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REVIEW: Arrow 3×19 “Broken Arrow”

Written by Scott Swartz

Well, that was not what I expected to go down in this week’s episode. I mean I had a general idea of the structure and how Roy’s fate was going to play out, but damn I didn’t think he would just drive off into the sunset like there was no tomorrow. I mean “Broken Arrow” was good make no doubt about it and it was a beautiful way to for Roy to go out on, but there was just so much going on in the episode that made it worthwhile. Whether it be Ollie’s bitterness at being sidelined in favor of Ray, all of the great material involving Oliver and his team, the flashbacks being good, or that ending. Above everything else Oliver actually got some real character development as he was forced to confront the fact that Ra’s has taken away both of Oliver’s identities. The episode just felt very complete and definitely hit all of the right notes in terms of it being a send off.

First things first I really don’t want Roy to go. I am one of the minority who loves what they have done with his character and looking back over the season he was definitely one of the brightest spots of the season thus far. I was really excited that this episode was not only a showcase for Roy as a character and showing how far he has come since first stealing Thea’s purse, but also Colton Haynes was given a lot of great material to work with. Whether it be him willing agreeing to go to jail in order to clear Oliver’s name or actual showing the fruits of his training by taking out all of those prisoners while hand cuffed was just awesome. It says a lot that a character that was pretty much universally hated could be developed into someone who at the end of the day was vital to the shows growth and importance. Plus that scene with Oliver at the beginning was so great and really cemented Oliver as the brother Roy never had.

As for the main story, the Ollie and Ray team up actually worked out surprisingly well. I was happy that Ray was not Oliver’s first choice in stopping Deathbolt and that Ray acknowledged his inability to fight Deathbolt on an even playing field. Ray is really just as much of a novice at crime fighting as Laurel so for him to admit that Oliver’s instincts were absolutely vital in order to stop the villain was a big step forward for the character. Ray will need help to confront all of the villains that he is bound to face and I am so happy that he already understands the importance of the team rather than just tackling the problem all on his own. Although this material was meant to focus on Ray’s growth as a character, I was extremely happy with the way all of the Oliver material was tackled. Like Ollie said Ra’s has taken Ollie’s identity away from him and even with Roy taking the fall there doesn’t seem to be a realistic chance that Oliver can don his hood without exposing himself once again. So now more than ever Ollie will have to rely on the Ray’s, Laurel’s, and Barry’s of the world to protect his city since Ra’s has handicapped him so drastically.

I want to also speak about the flashbacks as they finally took the turn I was expecting as Oliver found out that Waller wasn’t pulling the strings and was in fact being held captive by the General. I like that this adds another angle to Waller who we have known to be a psychopathic bitch as long as the ends justify the means, so for her to say that the General has gone to far is saying something. I am not entirely sure Oliver can trust her but at least we know that our bad guy is not the one we expected which is a solid change of pace from everything being so seemingly straight forward.

Even more surprising to me was that Ra’s has finally reached an end with all of Ollie’s bullshit and has decided to force his hand. Ra’s going and “killing” Thea is a real power move as Oliver is now left with two options, let his sister die or become Ra’s. I did find it odd that Thea actually thought she stood a chance against Ra’s after everything she knows he is capable of, but luckily Ra’s didn’t even break a sweat putting Thea down. I thought that the fight was extremely well choreographed as it managed to show just how nimble and powerful Ra’s truly is and helps to build up the idea we have not seen Ra’s at full strength. That is a terrifying thought for Ollie is Ra’s has basically been screwing around all season and now he is going to get serious, as it mean Ollie will need all the help he can get to stand a sliver of a chance.

Really this was one of the best episodes of the season.

Final Grade A-

+Roy being showcased

+Ray and Ollie work well

+Flashbacks were ok

+Thea getting owned by Ra’s

-Deathbolt really underutilized

-Roy has so much left to offer

Extra Thoughts

-“You and Palmer might be related.” Say what you will about Ollie but when his wit is on it is great.

-Cisco realizing that Meta’s may have existed before the particle accelerator opens up a whole can of worms for both shows. I like it.

About the author

Scott Swartz