Arrow: Season 3 Episode 4 "The Magician" (REVIEW)

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)

The band is (seemingly) back together with a new set of baggage to go with it. After Oliver and company convince Thea to come back home from Corto Maltese, the last episode was left on a bit of a cliff hanger with Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) returning aggressively inquiring about Sara's whereabouts on the other end of a black arrow. Oliver is forced to tell Nyssa about Sara's fate, prompting Nyssa to diviulge the information that Malcolm “The Magician” Merlyn is actually alive and well... and back in Starling City.

Katrina Law returns as Nyssa al Ghul

Katrina Law returns as Nyssa al Ghul

For a family that wants to be more truthful, the lies were spread on thick in this episode. While Thea is still clueless as to her brother's extra curricular activities... Oliver is also kept in the dark regarding Thea being supported by her biological father. Seems that combat training wasn't the only think Merlyn wanted to impart on the daughter he couldn't raise. With Merlyn being the prime suspect in the death of Sara Lance, team Arrow plus Nyssa go on the hunt for the former League of Assassins member.

Laurel (Katie Cassidy) continues her training and seemingly looks to eventually take over the work her sister left behind. This (along with Ray Palmer's bid to rename Starling Star City) look to be the comic book coming full circle into the CW series... something I have personally be looking forward to eventually happening, now if only they'd call Ollie “Green” Arrow.

Face to face with Malcolm Merlyn

Face to face with Malcolm Merlyn

The Hong Kong flashback sees Oliver ordered to assassinate a man on Amanda Waller's (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) orders. While questioning it, he learns more about his time on the island and Waller's involvement with none other than Edward Fyres... who Arrow fans will remember as the primary flashback antagonist from the first season.

How much did Waller know about the island?

How much did Waller know about the island?

This week's episode felt balance, a balance that was severely lacking during the last week's episode. While Felicity Smoak was notably absent throughout the majority of this episode (she was on The Flash the night before) the inclusion of Nyssa kept the the team from feeling as if something was missing. Bad ass fight sequences, lies and intrigue, plus seeing a vulnerable side to Nyssa gave “The Magician” a satisfying watch all the way through.

The man behind the League makes his official Arrow debut this episode with Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable) leaving us on a cliffhanger that I feel sets up the remainder of the season, at least until the Fall finale. Will Ra's and the League of Assassins play the primary villain this season? It's still early to tell but so far so good... can't wait for the next episode.

Matt Nable as Ra's al Ghul

Matt Nable as Ra's al Ghul