Violet recaps Season 3 Episode 4 of Arrow, titled The Magician, where the Arrow team and Nyssa try to track down Malcolm Merlyn! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of Arrow, Season 3 Episode 4: The Magician
This episode begins right where last episode left off: with Nyssa coming into the Arrow cave, demanding to know where Sara is. She quickly figures out that Sara is dead, and somehow guesses that it was an arrow that killed her.
Oliver meets up with Thea for dinner, who informs him that she has investors that want her to re-open the club. Oliver notices that she’s different.
Nyssa goes to Sara’s grave, and Laurel is there. Nyssa offers her condolences, but Laurel blames Nyssa and her father, Ra’s al Ghul, for what happened to Sara.
Later, Oliver finds Nyssa at Sara’s safe house. Because Sara was there on League of Assassins business, Oliver suggests that her target was also her killer. However, Nyssa says that it wasn’t a target, and that Sara was there to investigate rumors of an enemy of the League being in town – Malcolm Merlyn.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Nyssa explains to Oliver, Diggle, and Roy, that her father released Merlyn from the League of Assassins with the understanding that he would abide by its code of conduct, but his Undertaking violated the League’s principles. However, they heard from Oliver’s mom that Merlyn faked his death. Oliver shows them photos of Merlyn that Sara took 2 weeks ago. They hold a blank piece of paper they found in Sara’s boot over a flame, which reveals hidden writing, containing notes of her surveillance of Merlyn. The name “Jansen” is on the paper, and it looks like she reached out to her dad for help.
Laurel visits her father at the police station and tells him that Sara called her and was looking into someone called Jansen. Lance tells her that he gave Sara the last known address of Jansen. He apologizes for not telling Laurel that Sara was in town. Just then, Nyssa shows up at the station, and Laurel goes to talk to her. She warns her not to say anything about Sara’s death. Lance comes out of his office and gives Laurel the address for Jansen.
That night, the Arrow team and Nyssa go to that address. They figure out that whoever is there isn’t Jansen, as they see a memorial to Jansen stating that he died in 2012. Nyssa prepares to shoot the man in the back, but he turns around, and we see that it’s Merlyn. Nyssa shoots her arrow at him, but he dodges it. They fight, he knocks her down, uses some disappearing smoke, and runs off. However, Oliver sees him running and shoots him in the shoulder, but the arrow barely nicks him. Then Merlyn gets away.
When they return to the Arrow Cave, Laurel is there. Oliver reports to Laurel that Merlyn is their suspect. He explains that the arrow he shot at Merlyn was a tracer arrow so that they can track him. Laurel is angry that Oliver had the chance to kill Merlyn and didn’t take it. She storms out, and Nyssa follows her. Laurel knows that if Oliver gets Merlyn, he’s going to let him live, so she tells Nyssa to do whatever it takes to get Merlyn.
Roy offers to help Thea, as friends, with the re-opening of the club.
Diggle informs Oliver of Merlyn’s location, an empty air conditioning factory. However, Merlyn calls Oliver from elsewhere just then, informing him that he knew about the tracker. Merlyn arranges a meeting with Oliver in a public place, without the mask. They meet in the plaza, where lots of people are walking around, making them virtually invisible. Merlyn says that he came back to town because of Thea, and protected her the night of the Mirakuru siege. However, he claims that he’s kept his distance from her, and swears on Thea’s life that he’s not Sara’s killer.
Oliver meets up with Thea for coffee, and asks her about the night of the siege. She says that she got attacked, but that a cop shot her attacker, though she didn’t see him. Oliver tells her it wasn’t a cop, it was Merlyn. Oliver tells her that one of Sara’s friends saw him alive. He assures her that if Merlyn was going to contact her, he probably would have done so by now.
Oliver reports back to the Arrow Cave, telling the team that he believes Merlyn didn’t kill Sara, because he swore on his daughter’s life, and reveals to Nyssa that Thea is Merlyn’s daughter. Nyssa disagrees with Oliver letting Merlyn live, and leaves with the intent to bring Sara’s killer to justice, who she still believes is Merlyn.
As Thea and Roy leave the club, Nyssa uses a tranquilizer dart on Roy, and kidnaps Thea.
Across town, Merlyn looks out the window and sees a purple smoke signal.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Oliver informs Laurel about Thea’s paternity, and she shows them a video of the purple smoke signal. They figure out that’s where Nyssa took Thea, so Oliver heads out, telling Diggle to secure the perimeter, and Roy to stay behind.
Nyssa has hung Thea upside down by her ankles. The Arrow shows up and shoots her down, catching her before she hits the floor, and tells her to run. Arrow and Nyssa fight, then Merlyn shows up, and they all fight each other. Merlyn shoots arrows around Nyssa, pinning her against the wall. But right after that, Oliver gets the upper hand on Merlyn. Nyssa urges Oliver to kill Merlyn. However, Merlyn suggests to Nyssa that her father is the one who killed Sara, because he didn’t trust Sara, and because Nyssa was in love with her. Merlyn tells Oliver that his only option is to kill him. But Oliver lets him go.
Oliver and Nyssa return to the Arrow Cave. Nyssa punches Oliver. He says he will honor Sara’s memory by finding the real person who killed her. As Nyssa storms off, Oliver tells her that as long as Merlyn is in Starling City, the League is not to make a move on Merlyn, that Merlyn is under his protection. Nyssa tells Oliver that he has made an enemy tonight, and leaves. Oliver assures Laurel that if he wasn’t sure whether Merlyn killed Sara, he never would have let him go. Just then, Felicity returns from Central City.
Nyssa stops by the boxing ring to tell Laurel goodbye, and that she intends to make good on her promise. She says that since the cemetery, Laurel has reminded her that “the strongest metal is forged in the hottest fire.”
At the police station, Lance calls Sara and leaves her a voice mail, telling her that he loves her.
Oliver stops by to see Thea at the club, and tells her that he talked to Detective Lance, who doesn’t think that woman will bother her again. Thea wonders why the woman kidnapped her, and Oliver suggests that maybe she thought the Queens still had money. Roy shows up as Oliver leaves. Roy apologizes that he couldn’t stop her kidnapper. She decides to hire Roy as her assistant manager. Then she walks away to take a phone call from Merlyn, though she tells Roy it’s a call from her designer. Merlyn assures her that the woman is gone for now, and Thea thanks him for taking care of her.
Nyssa returns home and informs her father that the rumors were true, and that Malcolm Merlyn is in Starling City. She also tells him that Sara is dead. He says that Merlyn will face the League’s justice, though not for his crimes against Sara, who was never truly one of them. When her father asks about Oliver Queen, she says that he has sworn to protect Merlyn at any cost. Ra’s Al Ghul says that if that’s true, then Oliver Queen courts war with them.
In the flashback, Oliver tracks down a target in the marketplace, then stabs him in the chest, killing him. He takes the man’s keys, which have a flash drive attached. Oliver returns to his handler’s home, and laments the fact that he killed a man without knowing the reason. The handler says sometimes it’s better not to know the reason. When the handler leaves the room, Oliver bribes the handler’s young son into letting him use his laptop, plugs the flash drive in, and punches a few keys. The handler walks back in and catches him, but it seems that Oliver has accomplished what he wanted, and demands to meet with Waller. When they meet, he brings up the flight from Paris to Hong Kong that he prevented from being shot down. He knows that the man she had him kill was Edward Fyres’ handler, that he worked for her, and that he had a USB drive detailing everything. He thinks she wanted the man silenced. He threatens to release the information. She informs Oliver that the purpose of having the plane shot down was to kill Chien Na Wei (aka China White), and that was their only chance at her. But Oliver saved her, and now she’s in Hong Kong — and Waller needs to know why.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 3 Episode 4 of Arrow: The Magician
Is anyone else getting annoyed by the fact that Oliver keeps saying to Thea that he’s going to be truthful, and then he only gives her a snippet of the truth, and while doing so, blatantly lies to her?? I mean, it’s one thing if you’re just going to decide to keep things secret, but to specifically say that you’re not going to do that, and then do it anyway?? Why? Okay, I know why, it’s for the sake of the storyline, so that when the big reveal about Oliver being Arrow comes out, Thea will be that much more pissed, and more likely to turn against Oliver. But from a practical standpoint, WHY? Just sit her down and tell her everything, instead of picking random little things to tell her. Seriously, she’s the only person on this show besides Lance who doesn’t know who Arrow is. And even Lance knew the identity of Canary. Just tell her! UGH!
Of course, then there’s Thea, the one who ran away because of all the secrets, who is now keeping secrets of her own. But she probably feels justified in doing so, since that was done to her.
As for Merlyn being Sara’s killer, at first I was convinced that he wasn’t, considering that he’d been in Corto Maltese with Thea, training her. My first instinct as to who killed Sara was Ra’s al Ghul, and Merlyn puts forth a good case for this to Nyssa. Then when Nyssa goes back and reports Sara’s death to her father, he even goes so far to say that she wasn’t one of them — which supports Merlyn’s theory. However, apparently Merlyn was in town recently, as Sara herself had snapped some pictures of him. So it is possible that he did it. Maybe he intended to make it look like Ra’s al Ghul did it, or at least someone besides himself, and he succeeded in convincing Oliver to protect him against the League of Assassins, because he knew they were coming after him. Seems like an elaborate plan, but one that Merlyn would think up. It’s a win-win for Merlyn. Not only does he get to return to Starling City, and get Arrow off his back, but he also has Arrow protecting him against his other enemies. Clever.
And Laurel continues her training. I thought someone was supposed to be training her, but I didn’t see anyone else around helping her. How is she going to get better if she doesn’t even know how to place her hips? I think Nyssa was right the first time when she told Laurel she wasn’t worthy to wear Sara’s jacket. In fact, I may have loudly agreed when Nyssa said that… But then Nyssa comes back at the end and eats her words. Lame. They’re trying to convince us that Laurel’s anger will make her train better and become a better fighter. Is that supposed to be their justification when Laurel suddenly is able to fight in a short amount of time? Whatever. I know it’s coming, and there’s nothing I can do about it, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accept it.
Then there’s a few nit-picky things that continue to bother me. Okay, so the Arrow Cave is located in the club. That same club that Thea is re-opening. How does she not know about the Arrow Cave?? So annoying. Or maybe she does know and has been playing dumb this who time? Hmm… Also, when Oliver offers to pay for dinner, Thea brings up the fact that he doesn’t have any money. Good point, Thea, how does Oliver get money? Of all the members of the Arrow team, Felicity is the only one with an actual job. What do Oliver, Diggle, and Roy do for money? I guess Diggle has Lyla, who may have some ARGUS money. But the other two? It’s not like Felicity could support all of them on her meager salary! Well, meager salary before she started working for Palmer. Now she might would be able to with her new job — which Oliver still doesn’t know about yet…
As for the flashbacks, it is interesting how they’re tying together the flashbacks that happened the past couple of seasons, and even bringing up a character that was in previous seasons in the present day storyline. However, ARGUS is looking more and more like it’s not such a good organization…
Josh’s Thoughts: Arrow, Season 3 Episode 4: The Magician
So it looks like Oliver has made a new enemy-the League of Assassins. Or at the very least, Nyssa has it in for him. I initially thought that Malcolm Merlyn might be involved with the death of Sara, but now I am not so sure. I wouldn’t think Malcolm would be so adamant he is innocent if he had killed her. He seems to like being a guy to take credit for what he has done.
One thing I can’t get over is Laurel’s refusal to tell her father what has happened to Sara. It is going to break his heart definitely, but right now Lance is starting to feel like Sara simply doesn’t want to talk to him. How long is she going to let this go on for? Is she ever going to tell him what happened? Personally, if I found out my daughter didn’t tell me my other daughter passed away, and I did find out, I would be furious with her. It really doesn’t feel right, and Laurel needs to make it right. But Laurel seems set on taking up the mantle of the Canary. I am curious to see if Nyssa plans on providing more tips for Laurel, as she progresses in her “training”. I guess we will see in the coming episodes.
I am curious to know what Malcolm’s plans are now. His plan to burn Starling City was a bust. What does he want now? So far we do not know much about his motives other than manipulating both Thea and Oliver.
But speaking of Thea, I am surprised she is being so secretive about her relationship with Malcolm. I have a feeling it will be coming out one way or another eventually though. I have a feeling this will not be a pleasant newsflash for Oliver either.
Scenes from Arrow, Season 3 Episode 5: The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak
Here are scenes from the next episode of Arrow, titled The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak: