Same Geek Channel Review: ‘Arrow’ Episode 323 “My Name Is Oliver Queen”

Same Geek Channel Television
Ready, aim, SNARK! Source: CW.
Ready, aim, SNARK!
Source: CW.

Mordechai: I know I should recap first, but I can’t help it; I’m going right to the ending.

Corrina: Hi, my name is Oliver Queen, and I’m the Worst. Hero. Ever.

Hi, Oliver. Source: CW.
Hi, Oliver.
Source: CW.

Mordechai: What the actual heck is wrong with Oliver?

Seriously. The show manages to make a valid argument that he had no choice but to deal with Merlyn. Let’s accept that for a second. What I can’t accept is that Oliver would leave Merlyn in control of the League of Assasins–and walk away. Seriously? Aside from rewarding a mass murderer with an army of warriors, you’re putting all your loved ones in harm’s way and not telling them.

Dude killed your dad, your best friend, a lover, and made your sister a killer. But hey, whatever. Source: CW.
Dude killed your dad, your best friend, a lover, and made your sister a killer. But hey, whatever.
Source: CW.

Corrina: Opening: Sara is murdered via a brainwashed Thea by Merlyn.

Closing: Merlyn is put in charge of the League of Assassins by Oliver Queen.

I was hoping that the flashbacks had a point, that Oliver would kill in revenge there, so he would revert and do that here or, at least, turn Merlyn over to Nyssa to kill. Or that Thea would say “Hey, Dad, I learned to be strong. Guess what that means? I can kill people I love. Watch.” ::stabs Merlyn to death::

Thea then takes the Golden Pinecone of Death and becomes the new head of the League of Assassins because, hey, she died by Ra’s sword too, and survived!

I could have gotten behind that ending.

Mordechai: I now want to see that. I want to see that so badly.

Evil Thea would kinda rock. Source; CW.
Evil Thea would kinda rock.
Source; CW.

Corrina: Since Oliver has been back… he’s murdered a bunch of people, he didn’t totally prevent the destruction of the Glades, he failed to have a plan to stop Slade and needed help from assassins to do it, and, this year, he’s the one responsible for the virus even reaching Starling City because he could have had the Flash grab it the minute he knew it was there.

He took out EVERY League member. C'mon. Source: CW.
He took out EVERY League member. C’mon.
Source: CW.

Mordechai: And when exactly did Ollie have time to dash off to Central City, by the way?

Corrina: Oliver Queen, you have failed this city.

If the show went there, maybe I could do with that. But now it’s “Hey, I’m relieved of grieving because I didn’t commit suicide via plane crash, so run off with me, Felicity.”

Such a sweet talker, this one. Source: CW.
Such a sweet talker, this one.
Source: CW.

Oh, sure. That works. About as well as Oliver saying “I won’t kill people,” and then killing any members of the League of Assassins he can, including tossing a bunch out of the plane this episode.

One parachute? Really? Source: CW.
One parachute? Really?
Source: CW.

I know, I know; the writers are setting up next year and maybe stuff in other shows. But that doesn’t matter. The finale should be satisfying on it’s own terms, even if it leaves questions open. But it’s just a huge WTF? moment.

Back to you, Mordechai.

Mordechai: The writers have said the finale could have served as a series finale. If it had, it would be an insanely unsatisfying one. Oliver learns nothing, and makes two really big mistakes to seal the deal.

Let’s see, what else happened?

We learn that Ra’s insane plan had to do with Damien Darhk, his rival, being in the city. So in order to assassinate the one guy, he’s going to destroy an entire city. Really reasonable. Not to mention that the virus is airborne, so I’m not sure exactly how it would be contained to Starling City.

Corrina: Also, didn’t Ra’s have a whole ton of his assassins just in Starling to pin murders on the Arrow? Way to warn that Damien Darhk dude that you’re coming, Ra’s. Of course, it’s not Ra’s fault. This writing just doesn’t make sense.

Mordechai: Or just have your assassins kill him. You know, the dudes you have a legion of?

Corrina: Even as an evil long-term plan of Merlyn’s, it doesn’t make sense. Because no one knew Ollie would be offered to be the next Ra’s until he got skewered.

Mordechai: And no one knew Maseo and Tatsu would save him!

Corrina: It still makes no sense Ollie would fight to save Merlyn’s life–like, THREE TIMES.

I think his cleft chin has mind control powers. Source;:CW.
I think his cleft chin has mind control powers.
Source;:CW.

Anyway….

Mordechai: Had the virus worked, Ra’s still might have won. But Ray is able to use his nanites to neutralize the virus, which leads to him not being able to save Oliver, which leads to Iron Felicity.

Cute moment, or cutest moment? Source: CW.
Cute moment, or cutest moment?
Source: CW.

Corrina: Good thing Felicity’s a superfast learner and that she can totally get into a suit calibrated for Ray!

What else? Ray blows himself up but we know that he just blew him *down* to miniature size.

Mordechai: To be fair, even if we hadn’t seen the trailer, we’d all know he lived because the show has been in development for a bit.

Ray go BOOM! Source: CW.
Ray go BOOM!
Source: CW.

Corrina: Thea likes shooting arrows into people now and Diggle’s cool with it because, who knows. Diggle isn’t cool with Oliver because why the heck should he be. Roy ran off because it’s not like Thea needs his emotional support or anything.

Mordechai: Thea arguably had the strongest arc this season. It’s annoying that the Roy thing will always kind of hang there, but I’m pretty happy with everything (short of her not stabbing her mass-murdering, brainwashing dad).

Just look at the smile on that face. Source: CW.
Just look at the smile on that face.
Source: CW.

Corrina: Felicity gave up on her whole mid-season “we’re doing this because it means something to us, too” and instead ran off with her studly dude…

Mordechai:  It didn’t even hit me how wrong that was ’til just now.

Corrina: Poor Laurel is lost somewhere in the shuffle. I’ll say it out loud: I liked her arc this season. A lot.

Mordechai: Indeed. It was annoying at times, but I even liked her lecturing Quentin about the drinking. Speaking of Quentin, the scene at the dam seemed weird. How’d he even know to get there? And he’s still a police captain, doesn’t he outrank them?

Corrina: As for Nyssa, my fave? I guess the marriage wasn’t real and maybe she was in on the plan? Or not, because, this episode couldn’t have cared less about her so we don’t know.

Fan theories already have her as Ollie’s spy in the League, but she’s been trained all her life to kill people. You’d think she’d just, well, KILL HIM.

The last scene could have been Merlyn being triumphant about being the new Ra’s only to be shot in the eye and killed from an archer in the shadows. Nyssa appears, takes her arrow back and says “I was created by Ra’s sword. Anyone want to fight my right to be heir?”

League bows down. Nyssa smiles.

She doesn’t because… I don’t know. Mordechai?

Mordechai: You’ve got me. I was honestly expecting Nyssa to stay in Starling and help defend the city now.

Seriously, I'd watch the stuffing out of this show here. Source: CW.
Seriously, I’d watch the stuffing out of this show here.
Source: CW.

Corrina: Wait, I bet the explanation will be that Merlyn agreed to resurrect Sara. But that’s not in this episode and I shouldn’t have to have a trailer explain to me why the smeck Nyssa gives in.

Okay, now back to you again.

Mordechai: Thanks, Corrina. Gotta say, looking at this season in retrospect, I see a lot of cool moments… held together by chewing gum and spit. When you watch the moments, they work. When you try to stream them together to a coherent narrative, they fall apart.

Except these three. Their arcs this season are totally earned, and this moment is perfect. Source: CW.
Except these three. Their arcs this season are totally earned, and this moment is perfect.
Source: CW.

Since most viewers are interested in the cool moments, that’s fine. But, as a writer, I want shows that hold together. On Arrow, it’s not just the writing, but the murky motivations (Why would Merlyn put Thea at risk?), lack of agency for female characters (which will improve for one character, but then the others will suffer), and moral ambiguity (killing is bad, but torture is good, and oh, masked ninjas don’t count) are making me really unsure if I’m coming back.

Corrina:

:ominous voice:

Arrow writers, you have failed this show.

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5 thoughts on “Same Geek Channel Review: ‘Arrow’ Episode 323 “My Name Is Oliver Queen”

  1. There’s something else that bothers me. Wasn’t Merlyn on the run from the league early on because they disapproved of his plan to level the Glades? It was claimed that that plan wasn’t befitting League rules. But killing EVERYONE in the city just for revenge on two guys (Damian and Oliver) is perfectly ok? Or is it not ok for a normal League of Assassins member to try to kill a city, but Ra’s gets to do whatever he wants. (Insert “It’s Good To Be Ra’s” image here.)

  2. Season One:

    My name is Oliver Queen. I like secrets.
    I secretly slipped away on a boat with my girlfriend’s sister, Sarah Lance.
    She died. (But secretly didn’t, see season two)
    My dad, Robert, had a secret he told me.
    I came home after five years with a big secret.
    My friend Diggle doesn’t like my secret. I need to tell him.
    I learn that my mom, Moria, has a secret too.
    My sister Thea has a secret drug problem. This makes me sad.
    I try to help her, but she says I keep too many secrets.
    This chick at my company suspects me of secrets. She is goofy.
    I was upset to learn my best friend’s dad “Merlin” has a better secret than me.
    Thea stays mad at me because of my secret.
    I go back to my 1st girlfriend, Laurel, and secretly get her to cheat on my best friend.
    Laurel doesn’t know about my other secret. She doesn’t like my other secret very much.
    Laurel’s dad hates my secret. I can’t understand why.
    I should tell Laurel my secret, but won’t for a while…
    Merlin’s secret gets his son and my best friend Tommy killed.
    My secret has failed this city… cue pouty music.

    Season Two:

    My name is Oliver Queen. I am moping around because I failed this city and my best friend is dead.
    My mom’s secret was discovered… we are sad because she might go to jail.
    I really should tell Laurel my secret, except I have other secrets too. Oh well.
    Four years ago, I had friends on the island. One of them was my old girlfriend’s sister, Sarah.
    Sarah has a secret. I want her secret and my secret to make love, so we do.
    I don’t feel bad… Laurel has a secret drinking problem now and I don’t like that kind of secret.
    My friend Slade Wilson got brain-baked from a drug. He is alive with a secret!
    He doesn’t know that I have a secret… I let the love of his life die right in front of me.
    I wear a costume, but I am secretly a coward.
    Wait, Slade knows that secret now! OMG! He is going to destroy everything I love.
    What’s this?!? My mom and my best friend’s dad made a secret baby… my step-sister Thea!
    I can’t tell anyone this secret!
    Thea knows I have more secrets. She really doesn’t like me much.
    Laurel keeps drinking booze in secret. I really don’t like this very much.
    My mom is not going to jail and is running for mayor against a guy with a secret.
    He is brain-baking people with Slade Wilson juice! This is a terrible secret.
    My sister’s new boyfriend Roy is getting brain-baked… it will help him with his secret.
    But first I need to tell my sister’s boyfriend my secret.
    My friend Slade kills my mom. It is no secret that I am sad.
    Detective Lance is warming up to my secret.
    My new girlfriend had a secret romance with a woman in the League of Assassins.
    Her x-girlfriend can help me in my secret war with Slade Wilson.
    I pound Slade Wilson and keep him from brain-washing the city… but it costs me my company. Dang it!

    Season Three:

    My name is Oliver Queen. My show is about brain-washing and secrets.
    My best friend’s dad is back in town with a secret. That guy, heh.
    A secret league of assassins is really mad at him for his secrets.
    My new girlfriend Sarah, the sister of my old girlfriend, is murdered!
    We want to know who did it, but that is a terrible secret.
    Sarah’s old girlfriend is back in town to figure out the secret. She doesn’t like me much, but she’s kind of hot.
    No one should tell Sarah’s dad or sister the secret that she is dead. Hide the body!
    The dude that is running my company these days has a secret.
    I find out the secret of who killed my girlfriend… it was my sister.
    My sister was brain-washed by her dad and can’t be held responsible for her actions.
    I need to protect this secret, or the secret assassins will come kill her.
    I tell some lies because I want to go fight the secret league.
    I team up with the guy who secretly plotted the death of my girlfriend, my dead best friend’s dad.
    The same guy who secretly killed my girlfriend is now training my sister to fight.
    I had no idea about this secret.
    I met another dude who could move really fast… he has a secret too.
    His name is Barry Allen and he is trying not to fail his city.
    My sister discovers the secret that she secretly killed my girlfriend…
    Oh crap, my girlfriend’s sister found out the secret of how my sister killed hers.
    Everyone is so mad at me. Dang it.
    Don’t anyone tell my dead girlfriend’s dad!
    We have to keep this a secret or he will have a heart attack.
    Meanwhile, I go fight Mr. Big Bad Ugly Pants and get stabbed through the heart!
    I live, but how or why is an ancient Chinese secret.
    I hope this crazy villain doesn’t find out the secret that I am alive.
    My dead girlfriend’s sister is really mad. She starts training in secret to learn to fight.
    Great… Detective Lance learned the secret of his daughter. He hates me now.
    I bet he starts to drink again in secret.
    Double ouch… that guy in the ugly pants that stabbed me is back with a secret plan.
    I hatch a new secret plan of my own! My friends can’t know this secret.
    I will secretly join the league as a double agent.
    My friends are mad at me now; this new secret isn’t going over well.
    That goofy computer girl and I make love.
    I sent her off though, because there’s a secret plan to get me married to my dead girlfriend’s x-lover.
    Mr. Big Bad Ugly Pants thinks he has brain-washed me. I do stupid stuff in secret.
    I am about to secretly betray him…. haha! Take that!
    I do secretly betray him in an airplane where I wanted to die in secret.
    We fight to thwart his secret plan and we win. I get shot, or so everyone thinks.
    I am going away with the goofy computer chick now to live life without secrets.

    Before I go though, I have one more secret:

    I will secretly put my best friend’s dad, who killed his son, brain-baked my sister into killing my girlfriend, in charge of the secret league of assassins for secret reasons. Now back to regular life.

    My name is Oliver Queen. I am happy.

    The End.

  3. This truly was one of the worst season finales I have ever seen, and Olicity was the major factor in S3 being a major disappointment. I grew from liking Felicity in S1 to despising her in S3. I am a comic book fan who is done with Arrow.

    Only if I hear that Felicity either dies or decides she made a mistake and goes looking for Ray Palmer again before the beginning of S4 would I consider watching again.

    If the new spinoff LoT even think of having Felicity crossover at any time, I will not watch that show either.

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