5   +   7   =  

‘This Is Your Sword’

We’re back in Nanda Parbat for the penultimate episode of the season, as Team Arrow rush to stop another virus outbreak, but this time it’s heading for Starling City. Oliver meanwhile is caught between maintaining his cover with Ra’s, and keeping the trust and respect of his friends and loved ones.

If, like me, you were still iffy about Oliver’s plans, then this episode ought to clear it up. Well, mostly. It’s revealed that Oliver is in fact working with his own agenda. Thanks to Merlyn, Oliver was able to foresee his trials and tests with the League, and work out a strategy from the inside. However, things don’t quite go as planned when Ra’s reveals the final test: to release the Alpha/Omega virus on Starling City. Funnily enough, Oliver doesn’t approve of that.
arrow-this-is-your-sword-03Merlyn has a heck of a time getting Team Arrow to believe this, given his awful honesty track record, but the group finally – with the help of Tatsu – unite to head back to Nanda Parbat and stop the virus taking off. There seems to be a wonderful sense of teamwork within these last few episodes. It also makes it tougher to watch as Oliver’s friends still can’t completely trust him.

Before I go on, the flashbacks tie in rather nicely in this episode. Poor Tatsu loses her kid in the flashbacks and is forced to kill her husband in the present. It was a painful end to Maseo’s story, but it was made clear that the poor guy sees no other way out of his guilt and pain. He died in his wife’s arms and, whilst he’ll definitely be missed, I felt it was a strong ending to a deserving side character.
arrow-this-is-your-sword-02After arriving at Nanda Parbat and losing the epic fight against the League, the gang are captured and taken to the dungeons. Oliver asks his friends to trust him, but it’s obvious there are a few uncertainties. Diggle is particularly angry. We see he’s still furious over Oliver leaving his baby girl alone in the last episode, and a heart-breaking conversation leads to a questioning of their friendship.

Back in Starling, Thea heads off on her own adventure to track down and find some closure with Roy. It was great to see Roy again, who’s grown sideburns and found his smile. The pair reunite and share some sweet moments, and we’re reminded why they work so well as friends and romantically. However, upon realising that Thea is half using him as an escape, Roy leaves a goodbye letter encouraging her to return to Starling and become the hero we all know she is.
arrow-this-is-your-sword-01A couple that are far from romantic this week are Nyssa and Oliver, as Ra’s Al Ghul forces them into marriage. I grimaced every time Nyssa was forced to submit to her father’s will and wishes. If he thought sharing memories of her mother would excuse his misogynistic actions, then he was wrong. Nyssa, to her credit, fought back as hard as she could, even to the very end as she walks down the aisle and tries to murder Oliver before the vows are exchanged. If that doesn’t scream ‘romance’ then I’m not sure what will.

Speaking of gross, Merlyn tries to betray Oliver to Ra’s, which thankfully doesn’t blow Oliver’s cover, but does land the group in even more trouble. I was horrified when Oliver stood watching as Ra’s throws gas into the dungeons and walks away from his friends as they cry in protest.

Until next week, I’ll be praying that it was some kind of non-lethal drug, and not that damn virus. Anything but the virus, please…

★★★

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