Arrow: “My Name Is Oliver Queen” Review
Arrow Season 3 Episode 23
“THE CITY’S UNDER ATTACK? IT MUST BE MAY!”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Starling City has definitely been through the ringer over the last few years, hasn’t it? The people have had to endure earthquakes and an all-out super-soldier attack, and now they’ve suffered a biological weapon attack. Lance’s line about how “it must be May” was hilariously self-referential, and you do wonder why everyone doesn’t decide to take a trip out of the city at the end of April. This latest attack on Starling City was the least impactful of the three, and unfortunately you could say the same thing about this season as a whole. Arrow’s third season has had its fair share of ups and downs, and after some quick build-up of drama and tension over the last month or so, it just kind of fizzled out with this so-so finale.
I think one of the problems is we were spoiled by the fantastic season two arc. Everything fit together perfectly there, and it all built up to a great finale. Things just didn’t click quite so well this time around. Ra’s essentially killed two of the main characters on the show, but he still never seemed to be as massive a threat as he was made out to be. Perhaps the fact that nobody that he “killed” stayed dead for too long was part of the problem. His plan to unleash the Alpha/Omega virus on Starling was a major move, but it was stopped very quickly in the end. Even Ollie’s climactic fight with Ra’s felt like they were just going through the motions. There was no danger or excitement in it at all. Ollie stabbing Ra’s through the chest should have been a huge moment, but it just didn’t feel that big.
Don’t get me wrong here, none of this was terrible. It just wasn’t up to the standards I’ve come to expect from Arrow’s end-of-season action. There was still plenty of strong material here. Barry’s brief appearance was a lot of fun, including Felicity “outing” him to Merlyn. While his quick disposal of the guards does kind of make you question why he wasn’t called into help around 15 episodes ago, he was a welcome addition to the finale. The flashbacks also provided a couple of good moments. Tatsu and Maseo parted ways, and we also got to see Ollie taking a darker turn. The most interesting part of the entire flashback arc from this season was Ollie seemingly boarding a boat destined for Coast City. I had assumed that he would be heading back to Liang Yu for a while next, but it appears that Ollie spent some more time closer to home before returning to the island.
The interactions between Ollie, Diggle and Felicity were some of the strongest moments of the episode. Diggle’s brief chat with Ollie last week was a good taster, but it got even better when Dig got to punch Ollie in the face. I completely understand why Ollie did what he did, but he also deserved that punch. Dig has swayed back and forth between leaving and staying throughout the season, and now it looks like he’s committed to keeping up the work. I just don’t know if he’ll be able to do it with Ollie or not. One thing’s for certain though, we’ll be seeing Dig in costume next season! The Felicity material was a mixed bag, but in the end, it served its purpose. I don’t completely buy Ollie’s sudden decision to give up the fight and ride off into the sunset with Felicity, but it makes sense for them to try it. Of course, we know something terrible will go wrong and Ollie will be back in green before too long.
Season 3 wasn’t Arrow’s strongest effort, but it still managed to set us up for a very interesting Season 4. Damien Darhk is almost guaranteed to be one of the main players, and everything should tie in nicely with Diggle’s search for the truth about his brother’s death. The flashback also set up the intriguing possibility of Ollie spending time very close to home. Team Arrow continues to grow, and we’ll get to see Thea in action more as “Speedy.” That explosion in Ray’s lab at the end hints at Mr. Palmer unlocking some of the ATOM’s more super abilities, while we also have the build-up to the Legends of Tomorrow spin-off to look forward to. And freaking Malcolm Merlyn is the new Ra’s Al Ghul! Even though I was slightly let down by the finale, there’s still a ton of stuff to get excited for for next season. The big question will be how Ollie and Felicity will get drawn back into the firing line. Will they feel like something is missing from their lives without the Arrow, or will something a lot worse happen to make Ollie suit up again. It’s going to be a long wait to find out.
70/100 – Good
How would you rate “My Name is Oliver Queen” against the other season finales? Did you find it lacking, or was it the best of the bunch? Tweet me @OldSnake24. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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