Oliver and Team Arrow find themselves racing against time to stop Ra’s al Ghul from destroying Starling City. But can they save the day?
Let’s be honest – this is not Arrow’s strongest finale. I say that with bias, I loved season 2. I think season 2 was perhaps the best step-up in quality that something I’ve watched has ever made. Though if you read around the internet, a lot of people weren’t happy with that one, so I don’t envy the job of people who write these things for a living.
So Oliver’s deception is revealed in the first few minutes. Hmm, wasn’t expecting it to happen so quickly, but in a way it’s relieving because Evil Oliver was getting boring. We also learn that the League doesn’t like to equip its planes with more than one parachute. Then, shocker, it turns out Ra’s was trying to kill two birds with one stone. He still planned for Oliver to take his place, but was also looking to kill Damien Darhk. It’s a bit of a back-door plot point that will likely come up next season.
The Flash also pops into say hi. It’s kind of like a drive-by, blink and you’ll miss it. He sets Team Arrow free before returning to Central to do battle with Dr Wells. It’s a welcome appearance, though one can’t help but wonder if the fastest man alive would have been able to solve the whole Ra’s thing in minutes.
Anyway, there’s action to be had this week. Nothing spectacular. Even Oliver’s rematch against Ra’s doesn’t have the drama or tension of the first go-around. It’s also fricking confusing because they’re wearing the same outfit and the fight takes place at night. So what you want about Deathstroke’s costume, but at least you knew it was him.
I think the main problem season 3 has had is trying to have its cake and eat it too. Setting up for spin-offs and lip-servicing The Flash has meant a lot of clutter. It doesn’t help that the need for flashbacks is apparently enough to force them into episodes that may well have benefited from not. Granted there was some variation in who’s flashbacks we saw, perhaps doing that more frequently might have made things less tiresome in that sense.
On the plus side, Oliver gets a happy ending. Well, I’m very much guessing it won’t be long until he is forced to return to Starling City. While we’re there, how is he funding his cross country drive with Felicity? He has no company to run and I don’t think vigilantism pays that well. Malcolm Merlyn’s prospects are looking a lot better; as the new Ra’s al Ghul! I honestly didn’t see that coming. I assumed he’d be the character offed in this finale (the writer’s promised it, and I thought with Ra’s it was a given that he was going down).
Diggle and Oliver are all right, but they probably shouldn’t hang out anymore. There’s been repairable damage done to the friendship. Do I think Diggle needs to chill? A little. He’s forgiven his wife for similar deceptions in their line of work, and he’s been known to call Oliver ‘brother’. Ray Palmer finds himself in one of those lab accidents that seem to target comic book heroes. Doubtless this is gearing up for his part in the new spin-off show, wherein which he’ll become a full adaptation of the Atom.
Thea may well have turned out best here, finally donning the Red Arrow suit and probably becoming the new face of Team Arrow. Laurel and her father probably still have a lot of bridges to build, but at least there’s progress here as they confront each other about hard truths. Nyssa doesn’t really have an ending of her own, only the promise of vengeance for Sara. Considering the latter’s appearance in the afore-mentioned spin-off, is Sara going to check in and let these people know she’s all right?
Despite it’s many flaws, season 3 has had many moments where it truly shines. This finale might not be the best we’ve had so far, but it could have been a lot worse, and was at least entertaining to watch. Hopefully Flash gives back some of the writers.
Can Arrow bring it back for season 4? Will Malcolm go more mad with power? Let us know what you think in the comments below…