ARROW Season 3×04, “The Magician” recap

30 Oct


Welcome back, Arrowheads! Last time we left everyone, Ollie took a trip out of town to bring Thea back home, who was unknown to Ollie, being trained by noted psychopath Malcolm Merlyn. Malcolm let her go, but who knows what that means. Seriously, he’s crazy. This was a brief break from the ongoing mystery of Sara’s murder, which was still having ripples through everyone. Felicity had taken Ray Palmer’s job at Queen Consolidated, and Laurel attempted her own vigilante thing and asking for help in training, which got a major “NO” from Ollie and a “sure” from boxer Ted Grant. And just when Ollie was getting over the jet lag, Nyssa shows up wondering what happened to Sara. Oooooh, this is going to an uncomfortable talk…

Bearer of Bad News. So we start where we left off: Nyssa pointing an arrow at Ollie and Roy, wondering where Sara is. She was there on a job for the League of Assassins, but never reported back, and that’s when Ollie realizes she doesn’t know what happened. Once he explains what happened to Sara, Nyssa asks where her body is and if there were arrows involved, which peg Ollie’s interest enough to have Roy trail Nyssa to Sara’s grave. There, Nyssa runs into Laurel, who happened to be out for a nighttime visit to her sister’s grave, and they have a rather tense talk before Nyssa leaves.

Roy lets Ollie know Nyssa has laid camp to a empty apartment, and once Ollie arrives there, finds out the apartment is where Sara was staying while in Starling. Ollie assumes Sara’s target was her killer, but Nyssa lets Ollie know that her job wasn’t an assassination, but a fact-finding mission to confirm whether Malcolm Merlyn is alive! Um, this is going to get dicey, I can just tell.


Diggle about this newest unexpected visitor: “I told you we needed extra security or a new secret base, Oliver, but you kept blowing it off!”

Point and Kill. In the flashback this episode, Ollie is trailing a target for Waller with Maseo shadowing him. Ollie is really not into killing people like this without a reason, but knowing what will happen to Maseo’s family if he doesn’t, kills the target (and finds a USB drive). At Maseo’s house later, Ollie bribes Maseo’s son to use his laptop to look at the USB, and once he does, tells Maseo to arrange a meet with Waller and to mention a specific flight number when doing it. Later, a rather irritated Waller gets to hear what he’s pieced together, and its that the flight number is the commercial flight Ollie prevented from being shot down in season one. The man he murdered was Fyers’ handler, but was working for Waller, and threatens to release that info to the press unless she leaves Maseo and his family alone. Well, she explains that Fyers was meant to take down a plane full of innocent people, but the hidden reason was to hit only one person: China White! And guess who Waller wants Ollie to find in Hong Kong?

Trailing a Ghost. Back at Arrow HQ, we get a brief reminder of why Malcolm Merlyn is so hated (and yes, it’s because he murdered 500 odd people in Starling City, which I mention here because of a glaring logic problem I’ll discuss later on) and we find out Sara had a note on her…blank note. It’s actually surveillance notes written in ghost ink (like Pappy Queen’s diary), which point to someone named Jansen and possibly calling her dad. So the next day, Laurel visits Quentin and asks if Sara has called recently. He confesses she did, looking for a Mr. Jansen, and to keep it from Laurel (which is funny, because Laurel is still keeping Sara’s death a secret from Quentin). Nyssa drops by police HQ to possibly talk to Quentin in a less formal way, and Laurel stops her, and Nyssa realizes he doesn’t know about what Sara, and despite talk of letting Quentin know the truth, they both stay silent to him about it. That night, Team Arrow and Nyssa stake out Jansen’s address, which is a monastery. And you figure a better scouting of the place would have spoiled the surprise the Team has at that moment of confrontation: Jansen is dead, and the man Nyssa thinks is Jansen is Malcolm! Malcolm escapes, but Ollie wounds Malcolm with an Arrow laced with tracers so they can track him. At Arrow HQ, Nyssa and Laurel are giving Ollie crap for not killing Malcolm (and both ladies talk about how Ollie will puss out of killing Malcolm, so Nyssa should) and with Felicity out of town, Diggle gets “tracking Malcolm” duty. Ollie follows the signal to an abandoned warehouse, and Malcolm calls to let him know he’s not there at all (but gives kudos for trying to track him like that) , but does want to meet with him in a public place, with no one else.

"Hey sis, I'm glad we both started being honest, especially since you made a major stink about it before you left."  "Um, ye-yeah..."

“Hey sis, I’m glad we both started being honest, especially since you made a major stink about it before you left.” “Um, ye-yeah…”

Daddy’s Home. Later that night, Ollie meets Malcolm in a public square (because if you want to talk to a mass murderer, why not talk to him in a full public square where EVERYONE knows who said mass murderer is?), and Malcolm tells him he’s back to protect Thea and oh yeah, he didn’t kill Sara. Instead of doing the sane thing, Ollie lets Malcolm go (!), and decides to warn Thea about Malcolm being alive (ye-yeah I think she knows that…). Since Thea’s gotten back to town, she’s been able to buy back the Foundry and plans to re-open Verdant, so it’s with some surprise that she hears from Ollie that he’s found out Malcolm’s alive. And surprise, she lies about how she knew that already, which I don’t know, is kind of hypocritical considering how Thea was all for truthiness last season. At HQ, Nyssa has found out Ollie didn’t kill Malcolm again and that he’s back to watch Thea, his daughter. So, Nyssa decides to go off and pull Malcolm out of hiding by using that new “Thea’s his daughter” info the only way this could probably go: Thea gets kidnapped for the first time this season! At least she’s been kidnapped by a lady this time (and poor Roy is there to get knocked out with a dart).

The Devil. There’s a large burst of purple smoke from a factory, and Malcolm seems to know exactly what it means. When Laurel discovers this a few minutes later, she heads to Arrow HQ and its hard not to guess Nyssa is letting Malcolm know she has Thea. Ollie wants to go in alone, and gets there to grab Thea, who’s just hanging around (no literally, she’s hanging upside down). Nyssa starts fighting with Ollie, and it becomes a weird three person fight when Malcolm drops in. Nyssa gets pinned to a wall, and Ollie has a good shot at Malcolm, to which he still swears he didn’t kill Sara (he doesn’t deny killing several hundred civilians though), and points at Nyssa’s daddy, Ra’s al Ghul, as a likely culprit. Nyssa’s dad wasn’t a fan of Sara, let alone her leaving the League before and sleeping with his daughter, but she still wants Malcolm dead. Ollie wants to arrest him, but he lays out why the only way to stop him is to kill him.

Hey, it's one of them troll figures from the 90's...what?  OH.  Sorry about that.  I really need to wear my glasses when commenting on these screencaps.

Hey, it’s one of them troll figures from the 90’s…what? OH. Sorry about that. I really need to wear my glasses when commenting on these screencaps.

And then Ollie lets him go. I would head slap Ollie for doing that, but Nyssa punches him later, so I feel she did that for me. Ollie wants to protect Malcolm because Malcolm vowed to protect Thea (and its not like Malcolm’s a mass murderer of innocent people or nothing) and he’s not Sara’s killer, but for Malcolm’s crimes against the League, Nyssa warns that the League may come after Team Arrow for protecting Malcolm. Seriously, I’m starting to side with Roy and Diggle on this matter: let Malcolm get killed.

The Demon. Quentin tries calling Sara, and that she hasn’t called back is of some concern. Thea brings Roy onboard Verdant as a “platonic” assistant manager (suuuurrrre…), and says Ollie doesn’t know about her and dear old dad to Malcolm. Nyssa sees Laurel at the gym to vow to find Sara’s killer, and to offer some good boxing tips. And much later, Nyssa arrives in a mountain monastery and announces what happened to a hidden figure. That hidden figure says they will kill Malcolm for his crimes against them, but to the surprise of Nyssa, doesn’t care if Malcolm killed Sara or not. After Nyssa says Team Arrow may protect Malcolm, Ra’s al Ghul emerges and declares if they do, they will make an enemy of the League. Ollie, you may want to let Malcolm die. Just a suggestion.

Filling in for Liam Nesson in the role of Ra's al Ghul: Papa Johns (no, not the pizza guy, the guy from the Riddick movie)

Filling in for Liam Nesson in the role of Ra’s al Ghul: Papa Johns (no, not the pizza guy, the guy from the Riddick movie)

–Comic book connections: Ra’s al Ghul makes his first appearance on Arrow here, but as many know, is primarily a Batman villain.

–Um, did I mention screw Thea’s feelings, Malcolm Merlyn’s a mass murderer and letting him go was stupid, Ollie? Just thought in case everyone you know didn’t mention it enough…

–Oh now Nyssa’s on the Laurel train after hearing how bloodthirsty she is to kill Sara’s murderer.

–Damn, Maseo’s kid is a tough negotiator when it comes to candy.

–I wonder how Felicity’s trip to Central City went?

–“She doesn’t like me.” “That’s not true. She hates you.”

–“When you punch, move your hips. That’s where the power comes from.”

So that’s it for now, but please leave your comments and general fan stuff below, and be back next week for the recap of “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”…

2 Responses to “ARROW Season 3×04, “The Magician” recap”

  1. Debbie Chesney October 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Oliver made a vow not to kill. If he is going to become the Green Arrow then he must learn to keep his vows. That was the point.

    • stewartmoncure November 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      That’s true, even though this is going to cause even bigger problems down the road this season. On the other hand, not having Ollie capture Malcolm seems to be a choice that’s harder to defend. Sure he might escape wherever he would end up, but letting him go outright seems like a blunder on Ollie’s part. He doesn’t have to kill him, but he doesn’t have to let him escape either.

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