TV - Arrow Season 3, Episode 23

Arrow

The Finale is upon us! Steve Taylor-Bryant with his thoughts on My Name is Oliver Queen…

“Ibn Sirin once wrote there are three types of dreams - there are ones about truth, there are ones about desire, and there are ones about temptation. What did you dream of?”

Well, I dreamt of an exciting end to a season that seems to have completed the Oliver Queen origin story once and for all and is ready for a fresh take in season 4. Did I dream it or did it happen?

Ra’s and his new heir embark on their pre-honeymoon mass murder venture as TeamArrow wake up from supposed death to find Malcolm explaining that Oliver had used his own blood to formulate a vaccine. They are still, however, trapped in a cell as genocide is about to occur on their home town. Enter Barry Allen as The Flash to rescue them and explain that Oliver is going to need them all, except for Tatsu who decides she has done enough and wants to go back to her hermit like existence. The plane carrying the evil ones to Starling City blows an engine and Ra’s immediately expects it to have been Nyssa’s fault but, surprisingly for Ra’s, Oliver admits to the sabotage. Ra’s reminds him he is now an Al Ghul but Oliver exclaims “My Name Is Oliver Queen”. Ra’s leaps to safety with the only parachute and Nyssa and Oliver must crash land.

TeamArrow regroups at Palmer Technologies where Nyssa and Oliver are waiting to talk to them, after Diggle has finished beating and swearing at Oliver. Oliver explains the whole thing was a plan and he didn't know how to apologise, as he was supposed to die in the plane with Ra’s so now there was no plan and very little time to save the city. To try and track Ra’s, the team decide to kidnap Damien Darhk who is bound to be Ra’s main target, in hopes to draw out the Demon. However Ra’s is one step ahead of the intrepid gang and lets it be known he has unleashed four carriers of the virus into Starling City.

Felicity tries to draw up a way of tracking the virus via its radiation signature and Laurel rushes to Police Headquarters to warn her father, where she discovers Captain Lance has well and truly fallen off the wagon. Oliver is having doubts that can defeat Ra’s but, after explaining a dream that he wins and rides off into the sunset with Felicity, the computer nerd brings him coffee and gives him a pep talk. They finally track the four people carrying the virus. Diggle attacks the first but it goes badly and Diggle is about to be killed when Thea wearing the Arsenal costume turns up and shoots arrows into the baddie. The virus is released when blood hits the air though so the mini celebration is short lived.

Oliver and Ra’s meet at the dam for a final confrontation, a fight to the death and Oliver manages to dispatch the Demon with his own sword before the SCPD turn up and shoot Oliver who goes tumbling off the edge of the dam. Before he crashes to obvious death though he is caught by Felicity wearing the A.T.O.M suit. Oliver decides that the team no longer need him so he is leaving Starling City and taking Felicity with him, just before keeping his end of the bargain he made with Malcolm Merlyn for his support… Making the Dark Archer the new Ra’s Al Ghul!

So much to love about Season 3. The Ra’s story was superbly played out and the role of Ra’s was cast very well with Matt Nable and Katrina Law as Nyssa playing convincing bad guys. Brandon Routh was a breath of fresh air as Ray Palmer/A.T.O.M and brought a level of humour to show that seemed reserved only for The Flash before now and his inclusion in the forthcoming Legends of Tomorrow makes that show all the more exciting. Thea and Laurel finally became essential characters, Diggle came into his own as did Roy, and Felicity pleased as Emily Bett Rickards usually does. But it is Stephen Amell and John Barrowman that deserve the credit for upping the ante on screen and dragging season 3 kicking and screaming into the realms of brilliant television. Amell was convincing as he changed from Oliver to ‘Something Else’ and it was nice to see him play the bad guy albeit briefly, and Barrowman just entertained from beginning to end and now has the power that his character always wanted, which hopefully cements Barrowman’s inclusion in the future of the multi-universe that The CW are creating.

There were of course a few flaws in the writing, the flashbacks have become beyond annoying now, although they made more sense in the present world this season than the previous two, and Nanda Parbat seemed too easy to get to from Starling City, and too easy to penetrate. There was again a lot of kidnapping and capturing and that trait needs to stop for season 4, no one is that unlucky no matter what their career path, and what happens to Oliver and Nyssa’s marriage? Are they still betrothed or does Malcolm get Nyssa now as his new role? And where did the flat broke Oliver get the money for the Porsche he drove away in? But all in all a fantastic end to a very strong season of a show that is constantly learning and improving. Bring on Season 4.

Image - IMDb.