Arrow, S3 Ep23 – My Name Is Oliver Queen

Arrow‘s third season comes to a close in the appropriately titled season finale, “My Name Is Oliver Queen”. After spending the last few episodes faking his allegiance to Ra’s al Ghul, Ollie breaks free from his Al Sah-him persona in the hopes of stopping Ra’s from destroying Starling City with the Alpha/Omega virus. Meanwhile, his friends who were seemingly infected with the virus in the conclusion of “This Is Your Sword” are alive and well and ready to join the fight.

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The Flash comes to the rescue

Last week’s episode lacked suspense in its final scene, as we all figured Team Arrow wouldn’t be killed off by Ollie himself. As it turns out everyone was inoculated beforehand by Malcolm Merlyn. With that out of the way they just needed some way of getting out of Ra’s al Ghul’s prison. It’s a good thing there’s another show on The CW starring a certain scarlet speedster who was able to run to Nanda Parbat and save them. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay and help in their fight for Starling due to his own issues in Central City. While Grant Gustin’s Barry is always fun to see on screen, especially on Arrow where he is in stark contrast from everyone else, his inclusion in the season finale just seems like a lazy way of progressing the plot.

Everyone who enjoyed seeing Tatsu Yamashiro suit up in her Katana attire and fight alongside Team Arrow last week should be sad to see that that was probably the last we’ll ever see of her. In this episode she decides not to join the fight for Starling and ends up going back into seclusion. Katana is a great character from the comics and one with deep roots in the Green Arrow mythos. It’s unfortunate that we saw so little of her early on in this season and when we finally get to see her suit up, it’s over almost immediately after. It would be nice to see make a return in Arrow‘s fourth season or even DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but if not at least we’ll get to see another version of her next year in Suicide Squad.

The meat of this season finale was enjoyable to watch as Team Arrow, Ray Palmer/The Atom included, worked together to take down Ra’s al Ghul’s soldiers who were actually infected with the Alpha/Omega virus. What was probably most enjoyable was seeing Diggle punch Ollie in the face for all of the things he’s done to them in order to gain Ra’s al Ghul’s trust. Also, Nyssa al Ghul has some bad-ass moments taking down multiple assassins on an aircraft. Of course a season finale of Arrow wouldn’t be complete without Felicity giving her annual inspiration speech for Ollie so he could rise up and defeat the bad guy, but this is getting a little tired.

In the midst of this battle we find out that one of the reasons Ra’s is trying to destroy Starling City is as a means of killing Damien Darhk. Darhk was briefly mentioned in a previous episode as someone from Ra’s al Ghul’s past who rivaled him for his mantle. While Darhk could be a good addition to the Arrow-verse, especially considering his ties to H.I.V.E. in the comics (a plot thread left dangling since season two), we still have not seen this character and the mention of him almost feels shoehorned into this season finale.

The final battle between Ra’s and Ollie is enjoyable for the most part, but a bit anti-climatic towards the end. Ollie just kills Ra’s and accepts the mantle from him. What bothered me about this final battle is the fact that Ollie killed Ra’s. What made last season’s finale so good was the fact that Ollie was able to outsmart Deathstroke and find a way to beat him without killing him. This ending just erases everything Ollie has fought so hard to try and not be. He just gives in and realizes that killing Ra’s is the only way out of this problem. There was a great moment afterwards, though, as Ollie is shot down by police and falls off the dam they were fighting. Felicity actually swoops in in Ray Palmer’s A.T.O.M. exo-suit and saves him from his fall.

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Kneel before Ra’s!

I have mixed feelings about the ending of “My Name Is Oliver Queen”. On the one hand, even though I was never an Olicity shipper, it’s nice seeing the two of them drive off into the sunset and have a happy ending. Also, so much of this season has dealt with Ollie being afraid of depending on his friends for help, so it was also nice seeing that he’s decided to drop the mantle and let his friends take care of Starling in his absence.

What bothered me about the ending was what happens with Malcolm Merlyn. As Merlyn has been helping Ollie this whole time, Ollie completes the end of his bargain by giving Malcolm the mantle of Ra’s al Ghul. It would have been much more fitting and satisfying if Ollie made Nyssa the new leader of the League of Assassins, as she is the most rightful heir. While Merlyn has been a great villain since season one and John Barrowman’s charisma has made him a joy to watch on screen, he has never felt like someone who can be redeemed and doesn’t deserve a happy ending. He’s killed hundreds of people, including Laurel’s sister and Nyssa al Ghul’s former lover, Sara Lance. He deserves to be locked away in Ollie’s A.R.G.U.S. prison on Lian Yu, not ruling the League of Assassins. Also, seeing Nyssa kneel before him does not fit her character at all. If she wasn’t willing to stand by her father when he decided to make Ollie his heir, there’s no reason she would be willing to stand by the man who had her girlfriend murdered.

Overall, Arrow had a strong, enjoyable third season despite its faults, but this season finale was disappointing. Despite some great action and brief enjoyable character moments, this didn’t feel that much different from last season’s finale. It was just another battle to save Starling City from being destroyed. At least Captain Lance was able to joke around about it saying, “It must be May”, which kind of shows us that the writers/producers know how similar it is. At least next season should be very different, as producer Marc Guggenheim has promised a lighter tone. And even though actor Stephen Amell states he’s done wearing the Arrow suit, I’m sure he’ll be back in green next season. Also don’t worry about Ray. I’m pretty sure he didn’t die in that explosion.

So, what did you think about Arrow’s third season finale or third season as a whole? Was it everything you hoped for? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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