Arrow: This is Your Sword
May 6, 2015 11:20 PM - Season 3, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Malcolm convinces Team Arrow to return to Nanda Parbat to stop a Ra's fast-tracked plan to destroy Starling City. Oliver winks at the camera and ruins most of the tension. There are some amazing fights. Roy and Thea have some moments.
posted by kittensofthenight (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If Black Canary had only thought to hand out earplugs to everyone she could have taken down the Nanda Parbat guardians all by herself.

Seeing Tastu in Starling City was disorienting but awesome. Her fight with Maseo was everything.
posted by the webmistress at 11:31 PM on May 6, 2015

I loved the Katana reveal and the fight between her and Maseo. I wish the tension of the episode wasn't ruined by so much exposition, a critique also noted in the AV Club review.

On the other hand I felt that Team Arrow does some amazing superheroic stuff and I had more fun with this episode than the last few, which just made me stressed out.

Some thoughts:

I actually liked Ray Palmer in this episode for once. They also finally let Laurel look competent in the fight scenes. It solved a lot of the issues that I had with past eps (also noted in the AV club is Felicity getting some good one liners again). The small amount of Nyssa was amazing, I wish she was getting the spin-off. A fish out of water plot where she's always protecting hapless pals from ninja attacks.

There's no way that everyone is dead, it's such a useless plot point, especially after Oliver reveals he's tricking Ra's to the camera in the first scene. Maybe they were trying to re-establish tension with Malcolm's reveal, implying that Oliver had to go even further to prove loyalty, but no one watching believes that, right?
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:36 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I also want to note that Batman has done WAY MORE fucked up betrayals of his closest friends and teammates in the comics and he always comes out even more respected and beloved.

I have problems with Arrow being an ersatz Batman and not his own character or hero. I mean Batman is great but Green Arrow (in the comics) was a completely different character, at least in the 90s JLA and in the cartoons. Well loved, loyal, had real friends emotional, good at arrows and punching, yeah, but he was also the heart of the Justice League and had one of the greatest LTRs in comics with Black Canary. I guess I'm just disappointed with this ends justify the means stuff, its boring and been done.

I loved the earlier episode where the city believed in Oliver and united in his absence. Thats more of a Green Arrow plot, in my eyes.
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:38 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I actually didn't mind the needle scratch expression Oliver had when he heard R'as and Maseo talking. We were all fully aware that he hadn't really gone bad and he had something up his sleeve, so I didn't really feel a loss of tension over it. Rather, it gave me a chance to enjoy how he maintained the double face in front of both R'as/The League of Assasins, and the Starling City Funky Bunch (heh). I liked it but I can see how others would not. I mean, we all full well knew he was still Oliver Queen. Maybe I'm underthinking it but it worked for me. I just really dug this episode overall, it was the first that gave me feels.

Although, know what bugs? How many times is Oliver going to fuck someone over all in the name of do-gooding, and then have it be forgotten? I mean...doing unforgivable things that enrage. How many times can Diggle or Felicity or Laurel (or anyone else) forgive him? I mean...he just kidnapped Lyla Diggle (and in front of their kid; that's not going to be a future in therapy or anything....), and then less than a day later he throws a vial of some kind of gas at Diggle et al and they all pass out, assuming that they're dying. And in the next week or two they'll be best friends again. It bugs, I tells ya. But it's based on a comic book so I try to suspend all disbelief ;)
posted by the webmistress at 9:58 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

"No offense, but none of you are particularly good actors."

See, Malcolm does tell the truth sometimes.
posted by homunculus at 11:18 AM on May 7, 2015 [7 favorites]

I'm torn about the new mechanism for Black Canary's scream. It made sense as a device she pushed a button on, and presumably it's the same thing but with a different trigger now? But we don't get any explanation or anything, so it's just sort of like, oh, okay, she fake screams now and the thing makes its noise. Sure.

But really, if you want to build some kind of hidden trigger into your suit, that's sort of a weird way to do it. And if pretending to scream isn't the trigger, but she just does that anyway at the same time that's... even stranger. It feels like comic alignment for the same of comic alignment, which has always been a problem with Laurel.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:37 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is a good ending for the series... It concludes everything, and everything that isn't resolved can be finished by the flash.
posted by FallowKing at 6:26 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

The League of Stormtroopers based on their incompetence. I mean come on.
posted by phearlez at 6:58 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I don't at all believe they're dead. But I'd like to know if Merlin was following a contingency plan or actually betraying Oliver. Some more. Again. Nobody should listen to Merlin again, you're just asking for trouble.

Seconding the appreciation of the great fight between Maseo and Tastu. The writers really haven't given her a great deal to do so it's nice to see her actively involved.

Where is Roy going? What's the spinoff? I approve of him shaking Thea loose. She's. . . trouble. Why have her trek all the way to the shop? He couldn't leave a note in the apt? Especially since anyone even marginally a human being is going to be curious and read a note left unsealed by some weird guy who was there for five minutes then booked it when a chick showed up looking for him.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:20 PM on May 7, 2015

I'm done with Ray dropping "little" hints and peppering his dialogue with "little" clues. If he's going to shrink, let him shrink. If not, drop the red herring dialogue.
posted by sardonyx at 8:30 PM on May 7, 2015

Following up on my own comment, the AV club review suggests that Laurel got the new scream on the Flash. So I guess there was a little more explanation.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:34 PM on May 7, 2015

vmow, Cisco makes her a choker on The Flash. Thanks to the magic of the internets, you can watch it here!
posted by the webmistress at 5:54 AM on May 8, 2015

Oh and you really should watch The Flash. Especially now. It's the lighter side of Arrow, and there's a lot of tie-ins with characters and storylines on both shows going on.
posted by the webmistress at 7:26 AM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

So many things make this show hard to watch. Thematically, things like everyone accepting the "the bargain we made when I resurrected your sister" shit at face value when he specifically murdered her in order to coerce this bargain. WTF is the point of even pretending that this is someone with whom you can honorably treat? They should just ask Palmer to make a nice tight clean explosive to take out the whole place and everybody in it the moment no friends are being held there.

Second, the League of Assassins are not by and large scary, they are pitiful. After three boxing lessons and reading a pamphlet titled How To Totally Kick Butt, Laurel can take on five of them at a time.

Fun to watch but I'm losing interest. Also the difference in acting ability is, as always in Smallvilloid* shows like this, extreme. It's hard to tell because not all the characters have much depth but I think the actors who play Diggle and Detective Lance are probably tied for best actor, with Laurel occupying the bottom slot. Sorry to keep bagging on her but there's just not that much that isn't sucky going on in Laurel-land.

*Smallville's best actors were Johns Glover and Schneider, and, curiously enough, Allison Mack. The worst were the ones playing Lois and Supes himself. Here endeth my opinionated rant.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:02 AM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I realize this wouldn't have been a tidy solution, but seriously, guys.

We've been calling Arrow "the parade of bad decisions" for months now at home, and every time another stupid, preventable thing happens we say, "and the parade of bad decisions continues!"

Here's hoping Roy Harper/Arsenal's spinoff show has better writing, because damn, he sure has filled out into a good-looking man. I'll be eagerly awaiting the new series and hoping it's more than Bad Decisions II: Spinoff Boogaloo.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:09 PM on May 8, 2015

Oh and you really should watch The Flash. Especially now. It's the lighter side of Arrow, and there's a lot of tie-ins with characters and storylines on both shows going on.

I tried to like the Flash, but wow is that show full of characters who range from "don't care about" to "actively annoying". I watched the first four episodes, and popped back in for the Arrow cross-over episode. Maybe it got better, but I never actually wanted Arrow with less angst.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:41 PM on May 8, 2015

Like, where the fuck is Nanda Parbat where you just get there in less than a few hours?
posted by Kitteh at 5:31 PM on May 8, 2015

tried to like the Flash.... I watched the first four episodes... Maybe it got better

It got WAY better. Some of the characters I still don't care about. But it did definitely pick up.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:16 AM on May 9, 2015

Like, where the fuck is Nanda Parbat where you just get there in less than a few hours?

posted by ursus_comiter at 10:25 PM on May 9, 2015

| | Like, where the fuck is Nanda Parbat where you just get there in less than a few hours?
| Jersey.

So, Ra's is the Jersey Devil? That would make Nanda Parbat somewhere in the ever-so-imposing Watchung Range...
posted by Mad_Carew at 9:33 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

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