Arrow Season 3 Episode 23 Review: ”My Name Is Oliver Queen”


After what has been a very mixed season for The CW’s Arrow, Oliver Queen finally took back control of his life by opposing Ra’s al Ghul one final time.

It has been pretty clear in my previous reviews that this season of the show hasn’t really been a favorite of mine because of the overwhelming amount of darkness, as well as questionable writing decisions, including a lot of focus on one romantic relationship that has sadly been at the expense of other characters. But focusing on the main plot itself, it was just genuinely great to see Oliver finally triumph over Ra’s, especially on the plane, although it did get insanely intense so quickly. The problem with the entire arc in this finale was that it was oddly paced when it came to Ra’s vs. Oliver. Their final battle wasn’t anywhere near as compelling as Oliver’s previous finale fights with Malcolm Merlyn or Deathstroke.

Even though there was a lot of drama, Diggle really stole the show with his disappointment in Oliver because it illustrated  just how deeply he was hurt, which isn’t something we’ve seen a lot in the series. Honestly, Oliver has really been making questionable moves this whole year; I felt Diggle should have punched Oliver at least two or three times. But thankfully, both he and Felicity realized that it wasn’t the right time to have all those arguments as the city was in need of help. Speaking of Starling needing help, we get the debut of Thea as Speedy in a modified version of Roy’s costume, which was very exciting. Without doubt, one of the best scenes of this season was Oliver’s speech to Team Arrow after the danger is over. His acknowledgment that everyone in that room was a hero, meant a lot to me as a viewer, mostly because that meant that he looked at Laurel as one, too.

The flashbacks finished up somewhat oddly, even though they pretty much gave Tatsu and Maseo their proper conclusions, which explained how they ended up in the places that they were in the present. Oliver’s decision to just leave and try live on his own makes me really curious where the fourth season will take him in terms of flashbacks, because in the end, he has to end up on that island again before he gets rescued in the pilot. Is he possibly going to go back there by his own will and remain there till he sees himself worthy of leaving? Something is definitely up, but in an exciting way. They may actually trim down the flashbacks for next year because of the response that they got this year.

As we learned by the trailer of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Ray doesn’t die in that explosion (which we knew before the trailer came out because why kill him if he was going to be a series regular on that show?), but we also know that he can now actually shrink. I believe all the Iron Man jokes and comparisons can stop now as we now finally have The Atom. Speaking of Ray, my love for this character just keeps increasing because of the level of humbleness he has. It will be odd not having him around Arrow that much next season, although with the spin-off happening in January/February of 2016, it might be possible that he will hang around Starling till his show starts.

The thing that bother me the most about Arrow‘s season finale was Oliver’s decision to give up the life as the Arrow, mostly so he could spend his life with Felicity (don’t worry, this won’t be another segment of how little I care for the Felicity/Oliver relationship), even though I get why he did it. Maybe it’s just my patience level that is the problem, because of how much more I want to know about Season 4, but it just felt weird that after all these years of training and promises that Oliver would just give it up so easily. Yes, he does make a valid point that Starling City has all the heroes it needs, but it was because of him that there are more now. At the same time, I don’t think Felicity should be the only reason for him to give up his vigilante life when he can do so much good. We know that H.I.V.E. and Damian Darhk will be playing big roles in the next season, but honestly, the way this finale ended, you would have almost thought that it was a series finale.

While it wasn’t the show’s strongest season finale, “My Name is Oliver Queen” was a solid episode, but with several hiccups that might still play significant roles in the fourth season. Although, with The Flash finale coming up and it teasing at some possible time-traveling changes, who knows if this third season of Arrow will have any effect in the fall when the show returns.

“Arrow” has been renewed for a fourth season and will kick it off in October in its regular timeslot, Wednesdays, 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo via The CW]

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