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 – “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.