Our Arrow recaps and reviews are now being done by Andrea Levine! Follow her on Twitter @wysefyre!
This week’s Arrow picks up immediately where last week’s episode ended – with Nyssa pointing an arrow at Oliver demanding to know where Sara was. And in a moment of truly heartbreaking eye acting, Oliver lets Nyssa know Sara is dead. Nyssa goes off to see her grave, but not before making it clear she knows something, Roy follows, and Oliver goes off to have dinner with Thea.
Thea, it turns out, is doing much better for herself than Oliver is. She has investors who want to buy back the foundry for her so she can reopen the club. We all know who the investors are. Thank you, Papa Merlyn. Oliver notices the change in Thea, but she’s not talking, so the subject is dropped.
Laurel and Nyssa have a run-in at Sara’s grave. Nyssa tries to keep is classy, but she makes the mistake of mentioning Ra’s al Ghul while offering her condolences. Laurel lashes out at Nyssa, and Nyssa reminds Laurel that she’s not the only one hurting, and that Sara’s Black Canary jacket came from her, and Laurel’s not fit to wear it.
Oliver tracks Nyssa to what turns out to be Sara’s safe house, and that’s when Nyssa drops the bomb on Oliver that we’ve all knows since last season – Malcolm Merlyn is alive. Sara’s mission had been to prove it, and she did. Nyssa also helps Team Arrow figure out what the blank paper that had been on Sara was. It was Sara’s surveillance notes, written in ghost ink. No one uses invisible ink anymore. It was nice to see it again. They get two names off of the paper – Jansen and Dad. Turns out Sara asked for Quentin’s help in locating Jansen. Laurel goes to the police station ask for the info. Nyssa shows up, not trusting Laurel, and finds out that Quentin doesn’t know Sara’s dead. She clearly disagrees with Laurel’s decision to keep this from him, but she goes along with it. Each time she does something like this, I like her more and more. She’s crazy, but classy.
Team Arrow, minus Laurel and Felicity, who’s off visiting Barry Allen in Central City, go to Jansen’s address, but it turns out he’s dead, and Merlyn is there instead. A fight ensues, Merlyn runs, but not before Oliver tags him with nanotech that allows him to be tracked. (Felicity rocks) Both Laurel and Nyssa are furious with Oliver for not killing Merlyn, but Ollie just wants to confirm that Merlyn did it before he kills him. Diggle tracks him down, and Oliver goes off to confront him, while Laurel and Nyssa bond over Oliver’s inability to kill Merlyn, and Laurel tells Nyssa to kill Merlyn if she gets the chance, and Roy goes off to make sure Thea is protected.
While Roy and Thea are platonically discussing color schemes at the club, Oliver goes to Merlyn’s location, only to discover Merlyn somehow beat the nanotech and isn’t there. They never explained how he did it. I want to know. Merlyn wants to meet alone but in a very public place. Oliver agrees, and when they meet, Merlyn, swearing on Thea’s life, denies killing Sara. That actually convinces Oliver that he’s telling the truth. Oh, and Merlyn lets it drop that he saved Thea’s life during the Siege. After that, Oliver quickly seeks out Thea and tells her that Merlyn is alive, but it’s not like she doesn’t know that already. Thea has grown up to be a mighty fine liar.
Back at headquarters, Oliver tells Nyssa Merlyn didn’t do it. She doesn’t believe him, and then Oliver has to reveal why he believes him and the truth about Thea comes out. Nyssa is clearly not pleased by this development, and she goes off to kill Merlyn on her own. Oliver tries to follow, but Diggle makes a good case for letting Nyssa off him regardless of whether he killed Sara or not.
Roy and Thea leave the club when Nyssa attacks. Roy does some kind of flip as a way to protect Thea, but Nyssa tranks him. Thea tries to protect Roy, but once Nyssa lets Thea know she’s not there for Roy, Thea just goes with her.
With Laurel’s help, Oliver figures out where Nyssa took Thea. Merlyn found out the easier way, by viewing the large plume of purple smoke Nyssa sent up. Seriously, I love how old school the League is.
Finally, Thea gets a chance to shine. Hanging upside down, she threatens to kill Nyssa and calls her a “crazy, psycho bitch,” but before the verbal foreplay can go much further, Oliver shoots Thea down (don’t worry, he catches her), sends her on her way, and we get the Oliver/Nyssa showdown we’ve been waiting for. But, what’s this? Has Merlyn entered the fight in an attempt to clear the air? He has! The fight continues. Merlyn gets the upper hand on Nyssa, but Oliver gets it on Merlyn. Nyssa is begging Oliver to kill Merlyn, but Merlyn swears he didn’t kill Sara, and in fact, implicates Ra’s al Ghul as the mastermind behind her death. Nyssa is not too happy to hear that. In the end, Oliver believes Merlyn. Nyssa leaves, claiming Oliver is now an enemy, and Felicity comes back just in time to wonder what the heck is going on.
Nyssa goes to say goodbye to Laurel, who’s training, and she quietly acknowledges that maybe Laurel is worthy after all. Quentin leaves a sweet message for Sara, which brings on the tears, because you know, she’s dead. Thea and Oliver share a brother/sister moment, when Roy drops by to check on her. She offers him a job as assistant manager. Purely platonic, of course (sounds like a fragrance). Merlyn checks in on Thea, and then we are whisked away to Nanda Parbat, where Nyssa tells her father that Sara is dead, and Oliver is protecting Merlyn. Ra’s al Ghul steps out of the shadows, and claims war with the Arrow.
But let’s not forget Oliver’s wacky adventures in Hong Kong. Oliver is forced to kill a supposed terrorist, who enjoys ice cream. Turns out he wasn’t a terrorist, but he did have a USB drive containing information regarding a certain Ferris Air Flight 637. Oliver demands a meeting with Waller, who is not pleased at all about it. You might remember Ferris Air Flight 637 was the flight Oliver prevented from being shot down over Lian Yu. It turns out that Fyers was misled as to why it needed to go down. It wasn’t to destabilize the Chinese economy. It was the only chance ARGUS had gotten to eliminate Chien Na Wei aka China White. That’s right. Oliver saved her life. Oopsie.
Ra’s al Ghul and the League are coming to Starling City, and Oliver’s adventures in Hong Kong keep getting crazier and crazier. I can’t wait to see what happens next.