Did Last Night’s Episode of Arrow Finally Reveal Who’s Really In the Grave?

Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 10:13AM
DC Comics
Arrow
Thursday, 11 February 2016 - 10:13AM
Did Last Night’s Episode of Arrow Finally Reveal Who’s Really In the Grave?
Arrow recently teased a possible death with a new promo image for last night's episode, featuring pictures of Thea and Merlyn captioned with "Thea's life hangs in the balance." And as the season opened with an image of the future showing Oliver Queen and Barry Allen standing over a headstone, many have wondered if the grave they were at would end up being Thea's. After last night's episode, however, it looks like that will not be the case. Yet events did transpire which may have given the answer to that hanging question once and for all.  

Last week ended with Thea in the hospital, her refusal to give in to her bloodlust evidently killing her. Nyssa al Ghul appeared offering an elixir to Oliver that could save Thea's life, but it would come at a price: killing Malcolm Merlyn, Thea's father. Of course, Oliver refused, and Nyssa and Merlyn ended up warring over the elixir as well as the role of head of the League of Assassins.  

Meanwhile, Felicity dealt with the return of her father, The Calculator, and tried to decide whether or not she could trust him. To do so, she led him to Palmer Tech's labs and gave him a tour. He failed this test terribly by leaving a device behind that was apparently able to draw information from the technology around it, essentially stealing all of the tech and info from the room. Felicity was watching out for something like this, however, and so she made the hard decision of calling the cops on her own father.  

In the end, Oliver tricks Merlyn into a duel with Nyssa, the winner taking the role of head of the demon. He knew that if he tried to duel him, Merlyn would never accept. When the fight was about to commence, Oliver jumped in to take Nyssa's place, as she is still technically his wife. Oliver takes out Merlyn with relative ease, and when he's given the chance to finally put Malcolm down once and for all, he doesn't take it. Instead, he chops off his hand, takes the ring from his finger, and gives it Nyssa, the new Ra's al Ghul.  

Finally, Nyssa calls Merlyn and Ollie to her sometime after the battle has taken place. She informs them that she refuses to be like her father and has disbanded the League of Assassins, melting the ring in a fire nearby. Though she and Ollie leave happy, Merlyn is angrier than ever when he departs. In fact, he traces down Damien Darhk to tell him that Ollie has a son in Central City - a fact he was privy to as the former Ra's al Ghul. Many have already surmised that William, Ollie's son, is the one in the grave due to the fact that Ollie and Barry are the only ones there. After all, they're the only ones who really knew about William. This theory fits the facts now more than ever, so fans may finally have an answer to that months long question of "who's in the grave?"  

This week's Arrow thankfully got a lot right after a streak of mediocre episodes before it. It was fun to see Ollie be deceptive to accomplish his goals again, something that really hasn't happened for a long while. Likewise, his choice not to kill Merlyn showed how the character has continued to develop, and that was certainly a nice touch since the first two seasons were primarily about Ollie's character development; the show seemingly abandoned that as a primary theme in the third. Just as well, the action wasn't too terrible in this episode, either. In fact, it felt like 'Sins of the Father' was a reminder of everything that fans loved about Arrow's critically acclaimed first two seasons and everything the writers really need to bring back to make the show great again.  

That being said, there's still a lot that the show continues to get wrong as well. It continues to feel overpacked, and though Merlyn had a very instrumental role in this episode, his continued presence has become very unnecessary, despite how lovable John Barrowman is. The entire bloodlust problem with Thea felt unnecessary and almost uninteresting as well, and even though it's over, Arrow undoubtedly wasted part of this season on a subplot that could have been replaced by something a great deal more innovative.

Likewise, Olicity continues to be one of the most annoying things about the show, hands down. If not for the relationship's extremely soapy feel, then for its sacrilege against the source material. Oliver not being with Black Canary in his first live action adaption would have been akin to Donner's Superman falling for Cat Grant instead of Lois Lane (and yes, I know Donner's wasn't the very first live action adaption, it's just to make a point). When Ollie was sort of with Laurel in the first season, it never made the characters feel so terribly irritating, as Felicity and Oliver feel now. The dynamic simply isn't healthy for the show long term.    

In the end,'Sins of the Father' was one of the few episodes of this season that was really worth watching. If Arrow can continue to bring back what once made it great like it did last night, then perhaps it can become a force to be reckoned with once again. However, if it continues to follow the recent overall trend, it'll probably do nothing but continue to erode it's initial fanbase. Hopefully, that won't happen.  

Catch Arrow again next Wednesday at 8 p.m. 
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