Arrow Review: S3E4 – The Magician
It’s official. Arrow has turned into a “Who Done it” mystery show. Who the hell killed Sara Lance? And I’m okay with this.
We’re 4 episodes into this season and the show has been giving us constant misdirection in terms of who killed Sara at the end of episode 1. At first it seemed like the obvious answer was Komodo. Then that turned out to not be true. Then it seemed like maybe it was Malcolm Merlyn. But by the end of this episode, I have to be honest, I actually believed Merlyn was telling the truth. Malcolm Merlyn reminds me of Grant Ward on Agents of SHIELD right now. He’s such a brutally honest evil character that I can’t help but believe him when he says he actually DIDN’T do something evil. I’m so glad they brought him back. John Barrowman, much like Manu Bennett is so good in this role in a way you can’t help but almost root for him to win in a way. Like Bennett’s Deathstroke, he also flusters Oliver and poses a legit threat. Add in the fact that Merlyn used the fact that he’s Thea’s father to manipulate Oliver and you just have to love this character. It’s actually lead to an interesting development on the show. Oliver now tells Thea the truth while Thea is the one keeping secrets. Now granted, Oliver hasn’t come completely clean on all his secrets (Thea doesn’t know he’s the Arrow) but he’s at least trying to be more open and honest. But Thea on the other hand has Oliver completely in the dark. It’s going to be interesting seeing what happens when they both find out each other’s secrets.
So because I believe Malcolm Merlyn I now have to move on to the next suspect on my list: Ra’s Al Ghul himself. First off, Merlyn made a pretty convincing argument as to why it was the Demon’s Head. Sara did try to leave the League and that was never going to sit well with Ra’s. When Merlyn was making his argument, Nyssa’s face was pretty betraying. The more convincing reason though is what happened at the end of the episode. When we finally see Ra’s Al Ghul and he tells Nyssa that they won’t be avenging Sara’s death because she was never one of them. Remember in episode 2, Oliver told Felicity that the League of Assassin’s doesn’t kill their own so there was no way it was them. Well if the Demon’s Head himself never considered Sara “one of their own” then that puts them back in play. That’s why I love this show. It’s always little things like that that happen in episodes that you forget. Speaking of “little things” did anyone catch that when Thea asked Oliver how he was paying for things he changed the subject back to Thea? Yeah I peeped that. I brought that up last week and this blatant change of subject leads me to believe that this show is going to address that soon and it’s not going to be something trivial. I’ve watched Arrow too long not to notice these little gems they drop and then bring back later. I actually think Oliver’s money could have something to do with the last suspect in Sara’s death:
Maybe not Waller herself but someone she paid to do it. Why? Because Waller is manipulative. The flashbacks this season are clearly going to focus on Oliver’s time in Hong Kong working as an operative for Waller. We find out this episode that Fyers (Season One) was working for Waller (Remember we all thought it might be Isabel because we only knew it was a woman in high heels). Waller wanted Fyers to shoot down that plane just to try to take out China White. She was going to shoot down an ENTIRE PLANE just to get one person. She’s shown that kind of blatant disregard for collateral damage. What if Waller wants to draw Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassin’s out and this was her plan to use Sara/Oliver to do it? Clearly it wouldn’t be the first time Waller’s used Oliver. Remember, Shaw told Diggle he was betraying ARGUS because he couldn’t deal with what Waller was making him do any more. I’m actually leaning towards Waller being behind this because it’s such an Amanda Waller thing. Plus, the last few weeks the most obvious suspects in Sara’s death always get revealed as being innocent. Waller is manipulative enough to do this. It’s why I also think she’s behind where Oliver’s getting his money from. I think Oliver picked up some money on his own when he worked for Waller as an operative in Hong Kong. Remember, he had a second safe house no one knew about (except Waller), whose to say he didn’t have some money stashed away? I mean sure, he was rich before and we know the rich don’t go broke like us but he’s actually gotten MORE advance tech this year than he did when he was running Queen Consolidated. He had his compact bow and then this episode he has tracer arrows with nanotechnology. Yeah, he’s getting money from somewhere.
Again, I know folks don’t like Laurel but I enjoyed her again this episode. I think she's getting some good development so that when she does take over as Canary, we'll believe it. Truth is, she was right when she told Oliver he should kill Malcolm Merlyn. Once again, Oliver was being a bit hypocritical. He’s saying he doesn’t kill but I remember him putting 2-3 quick ones into Count Vertigo when he threatened Felicity. Without hesitation. So yeah, he’s reasoning that “that’s not him any more” is a bit of a lie. Oliver told told her Sara wouldn't have wanted that which is hilarious when you consider Sara worked for the League. She absolutely would have killed. Also for those of you that don’t like Laurel, you had to like Nyssa telling her she wasn’t worthy of wearing Sara’s jacket. Laurel is training in the gym (and looking good at it) and even Nyssa seemed to realize that maybe Laurel has what it takes. I’m hoping folks open up a bit and try to give her a chance.
This was definitely my favorite episode this season so far. As slow as it’s felt, we’ve actually moved pretty far along in this story. By the end of this fourth episode we have Malcolm Merlyn under the “protection” of Oliver Queen and Ra’s Al Ghul himself basically declaring war on Oliver & Malcolm. I mean, that’s pretty fast when you consider we have19 more episodes to go. If there is any complaint I have is that they have to stop making Roy do those unnecessary Power Ranger flips. LMAO. He really flipped himself right into a knockout dart. I did notice Thea stepping up to Nyssa though. I was actually kinda hoping for a little fight between the two. Thea was talking cash shit to Nyssa too. Even threatened to kill her. mhmm. Can’t wait to see Thea “suit up”.