Overall “This Is Your Sword” was a terrific episode filled with some solid twists, fun action, and emotional character moments. The flashback scenes now feel more in line with the present-day scenes, making them feel more pivotal to the overall plot. The flashback scenes also demonstrate how catastrophic the Alpha/Omega actually is, raising the stakes for present-day story line. Let’s hope Team Arrow is able to prevent Ra’s from unleashing this horror onto Starling City.

Next week it all comes to an end as Arrow‘s season three finale commences. Check out The CW’s extended trailer for “My Name Is Oliver Queen” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “This Is Your Sword” in the comments.

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