Arrow: The Magician

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

“The Magician” marked Arrow’s 50th episode. Much like the 49 episodes before, “The Magician” had archers and drama, but the thing that made it unique was the fact that it had one of the biggest standoffs in the show’s history without any disguises or weapons.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Sure, the 50th episode of a series isn’t as monumental as a 100th or 200th, but Arrow took this opportunity to have some big moments and some dynamic character confrontations.

Malcolm and Oliver’s confrontation in this episode was one of the most intense interactions the series has ever done; of course, nothing compares to the many Slade and Oliver had post-island, but still this one was up there. It was fascinating to watch John Barrowman and Stephen Amell try and push their acting limits.

Not only did Malcolm return to Starling City in this episode, but so did Nyssa, one of Ra’s al Ghul’s daughters. She was last seen leaving the city with Sara in the epic season two finale. It was only a matter of time before the assassin returned to town looking for the Canary. Props to the writers for giving Nyssa one of the coolest lines: “My father may be the Demon, but yours is the Devil.”

Before this episode, Nyssa was only seen in small bits and pieces, but this episode really fleshed out her character, which made her compelling to watch. Can we keep her permanently? Please? Since the show is now lacking in the badass, kick-butt woman department I think she would be a nice addition. Until then, I can’t wait to see her come back.

Laurel and Nyssa had little to no interaction in the sophomore season finale, so to see them “bond” over their mutual loss was a solid pay off. Also, when Nyssa said that Laurel wasn’t fit to wear Sara’s jacket, I think there was a collective, “Oh, ouch,” moment.

The fight between Oliver, Nyssa, and Malcolm was just downright awesome. The choreography was flawless and so fun to watch.

I was actually surprised that they showed Ra’s al Ghul at all, but it was a fitting end for the series’ monumental episode.

I really like that The Flash and Arrow are trying to create similar timelines. Since Felicity was gallivanting around Central City with Team Flash, it only seems right that she be missing from the happenings in Starling City.

Really what this episode showed was that the ensemble is big enough to cover when a major part of Team Arrow is missing. If you had told me that I would barely miss Felicity’s presence in the episode, I would have thought you were crazy. There was just enough to stretch for her absence, though I wouldn’t want her gone on a regular basis. The series is in need of the light she brings or else it would become constant gloom and doom.

Over the first four episodes, Roy has found a nice little place on Team Arrow, especially in this episode where he’s seen more as Oliver’s partner than his sidekick.

Oliver and Thea had some fun brother and sister moments in this episode. It’s a relief to see Oliver actually trying to have a relationship with his sister. For much of the series, they have had very little screen time together considering their familial bond.

For some reason the Hong Kong flashbacks continue to bore me and they feel like a last minute add-on to the episodes. The only time I was interested with the flashback content was when Amanda Waller appeared, but even that was a little shaky. But watching Oliver try and negotiate with a kid over pieces of candy made it all worth it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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