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Recap / Arrow S 3 E 23 My Name Is Oliver Queen

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Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow fight to prevent Ra's al Ghul from releasing the Alpha-Omega in Starling City and he has his final showdown with Ra's.


  • Absentee Actor: Colton Haynes as Roy did not appear on this episode.
  • All According to Plan:
    • Turns out Merlyn's Dirty Coward act was a backup plan to convince Ra's of Oliver's loyalty - and innoculate Team Arrow from the virus.
    • Subverted with Merlyn becoming the new Ra's al Ghul. He just wanted to be free from the League's wrath. Becoming Ra's in the process was just a plus. Or so he claims...
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Felicity still doesn't accept Ray having to make the choice between saving Oliver and continuing work which will save thousands of lives from the Alpha-Omega virus, he asks her what Oliver would choose.
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    • Which turns out to not be very armor-piercing after all, as he would find a way to do both.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted, Oliver gets shot several times by a police sniper rifle. However, he only gets minor injuries because his League of Assassin's costume is actually high-quality armour.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Not Ra's al Ghul, but Malcolm Merlyn. He becomes the new Ra's al Ghul.
  • Baddie Flattery: Malcolm to Oliver:
    Malcolm: That is remarkably ruthless and cold blooded. I approve.
  • Batman Gambit: What Ra's assumes is a Xanatos Gambit and/or Thanatos Gambit turns out to be this. He expects that either he kills Oliver and destroys a possible rival, or he is killed by him and is succeeded as Ra's. Unfortunately, he doesn't take into account that Oliver would surrender the office of Ra's to Malcolm almost immediately afterwards, rendering his entire mission to Starling City useless.
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  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Once again, Oliver breaks his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule and outright kills Ra's al Ghul. However, this is somewhat lessened by the fact that in fact Ra's in a way wanted to die, since he believed a stronger person like Oliver should succeed as Ra's al Ghul. Of course, Oliver has no intention to follow through with this, though he makes Ra's believe otherwise as he dies.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Barry shows up to free Team Arrow from Nanda Parbat's dungeons.
    • Thea for the second time makes a dramatic entrance with an arrow shot, this time in costume.
    • Felicity swoops to Oliver's rescue in the A.T.O.M. suit.
  • Body Double: Damian Darhk uses one.
  • But Now I Must Go:
    • Tatsu doesn't go to Starling with Team Arrow; she returns to her life of solitude instead.
    • Barry goes back to Central City after freeing Team Arrow from the dungeons.
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    • Malcolm leaves Starling to become the new Ra's al Ghul.
    • At the end of the episode, Oliver decides to temporarily leave Starling City with Felicity, since the League of Assassins has irrevocably tainted the Arrow identity.
  • Call-Back: Oliver defeats Ra's in the same way that Ra's defeated him back in "The Climb", complete with offering up the same prayer for his soul.
  • Call-Forward: Flashback!Oliver originates the catchphrase of "The Hood" from Season 1.
    Oliver: He failed this city.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Laurel finally tells off her father for his behavior since he found out Sara was killed.
  • The Cameo: Barry in the beginning when he frees Team Arrow.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Flashback!Ollie does this to General Shrieve.
  • Continuity Nod: Oliver asked Barry to do him a little favor in "Rogue Air". Turns it was to free his friends. And when Felicity asks for Barry's help, he replies he would, but he has some unfinished business with Wells.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The League of Assassins didn't stand a chance against the Fastest Man Alive, especially when given no warning of his arrival.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Oliver has been through hell the entire season and was fully prepared to sacrifice friendship, love, and his life to save the city and his friends. He not only saved the city and survived, he's finally realized he doesn't have to fight alone, doesn't have to be the jerk vigilante, has people he can rely on, and can take some time off to enjoy life for the first time in 8 years.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Most of Team Arrow forgives Oliver for his deceit at the end. The lone holdout is Diggle, who is still upset for what Ollie did to Lyla, and is unsure if he can ever trust him again.
    • Averted with Malcolm. Even though he helped save the day, everything that happened this season was all his fault. Oliver says in no uncertain terms that he'll never forgive Malcolm for brainwashing Thea to kill Sara. Oliver still gives him control of the League and lets him walk away though.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Oliver arranged for Barry to rescue his friends.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Oliver states during the Final Battle that he doesn't expect a man like Ra's—who would willingly kill his own child—to understand why he would choose love over power. Considering the fact that Ra's never intended to kill Nyssa at all, and actually wanted what was for her a Fate Worse than Death, this works on the inverse as well.
  • Exact Words: While Ra's is dying, Oliver proclaims that the League will kneel before the new Ra's al Ghul to let him think that he'd gotten what he wanted while omitting that it won't be Oliver they'll be kneeling to. It also applies to Malcolm's Prophecy Twist.
  • Face Death with Dignity: After being impaled by Oliver, Ra's calmly removes his ring of office and gives it to him after the prayer for his soul before expiring. He assumes he won, after all.
  • The Ghost: Damien Darhk is discovered to be in Starling City, is an additional target for the bioweapon, and is referred to as Ra's al Ghul's nemesis. But when Oliver and crew attempt to capture him they discover he's already fled.
  • Happily Ever After: After a messy year, Oliver finally gets some semblance of peace.
    Oliver: Can I say something strange? I'm happy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: A minor one for Quentin Lance as he warns Felicity that snipers are prepared to take out someone he suspects is Oliver, and admits he doesn't want him killed. Not very long before, he would have used the situation as an excuse to pull the trigger himself.
  • Heroic Suicide: Oliver was actually planning to kill Ra's without any expectation that he would come out of it alive.
  • Instant Expert: Felicity managed to fly Ray's Powered Armor with ease in her first try.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ra’s al Ghul
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    • Oliver invokes this before he offers a prayer for the previous Ra's' soul.
    • Malcolm's first act as the new Ra's al Ghul is to have the League, including Nyssa, bow down before him. They do.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Laurel announces that the city is under attack, Quentin sarcastically quips "it must be May". Arrow season finales are all aired in May and they all have, so far, contained a massive attack on Starling City.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Oliver sends a dying Ra's off by saying the same prayer that Ra's said for him, then letting him think that Oliver will be taking his place as Ra's al Ghul.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Barry tells Team Arrow that the only thing Oliver told him was to free them from the dungeon and he has no idea what is going on aside from Oliver getting "a wardrobe change".
  • Mercy Kill: Flashback!Maseo puts Shrieve out of his misery after Oliver tortures him for hours.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Diggle punches Oliver when he arrives in Starling. Subverted Trope, as he does not forgive him, but there are more pressing concerns than their trust issues at the moment.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: How the Title Drop was made.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Thea's thinking about calling herself Red Arrow, while Oliver remarks that he's already asked everyone to call her Speedy.
    • Ray deciding to use his nanotech on his suit to make it shrink - the first step to truly becoming the Atom.
    • In her last scene, Thea is wearing a black shirt with yellow logo at the chest area, which evokes the black version of the Mia Dearden Speedy costume.
  • The Needs of the Many: Ray responds to Felicity's plea for him to go save Oliver by pointing out that if he stops work on the Alpha-Omega antidote to save Oliver's life, thousands will die because of the delay.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: By all accounts, Felicity isn't too fond of flying. But in order to save Oliver, she swoops in with the A.T.O.M. Suit as he is falling to probable death.
  • One-Man Army: Barry when he takes out the League of Assasins.
  • Plot Armor: Played with. When Quentin guns a League member back in Season 2, the member was killed. When Oliver was shot by a sniper rifle, he survives it and later reveals that the League outfits are quite bulletproof.
  • Prophecy Twist: The prophecy was that a man who survived Ra's al Ghul's blade would become the next Ra's al Ghul. Ra's overlooked the fact that it never said it had to be in a fight, thus his torture of Merlyn counted.
  • Protagonist Title: One that is much more clearer than the series title itself.
  • Reality Ensues: Barry Allen/The Flash easily demonstrates that as feared as the League of Assassins has traditionally been, and as threatening they might be to mundanes (even highly trained ones), and however skilled a bunch of guys with regular swords, knives and bows might be, in a world where metahuman powers and superscience are becoming a thing, they are toast when someone with sufficiently powerful skills or abilities shows up unannounced.
  • Retired Badass: Oliver Queen. At least for a few months...
  • Season Finale: The third one.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Damien Darhk is still alive, and was in Starling for a reason.
    • Malcolm is the new Ra's al Ghul, and Nyssa still wants vengeance for Sara.
    • When Ray is testing his new miniaturization tech, first it fails, then the suit explodes, taking out the entire top floor of his building.
    • In the flashbacks, Oliver gets on a ship that hails from Coast City.
  • Series Fauxnale: Sort of. While the show has already been renewed for Season 4, Word of God says that this episode was intended to serve virtually as a finale to the first three seasons. Certainly there is a kind of definitive ending to Oliver's story in that he finally declares his crusade over, retires the identity of the Arrow, and goes Riding into the Sunset with Felicity. However, there is also a fair amount of Foreshadowing of the next season, especially with the allusions to Damian Darhk and H.I.V.E., which betrays the fact that the show isn't over.
  • Slashed Throat: Ra's Trojan Horses weaponize this, slashing their own throats to expose their blood to open air and thus spreading the Alpha-Omega virus.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Barry uses his feud with Wells as the reason why he can't help Team Arrow any further. Justified, since The Flash's season finale happens mostly concurrently.
  • Story-Breaker Power: If Barry did stay and help out with the League of Assassins, the episode would be over in about 15 minutes.
  • Take a Third Option: When Oliver requires the Atom's assistance, Ray points out that he can either rescue Oliver or finish the cure for the virus; Felicity then proceeds to take the suit and saves Oliver herself (presumably with Ray's help through the mind interface).
  • The Unfettered: Deconstructed - Oliver deciding to be this causes his relationship with Diggle to fracture.
  • We Have Reserves: In order to disperse the Alpha-Omega, Ra's infects four of his own men, rather than keeping it in four containers that can be stolen.
  • Wham Shot: Ray's experiment blowing up the top floor of Palmer Technologies.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Diggle and Felicity both give it to Oliver for trusting Malcolm over them. Felicity in particular is horrified that yet another one of Oliver's plans was an unnecessary suicide mission.
  • You Are in Command Now: Malcolm to the League of Assassins.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After Oliver tortures General Shrieve, he chooses to board a Wallace Shipping vessel called "Triton's Daughter", bound for Coast City, instead of returning to Starling City, because he doesn't want to subject his family to that kind of darkness.
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