Photo: Cate Cameron / The CW

Too Many Archers

Yet another bow-and-arrow expert stops by Starling City, but this one's on the side of good. Well, and assassinations.

Two weeks ago, Arrow was all about the search for Sara Lance's killer. Last week, the only thing on anyone's mind was getting Thea Queen to come back to Starling City. This week, the two threads collide when Nyssa convinces everyone that Malcolm Merlyn probably killed Sara. Maybe. Almost certainly. And if he didn't, he should still be murdered. Because the audience saw him hanging out on the island with Thea, we get the rare sight of John Barrowman seeming to be entirely sincere when he denies evildoing.

The story doesn't really lead anywhere, and Nyssa ends up leaving town at the end of the episode. The League Of Assassins will apparently be coming after Oliver, although Ra's al Ghul doesn't care about Sara's death. He might just not like Oliver. It's more interesting to consider that practically everyone in Starling City is keeping a secret of some sort. Now that Thea has trained under Malcolm, she has to keep that secret from Oliver while he keeps the secret of being the Arrow. For people who lie all the time, they're both surprisingly terrible at it.

Getting farther into the plot would involve trying to explain what the words "nanotechnology" and "GPS" seem to mean in the world of Arrow, and nobody wants that. Let's just see how Arrow-y this week's episode was, and maybe some plot elements will pop up organically.

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Oliver goes shirtless. He's still wearing a shirt all the time. Did Stephen Amell misplace his pectoral muscles over the break?
Someone gets kidnapped. Thea hasn't even been back in Starling City for an entire episode before she finds herself dangling upside down in a straitjacket like she's trying to become the Houdini of the new millennium. To her credit, she doesn't seem all that bothered by the experience, pointing out that it's hardly the first time she's been kidnapped. Being threatened by death by a masked figure is just part of life.
There's either a big dance party or a charity gala. Nope. However, Thea is going to reopen Club Verdant with the help of some unnamed investors. You know how investors are always looking for billionaire heiresses who have gone broke so they can pay them to open clubs, right? Anyway, once that happens, I anticipate plenty of dance parties. It'll be like the old days, with special guest DJs all over the place.
Felicity has a crush on Oliver. Felicity was barely in the episode. However, she spent her time off by visiting The Flash and mooning over Oliver there. So I'm counting it.
Everyone's always watching the news on television. In this episode, people get their urgent information from smoke signals. Seriously.
There are references to the DC Universe. That flight Oliver was talking about was on Ferris Air. The DC Comics version was originally an aerospace and defense company, and it's where Hal Jordan was a test pilot before he became Green Lantern.
Events on the island parallel modern day. In Hong Kong, Oliver officially becomes an assassin for Amanda Waller. But in the present day, he's taken a vow to stop killing people. Or at least cut back. Okay, that's not a "parallel," exactly, but it's still sort of similar.
Someone breaks up with or reunites with someone else on the spur of the moment. Hi, Nyssa. Welcome back to Starling City. Why don't you join up with Oliver for a few scenes before you declare war on him and leave again?
Oliver arrows somebody. The Tracer Arrow (this is where the GPS nanotech comes in, and that's all I'm going to say about it) doesn't count, because it only grazes Malcolm. In fact, Oliver spends the whole episode refusing to arrow people.
5 / 9
Final Score
56%
Arrow
44%
Inconvenient Vows Against Bloody Revenge
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