Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Arrow: Season 3, Episode 4

Episode Title: “The Magician”
Channel: CW
Director: John Behring
Writers: Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 45 min
Rated: TV-14
Original Air Date: October 29, 2014

Malcolm Merlyn was pretty famous in Starling City, right? How can he walk around all over the city without someone raising a fuss and the news outlets being all over it? It's writing like this that sometimes makes Starling City seem more like a playground for Oliver, his associates and his enemies; rather than a teeming metropolitan area with millions of inhabitants. It would have taken less than a minute to establish a way by which Merlyn could come and go without being recognized for the mass murderer that he is.

OK, got that off my chest. Overall, this “The Magician” was a decent episode. I enjoyed Katrina Law's performance as Nyssa, especially at the end. She reports what's happened to Ra's al Ghul, and conveys her anger, and her doubt very well. The seeds of suspicion that Malcolm planted in her thinking can be seen to take hold during that scene. Speaking of that scene; Matt Nable sounded great, his accent and inflection sounded like the leader of a group of assassins, I'm just not sure he has the look to back it up. I hope they can convince me going forward that he's as scary a man as we've been led to believe, but that first glimpse didn't match at all what I had imagined. Seeing him in action, and near other characters to give a sense of his physical presence, will play a large part in my feelings towards the character.

The three-way battle between the Arrow, Nyssa and Merlyn was very well done, the action was furious and each got to show off in parts. This sequence also served to wash the foul taste out of my mouth from Nyssa's encounter with Roy. There was a lot wrong with that scene. First, they appeared to be in a parking lot, so where was Nyssa's extra long silk scarf tied off? Second, and most importantly, what the heck was Roy thinking? That silly flip off of the hood of a vehicle, just ridiculous. The only saving grace was that Nyssa took it as seriously as the audience must have and contemptuously took him out of action without missing a beat.

I find it funny that Oliver and Thea have told each other that there will be no more lies, and their every conversation consists of almost exclusively lies and omissions. It will make for an interesting confrontation when one discovers the truth. How much indignation could one of them feign while being guilty of the exact same thing? Knowing the Queen family it will be quite a bit. The most interesting story arc so far this season involves Thea and Malcolm Merlyn, they obviously have something planned, but it's not apparent to me what their game is, and I enjoy not knowing

Conclusion: “The Magician” sets up a lot of what must be the overall plot for this season. We're introduced to Ra's al Ghul, who seems unlikely to take the ultimatum Oliver delivered very well, and we know that there's more going on with Merlyn than they're letting on. If the writers can avoid some of the nonsensical things we saw in this episode they may yet recapture the excitement of season two.

Rating: 7.25/10

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