Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Although multiple flashbacks do little to advance the story, the return of Nyssa al Ghul promises an interesting character arc this season.
With strong performances for nearly the entire cast, "The Magician"... takes advantage of the rich world Arrow has built in the past two years, while also giving this season the dramatic kick it needed.
Laurel gets some terrific material here as the vengeance seeker stuck on the sidelines, and Katie Cassidy does series-best work tonight.
This week's Arrow is probably one of the most focused and single-tracked episodes they've ever done, and that's certainly not a bad thing.
"The Magician" was the weakest installment of Season 3 so far. The action was satisfying, and Ollie had some solid moments in the present and in the flashbacks, but the conflict was a little more dull than it should have been.
Arrow enters its usual first-quarter holding pattern in this episode, so we don't make much progress. But "The Magician" is still peppered with great moments.
The main problem with "The Magician" is that it's an extraordinarily talky episode. And it's not the kind of talking that particularly moves the plot along.
What was unanticipated was how little the role of Team Arrow was in the 50th episode. Was it because they were missing their heart -- Felicity? I'm open to suggestions.
Obviously the death of Sara and the mystery of her murderer is the central plot arc to at least the first half of this season, and they're doing quite well with the pacing, writing, and folding in of supporting characters.
The episode evokes a great deal of the past, but it's the future - and the coming of Ra's al Ghul - that will stay with us as we wait for the next clue as to who killed Sara Lance.
"The Magician" proves to be a solid, character-focused episode, more concerned with interior conflict than the kind of globe-hopping action we saw in "Corto Maltese" last week.