It's Arrow Round Table time again!
This week, we tackle Arrow Season 3 Episode 22 - and that means digging into Oliver's reveal and how his team took the news (not so well), why Felicity is suddenly ALWAYS IN THE FIELD, what the wedding might mean for the future and what's ahead in the finale.
Join TV Fanatics Lindsay MacDonald, Allison Nichols, Hank Otero, Carla Day and Carissa Pavlica in the discussion. Pop your thoughts into the comments and get the party started!
Oliver Queen has not been broken. React.
Lindsay: I hate to be wrong, but it looks like this was all just a long con. Damn! Still, something tells me Oliver is a little off. He's taking the ruse farther than we've ever known him to take it (kidnapping Lyla, marrying Nyssa, and "poisoning" his friends), so some of his relationships might not return to normal when he does.
Allison: While he hasn't been broken by the League, he did still have to break a bit in order to pull it off. Oliver had to convince Ra's that he was not attached to any of his friends, and that could not have been easy to do. Oliver lost a part of himself when he joined the League. It just wasn't his whole identity like we were lead to believe.
Hank: I knew it! He's our hero, how is Ra's going to get the better of him? Lindsay is absolutely correct though, some of his friends will never forgive him for what he's done. I think it's going to be a struggle, especially for Diggle. It's a shame we're left thinking everyone is poisoned at the end, then the promo for next week reveals they're all fine and planning their next move. What a waste of a great cliffhanger right?
Carla: I never thought he had been broken, so I'm glad I was right. It makes for a much more interesting story that Oliver is trying to play the great Ra's al Ghul. While I agree with Hank that the teaser spoiled the cliffhanger, there was no way that everyone in that room was dead or that Oliver would allow them to be killed. So that didn't really bother me much.
Carissa: It didn't make sense that he could be broken so quickly. Maybe in months, but not weeks. I'm also still not a fan of the lack of trust between everyone. It seems like we go through this too much. Nothing will kill a team more swiftly than lack of trust, and not the kind were Oliver has to keep a deadly secret to make a plan stick, just like the team did with Roy weeks earlier, either.
What left the biggest impression on you from "This is Your Sword?"
Lindsay: The moment where Nyssa tries to stab Oliver at the altar really hit me. She'd been building to this last ditch effort all episode, and his swift and sure block just kind of killed all the hope in her eyes. It was a really moving moment, seeing the two of them resolve themselves to the union at the last second like that.
Allison: Oliver being confused when Diggle wasn't totally on board. Oliver, sweetheart, you should have realized that your friends weren't all going to believe things that came out of Malcolm Merlyn's mouth. I expected Oliver to be more aware that his friends would have issues believing it was all a con. He knew that he would have to lose everything to beat Ra's, but somehow he still expected his team to fall in line no questions asked.
Hank: The wedding was impressive to me. I was hoping it would actually take place, and that Oliver and Nyssa came to some kind of understanding. The Nanda Parbat sets have been phenomenal this season and this episode had tons of extras. The scale was massive, probably a nice chunk of their budget for the year. I can't imagine how they're going to top this one in the finale, but you know they always do.
Carla: While I understand Oliver's friends having a difficult time believing the ruse, I'm disappointed they believed Oliver could be brainwashed so easily. He's OLIVER. They can be upset about his decision to keep it from them, but they did the same thing with Roy's plan to take the fall. And in this situation, Oliver had more reason to keep it from them. I'm impressed by Oliver's dedication to the plan.
Carissa: I agree with Carla, as noted above. For me it was the little things meaning so much. The quick travel, the over the shoulder bag being carrying so much with so little room inside. The more fanciful the plot the less tolerance I have for the mundane also becoming so unrealistic. I need something real to hold onto no matter how silly it seems to everyone else.
There has been a trend and it is that Felicity often finds herself in battles with no field training whatsoever. Thoughts?
Lindsay: Oh, gosh. I appreciated that she didn't just randomly disappear off screen like she usually does, but it's getting harder and harder to believe that she's escaping these situations unscathed. I did, however, absolutely adore the moment when she threw her tablet and thought she actually beat a guy. Watching him fall over with an arrow in his back (and her subsequent disappointment) was hilarious.
Allison: I'm with Lindsay. I like that Felicity has been there and not magically whisked away every time a fight breaks out. Typically, it isn't hard to believe that Diggle and Laurel hold off the attackers while Felicity does her thing, but there were way too many League members around to believe that they all mostly ignored Felicity's presence. Maybe Nyssa can train Felicity next.
Hank: Honestly, I just suspend my disbelief. The fact our heroes manage to beat these well-trained assassins is pretty silly anyway. Arrow has become more comic-booky than ever this season, but that's okay there have been some fun moments.
Carla: I loved when she thought she got the guy with her tablet. That was awesome. She needs to get a little more training if she's going to be out in the field. At the same time, she's needed behind a computer because that's where she can help the team the most and where she belongs.
Carissa: Everyone gives Felicity a pass for being out and about but got angry that Laurel was getting training to hit the streets (she didn't ask to team up). Felicity is a hindrance in the field and bopping people on the head and tossing tablets on them may be cute, but at some point she should get terribly wounded.
The wedding was carried out. What's next?
Lindsay: Wrong again, I'm 0 for 2! If Nyssa survives the finale, then this marriage is surely going to be a point of tension next season. It's not a REAL marriage per se – I didn't see any contracts signed! – but they're still connected in a big way, even if they don't want to be.
Allison: I'm so happy to see more of this weird marriage. I think it would be interesting to watch Oliver and Nyssa attempt to be partners, even if it is just out in the field. Next up, Oliver has to somehow tell Nyssa his grand scheme of taking down the League and hope that she is on board.
Hank: Perhaps Al Sah-him leaves his wife behind running League business? I honestly have no idea how Oliver is getting out of this one. It's not like they're going to kill off Ra's al Ghul. You know what I mean? The storyline has been a bit nonsensical this season, so anything goes I guess.
Carla: Are they REALLY married? I mean, they didn't sign any legal documents that I saw. Was it more ceremony than anything? Either way, it's gonna get good now!
Carissa: Agreed that it's likely not legally binding because who popped down to the local government to register it? However, I really like the idea of what it can represent for the League and a new beginning to what was a less than pleasant entity. Time will tell if Oliver and Nyssa see the same opportunity.
What are your final thoughts leading into the finale?
Lindsay: With the Alpha-Omega all used up on Team Arrow (but not really? maybe?) I'm not sure how Ra's plans to destroy Starling. And what on earth is Barry doing in the promo for next week? It's all very mysterious, but mostly, I'm just ready for this shaky season to close out. Better luck next year, Arrow!
Allison: Okay, one upside of the flashbacks is that we saw how people acted when infected by the Alpha and Omega. None of them seemed to go to sleep, so the team wasn't really infected, right? I really hope we don't have to endure horribly boring flashbacks next season.
Hank: Does Barry rush into that room and save Team Arrow? Was that part of Oliver's plan all along? This season has been incredibly shaky, as Lindsay mentioned, but the best moments for me have been the crossovers. With the Flash making an appearance next week, I should be good. This is the first season I'm ready for the show to go on hiatus. I'm hoping the writing team regroups and plans a less experimental storyline for next season.
Carla: I'm just irritated that the finale is pre-empted in Chicago. Seriously, the finale. It's not airing her until Sunday. Rant over. I really have no idea or expectations for the finale. I hope it goes back to Starling City. Arrow should be about the city and not Nanda Parbat. Will The Flash reverse time? That's the big question on the table for me. Will any of this even matter?
Carissa: I just hope it's as good as promised. I've never been as wowed by an episode as those involved have lead me to believe I should be. One thing is certain. I'm not reading one more single solitary thing leading up to the finale because it will just ruin it for me. They really need to stop dripping out the entire plot by way of quotes and crap before hand. It's a terrible idea.
And here is your first look at Arrow Season 3 Episode 23:
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.