Review: Arrow Episode 22 & 23

by David Hestand III
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The final two episodes of Arrow look a little better when paired together.  Much like last years finale, this one feels better merged together.  That said, it was still not the best Arrow outing.

In “This is Your Sword,” the team went after Oliver after Malcolm revealed it was all a ruse by Oliver.  The team had an extra member in the form of Katana.  The showdown outside Nanda Parbat featured plenty of action and a bit of humor.  The standout of all of it was Tatsu vs. Maseo with an honorable mention going to the most Felicity moment we’ve had like all year with the tablet throw.  Inside, they learned of the plan to destroy Starling and were betrayed by Malcolm.  The (completely killed by the preview) cliffhanger showed Oliver using the virus on his former friends.

“My Name is Oliver Queen” was a fast-paced run through Ra’s al Ghul’s final plan to take down Starling.  Oliver and Nyssa turned on the Demon’s Head in the first few minutes, though he escaped to start his plan.  The team was forced to spread out to save the city.  This action featured a suited up Thea and Black Canary and Nyssa teaming up some more.  Atop the local dam, Ra’s and Oliver had a sword duel to the death.  One died and the other was shot and saved by Felicity in the ATOM suit.

The last moments gave us a few twists and teases.  Diggle may just be suiting up soon (Guardian anyone?).  Malcolm is the new Ra’s al Ghul.  Palmer tech exploded (check out the Legends of Tomorrow trailer for more on that).  A happy Oliver and Felicity rode off into the sunset.


Tatsu and Maseo were the standout of everything.  Their relationship flow was one of the most powerful of the emotional cores of this season.  Tatsu singing to her dying husband was something truly moving.  Next best relationship highlight goes to Thea and Roy, as it was excellent to see them get to reunite.  Him passing the suit better just be symbolic, as I desperately want the two Speedys working together at some point.

The action in the finale was fun as well, even though it was against quite a few nameless foes.  Now this great action was mostly in stopping the virus-infected assassins.  The fight between Oliver and Ra’s was cool, but flawed (more on that later).

The final twists were some of the best moments.  First off, the idea of making Malcolm Ra’s is a bit ludicrous, but also exciting to see where this deal with the devil ends up down the line.  Maybe he resurrects a certain someone to appease Nyssa?  But the biggest thing here is a happy Oliver.  Are we soon to see the wise-cracking crusader of comic book history that Green Arrow truly is?  Time will tell.


The Oliver is lying thing came out far too quickly.  Condensing the entire Oliver in the League arc into four episodes just didn’t end well for them and made the story seem extremely rushed.  This rang even more true in the finale as the final plan was too rushed to have much resonance.

The fight between Ra’s and Oliver was tremendously hard to follow.  After how incredible the first fight was this one was killed by them wearing the exact same outfit.  You couldn’t remotely tell who was who.  Kind of a recurring problem on this show.  Why did they have to put Ra’s in the same outfit as Oliver.  Also, since when is the League armour bulletproof?  Especially against that size of rounds.

Felicity’s actions in the finale were just ridiculous.  First in her outright selfishness of choosing Oliver over the city, but it was worsened in her lightning-fast learning of how to work the ATOM suit.  The first was just annoying, but the second was just cringeworthy.

The Verdict

Arrow had yet another terrorist attack finale.  This time it set-up a nice future, but had little to offer in the meantime.


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