Arrow Episode 21 ‘This Is Your Sword’ Review…

DOCTOR WHO Christmas InvasionThis episode, the Arrow reveals his hand. A plan that is just as convoluted as this season has been. A plan that has definitely been about the greater good at the expense of himself in the eyes of those closest to him and caused him to ally himself with the very enemies he’s been pitted against for this season–and since his return to Starling City. The Arrow gang can do little but respond to the threat that Arrow has revealed as they venture off to Nanda Parbat to stop the League of Assassins destroying Starling City. Oh, and Thea got to bed Roy. It’s kind of a miracle I remembered anything either side of that.. But did this episode–the start of the finale run–make up for a season that hasn’t managed to match the highs of season 1 and 2?

Kind of. There was a nice sense of urgency throughout this episode with the threat of the League’s virus hanging over the city, Arrow having to trust in his old ally Maseo and his old enemy/frenemy Merlyn whilst in the midst of a bunch of people in the league that are either going to follow him at some point or kill him if they realise his betrayal.

The revelation that Arrow has been working a plan with Merlyn since Thea was wounded/killed was tough to take in, and I can’t help feel that it’s a twist too far for Arrow’s scheming. Much of this season’s torment and difficulties have come about through Arrow’s selective version of the truth and now he’s played his friends and his love. He abducted Lyla just to prove himself to Ra’s. Has he gone too far for the greater good? I’m glad Diggle thinks so. Surely there’s another way to secure the virus? He’s certainly not as sympathetic in my eyes. That’s some brave writing I guess.

The assault of Nanda Parbat was awesome. Great seeing everyone get a turn at being bad ass. This show is at its best for me when they group up like this. Even Felicity got to take someone out… with a tablet. I’m so going to practice that for when the man-wife gives me sass when I ask for a cup of tea. Lots of action and some great effects. Although just how Ray survived his crash landing I don’t know.

There was a lot of tying up of relationships. Still a bit sad for Ray and Felicity not escaping the Felicity-Arrow destiny/draw, but it was great seeing Roy and Thea get closure–even if it was bittersweet. It was a shame that this seems like the end of Roy. Hope he’ll come back–but it looks like Thea is going to be the next red arrow do that’s cool. Let’s hope she’ll get better story treatment than poor Roy. Oh and Roy had stubble and chest hair. Second puberty has hit since leaving Startling City.

Maseo and Tatsu’s storyline reaches it’s conclusion in a tragic way. Maseo has been a character of confused motivations and my feelings about the flashback scenes haven’t exactly been ambiguous, but it was a sad end for them. How cool did Tatsu look though?! I don’t know if she’s a character in the comic book universe, but I hope she makes a come back.

As for the cliffhanger… Well, it was a little hokey with them all chained up and supposedly infected. I mean I know I haven’t just watched all of the Arrow characters die, so watching them all cough and splutter and definitely not die felt a little bit awkward. I did like Merlyn and his impulsive-betrayal attempt. Even though it does kind of show that Arrow was really mistaken in trusting him.

I’ve been pretty negative about this season, but the recent episodes have really picked up and stand out in quality, even if some of the characters I’ve enjoyed for two seasons have lost their way. If it keeps this up for the finale I’ll be happy.

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