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Recap / Arrow S 3 E 4 The Magician

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Nyssa arrives in Starling City looking for Sara's killer, believed to be Malcolm Merlyn, leading to a confrontation over Oliver's vow not to kill.

Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Felicity doesn't show up until the end, having been busy in Central City.
  • Antagonist Title: "The Magician" is Malcolm's League name, the way "the Canary" was Sara's.
  • Badass Boast: Malcolm delivers one to Oliver on behalf of anyone ever trained by the League.
    "We were trained by the League. No prison can hold us. Not even yours on Lian Yu."
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  • Blackmail: Oliver counter-blackmails Waller in the flashbacks with the flash drive containing information on the plane she had shot down, saying if she did anything to Maseo's family, he would expose her to everyone in the Eastern Hemisphere.
  • Bring It: Oliver implicitly says this to Nyssa when he tells her that she can tell the League of Assassins that Malcolm Merlyn is under his protection so long as he's in Starling City.
  • Female Gaze: Nyssa visits Laurel while she's training at a gym and advice her to "use her hips" when punching while giving a suspiciously subtle grin.
  • I Have Your Wife: Nyssa kidnaps Thea in order to draw out Malcolm.
  • Internal Reveal: Oliver learns Malcolm Merlyn is still alive.
  • Male Gaze: Laurel sweating while wearing a tanktop while training. Ironically, this becomes an In-Universe Female Gaze from Nyssa.
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  • Mêlée à Trois: The episode's climax features a three-way fight between Oliver, Nyssa, and Malcolm.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Retroactively. It's revealed that Fyers' benefactor in Season One was Waller, who wanted the plane shot down to kill China White. Therefore, it's the fault of Oliver and his group on Lian-Yu at the time that she survived to assail Starling City thereafter. Still, as Oliver himself notes, Waller was willing to murder several hundred innocent people just to take out one guilty target.
  • Not Me This Time: Malcolm claims not to be the one responsible for Sara's death, despite all the evidence against him. As he himself says, why would he, a man who has a Contract on the Hitman from the League of Assassins, kill the lover of its leader's daughter if he wants to live?
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Malcolm shouts a lot more in this episode than he ever did before and shows a lot more emotion. This is pretty justified, as he's fighting the League of Assassins and has previously had an Oh, Crap! as a result of having to do so.
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  • Pragmatic Villainy: Malcolm claims this as the reason why he couldn't possibly be the one who killed Sara: Why would he kill the lover of Ra's Al-Ghul's daughter if the League of Assassins has a blood bounty on him? In his own words, it's illogical.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: As Nyssa and Laurel grieve at Sara's grave, Laurel blames Nyssa for showing the dark side of the world to Sara. Nyssa counters this by stating that Sara would have been starving all alone if Nyssa didn't save her. And on top of that, Laurel is wearing Sara's jacket, which turns out to be a gift from Nyssa.
    Nyssa: (to Laurel) You're not fit to wear it.
  • Recycled Set: The coffee shop where Oliver tells Thea that Malcolm is still alive is Central City's Jitters (the coffee shop where Iris works), mildly redressed.
  • The Reveal: Waller was the one who ordered Fyers to shoot down that plane back in Season One, not to cripple China's economy as he thought but to kill China White, who was aboard.
  • This Means War!: At the end of the episode, Ra's Al-Ghul declares that the League of Assassins is now at war with Oliver for protecting Malcolm Merlyn from them.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Oliver's strict vow not to kill anymore, which causes friction with both Nyssa and his team, who point out that Malcolm is a killer and deserves to die.
  • Trick Arrow: Oliver uses an arrow laced with nanites to tag and track Malcolm. Unfortunately, he somehow anticipates and counters this.
  • Villains Never Lie: Oliver ultimately believes Malcolm when he claims to not be responsible for Sara's death. Nyssa does not
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Oliver lets Malcolm go, an enraged Nyssa slugs him. Oliver admits he probably deserved it.
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