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TV Review: “Arrow” – Season 3 Episode 4: “The Magician”

By: Kyle Shultz

Arrow Season 3 title card

It is finally revealed to Team Arrow that Malcolm Merlyn is in fact alive after the events from Season One’s finale & to me I felt that it was kind of anti-climatic in how everything was handled. Having Malcolm show up in Starling City is kind of stupid in the fact that he’s believed to be dead & is responsible for killing hundreds of people, yet when he’s out in the streets; no one recognizes him at all. It just irks me in the way that if this were a real life situation, citizens of a city would recognize someone who killed hundreds of people by blowing up the city, especially if that person was once one of the richest folks in Starling. This, so far, is the only real “big” problem I have with this season; I’m excited for the inclusion of Malcolm Merlyn this season, I love the dynamic between him & Thea/Oliver, though the big reveal to Oliver that Merlyn, his arch-enemy, is still alive was just poorly executed.

With how the previous episode ended, we knew that Katrina Law’s Nyssa Al Ghul would be featured heavily & was certainly a great addition to the episode. Her scenes with Arrow & the team, The Lance’s, & a certain Demon were really well done. As I’ve said many times before, one of the best things about this show are the fight scenes. They’re so well filmed & choreographed that I’m a bit insulted in what we see on film. The final fight between Arrow, Nyssa, & Malcolm was purely pleasing to me, the only way it could’ve been better was if Roy was in the fight as well. I’m really glad they did reveal that it certainly wasn’t Malcolm who killed Sara. The points that he makes to Nyssa & Oliver are true, why would he kill the lover of Nyssa, who is the daughter of the one man who Malcolm is truly afraid of? Why would Malcolm even risk that? It would be pointless to make him the killer; my money is still on Cupid!

 Merlyn ReturnsSpeaking of Sara, having Nyssa confront Laurel/Quentin was interesting. I’m actually surprised that Nyssa didn’t tell Quentin that Sara was killed, that’s one thing I expected to be said in this episode. Having her go along with the lie was different, & now makes me wonder when will they tell Quentin? When’s the best time to tell someone with a heart condition that your daughter is dead?…I’m going to guess either mid-season finale or season finale.

With Thea being back, we’re going to get some Roy/Thea screen time. The dynamic between these two this season is really odd. Having these two go from strangers to lovers, to friends is like a game of Ping-Pong. Having these two work together like they are works to me. I just want to know when is Thea going to put two & two together & realize that Roy is with The Arrow now & anytime Roy is in a scene, Oliver isn’t too far behind or vice-versa. Everyone knows Oliver is Arrow, but Thea. It’s getting annoying mainly because I want to see how her character will react to that. How will she react to her brother being this vigilante-turned hero? Will she accept or deny him? Only time will tell, & I would love to see her fight with or against him.

 Nyssa wants answersOne of the best things this show could ever do was announce Ra’s Al Ghul as a character for Season Three. At the end of this episode we actually had our first look at Matt Nable’s Ra’s Al Ghul & while that scene alone was enticing, I need to him in action before I judge completely.

Overall, this episode had satisfying action, some little dull moments with the conflict, my main complaint being Malcolm’s re-introduction to Oliver & our first introduction to Ra’s Al Ghul on the live action TV front. Hopefully with a new rivalry between Arrow & The League, momentum will start building to much bigger and better things.

Overall Grade: 8/10

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