Director: Gordon Verheul
Writers: Ben Sokolowski, Keto Shimizu
We open right where we ended last episode, and Oliver is already telling Nyssa that he refuses to kill, to which Nyssa asks why not...which I kind of agree with. Malcolm has been a pain in the ass since season one, I'd get him off the table as soon as friggin possible...but that's just me. Meanwhile across town, Felicity and her father are enjoying a cup of coffee...and then he comes out that he's The Calculator and that he knows she is Overwatch...and all he wants to do is rebuild the bridges he burnt when he left his wife ad daughter...obviously she wants none of it and leaves him at the coffee shop, and soon joins Oliver and the rest of the team on trying to figure out how to settle this without bloodshed.
Laurel then comes up with a smart idea: All Nyssa really wants is to get rid of Merlyn's position in the League...so if Malcolm gives up the ring and gives it to Nyssa, she'll give the cure. "But why would Malcolm do that?" Many of you ask, and while yes, he's evil, he cares DEEPLY about his daughter. We have seen him do evil things, in the name of protecting Thea in the past, so we can hope right? Well when Oliver runs that plan by him, he shoots it out of the sky, very skeptical about the cure...which also is a good point...and makes me think how cool this would have been as a multi-episode storyline. Like the audience has to pick a side: Nyssa who is ready to save Thea, but demands Merlyn's blood, or Merlyn, who wishes to keep the power of the League out of Nyssa's lying hands...However when Nyssa is ready to give an example of the cure, AND IT WORKS, Malcolm agrees to meet. Well this episode seems to be wrapping up quite smoothly...and then I look to see were only at the halfway mark...and Malcolm not only keeps the ring, but brought his own Assassins to ambush Nyssa and her assassins. Its time for the League to enter a Civil War.
The next few nights are apparently hell, as the fighting between the two halves of the League are now taking their fight to the streets...with civilians in the crossfire. Oliver decides enough is enough, and decides to capture both leaders to try and sit them down for negotiation. This leads to a very insane and actually tense fight between the two leagues. As Laurel is leading Nyssa to safety, a fight erupts in a populated street, and you see people duck and run as the black arrows start flying. It's the first time in a long time that I actually felt like people were at risk! Team Arrow is able to chase the assassins off, but unfortunately Malcolm makes it clear that he refuses to hand over the ring of Al Ghul, even if his daughter was at sake...which means he has to defend it...so he challenges Nyssa in a trial by combat over it.
The next night, right before Nyssa and Malcolm fight...Oliver steps up and takes Nyssa's place. The music kicks on, the dramatic camera work does its magic, and these two characters at each others throats since season one go at each other for what feels like the final time. It's probably one of the best fights in the show both physically and dramatically in my opinion. Despite Malcolm's attempt to change and cheat the combat by changing up weapons, Oliver gets the upper hand...and brings his sword...down on Malcolm's hand with the Al Ghul ring, then knocking him out...he then hands the ring to Nyssa and she gives him the cure. Soon after, we see Felicity call the cops on her father, despite him making a pretty genuine plea of trying to fix what he broke...it just felt out of place and unnecessary in this big event!
In the end, Thea is cured, Felicity is stronger for putting her dad away, and Nyssa does something that genuinely shocked me in the best way possible...she disbanded the League of Assassins. This completes her circle. When we first met her, she was a peon to her father, but as time went on, she became more rebellious, and that rebelliousness tripled when Malcolm took the throne. When she finally got what she truly sought after though, she realized the only reason why she wanted it was because of her father...and she turned away. Malcolm is pissed because of all that happens, and ends the episode by meeting with Damian Darhk and reveal the true weakness of Oliver Queen: His secret son...what a douche.
Bits and Pieces:
I felt this episode was supposed to be much bigger than just an hour. In one episode, we had an entire civil war, something that an earlier season would have made a multi-episode arc. It just felt rushed, but I still had quite a bit of fun watching it, with the drama, tension and action that came wrapped up in what could be the final appearance of Nyssa Al Ghul. Despite this, I felt the side stories were bland, boring, and really don't impact much to the main plot...but if you come for the main plot, then this week's episode is just for you!