I remember reviewing last seasons finale thinking, “they would have to do a LOT to beat ‘Sacrifice'”, the title for the season 1 finale. Because that ending was SO good. And I was right, “Unthinkable” did not live up to it. It was good, and it set things up for what would happen in season 03, but it wasn’t to the level “Sacrifice” was. “My Name Is Oliver Queen” as a finale fall literally in between those two. Not as epic as “Sacrifice”, but a little better than “Unthinkable”.
As in all things Arrow, Oliver Queen really was the focal point of this finale. As he had to do everything in his power to ensure Ra’s did not win. And by “win” I mean destroy Starling City. And much like last night’s Flash, I was surprised by how quickly things escalated. Ollie and Nyssa teamed up to try and take out Ra’s early…but it failed. Being that it was only a few minutes in…not a big surprise. But it worked for what needed to happen.
Oh, and everyone’s “death” at the end of last episode? Yeah, it was a fake. Give Malcolm and Ollie credit though, they had a very multi-layered plan in place certain things went wrong, and they did, frequently, but they made up for it. And lest we forget, Barry showed up! I’m kind of torn on this. Because though it was epic (and lined up with what happened last nigh on Flash) I hate the whole “I would help you guys save the world…but I need to talk with my nemesis REALLY badly”…he’s in a cell (presumably)…HE CAN WAIT BARRY! Oh well…
One immediate perk to the whole “my ‘blowing up the plane’ plan failed” thing was the immediate aftermath. Where not only did Diggle clock Ollie, but they revealed that Ollie honestly wanted to go down with the plane. This is key, as it shows that Ollie was not only willing to go to the ends of the earth (and beyond) to stop Ra’s, but he knew that if he survived, he might never get the forgiveness from his friends for what he had done. Especially with Diggle.
The hunt for the virus, and the subsequent duel with Ra’s al Ghul was good. As all members of Team Arrow had to spread out to find the carriers. I really dug that the carriers had the virus in them, and merely had to bleed to make it infect the area. That was unexpected, yet totally fed into the mentality of the League Of Assassins. Also, it stopped us from a typical “we have to stop the vial from shattering!” kind of thing. Yes, they had to stop them from bleeding, but that’s harder to do honestly.
I liked how Ra’s called out Ollie, cause he KNEW he couldn’t resist fighting him, cause it would mean future pain if he didn’t. The fight itself was good, a little short, but whatever. I know some people will say “Ollie defeated him too easily!”, but remember, he spent weeks training with Ra’s, learning his moves, unlike before where he only had Slade’s training mixed with some tricks of his own. Now he was fighting style for style, which was no doubt the point, and one that was mentioned by Tatsu earlier in the season.
Scattered throughout the episode were numerous great character moments. Laurel and Quentin got to show their stuff, including a surprise that Quentin had fallen off the wagon. I know these two aren’t close like they were before, but hopefully with this they’ll at least try to be. Felicity slightly redeemed herself from past episodes, as she honestly gave a good speech to Oliver about how to be more than what he was (which she totally stole from Babylon 5, but whatever…) and that in turn led to the ending which I will get to soon. But…she did have some weak lines and all that. Hopefully she’ll return to the Felicity we all know and love in season 4.
OH!!! And we got to see the rise of Speedy!…or Red Arrow…no, definitely Speedy! This was a tease from all the way back in season 1, but with what happened with Roy last episode, it felt like a true awakening. Hopefully we’ll get more or Speedy next season as well.
The flashbacks were honestly a hinderance. Not because they weren’t good, but because they failed to carry any weight. Akio was dead, we knew that Maseo was going to leave Tatsu, and that Ollie was going…well somewhere. Problem is, we don’t know where, and the whole, “I don’t want that darkness hanging over my family” thing doesn’t jive with me…cause that’s kind of what happened in season 1. The Hong Kong flashbacks were easily the weakest of the flashback stories so far. They had their moments no doubt, but they failed in the overall in my mind.
Ok, now onto the ending! Starling City? Saved! Malcolm Merlyn? THE NEW RA’S AL GHUL!!!…WITH NYSSA READY TO SERVE HIM! Diggle? Possibly suiting up soon? MAYBE!!! Ray Palmer? DEAD!…no he’s not, not even close. BUT, seeing him finally, FINALLY begin the transition to the one true Atom was great to see! The explosion was cheap because we knew he was going to be in Legends of Tomorrow, but hey, that’s what they chose to do.
And finally, Ollie quit being the Arrow, and decided to leave the city with Felicity. Yes, he’s going to come back, but for now, it’s nice to know he’s getting a happy ending…yeah, for now.
In the end, “My Name is Oliver Queen” did its best to not only wrap up the season, but leave several hints as to where things are going, for both our heroes AND the villains they might encounter. It had its faults, and sometimes lacked impact, but the intent was there, and it served many purposes. Bring on season 4!