Taking Care Of Business
Oliver comes back to Starling City for a climactic battle. Then he goes on vacation. Seriously.
Oliver Queen was once a billionaire playboy wastrel, and then he was a castaway, and then he was a hooded vigilante, shooting arrows at evil. Now he's on the verge of becoming the new Ra's al Ghul, the leader of the League of Assassins, because he's just been forced to marry Nyssa al Ghul, the daughter of the current Ra's and also the woman who used to be the girlfriend of Sara Lance, Oliver's ex-girlfriend. And that's only the A-plot! If I started explaining the various sidekicks and romances, we'd be here all day.
Oh! It's probably relevant that all of Oliver's friends are in a cell in Nanda Parbat, and they've just been dosed with the supervirus. Make a note of that.
We've all had a lot of fun making fun of the way people jump back and forth between Nanda Parbat and Starling City on this show. It's possible that "a lot of fun" is an overstatement. But the point is this: we finally get to see the vehicle in which these people have been making twenty-hour flights three times a week.
It's not terribly luxurious, is it?
Good News! No One Is Dead!
Remember when everybody got hit with the supervirus? If you don't, I'm going to have to accuse you of skimming. Go back to the top of this article and start over.
Welcome back! Assuming that you do remember everybody being infected, good news: they're all fine. Malcolm has an elaborate justification involving Oliver being vaccinated five years ago, which is enough to create a new vaccine from his blood, and then that vaccine could be given to all of Team Arrow by shaking hands with Malcolm. It's all so flimsy that one might almost suspect it's an elaborate joke.
Here I Come To Save The Day
Name: The Flash, but you can call him "Barry." Everybody else does. Age: Very young. He's still in his first season! Occupation: Superhero. The cheerful kind. Goal: To show up and solve an impossible problem before vanishing again. Also to make people ask when yesterday's episode of The Flash happened. Sample Dialogue: "Wow! A real live dungeon! Gawrsh!"
Insert Skyrim Reference Here
Alert Type: Oliver's Sliding Morality Alert.
Issue: Oliver, Maseo, and Tatsu have decided they have no interest in being captured by General Shrieve.
Complicating Factors: The established arc of Oliver's character requires that he lose his humanity more and more as the flashbacks continue.
Resolution: He shoots Shrieve in the leg with an arrow.
Spoiler: The next time we visit this scene, Oliver's going to have a hammer. That's bad news for Shrieve.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Oliver (And Nyssa) vs. Ra's (And Some Anonymous Assassins)
Oliver had a plan to foil Ra's's plan. ..."Ra's's" doesn't look like it could possibly be right. Anyway, Oliver has sabotaged the plane so it can crash and kill everyone on board, including himself. But he doesn't seem to be very good at it, because all that happens is that a big fight breaks out.
Winner: Ra's, by taking the Alpha-Omega virus and parachuting out the back of the plane. Perhaps Oliver should have arranged for the engine to blow up before they were actually over Starling City.
"I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."
Oliver and Nyssa are left on a plane that's rapidly losing its ability to stay in the air. Luckily, Oliver is a trained pilot. It's possible that we've never known that before, but it does seem like something that a young billionaire might have been doing. He crashes the plane in a riot of CGI, and the local news takes no notice of it. I don't know where you live, but around here, if a billionaire crashed a cargo plane into the hills outside town, there would be some talk.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
You Lied To Me, Man!
Diggle has been angry at Oliver for the last few episodes, but this is his first chance to punch Oliver in the face. And after that's taken care of, Diggle launches all sorts of complaints, mostly about how Oliver lied to him and worked with Malcolm. He doesn't really bring up Oliver kidnapping his wife, which seems like an oversight.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
I Probably Still Love You, I Guess
Felicity is also angry at Oliver, but it's because she doesn't like his plan to sacrifice himself to save the city. She would prefer the kind of heroics where the hero not only survives but maybe settles down with a nice girl.
Stop! Hammer Time
We're back in the flashbacks again. Oliver has been doing things to General Shrieve, because everyone's very sad that Shrieve's virus killed Akio. Also because when you have a hammer every problem looks like a guy you'd like to smash with a hammer.
Planning For The Future
Alert Type: Mistaken Identity Alert.
Issue: Damian Dark is in town! That's the person who (according to Ra's) has been an offscreen antagonist, and Oliver figures that maybe the reason Ra's is going to release the virus on Starling City is that he's also trying to kill Mr. Dark.
Complicating Factors: Damian is smart enough to leave town when he hears that there are assassins after him. So the guy Oliver finds is actually a stooge, and he gets killed right away anyway.
Resolution: We'll probably see the real Mr. Dark next season. Patience.
That Quote"I set in motion the death of your city ten minutes ago."- Ra's al Ghul, who apparently read Watchmen recently -
That Quote"The city's under attack? Must be May."- Quentin Lance, upon learning that the annual municipal danger has commenced -
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Time For Maseo To Go
Maseo decides, fairly arbitrarily, to leave Tatsu. His official reason is that every time he looks in her eyes, he sees Akio's. But really it's because the show ran out of time to come up with a reason to split these two up, and it had to be done by the end of the season.
Someone New Has Been Added
Name: Either "The Red Arrow" or "Speedy," but definitely not "Thea Queen," no matter how obvious her identity is. Age: Early 20s. Occupation: Masked vigilante. Goal: The usual mumbo-jumbo about justice and stuff. Sample Dialogue: "Thea who?"
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Championship Match: Oliver Queen vs. Ra's al Ghul
Okay, enough fooling around. It's time for Oliver and Ra's to have their climactic battle. It's not as dramatic as the last one, because they both decide to keep their shirts on. But it has more of an air of finality about it, possibly because this is the season finale. The point is, even though we already had a fight where it seemed like Oliver died, this time is different. If Oliver kills Ra's, he becomes the new Ra's. If Ra's kills Oliver, Oliver becomes...well, dead. And as he dies, he'll have to watch Starling be destroyed by plague, which will make three city-destroying disasters in three years. That plague of mini-Deathstrokes in Season 2 wasn't as destructive as the earthquake machine, but it certainly wasn't great for property values.
While the fight goes on (and on and on), Quentin Lance and the police are watching. It may not seem practical to hold this fight in such a public place, but if you can't plan these things for maximum dramatic effect, there's no point in even being a League of Assassins in the first place. Besides, if there's a cool waterfall in the middle of your city, you naturally want to have a duel on top of it. The police want to just have a sniper shoot both of these dopes so they can get back to dealing with the rest of the chaos in the city, but Quentin isn't so sure that's a good idea. As he tells Felicity, he may be of the opinion that Oliver Queen is a dangerous lunatic (and the events of the last three seasons would seem to back this opinion up), but in this instance, he thinks that Oliver is fighting to save the city. It's also possible that he wants to see how this cool-looking fight shakes out, not that he'd ever admit it.
After some very picturesque fighting that takes place mostly in silhouette, Oliver ends up on his knees before Ra's. All seems lost! After some of the inevitable villainous monologuing, that is. Can anything save Oliver, here in his darkest hour? Or are they going to kill the main character with ten minutes to go in the season? This would be a much more interesting question if we didn't already know the show had been renewed.
Back at HQ, Felicity begs Ray to stop futzing with nanobots and hop in his ATOM suit to go save Oliver. Ray won't do it, because he's in the middle of figuring out how to make his nanobots distribute the cure to Starling City. He feels that you have to put the needs of the many above the needs of the few or the one, even if the One is the protagonist. There's not really a hint that Ray is still ticked off about Felicity being in love with Oliver instead of him, but that would be an interesting angle. It would probably get in the way of the portrayal of Ray as such a nice guy, though.
But then! Oliver blocks the killing blow and kills Ra's instead. Ra's has time to hand over the official League of Assassins ring before he dies, which is nice. He's a man who likes to observe the formalities.
Winner: Oliver, eventually.
Who Will Save Oliver?
As Oliver plummets down Starling City's highest waterfall (which we've never seen before and will never see again), a flying point of light whooshes in and saves him. But it's not Ray, so...who? A brand new superhero?
Oh. Hi, Felicity! It's weird that Ray's ATOM suit fits you so well, since he's like two feet taller than you. Maybe this is what all that miniaturization research was for? Anyway, that was a pretty cool save. Good job!
Now that the threat has been neutralized, everyone gathers for some parting thoughts. Oliver tosses the Ring of +1 Assassin Control to Malcolm and announces that he's going to retire. He can't be the Arrow anymore, which means he can be with Felicity. And they are going to peace out, leaving everyone else to be heroes. Incidentally, Oliver would prefer it if people stopped calling them "masks," because that's not impressive. Although he recommends that Diggle get an actual mask if he's going to stick around.
Wrap It Up
We just have enough time left to set some stuff up for next season. Ray's still working on his ATOM suit, and his first miniaturization test makes it go boom. He should probably be doing these tests in a barn well outside of town, rather than on the top floor of a skyscraper.
Malcolm Merlyn returns to Nanda Parbat as the new Ra's al Ghul, proving that it's possible to have a sillier name than "Malcolm Merlyn." The justification for this is that Ra's once tortured him with his sword, so technically Malcolm is someone who "survived the sword of Ra's al Ghul." Also he's got that ring. Nyssa isn't happy about this, but she's willing to accept him as the leader. Everyone assumes he'll be back as a villain, even though he had some sort of deal with Oliver.
And what of Oliver and Felicity? Well, they're going on vacation. And why shouldn't they? They're allowed to have some fun once in a while. It's nice to end a season on a note of optimism for a change.