Arrow Review and Easter Eggs – “My Name is Oliver Queen” S3E23

This season of Arrow has been jam-packed with so much character development, action, death and surprises, but when the credits rolled on another season of the show, I was a little more relieved than I was saddened. Whether it’s been the show’s fault or my own, Season 3 just has not been as engaging as Season 2. That’s not to say Arrow hasn’t been good, or even spectacular, but the story felt so recycled that it wasn’t fun to watch at times. Regardless, the reign of the old Ra’s al Ghul is at an end, and with Oliver riding off into the sunset, there are too many unanswered questions and happy endings for this finale to sit well with me.

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Arrow — “My Name is Oliver Queen” — Image AR323C_0179b — Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Ra’s is ba’dass: Let’s talk about that time that Ra’s beat the crap out of Oliver and Nyssa WITH the Alpha-Omega bioweapon, and then jumped out of a crashing plane, all without any visible means to get on the ground safely. Maybe the dude’s a Transformer, or he turns into a bat on a whim.

Failed this city: The callback to the first time Oliver used his favorite catchphrase was appropriately timed. Although, it revealed something a little deeper about his psyche. He went full Huck (from Scandal) on Shrieve, torturing him for unleashing the bioweapon on Hong Kong. It was a little weird that he tortures Shrieve and then is like, “yeah, maybe I’ll use that from now on,” but whatever.

Laurel: Until she can really carry a story on her own, I like my Laurel in small doses. Her appearance in “My Name is Oliver Queen” was strictly business. I liked that she showed up, kicked some butt, and then scolded her dad for relapsing. I might be coming around to how I feel about Canary. Baby steps.

Olicity: Finally! Cut the charades, stop the teasing. Just let those two crazy kids be together. Felicity was so set on rescuing Oliver that she sincerely asked Ray to stop his work at neutralizing the virus to save Ollie. 1000’s of people < Oliver Queen… Sucks to be Ray. She would not do that for you, buddy. Felicity and Ray actually make for one heavy-hitting tech team, though – great teamwork until Oliver’s safety was involved.

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Arrow — “My Name is Oliver Queen” — Image AR323B_0282b — Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak — Photo: Liane Hentscher/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Speedy: Thea’s appearance as the Red Arrow is pretty amazing. I wasn’t expecting to see it unfold so soon, but when it did, the payoff was great! I’m looking forward to seeing Thea really get into the action next season. While this does mean the official end for Roy in the show, I’m sure Thea will make a swell Red Arrow.

Swash-buckling madness: It’s a bit different than a degenerate army of drugged up super-baddies, but there’s a bit of poetry to the mano y mano showdown. It especially makes sense since the consequential events in the show are dependent on there being no League witnesses. Whatever the case, it was fun to see another Ra’s vs. Oliver sword fight.

Wrapped in a bow (and arrow): The season ends perfectly. It’s rare that a show will choose to end its season in harmonious conclusion and not on some ridiculous cliff-hanger; Arrow closes out this season than most shows wrap up their entire series. Oliver has shed his former identity, and become someone else… some… thing else.

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Arrow — “My Name is Oliver Queen” — Image AR323A_0302b — Pictured (L-R): Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer, David Ramsey as John Diggle, John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Barry’s cameo: While the dungeon jokes were hilarious, Oliver definitely got the short end of the stick when it came to cross-show cameos. Thanks for tying up those guards, Barry, but what about the DEADLY SUPER-VIRUS about to be unleashed on our city? No? It’s not like I took out your arch nemesis for you or anything…  What I’m mostly unsatisfied with is the lack of cohesion behind the cameo. How the hell did Oliver stop by in Central City without Ra’s noticing? Eh, it’s showbiz, I suppose.

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Arrow — “My Name is Oliver Queen” — Image AR323A_0220b — Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Random complaints: These guys are basically like Amish ninjas. How do they have these fancy ass jets? Why did Oliver blow his cover so quickly? couldn’t he have just stolen the virus at an opportune time and then destroyed it, or unleashed it mid-flight since he was immune (screw Nyssa)? Sure, Diggle is upset with Oliver, but he became uncontrollably emotional about it, and it was kind of annoying. He may have said “We have bigger problems than hurt feelings and broken trust,” but he is cosmically butt-hurt about this whole wife kidnapping thing.

The feels: Called it! Oliver was going to solve all his problems with the power of feelings. I half laughed, half threw up in my mouth when Felicity told Oliver that letting himself have feelings is the key to beating Ra’s. What is this sh*t, Care Bears? Apparently feelings can stop sniper rifle bullets, too. And they taught Felicity how to fly Ray’s suit. Maybe one day I shall have feelings strong enough to make me stop rolling my eyes at CW shows.

Easter Eggs:

Oliver Queen 101: A little comic book history here, but in issue #101 of Green Lantern, Oliver sacrifices himself to destroy a bioweapon by blowing up the airplane its housed in. We’re all thankful it didn’t end up that way on the show; perhaps the happy ending was to get a second chance with that story – showing that Ollie needs the help of his team.

More Damian Darhk: He almost makes an appearance this episode, but we get the creepy butler from Mr. Deeds instead. Merlyn’s position in the League will surely be challenged by Darhk – either that, or he will descend on Starling with H.I.V.E. because of some beef he has with Oliver (either because he took Oliver’s shot at vengeance, or out of some odd loyalty to Ra’s). What we do know is that he will be causing problems in Season 4.

Nelson Plaza: At the recent Philadelphia Wizard ConArrow star Stephen Amell has been making waves with a possible Constantine crossover. One of the most associative comic book characters in Constantine is Doctor Fate himself, Kent Nelson. Coincidence? Probably, but you never know.

4 instruments of death: It’s not exactly an Easter Egg, but Ra’s plan to unleash the deadly bio-weapon with four vessels could be symbolic of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Just picking up crumbs, here.

Andreyko was his name-o: Before getting called out by his daughter for drinking on the job, Captain Lance is complaining about the Andreyko case. Writer Marc Andreyko created the Kate Spencer version of Manhunter, who Laurel’s story is following almost to the letter. Not to go all Freud on this thing, but Quentin may have some daughter issues.

Name dropping the big guns: Where could Ollie find the bioweapon? Oh, I don’t know, around the corner of Adams and O’Neil. Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil deserve all the inspirational credit in the world for Ra’s al Ghul in this season, as a considerable amount of the events in the show came directly from their pages. Adams and O’Neil also tag-teamed the Green Lantern/Green Arrow book that was so popular in the 80’s.

Red Arrow: This is a no duh at this point, but I like that Thea used a color to describe her alter-ego. This should lead Oliver, upon his return, to go as the Green Arrow.


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Arrow — “My Name is Oliver Queen” — Image AR323B_0351b — Pictured: John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn — Photo: Liane Hentscher/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Created using

Sins of the Father: This has been a reoccurring theme in the series, starting with Robert Queen, then with the death of Tommy Merlyn, and now continuing with Ra’s al Ghul (what was his name before that? Ted?) and Nyssa. However, when will it be time for Oliver’s actions to make an impact on his child? That’s right; we didn’t forget about Connor Hawke and neither should you. Nothing tests the waters of a new relationship like a bastard child.

Ra’s al Bugle: With his last dying breath, Ra’s (Ted) gives Oliver the symbolic jewelry piece, which he hands over to Malcolm Merlyn, who assumes the mantle. It makes all of Merlyn’s motives perfectly clear, but it doesn’t really explain whether we should still be cheering for him anymore or not. There’s no way this is it for the League’s storyline. I mean, Nyssa is still technically married to Oliver (not by law or anything silly like that, but in the eyes of Nanda Parbat), so he still has ties to the League. Something tells me that Merlyn is going to be a much greater evil than the previous Ra’s ever was.

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Going Green: The CW is really leaning in with Coast City references. I swear, if they shove Green Lantern any further down my throat, my butt will be glowing green. With the way the new Supergirl trailer showed CGI, I’m a little… apprehensive about metahuman powers. Honestly, the way they showed Green Lantern’s powers in the big-budget Ryan Reynold’s film had me cringing, so I’m just as nervous as I am excited.

Short-lived felicity for Felicity: Felicity finally got what she wanted, but don’t expect that happiness to last long with a bastard kid and estranged wife to worry about. Felicity has resigned from her position (What were those Transfer of Ownership papers all about??) and Ray blowed himself up (or did he blow himself down… to size), so she’s in the area of no return when it comes to love. I don’t think it will go quite the direction of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, where the love interest ends up being an evil fembot sent to kill our hero, but is it possible that Felicity has been working for H.I.VE. all along? What a tweeeest!

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This relationship is f*cked.

Hush Comics gives “My Name is Oliver Queen” an A- for doing season finales right. The end of this season could have very well served as the series’ finale, but we’re glad there is another year of this to look forward to.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment and are credited to Cate Cameron, Liane Hentscher

Arrow Review – “This is Your Sword” S3E22

The end of the third season of Arrow is finally upon us, and CW is really pulling out all the stops. Oliver is preparing to become Son of the Demon, all the while keeping a genocide from hitting his city. The theme of the episode is best-described as defining identities. Many of the characters were faced with tough decisions that would define them as characters. There was also a shotgun wedding where the bride tried to stab the groom. In other words, “This is Your Sword” was an action-packed and insightful watch, much more true to the show we know and love.


So the flashbacks DO have a purpose: After nearly half a season of seemingly meaningless flashbacks, there is finally some depth and mystery behind what the heck happened after Akio died. General Shrieve is an evil S.O.B. and his conflict with Amanda Waller should make for some good story-telling going forward. Also, how the heck did Maseo end up with the bio-weapon, and finally, his acceptance to the League?

Arrow -- "This is Your Sword" -- Image AR322B_0011b -- Pictured (L-R): Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro, and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “This is Your Sword” — Image AR322B_0011b — Pictured (L-R): Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro, and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Laurel’s stock continues to rise: If you’d have told me two seasons ago that Laurel would be a more likable character than Felicity, I would have thought you were crazy. However, Laurel was awesome in this episode. She kicked butt, frankly. Her fighting skills were awesome, and she reacted to the situation in ways that make sense.

Tatsu-Maseo showdown: Finally! The Katana-Sarab fight we’ve all been waiting for. Oh man, the pain, the struggle… The entire episode could have been centered around these two and I would have been happy, but the bit we did see was a major highlight for me.  I was a bit disappointed when Maseo took his Scorpion mask off to fight. In my head, Tatsu said, in a sexy voice, “no, keep it on.”

Roy’s cameo: Imagine my surprise when Roy’s appearance actually added value to the show! I was convinced this would be an excuse for Thea for pine over Roy’s absence. However, it ended up being a refreshing talk with Thea, pretty much saying, “Hey girl, respect yourself.” I didn’t find it gratuitous or cheesy, and it helped address the broken record that Thea has become these past few episodes. He also gives her back the Red Arrow suit, which is awesome! It’s so awesome that I’m not even going to address the fact that Roy and Thea wear the same size.

Merlyn: Seriously, why is this guy not in this show more? He was such a badass in “This is Your Sword.” He’s the only one not constantly whining about the current situation, and the only one with a plan. Plus, he can fight as well as, or better than, Oliver. He took out a whole mess of the League with like 5 arrows! Plus, he hurls insults with swiftness and accuracy. What about that “None of you in particular are good actors” line? Was that supposed to be meta?

Arrow -- "This is Your Sword" -- Image AR322A_0232b -- Pictured: Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “This is Your Sword” — Image AR322A_0232b — Pictured: Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Yeah, let’s not destroy Starling: We knew that once Ra’s told Oliver he would be unleashing the Alpha & the Omega on Starling, that his working contract with the League of Assassins was void. It was kinda nice to find out that the whole thing was a charade (or sha-rod, as Merlyn puts it), but nothing ever goes according to Oliver’s plans. When the League captures them all, Oliver is kind of left holding his junk in his hand. But there’s gotta be a back-up plan, right?

Ray’s character growth: Remember how much you hated this prick for taking over Queen Industries and stealing Felicity from Oliver? He has grown into the perfect Atom, and is still there for Felicity even though she broke his heart (and has a scary-sized obsession with Oliver at this point). I can’t wait for him to break off into the spin-off, because he’s going to be great.


Felicity: Is it even worth explaining anymore? She’s not about this life. Constantly complaining, never leading, and turning this whole thing about Oliver into HER loss. She did manage to fling a tablet computer into some dude’s neck; that was cool. I found myself not being very concerned if she were to have died this episode, and that makes me sad.

Arrow -- "This is Your Sword" -- Image AR322B_0244b -- Pictured: Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “This is Your Sword” — Image AR322B_0244b — Pictured: Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Canary Cry: While Cisco’s tech has made the Canary Cry a legitimate weapon, the lack of visual effects to accompany it look kinda weird. Then again, visual effects might make it look dumb, too. I’ve only really seen the Cry in comic books and animated shows, so it might not translate to live-action. It’s worth a try, though.

A.T.O.M. effects: I don’t know if it was the fact that it was daytime or lack of trying, but the CGI effects that went into his fight with the plane were awful. There’s a good chance that once we’re supposed to care about The Atom more as a character, there will be better effects, but it just was not working this time around.

Free Passes: Seriously, how many free passes are these guys gonna get? They’ve trespassed and interfered with League activity half a dozen times now, and for a guy that murders people at the slightest misstep, Ra’s has sure let it slide with these guys one too many times. It’s not that I want them murdered, by any means, but the more mulligans Team Arrow gets to try and foil his plans, the less exciting their eventual triumph will be.

Easter Eggs:

Arrow -- "This is Your Sword" -- Image AR322A_0226b -- Pictured (L-R): John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn and Matt Nable as Ra's al Ghul -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “This is Your Sword” — Image AR322A_0226b — Pictured (L-R): John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn and Matt Nable as Ra’s al Ghul — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Merlyn the Magician: During his time in the League, his name was Al Sah-Her, The Magician. He showed why in the scene where he and Oliver are sitting around the fire, and then Alakazam, he’s gone. I hope we can get a better look at his

Katana: Tatsu Yamashiro is fitting her mantle of Katana almost to a tee on Arrow. First, let’s talk about how sweet that costume looks on TV. The New52-style outfit with the rising sun is awesome! They also make some reference to her… katana… named Soultaker. In the comic books, Maseo’s brother, Takeo, was the one to slay Maseo with the sword. Tatsu believed that Soultaker’s mystic abilities allowed her to talk with her dead husband through the sword, so look for some Michonne-like (Walking Dead) moments with Katana if she continues to be a part of the show.

Ferris Air: There it is, blasted in our faces again. The company that employs the most recognizable Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, was mentioned again. There hasn’t been any official mention of Jordan, or Carol Ferris, but we’d be gosh darned if there wasn’t eventually going to be the inclusion of Green Lantern in this CW universe.

Red Hood: When Roy runs away, he goes by the pseudonym Jason. This is likely a reference to Jason Todd, the Red Hood – a formerly-resurrected Robin that spends a lot of time with Roy Harper in the comic books. They will actually be sharing the spotlight in the upcoming Red Hood/Arsenal book out in June.


Arrow -- "This is Your Sword" -- Image AR322B_00380b -- Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow — “This is Your Sword” — Image AR322B_00380b — Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak and Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What a cliff-hanger: There’s no way Ra’s just unleashed a bit of the bio-weapon into their cells, right? Oliver wouldn’t just leave his team to die in a cage while he was off to the shotgun wedding… would he? The promo for the season finale showed the crew fine and well, so there isn’t too much mystery here, but it was believable enough of a scene to make you question what’s happening.

Transfer of ownership: If I was reading that situation right, then Ray Palmer is relinquishing control of the company to….somebody? The easy answer is Felicity, but there’s a chance that the VP needed to sign off on it either way. I’m intrigued to see what happens while Ray is out galavanting. It would be cool to see Felicity in a role of power. It might make her likable again.

Hush Comics gives “This is Your Sword” a A- for turning things up a notch, keeping us guessing and really buffing up the characters who needed the most attention.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment and are credited to Dean Buscher and Cate Cameron.

Arrow Review – “Al Sah-Him” S3E21


Ever-changing intro: While it’s not that big of a deal, I like the attention to detail that the series shows by changing up the “My name is Oliver Queen” bit in the opening segment.

Al Sah-Him: Oliver’s brainwashed transformation into an agent of the League was alarming. I kinda like him better as this cold, blooded killer. A lot of the episode is spent reeling over how he’s been “lost” to Ra’s al Ghul, but I wanted to see more of the process, more of the intense training Ra’s put him through. Seeing him take care of Nyssa so easily and then swash-buckling with Diggle was great.

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House Rules: Diggle and Lyla are just the cutest couple. “No glocks at the dinner table.” Diggle has been a loyal soldier through this whole ordeal, but the moment his wife is in danger, Diggle loses his mind – in a good way. I like that Diggle has lines he won’t cross, because I was worried they made him too soft and a bit of a pushover.

Laurel: Yeah, I don’t believe I just wrote her on the positive side, either. The Black Canary is coming into her own, but it’s still in a realistic that she’s not all that good at her job. Nyssa’s training was coming along nicely. I especially liked the “This isn’t my first day” comment, because the rest of the team still sees her as a bumbling idiot. And… she can be at times, but now she’s a bumbling idiot with Cisco-grade technology. I can’t help but feel she’s trying to fill the void left by Sara with Nyssa, and it’s blinding her from reality.

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Bat-manning: If you were looking for something different out of Ra’s al Ghul, prepare yourself for complete disappointment. Arrow has stolen almost every bit of the Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams Batman legacy, and for a long time, I was completely happy with it. However, there were several “Easter Eggs” that have confirmed there will be no deviation from the original stories. And his new Christian Bale-inspired voice is dumb.

Too little, too late: Where was all this “Save Oliver” shit when he was the only one fighting? Roy Harper was the only one ready to throw down to save Oliver. Instead, everybody reacts poorly, choosing wallowing over actually helping him out. It’s all really stupid. Team Arrow (sans Diggle) spent the entire season whining about Oliver’s decisions and not helping. Now that he’s the agent of Death, basically, NOW it’s a big deal.

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Felicity. Again: I don’t know a character that has been so thoroughly deconstructed as Felicity Smoak. She’s just the worst (worse than Britta from Community, but not as bad as Barbara from Gotham). It’s like her character now exists purely to make us love Oliver. She isn’t just the damsel in distress, but completely useless without Oliver around to make her whole. Quotes like “The only reason I’ve been able to get out of bed these past few weeks” make me gag, and her selfish “there’s no way I’m getting him back” attitude is gross. It’s distasteful and I’m really sick of seeing it. Felicity is a powerhouse, a genius, and a damn fine woman. When she’s on The Flash, there’s none of this self-pitying, self-deprecating bullshit. She’s a valued scientist and a hotty that makes Barry Allen blush. Meanwhile, the way she’s written in Arrow is making me hate the show and the character.

WHO IS TAKING CARE OF THE BABY??: Solid question, right? Who is taking care of Lyla and Diggle’s baby while they are saving the city or whatever? It isn’t you or me, and it damn sure isn’t Thea.

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Easter Eggs:

Damien Darhk: The once-contender to the current Ra’s al Ghul was none other than tech-wizard and genius, Damien Darhk. In the comic books, he harnesses the mysterious powers of “Wi-Fi.” Oooh, spooky (his character was written in the late 90’s)! He’s an associate of H.I.V.E., the organization in the show that hired Deadshot to kill Andy Diggle. It’s been revealed that Darhk will become the main villain of Season 4. Yaay….

Speedy: Now that Arsenal is gone, it’s time for Thea to step up. Who cares if everybody treats her like garbage? She’s rich, bored, and ready to kick butt! The way she handled a bow and arrow in this episode proved that she has the skills and fortitude, but the red jacket and choice not to wear a crop top proves that she’s taking life more seriously now.

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Oliver & Nyssa: The pairing of the two is soooo Bruce & Talia. Ra’s al Ghul’s plan in the comic books is to breed (it’s so gross when you say it like that) Oliver and Nyssa to create the ultimate fighter guy to take Oliver’s place. There are a bunch of problems with this pairing, as Nyssa is not into this at all, and it’s not just because her dad is making her. Nyssa doesn’t seem all that into guys, as a whole. However, she and Oliver share one thing in common: Sara. Oliver and Nyssa, Eskimo siblings!

Ra’s is still insane: Hey Oliver, I know you’re having a hard time getting over your old friends and family; I know just how to fix that – let’s kill everybody in Starling City! Yeah? No? Sleep on it? This is all very familiar to Batman Begins. And it still sounds just as ridiculous now as it did ten years ago.


The feels: The way this show is going, it wouldn’t surprise me if all it took to bring Oliver we know and love back to the surface is a series of heart-felt speeches from Thea and Felicity, maybe a single glistening teardrop? Give me a break; this show is so emotional. I’m still holding out hope that Oliver is playing Ra’s and pretending this whole time, but if I was a betting man, I would say that they’re going to drag this out until Oliver has his opinions changed by a strong case of the feels.

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Oliver is not a fan of Ra’s plan: Duh. I wish there was some more believable dilemma that Oliver had to deal with, but this is what we’re stuck with. So yeah, Oliver might be Al Sah-Him, but I doubt a few weeks of brainwashing could make anybody think that unleashing a super bio-weapon on their hometown is a viable plan.

Hush Comics gives “Al Sah-Him” a C-. The grace period for stealing ideas from Batman lore is over, and the characters haven’t gotten any better written – especially Felicity. What started a great season with has gotten diluted and lazy. You can do better, Arrow.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment and are credited to Dean Buscher and Cate Cameron.

Arrow Review – “The Fallen” S3E20

It seemed like a natural progression for the show, but much of this episode was spent saying hello to Nanda Parbat and the Lazarus Pit, and goodbye to Oliver Queen as he is finally forced into a corner to accept the mantle of Ra’s al Ghul. Oliver has essentially lost Roy Harper, and his reputation in Starling City, to keep away from the League of Assassins, so it’s natural that losing Thea would be his breaking point.


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Wait, don’t die, Thea!: We all knew that Thea’s life would be leveraged with the Lazarus Pit, but once I saw her crawling for help, bloodied and dying, I started having sad thoughts. Even though I knew she would be okay, and told myself I didn’t care if she died anyway, the episode still made me feel like her life was really in the balance. That proves that the show COULD do emotion well without being an “emotional” show.

Let her go, Ray: I loved that this issue was addressed early on. Ray and Felicity have been a really fun couple to watch, especially when they appeared on The Flash in “All-Star Team Up.” However, now that Ray will be departing for his own spin-off show, it’s probably best that he isn’t weighed down by Felicity. Plus, anything other than a Felicity/Oliver pairing is just a distraction.

John Diggle (Snow): He knows nothing, or at least that’s Maseo’s impression of him. We know better, though. If there’s any constant in this show, it’s that Diggle is bound to drop some science on anybody dumb enough to say something stupid or off-kilter to him. This episode, it was Maseo, whose life choices have resulted in him strong-arming a former friend into leaving his family behind – when Oliver risked it all in order to reunite Maseo with his. That’s messed up, man.

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Matt Nable: The guy who plays Ra’s al Ghul is a man among children in this show. The presence that Ra’s has in Arrow is so smooth, and commands your attention, even when he isn’t talking. The way he shoots down Felicity’s silly threats of “going to war” with them was like Kim Possible versus Don Draper. He’s not even playing in the same ballpark anymore, kid.

Felicity and Oliver make sex: Whoo! Cable network TV sex scenes are the best. I mean, who knows if their pants were off? If Felicity says they did it, then they did it. It was sadly a goodbye bang, but it leaves us with the impression that if Ollie were to leave his life in the League of Assassins, he would be willing to make it work between he and Felicity. They share a nice TV-14 lovemaking session with plenty of back exposure. Oh yeah. And then it gets weird…

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Date rape Felicity: How awkward was it that she drugs Oliver right after sexytime with him? Now that she’s had the Arrow in her quiver, she’ll never let him go. I know it was supposed to be out of love and desperation, but it was just weird. Can you imagine how that would have gone had Oliver banged Sara and then been like, “I know you’ve got commitments to the League and shit, but you belong to me now?” Creepy.

Inconvenient travel: Why is getting to Nanda Parbat all of a sudden an issue? When Oliver and Diggle went to Nanda Parbat to rescue Merlyn, they just ran up on the place and started cappin’ fools, like it was just down the road or something. Now, to draw out this dramatic break-up between Felicity and Ray, we need some reason to use the Atom for his fancy jet. RAY PALMER DESERVES BETTER FRIENDS!

Do we need flashbacks anymore?: I understand that we need to show Amanda Waller; I know she’ll be important here sometime soon. Other than that, what are they accomplishing? Maseo told Diggle that his son dies in his arms. I don’t really need any more of an explanation than that. There are more interesting stories to be told, and the Lian Yu flashbacks worked because it WAS inherently one of those more interesting stories. Unless this somehow goes into an Outsiders tale with Tatsu, I’d rather get more details on A.R.G.U.S.; we’re gonna need some background for the movie.

Amateur Hour: Call me cynical, but there were a lot of terrible moments that made me jeer at the TV screen this week. For one, take Thea’s animalistic jump out of the Lazarus pit. This isn’t Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (is that reference still relevant?); that’s not how this show works, or has ever worked. Then there’s Felicity’s outburst to Ra’s. It’s such an outlandish reaction that Ra’s just looks at her, dumb-founded, and continues to figuratively talk her down like a granddad who has you sit on his knee while he explains how the real world works.

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Easter Eggs:

Restoring the dead: When Merlyn tells Team Arrow about the Pit’s mystic ability to restore the dead to life, two things jump out at me. One, this has to be how they will revive Sara for the spin-off. Or perhaps Nyssa already has? Either way, it’s a nice loophole for storytelling to just bring characters back to life – one that just doesn’t fly in comic books. Two, the only character I can remember being brought back from the dead by the Pit in the books is Jason Todd, the second Robin and current Red Hood. Either Sara will be an homage to this process – certainly not the first time Arrow “borrowed” Batman lore – or Roy Harper will be making some new friends off-screen in Gotham (Red Hood and Arsenal team-up in the New52 continuity).

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An actual Easter Egg for once: OMG, talk about subtlety. For the first time in nearly a decade, Ra’s al Ghul’s son is mentioned in passing. Dusan al Ghul, Ra’s’ son was rejected by the Demond Head early on because he was born an albino. In this story, though, he is part of the family (which included a sister… Talia perhaps??) that Ra’s left behind to join The League. Appropriately named, Dusan means “soul” or “spirit” in Turkish, which is essentially what Ra’s left behind to become the Demon Head.

Al Sah-Him: It’s what Ra’s refers to Oliver as multiple times in the episode, and it means “partner” in Arabic. Trust me, I’m Egyptian. And I have Google Translate. [Update: Al-Sah-Him actually means “arrow.” Thanks for the correction, harj]


The Maseo loophole: The legend of Ra’s is that whomever survives the sword of Ra’s will become Ra’s… or whatever, I paraphrased that. Point being, Oliver only survived the sword of Ra’s because of outside help. This could mean that the wedding is off. It could mean that Maseo will be murdered, and Tatsu will become Katana. It could be an awesome way to end the season without having to rely on Barry to turn back time.

Barry could turn back time: We’re hoping that the creative teams at CW didn’t waste their one magic trick by turning back time in “Out of Time.” Now we all know that, just like that, the Flash can erase whatever bad things are happening without consequence. However, any time it happens going forward will just be a cop out, so it’ll be CW’s move to convince us they can write a better story than just pretending like it never happened.

Hush Comics gives “The Fallen” a C+ for a predictable story with bad acting and fruitless flashbacks. However, it still shows us that it could be the great show it used to be with amazing performances by David Ramsey (Diggle) and Matt Nable (Ra’s). Also, Laurel was barely in it.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment and are credited to Cate Cameron.

Arrow Review – “Broken Arrow” S3E19

Arrow came back this week with a bang. There were a lot of surprises and a few disappointing moments. Let’s get to it!


Roy’s prison fight: The one thing I will miss most about Roy are his often fight scenes. His fight in the prison is one of the best I have ever scene. I could do that every week. It almost makes me sad he broke out of the prison. The only thing that was dumb was the line, “these are my arrows” because that is just silly.

Ray and Oliver: Oliver’s speech to Ray about the dangers of relying on his suit was pretty powerful, and I am sure it will prove to be important in the future. But the best part was when Oliver controlled the ATOM suit while Ray fought Deathbolt. Sweeeet!

Roy’s plan: Roy, Felicity, and Diggle planned Roy’s prison escape way before Oliver could interfere. It was a pretty brilliant plan. And since actor Colton Haynes is leaving the show, it makes a lot of sense that Roy needs to leave Starling City for good. But it is pretty sad.

Malcolm brings up a good point: Malcolm tells Oliver that his days as Arrow are over. This is the most honest thing said during the episode. Arrow cannot exist in a city that hates him. Unless Barry Allen turns back time, and then this whole season will be for naught. Also, Ra’s will start killing Ollie’s loved ones. If that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is.

Arrow - "Broken Arrow"

Ray: I was pretty annoyed with Ray at the beginning of the season. But now he is one of my favorite characters. He is a genius, but he is also happy and funny. It is rare for someone to be happy on the show. He was excited for he and Oliver to team up (which Oliver was not as excited, and a good use of humor), and he did pretty well saving the day. So when Felicity hugged Oliver just a little too tightly at the end and Ray looked hurt, I was pretty upset. Thanks for finally getting to me, Brandon Routh.

Arrow - "Broken Arrow"

Thea gets some truth: When searching her place, Detective Lance tells Thea she is either complacent or the most naïve girl he has ever met. I gotta agree there. She is both, but mostly naïve. Especially when she went all out on Ra’s at the end. What did she think was going to happen.

Arrow - "Broken Arrow"

Thea’s end: She obviously will come back in the Lazarus Pits and then be Speedy, but the fight scene and stabbing were surprising nonetheless, and in a good way.

Laurel: Because she was barely in it.


Deathbolt: It seems like a pretty big deal that A) Meta-humans are in Starling City and B) he is not a meta-human because of the particle accelerator. They barely even focused on him, and he looked like lame Cyclops.

Screwy timeline: Ray and Felicity pick up where they left off in last week’s Arrow, and don’t discuss their trip to Central City in The Flash at all. Additionally, they talk about the “love” incident. I would like to think that was talked about before they took a trip to a different city together.

The Flashbacks: I know that all the flashbacks are leading up to something big, and we have five episodes to go still, but I am getting bored of the story line. I don’t feel like it is leading anywhere as of the moment. Not to mention, Amanda Waller just isn’t believable.

Captain Lance: I understand that Captain Lance is mad about Sara. But is treatment of Team Arrow is absolutely unprofessional.

General Population: Why in the hell would a high-profile criminal like Roy be in general population? While I appreciate the prison fight scene, there is no way a guy like that would be out with the public.

Felicity needs self-defense: If Felicity is going to run off into danger, then she needs to learn to at the least break away and run. It was really frustrating watching her be choked by Deathbolt.

Easter Eggs:

Meta-human: Deathbolt got his powers when a plane he stole was struck by lightning over Arizona.


Oliver will become the demon head to bring back Thea… and others: Thea and Sara will both come back via the Lazarus Pits when Oliver finally decides that being the head of the League of Assassins is the coolest duty in the DC Universe.

Detective Lance will die: Storywise, there is nowhere for him to go. He can’t spend his whole life with a vendetta. He has got to go.


Hush Comics gives “Broken Arrow” a B+ for some really shocking and game changing moments, but for lack of detail to the smaller things.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment and are credited to Cate Cameron.

Arrow Review – “Public Enemy” S3E18

I tried to enjoy this week’s Arrow, but I just couldn’t get there. The episode came off as comically strong-handed, not very believable as far as character actions go, and wholly unnecessary filler material. In short, it was Gotham-y, and that is not a flattering comparison. There were a few bright spots, but in a good episode, I probably wouldn’t even have merited them as “Pros.”


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Palmer’s charm: He may have been a stinker in the last episode, thinking he could (and should) take on The Arrow in the last episode, but the guy has heart. His charismatic approach to Felicity and his work is really fun to watch. He’s a genius and he knows it, which will make him a great main character in the spin-off.

I don’t even have a regular plan: Finally, Oliver admits that he’s not always the one with the answers. Batman is going through a similar problem in the current comic book arc, Endgame, and it adds to the uncertainty that anything could happen because our hero is not 6 steps ahead anymore.

Roy’s selfless act: Honestly, I rolled my eyes at Roy when he took the fall for Oliver at the end of the episode, but then I thought about it for a while and decided that he was the only one with any fortitude to make things right. Now it’s Oliver’s turn to actually come up with an idea.


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Quentin Lance’s flip is a little too extreme: I’ve really liked Captain Lance so far this season, but they’ve turned him into a one-dimensional angry cop, whose fixation on getting the bad guy is not really believable – even in light of all that’s been revealed thus far. I especially hate his Jesse Jackson-inspired “manhunt” demands. “I don’t give a DAYUM!”

Unnecessary characters: Is Felicity that weak that her mom had to walk her through everything this episode? I enjoyed having her mom on the show before, but she’s really just in the way here. I feel the same about Mei; why would you tease Shado’s return just to bring her sister in for some really stupid monologue. And why would she call the cops once she found out that Oliver shared the same tattoo as Shado? Seems kinda dumb.

Thea needs to get with the program: Nobody is hiding anything from you, Thea. You’re just too wrapped up in your own dumb shit to see what’s going on. Stop boinking Roy and ask your brother what is going on. And whining about just running away with Daddy’s trust fund blood money doesn’t really instill trust. I thought Thea would be written as a strong character after getting the training, but she’s devolved into another weak female character.

For Sara? Really?: Speaking of weakly-written female characters, Nyssa is willing to betray the Demon’s Head, her father… the head of the League of Assassins… just because it’s what Sara would have wanted. Jesus Christ, can no female on this show get her shit together for more than 10 minutes without giving way to the aches of her quivering heart? Ugh…

Why doesn’t Oliver just take the job offer?: I think we’re all wondering why Oliver didn’t just take the job. I’ve never been recruited so aggressively for a job, and I’d like to think that if the job entailed bending an entire band of assassins to my will, I would take the job – regardless of 401k or health care (which includes a Lazarus Pit). Why not just rebrand the League as something less threatening, like The League of Fluffy Kittens?

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Mini-van, vanish!: Let’s talk about how a minivan escapes multiple squad cars and a helicopter. Lance has the entire city after The Arrow, and all it takes to lose the tail on the manhunt (Jesse Jackson voice) is a couple of trick arrows and some smooth driving by Diggle to lose them. Either the cops in this city suck, or the writers for this episode dropped the ball. Maybe it’s 50/50.

Ra’s al Ghul’s temporary residency: So the dude is in Star City for like a week, and he feels the need to decorate his abandoned warehouse in the same dreary torch-lit corridor as in Nanda Parbat? I get the need for presentation, but this is absurd.

Easter Eggs & Predictions:

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Nanotech: There weren’t a lot of new Easter Eggs, but the one that punched me in the face was Ray’s use of nanotechnology. The Atom, as Palmer is known as in the comic books, has the ability to shrink himself down to microscopic proportions, and is able to literally surf the informational highway. This looks like the first step towards his full realization as the A.T.O.M.

Felicity is Team Atom: Not sure if this was coincidence or not, but when Felicity is at the hospital, she sports a red dress and blue fingernail polish.

Who‘s House: Felicity leaves the L word at the table, and when she freaks out about not being able to say it back, one of Ray’s best qualities is that he can describe all the plots for every single Doctor Who episode. John Barrowman (Merlyn) played Captain Jack Harkness in the show

Chicken or egg argument: Here’s yet another Batman-borrowed concept; which came first, The Arrow or his villains? Lance makes the point that most of the evil that has befallen the city was Oliver’s fault – and in a way, he’s not wrong. Oliver has directly brought Slade Wilson and the League of Assassins to Star City, resulting in the deaths of close friends.


Hush comics gives “Public Enemy” a D for being the most Gotham-y episode of the series. The writing was so bad that I thought Oliver’s admission of not having a plan was the writers speaking to us through him. And the show really needs to get its shit together when writing female characters.

All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Diyah Pera

Arrow Review – “Suicidal Tendencies” S3E17

Arrow - "Suicidal Tendencies"


Diggle Wedding: Everyone loves a wedding and when you need him Ray Parker is there in a jiff.

ATOM turns against the Arrow publicly: Ray came out to publicly denounce the Arrow, believing he’s back to his old killing ways.  This of course causes a little bit of turmoil in the Arrow lair.  We knew this was going to happen eventually though, no real surprises here.

Ray is much smarter than everyone gave him credit for: Ray puts it all together – it’s about time Ray.  Using his super suit, and some software developed by our very own Felicity Yawn, Ray figures out who the Arrow is and who his pals are.  And he’s none too happy with Felicity.

Diggle being badass is so much fun: I always enjoy a good scene of Diggle kicking some serious butt.  I just wish he could have stayed with Oliver to do it.  I like the idea of the Suicide Squad; it just doesn’t really grab me yet.

Deadshot backstory, suicide squad: I love it when shows, or comics for that matter, give me a reason to like a villain.  At first I was hesitant about the inclusion of Deadshot’s background story of being a solider with PTSD that went off the handle.  But as it unfolded, combined with what was going on in the current time, it actually fit well.  I enjoyed seeing Deadshot being approached for the first time to take down Diggle’s brother – it came full circle. This is appropriate with how it ended.

Death of a Mayor: The whole A.T.O.M vs The Arrow thing lasted about 10 minutes.  Now everyone is back on board with Oliver, except Quentin Lance.  He just can’t get over that “everyone lied to me about my daughter being dead” thing.  Laurel, Ray and Felicity meet with the Mayor to try and save Arrow’s good name. And then, of course, an arrow flies through her chest.  The interesting part is the arrow came from Maseo, and now there is one pointed at Felicity.

Arrow - "Suicidal Tendencies"


Return of Deadshot and Cupid: I feel like the one-shot villains, though fun, aren’t big driving points for the show.  I was surprised to see Deadshot and Cupid again, but I didn’t find myself really caring, at least not at first.  I like Deadshot.  He has a strong tie to Diggle and the rest of the crew, but I don’t think I ever needed to see Cupid again.  She’s still nuts by the way, but now she’s nuts for Deadshot.

Freudian Slips: Felicity lets it slip that she still has feeling for Oliver.  SHOCK!  Not really.

Strange evil senator story: I want a side story to at least intrigue or affect the larger story in some small way.  The evil senator whom just want to be president was kind of meh.  Poor Diggle just wants to go on his honeymoon.

Ray vs Oliver: I waited all season for a fight between Oliver and Ray, and it went nowhere really fast.  Two things about this so called “fight” that happened.  First off, Oliver can seemingly find the weakness in anything, even a super suit he doesn’t know the specs of.  Secondly, it turns out Ray Parker is just like Iron Man, take the suit away and he’s basically useless.  Also if you’re entire suit is armored why is there an easily punctured weak spot easily visible?

 Arrow - "Suicidal Tendencies"

Easter Eggs & Predictions:

H.I.V.E.: We see in another Deadshot flashback that he mentions the group H.I.V.E.  Season 4 Villains maybe?

Brand Routh and X-ray Vision: The writers wanted to remind everyone of Routh’s connection to x-ray vision.  He uses x-rays in this episode to uncover Arrow’s identity.  We can all recall Routh has played a hero with a similar special ability.

Deadshot…dead?: If I’ve come to learn anything from TV and movies is that if you don’t actually see them die, there is a chance they aren’t actually dead.  Deadshot clearly isn’t happy with his current set up so why not make everyone think he died in that explosion?

Arrow - "Suicidal Tendencies"



Hush comics gives Suicidal Tendencies a B+.  It looks like the Arrow crew has a new member in the A.T.O.M.  Diggle still can’t be convinced to leave the group, which is best for the show.  A suicidal mission for the Suicide Squad was a nice inclusion, and sometimes it is nice to see old characters.  The happenings in Starling City are really starting to unfold.


All images belong to The CW and DC Entertainment.  They are credited to Cate Cameron & Katie Yu.