Arrow Re-Nocked: Episode 22 – This Is Your Sword

Originally Aired: May 6th, 2015

In this penultimate episode of Arrow, we finally get to see everything this season has been building up to come to a head. While last week’s episode showed us how far gone Oliver really is, this episode gave us a slight glimmer of hope for what can only turn out to be a long thought out and risky plan by Al Sah-him. This episode really squeezes at the heart as we get to see certain reunions of characters like Roy and Thea, Tatsu and Maseo, and a few others that I won’t spoil just yet. While this episode was full of dark scenes and angry characters, we also get some exciting action and fighting as well.

This episode isn’t one you want to just pass off as a means to an end. There were some incredibly interesting and questionable things that happened in this episode that leave me wondering what the meaning was or what will happen next. Like the last few episodes of Arrow, this episode ends in a heart thumbing cliffhanger for both past and present Oliver/Al Sah-him and his fellow cast of characters. At this point, before having watched the promo for the finale, I have no clue how this season will end. I can only hope that next week’s finale ends with the same feeling of completion and excitement for the next season that season 2 ended with. If you haven’t been keeping up with Arrow, or have stopped watching because you get your DC show fix by The Flash, you should definitely think about watching Arrow, because while some people are tired of this story arc with the league, after seeing where this season has brought me I really wouldn’t want it to have gone any other way.

WARNING: SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP!

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So this episode starts off once again with Diggle and crew taking out the trash of Starling City. We get to see Laurel use her Canary Cry again, which in my mind cements her version of the Black Canary as the best we’ve gotten on screen yet. Felicity and the rest of the cast are still dealing with their anger and denial about who Oliver has become after last week’s episode, which in turn causes them to go through all the stages of grief as well. While Diggle is in the Anger stage, Laurel seems to have accepted that Oliver is gone and Felicity is in the Bargaining stage, feeling helpless and unsure at where to go next. After going to Ray to maybe talk about it (I’m not sure because she leaves before saying what she came their for), Ray ends up having her sign a transfer of ownership to what I can assume is Palmer Technologies to Felicity herself without her realizing what she just signed. This is an interesting twist, as it again mirrors back to Tony Star giving company control to Pepper Potts. I’m not exactly sure why Ray did this, but my guess is for insurance just in case something happens to him while he’s crime fighting.

For the first time in these last few episodes, we finally get to see Oliver Queen rear his head as he goes off to meet with Malcom outside of Nanda Parbat. He tells Malcom all of Raj’s plans and enlists in Malcom’s aide to try and convince Team Arrow to help him stop the Alpha-Omega virus from being dropped on Starling City. I feel like the whole plan here to have Malcom send Tatsu to convince Team Arrow that Oliver is still good was a bit odd. Like they made obviously clear, none of them have ever met Tatsu and only Diggle seemed to have heard of Akio before. Somehow Tatsu is able to convince the team to go to Nanda Parbat which leads to a pretty bad ass fight between some pretty dumb assassins. I feel like as well trained as the League is, the assassins in this fight just ran head first and barely showed any skill in battle. We got to see Tatsu and Maseo face off and Tatsu tries one last time to convince Maseo that he’s still able to have a life with her, but failing to do so pits them off against each other in a pretty awesome katana duel to the death, which Maseo ends up losing. Tatsu was pretty bad ass as Katana and I’m really glad they added her in costume to the show. Finally the best part of this whole fight scene was when The ATOM shows up and dogfights with the stealth jet supposedly carrying the virus. All The ATOM scenes we have been getting in this show since his introduction have been tremendous and have really made me a fan of Arrow’s version of The ATOM.

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Throughout the episode we also get a lot of scene changes over to Thea as she goes to see Roy again. These scenes were pretty great, mainly because it was a well needed pause from all the intense action and drama going on in the other half of the show. Thea and Roy really have great chemistry and I kind of wish they would stay together, but in the end Roy vanishes leaving Thea a note. The note sets Thea up to take over the red hood for Roy and become the “Speedy” we’ve been wondering if she’d become since season 1. I feel like this won’t be the absolute last we see of Roy. I know he’s left the show when it concerns next season, but I really hope at the end of Season 5 when the show will supposedly end, we get to see him again and know that he’s okay.

After last week’s episode I assumed that Akio was pretty much dead. Well, I was right… but they dragged the fact on for this whole episode as Maseo and Ollie attempt to acquire the cure from General Shrieve. In the end this was futile because as Shrieve says at the end of the episode, Akio was a goner the moment he got infected. There was no cure, which is a bit ominous for what’s to come in the finale. We also learn that in the last episode when Ollie and Maseo blew up the truck carrying the virus that Maseo took one of the vials. He explains that his original intention was to use it on Schrieve as revenge, but that really seems odd given how last episode’s flashbacks actually went down. I have a hard time believing Maseo would risk his life to destroy the virus, yet take a vial for himself.

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Lastly we have Oliver’s part of the story. Like I said earlier, we finally get to see that Oliver is still inside and Al Sah-Him hasn’t completely taken over. This episode was painful to watch, because now we understand the danger Oliver is in and the lengths of the ruse he’s put on. He’s pretty much had to destroy all his bridges to fake being Ra’s heir, and there’s no telling whether he can rebuild that trust. Ra’s seems to be buying it for the most part. Though he really didn’t like Oliver talking alone with Diggle. In the end, Oliver had to keep up his ruse in what I would assume will keep going until he is named Ra’s Al Ghul. I can’t imagine any other plan he has than to take over the League and release them all from their positions. The most questionable part to this story was Malcom’s betrayal. He goes to Ra’s and tells him Oliver informed his friends of all the plans, but Oliver convinces Ra’s that Malcom is lying. In the end Team Arrow and Malcom all get the virus released in their prison cells. I can’t imagine that Oliver’s ruse would allow such a thing, so I am assuming that either Oliver switched the vials somehow, or that they all got unknowingly inoculated by either Malcom or someone else earlier. None of them presented the blood from the nose or mouth that the other infected in the flashbacks did.

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This show is ramping up to an exciting end. With Team Arrow being informed of Oliver’s marriage to Nyssa, then us seeing it actually go down (not without an attempted murder of course), I’m left with intrigue as to where this leaves Olicity and the future. My guess is that Oliver will take over as Ra’s then immediately take out Ra’s with a command, then release the League as a whole from their vows, which will allow him to go save his friends. That alone won’t be anywhere near enough to gain the trust of Team Arrow back, but that will most likely be the theme of next season. Malcom finally showed his true colors in this episode, but I found it a bit odd. What was his goal here? Favor with Ra’s? I can’t imagine Malcom would want back into the League. With Oliver and Nyssa’s marriage becoming binding at the last second of tonight’s episode, I am dying to see what happens next! In terms of The Flash vs Arrow this week, there was no hope in Arrow beating an episode featuring so much Grodd, but this episode was as close as it could get! Very, very well done and I really love the way this show is going. More Game of Thrones level of dark drama than campy soap opera drama. Bravo CW! This week as a whole was one huge win.

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