That’s the big question of the Wednesday, Oct. 29 episode of “Arrow,” 304, “The Magician,” which is also the show’s 50th episode, and it celebrates it with a bang and everything that makes the show so good. There are incredible fight scenes, the confrontation everyone’s been waiting for and the introduction of a certain character at the very end.
This “Arrow” episode picks up right where last week’s left off, with Nyssa in the foundry, demanding to know where Sara is. Sara came to Starling on League business, and she hasn’t heard from her since. When she realizes that she’s dead, she goes to her grave, where she runs into Laurel, who blames her sister’s association with the League for her death. Nyssa argues not only that she too is grieving but also that the darkness Laurel thinks she showed Sara was already inside her. She also lets Laurel know what she thinks of her wearing the jacket she gave Sara as a gift: “You are not fit to wear it.” However, when the two of them are sided against Oliver when it comes to Malcolm and letting him live and Nyssa finds Laurel training in the end, she admits that she’s changed her mind about how tough she is.
After Oliver finds Nyssa in Sara’s safe house, he learns that Malcolm is alive. Sara had been following up on the tip from Moira that he was alive, and when they follow up on a lead from Sara’s notes in ghost ink in her boot to Jansen, a Buddhist monk, they find Malcolm instead. Oliver only grazes him with an arrow as he escapes, but as he reveals, he hit him with a tracer. The only problem is when he follows it – using a program that Felicity insisted even they could handle without her – it’s to an empty warehouse. Malcolm easily beat his tracer and instead makes Oliver meet him in a very public area. (Somehow, no one realizes that Malcolm is standing among them. Maybe it’s like how no one at the police station other than Jack recognized David Clarke on Revenge until his prints came back despite all the news coverage everywhere.)
Malcolm insists that he didn’t kill Sara and he has a pretty logical explanation for why as well. Ra’s placed a blood bounty on his head. Why would he kill the love of his daughter’s life? He came back for Thea, and this is when Oliver finds out that he saved her from a Mirakuru soldier that night, but Malcolm tells him that he’s been keeping his distance from Thea. “The world is a dangerous place, and you’re too distracted to protect her,” Malcolm tells Oliver. Yes, he’s a killer, but he swears on Thea’s life that he’s not Sara’s killer, a fact he maintains even after Nyssa kidnaps Thea upon learning she’s Malcolm’s daughter.
After Oliver sends Thea to safety, the best sequence of the entire episode begins, with Oliver fighting Nyssa and then Malcolm joining in. He manages to pin down Nyssa, but she tries to get Oliver to kill him by reminding him of all the lives Malcolm has taken. Malcolm once again insists he didn’t kill Sara and instead poses a new suspect: Ra’s al Ghul himself. He doubted Sara’s loyalties the moment she brought her home, and Nyssa knows what her father is capable of, so is it a stretch to imagine he’d take care of the “degenerate” who stole his daughter’s heart? In the end, Oliver lets him go because he’s not a killer anymore and he knows that Malcolm is right that locking him up would mean nothing. “No prison can hold us,” Malcolm says. “Not even you one on Lian Yu.”
Nyssa returns to her father to report that Malcolm is in Starling and Sara is dead. She vows to avenge her, but Ra’s doesn’t particularly care about Sara and says she was never truly one of them. As for Oliver Queen, since he has sworn to protect Malcolm, that puts him on the League’s list. Seems like Malcolm may have been right? Could Oliver be Ra’s al Ghul’s target all along and Sara just be his way of getting to him?
Meanwhile, Oliver is determined to keep his “no secrets” promise to Thea (the best he can), but she’s not doing the same. How long is it going to take Oliver to confront her about her lies? He has to at least suspect, right? Especially after that conversation with Malcolm? While he tells her that Malcolm is alive (but not that he met with him), she continues to keep it a secret that she not only already knows but that she’s in contact with him. That means telling Roy that a designer is calling her about the club when she steps aside to talk to her father and thank him for taking care of her. Oliver and Thea do seem to be a good place – or at least as good a place as they can be in, given everything – as do Thea and Roy, who are working at purely platonically working together. Hey, Roy even has a new job, as her assistant manager.
As for Oliver’s Hong Kong flashbacks, after he took out a target for Waller, he looked at the guy’s USB and discovers that Waller was the one behind Fyers trying to shoot down the plane over the island. She wanted one passenger killed: China White. She was in Hong Kong, and Waller wanted to know why.
Finally, can someone please tell Lance that Sara is dead? Yes, he has a heart problem, but it’s heartbreaking to see him kept in the dark, especially as Nyssa gives him a “message” that she misses him very much. It’s even worse when he calls to leave a voicemail saying he worries and to remember he loves her. Poor Lance!
“Arrow” season 3 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 4 “The Magician”?