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Arrow - This Is Your Sword - Review

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Arrow, “This Is Your Sword,” was directed by Wendey Stanzler with the story by Erik Oleson and the teleplay from the team of Ben Sokolowski and Brian Ford Sullivan. I have to admit that I was not enjoying the Al Sah-Him storyline, so this episode provided some relief for that in that we finally learn that Oliver (Stephen Amell) did have a plan going in. Of course, trusting Malcolm (John Barrowman) is one of the stupidest things Oliver could have done. Nonetheless, great acting from both of them in this episode, and David Ramsey (Diggle) is also fantastic.

The flashback storyline is almost completely wrapped up. We see that Akio (Brandon Nomura) dies in Tatsu’s (Rila Fukushima) arms while Maseo (Karl Yune) and Oliver try to get the cure from General Shrieve (Marc Singer). No doubt, the final episode of the season will set up the flashbacks for next season with whatever it is that Shrieve does with Oliver now that he has him in custody.

As the episode opens, Diggle is continuing the good work of the team on Starling’s streets with Laurel (Katie Cassidy) as back up. If anyone is wondering where that Canary Cry suddenly came from, it’s from a Flash episode in which Laurel asked Cisco to make her something stronger than Sara’s little bombs. Cisco came up with a collar device that amplifies Laurel’s scream. Laurel and Diggle make a pretty good team, but we see that Diggle is struggling as he completely loses his temper on a criminal.

It seems that the team is going to have a very hard time welcoming Oliver back. Diggle is rightly furious at him – and tells him so later in the episode – for endangering both Sara and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson). Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) has convinced herself that the real Oliver is gone, so how will she reconcile that these are the actual actions of her Oliver?

Ra’s (Matt Nable) has accelerated Oliver’s ascension to becoming the Demon Head. Oliver’s marriage to Nyssa (Katrina Law) looms and he has instructed Oliver to unleash the Alpha-Omega bio-weapon on Starling. This, in turn, forces Oliver and Malcolm to re-think their own plan and call in the team. I was really hoping that the inside man would turn out to be Maseo, but no such luck.

I did like how they paralleled Felicity and Oliver’s love story with Tatsu and Maseo. Malcolm brings Tatsu to the others to convince them to help. Even though none of them know her, they know of her, and she can tell them about the terrors of the bio-weapon. Tatsu does have a more personal plea for Felicity. She tells Felicity that Oliver’s last thoughts before the fall were of Felicity and his love for her. Tatsu also urges Felicity not to make her mistake: She thought that Maseo was completely consumed by the League’s darkness and lost to her, so she didn’t even try to get him back.

Tatsu and Maseo are reunited on the battlefield. Tatsu tells him that he left her after their child died in her arms, the time she needed him most. Maseo is about to kill Tatsu when she turns the tables and kills him, telling him to give Akio her love. It’s a terrific fight. Maseo dies in her arms, thanking her from releasing him from his prison – a prison of his own guilt. Yune has done fantastic work all season, and I’ll definitely miss him going forward. I was definitely rooting for these two to have a happy ending.

The fight to down the jet that will release the bio-weapon is excellent. I loved Malcolm saving Laurel, and Laurel totally owning the fact that she wouldn’t do the same for him. I also loved that when Felicity’s tablet is hit with an arrow, she uses it like a boomerang! The guy looked shocked and in pain in his throat even if it was actually an arrow in the back that took him down. Luckily, they also brought Ray (Brandon Routh) for back up. He’s able to take down the plane, but his suit is pretty much toast, and it ends up being for nothing as the bio-weapon wasn’t on the plane, and Oliver and Ra’s take them prisoner.

Malcolm makes a last ditch effort to save himself even though Tatsu claims that Maseo was the “traitor.” Oliver proves to Ra’s that he’s given up everything and would have nothing to return to in Starling – and we’ve seen evidence that this is true. Ra’s has everyone except Tatsu – who is inoculated – locked in a cell by Oliver after Ra’s activates the bio-weapon. Oliver and Nyssa are wed – though she does try to stab him halfway through – as the others succumb to the gas.

Ra’s relationship with Nyssa is interesting. He keeps making overtures, like the necklace he gives her, yet he is clearly not interested in what her wishes may be. In fact, we learn he forced her mother to have her – just as he’s forcing Oliver and Nyssa to marry and have children. We can give him a little slack in the equal rights area if we consider that he is at least 150 year old and clearly set in his ways. Naturally, Oliver will not hold Nyssa to their vows and a force marriage is easy to annul. Rickards is wonderful, however, when Ra’s announces the marriage in front of her and she is clearly devastated.

Another question that pops up is what did Ray have Felicity sign? It was clearly a transfer of ownership – but what is he transferring to whom? We know Ray is leaving Starling because Routh is set to star in the next spinoff. I was somewhat hoping he’d give the company back to Oliver, but lets face it, Oliver isn’t in anybody’s good books right now!

Finally, Thea (Willa Holland) goes in search of Roy (Colton Haynes). I have to say that I spent the entire episode hoping that all the hype over Haynes leaving the show was just a smoke screen, but apparently he is now really gone. It was nice that they provided closure for Thea, anyway. Roy gets to be a hero again by not letting Thea come on the run with him. However, he’s already told her that he finds civilian life boring, so it was sad to me that he didn’t even take his Arsenal leather. I’m pretty sure that Oliver is not going to be happy to see Thea suit up in it though. But it is a nice set up for next season’s team.

I was also pulling for Roy to swoop in, possibly with Thea’s help to save them in Nanda Parbat. It’s unlikely that the group in the cell were secretly inoculated – one theory – because the gas would have no effect on them and they all legitimately fall asleep thinking they are dying – or possibly acting for those watching. More than likely either Maseo or Oliver have switched out the drug – or maybe it will boil down to simple luck and the drug will have lost its efficacy over time.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think that Oliver will be able to make it up to his friends? Will they be able to forgive him? Should they? Were you happy with what seems to be the end of Roy’s story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.

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