My Name is Oliver Queen Plot Summary:
After Malcolm (John Barrowman) reveals that he inoculated the team against the Alpha and Omega, Barry/The Flash (Grant Gustin) helps them escape Nanda Parbat. They return just in time to help Oliver (Stephen Amell) stop Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) from unleashing the virus on Starling City.
I can’t say with any certainty that I didn’t hallucinate last night’s brilliant episode of Arrow.
Showrunner Marc Guggenhiem’s post-credits message that Season 4 would still happen was reassuring, but “My Name is Oliver Queen” felt like not just the end to the season, but the series. And you know what? I’d be fine with it. I’ve had my complaints, but as a three-act story (the first season established, the second deepened and the third resolved), it’s hard to imagine a better ending.
The season began with Sara’s (Caity Lotz) death, and while I was pretty frustrated/devastated at the time, I’ve come to think it’s the smartest thing the show’s ever done. That single event affected every single storyline and character, but it was especially important for Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Thea’s (Willa Holland) journeys toward becoming vigilantes. While Laurel (Katie Cassidy) still doesn’t make sense as the Black Canary, the conflict between her and Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) has been one of the best emotional beats of the season. Thea (Willa Holland), on the other hand, has become one of the show’s best characters. She’s strong and driven but knows herself better than Oliver did when he first donned the hood. I would have liked to see a bit more of her in the finale and my blood boiled when she thanked Malcolm for making her strong (you already were, dummy), but I can’t wait to see what happens next for her.
Speaking of Malcolm, anyone who has read my recaps from the beginning (bless your heart) knows how much I wanted him to die, but I take it all back. His redemption arc was never convincing, and while that seemed like weak writing, this episode showed that it was all part of the plan. The reveal that he’d made a deal with Oliver to become the next Ra’s al Ghul was truly shocking and a brilliant way to reaffirm what a complete villain he is. He barely hesitated to abandon Thea so he could return to Nanda Parbat and start power-tripping. Watching Nyssa (Katrina Law) kneel in front of him made me homicidal, but now I can look forward to her killing him. But that’s for the future, probably Season 5 at the soonest. Right now, we need to talk about Oliver and Felicity.
It’s hard to talk about Oliver’s journey this season without also talking about Felicity’s. Unfortunately, that also means talking about Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). He was always primarily meant to be a foil for Oliver, and a way for Felicity to work out her Oliver issues — so all attempts to make him interesting outside of the love triangle felt half-assed and distracting as a result. That said, watching Felicity don the ATOM suit to swoop in to save Oliver pretty much excuses every creepy stalker moment Ray ever had. And then he was kind enough to blow himself up before the credits rolled. Hopefully that means Felicity’s resignation didn’t go through and she gets to be CEO of Palmer Technologies or Queen Consolidated or whatever she wants to call it next season. That would truly be the most satisfying result of her meteoric rise to power over the course of the series. She deserves it after how tough this season’s been. I’ve read numerous complaints over her transition from bubbly comic relief to weepy firebrand, but what other option did the girl have? She had to become Team Arrow’s unofficial leader in Oliver’s absence (and this episode might prove she’s their true leader anyway) and while she was occasionally irrational and frequently emotional (sad, vindictive, angry, you name it), she’s now a more complete character.
Oliver is too. He may have made some really stupid decisions this year, but he’s better for it. At the beginning of the season, I predicted that while he initially sacrificed the Oliver persona for The Arrow, he would make the opposite choice in the finale. The fact that he actually did it is a huge development for the character. After three seasons of committing emotional suicide and expecting to die for his cause, Oliver Queen chose to be happy and gave up the Arrow. He will surely find a reason to return to Starling City and take up his bow again, but when he does, it won’t be about self-punishment anymore. Oliver–with Felicity by his side–will choose to help people because he knows he can. He’ll finally be a hero. I can’t wait to see it.
Rating: 9.5/10 because great as this episode was, it makes no sense that Oliver somehow had time to tell Barry to save his pals after he became Al Sah-him.
By day, Marisa Carpico stresses over every detail of America’s election system. By night, she becomes a pop culture and celebrity obsessive. Whether it’s movies, TV or music, she watches and listens to it all so you don’t have to. You can find her risking her life by reading comic books while walking down the crowded streets of New York City, having inappropriate emotional reactions at her iPad screen while riding the subway or occasionally letting her love of a band convince her to stand for hours on end in one of the city’s many purgatorial concert spaces. You can follow her on Twitter to read her insightful social commentary or more likely complain about how cold it is at @MarisaCarpico.