Arrow‘s third season has been a rough one. The highs have been rather high and the lows have been almost insufferable. For some reason, everything never clicked into place and there was some awkwardness throughout. The season’s biggest weakness was undoubtedly its big bad, Ra’s al Ghul. It took 23 episodes for the show to finally reveal Ra’s al Ghul’s motivation—using the Alpha/Omega to kill Damien Darhk. Before tonight’s episode, we were unsure of what Ra’s al Ghul wanted and why he was doing what he was doing. It didn’t help that Matt Noble didn’t make a terribly convincing Ra’s al Ghul.
Furthermore, the show never really explained the League’s ideology. It’s all been rather hazy. Hopefully next season, with Malcolm as the new Ra’s al Ghul, we’ll gain some more insight into the purpose of this incarnation of the League.
As we’ve discussed throughout, the theme of this season was identity, specifically Oliver Queen’s identity. As Maseo warned him in a flashback, a man cannot live by two names, and we watched Oliver struggle with this throughout. At times, it was frustrating because very moody Oliver isn’t very enjoyable and, more importantly, his identity crisis usually became intertwined with the Olicity of it all. Olicity turned out not to be as fun as some of us may have hoped and started to become too much of the season’s focus.
Nevertheless, Oliver’s solo journey paid off. Pitting him against his team not only allowed for us to see different sides of him, but also allowed the rest of the cast to grow as well. Laurel, who was once the show’s biggest problem, came into her own this season as she became a full-fledged, leather-outfit-wearing member of Team Arrow. By the end of the season, Thea had affirmed why she’s one of the show’s best characters. Most importantly, however, turning Oliver into the villain of his story allowed Arrow to explore and give Diggle, and his relationship with Oliver, some much-needed attention. “For three years, you have been a rock; the city’s rock, my rock. For three years, you have been the person I can count on,” said Oliver toward the end of tonight’s episode—and it’s true. If anything, Oliver’s relationship with Diggle was far more interesting than Oliver and Felicity, and there were moments when the show seemed to realize that.
Despite the season’s problems, there is something to be said of the fact that almost no one could have predicted this ending at the beginning of the season.
So where are we heading next season? Well, Damien Darhk and the rest of H.I.V.E. will most likely be the Big Bad, or at the very least become a thorn in Team Arrow’s side. Hopefully, the ending of tonight’s episode means an end to Olicity drama for sometime. We can expect Thea to become a permanent member of Team Arrow as either Speedy (Oliver’s choice) or Red Arrow (her choice). Before leaving, Oliver also suggested that Diggle start concealing his identity if he was going to continue being a hero, so hopefully, Diggle will have a cool alias when we return next season.
Wall of Weird:
- Flashbacks: We finally see Maseo leave his grieving wife. Tatsu decides to go to a monastery near her home, and Oliver, believing he needs to be alone, boards a ship marked for Coast City.
- At the end of the episode, the entire top floor of Palmer Industries exploded while Ray was trying to make his suit shrink. But, there’s no need to worry since Ray is part of Legends of Tomorrow. Quick guess: Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) saves him before the explosion or something.
- Let’s get this straight: Ray Palmer is still working out the kinks of his suit, but, Felicity can fly it and save Oliver with no problem on her first go? Guys, the power of love is very strong.
- Still not sure when Oliver found the time to travel to Central City, but whatever. It’s really not too important.
- Do you guys feel like Oliver’s happy ending with Felicity was earned? I’m still on the fence.
- Thanks for reading along this season. It’s been so much fun recapping one of my favorite shows, and I hope you guys enjoyed it, too. See you in the fall!