For the Arrow Season 3 Episode 4 Round Table, we're all about introductions and returns: Nyssa's, Malcolm's Ra's al Ghul and the new Hong Kong location. Find out how we feel about them below.
Join TV Fanatics Allison Nichols, Carla Day, Paul Dailly, Hank Otero and Carissa Pavlica with your thoughts by popping them in the comments. Something tells me you have a lot to say!
What did you think of the return of Nyssa?
Allison: I loved it. Nyssa broke my heart. She presents a challenge for Oliver. They both loved Sara, and they have two very different ideas on how to get justice. Nyssa tests Oliver's commitment to his no killing vow. It is great to see her interact with the team again, especially her scenes with Laurel. The two of them should team up. It would be great.
Carla: I was glad to have her back. I'd love to have Nyssa return on a regular or semi-regular basis as a member/associate of Team Arrow. I may be hit with arrows for saying this, but think she should become Black Canary in honor of Sara. She loved her, has the skills and it make sense for her to carry on Sara's legacy. I wouldn't even mind her evolving to a point that Oliver could love her. They have good rapport as it is now.
Paul: I also enjoyed it. The woman is understandably annoyed. She wants to take down whoever was involved in Sara's death. Oliver kept getting in her way this week, she won't take too kindly to that.
Hank: I thought Katrina Law was sensational this week. I mean, she's been great on the series but she really stood out and impressed me in this episode. I particularly enjoyed her interaction with Laurel. Could Nyssa also help train Laurel to become Black Canary? That would be cool I think.
Carissa: It was wonderful. I agree that her scenes with Laurel were really well done and I was pleased that she saw what others didn't in Sara's sister. If she would come back to train Laurel, that would be wonderful. I don't know much about her comic origins, but I think she was using the League to establish world peace in a way. I'd like to find out her motives if she disassociates with her father.
What did you think about the return of Malcolm Merlyn?
Allison: It is so great to have Oliver and Malcolm have a conversation. They have a very unusual relationship, to say the least. I'm personally curious to see how Malcolm reacts when/if he hears about Oliver's protection deal. I do believe that Malcolm didn't kill Sara. Like he says, he isn't that stupid to kill the girlfriend of Ra's al Ghul's daughter.
Carla: John Barrowman does a superb job playing Malcolm Merlyn. The scene when Malcolm and Oliver meet in the plaza was brilliant. He spoke his truth and for the first time maybe ever, he actually came across as honest. I don't believe he killed Sara either. With Ra's al Ghul targeting Oliver now, I hope we see two enemies team up to fight off an even greater threat. That plaza exchange opened up the possibly of a limited alliance between Oliver and Malcolm.
Paul: Bleh. I don't like Malcolm. I feel like his story should have ended long ago, but the writers insist on bringing him back all the time. I feel like Oliver had so many opportunites to kill him this week, that he was a fool not to. Oliver is the guy makes rash decisions, and deals with the ramifications later.
Hank: Barrowman is just brilliant, I'm just afraid Merlyn's time of the show is coming to an end. Maybe it's just me. Like Carla I loved the scene between Malcolm and Oliver in the plaza. Great bit of acting from both Barrowman and Amell. I also believe Marcolm didn't kill Sara. He's always been so proud of the chaos he causes, if he were behind this why deny it? I mentioned in our first round table back that Ra's al Ghul was responsible. Fans thought I was way off but it's looking more like Ra's did it all the time.
Carissa: I have no idea what to believe from Merlyn. I think the scenes between he and Thea were the closest we've ever come to the real thing. I don't think he's in Starling to protect Thea, although he is there because of her. I suspect he'd like to take down The Arrow, being Thea's brother or not.
How do you feel about the flashbacks in Hong Kong. Do you miss the island or is this a suitable replacement?
Allison: It's a suitable replacement. I just don't know everyone's name yet. The writers will need to work a little more on it though. It's not the most riveting thing in the world, but then again, some episodes on the island wasn't all too thrilling either.
Carla: I don't understand the point of them yet. Why is he there? Why does Amanda Waller want to use Oliver? And, why does Oliver go along with it? He could buy protection for the family if he revealed himself to his family. I don't miss the island at all, but the point and value of the Hong Kong stuff escapes me so far. Plus, why hasn't Oliver revealed how evil Waller is to Diggle yet?
Paul: They were good. They are a refreshing change from the island. I feel like the island is part of the shows identity, so I won't be ruling out return trips.
Hank: I absolutely miss the island. Especially the Arrow Season 2 island stuff which tied in nicely with the present. Hong Kong so far seems so random to me, I'm not feeling it. I'm sure the writers have a plan, but so far it's been a slow burn. That's rare for Arrow, which might be why it's not working for me. Things should pick up over the next several episodes.
Carissa: Carla pretty much summed up all my feels. It just makes no sense that he's free, yet restrained by Waller, in one of the most populated cities in the world when he comes from one of the richest. I don't buy it. There's something missing. And, after two years on the island, that petulant voice Amell affects is done now. I hope we meet his trainers soon.
What did you think about the introduction of Ra's al Ghul?
Allison: It was okay? I wasn't blown away or anything. I know nothing about the comics, so I'm just like, okay. I will need to witness just how evil he can be.
Carla: He didn't seem as big a threat in his introduction as I expect him to be. He's awful to Nyssa though. I want her to join Team Arrow against her father in honor of Sara.
Paul: I agree with Carla and Allison, he didn't seem like the big bad he is made out to be. I've also never read the comics, so he is a new character for me
Hank: It wasn't much of an introduction, so it's hard to form an opinion. I can say he doesn't look much like the Ra's al Ghul I was expecting. Not that Liam Neeson looked like the comic book version either, but I guess it seemed his look would be closer this time around. Going by the teaser anyway. Stephen Amell has been singing Matt Nable's praises, so I'm willing to wait and see what he brings to the role.
Carissa: I suppose the build up and his spinning around was supposed to be to show off his groovy costume. But, I didn't read the comics, so the detail was lost on me. Amell singing his praises doesn't mean anything to me, as he also sang the praises of this episode.
Given what you know of each character, who is taking advantage of their daughter? Malcolm the Magician (or Devil as Nyssa referred to him) or Ra's al Ghul the Demon?
Allison: I don't think Malcolm is taking advantage of Thea. I believe that he is doing what he believes is best for Thea, and she did ask for it. She wanted to no longer feel weak. Malcolm is helping her to do that. I can't comment on Ra's al Ghul and Nyssa yet. I just don't know about their relationship enough.
Carla: I agree with Allison regarding Malcolm. He's not taking advantage of her. She fully aware of the evil her father has done. She may not know everything he's done, but she knows enough that she knows what she'd getting into with him. For Ra's al Ghul and Nyssa, it appears with what little information we've gotten that she feels a familial and League of Assassins obligation towards her father, but doesn't necessarily love him. Ra's al Ghul has used Nyssa and turned her into the woman she is for better or worse. She had no choice in the matter. He's definitely taken advantage of his daughter.
Paul: I also don't think Malcolm is taking advantage of Thea. I think a lot of his interest in her, is coming from the lack of interest he took in his son, and we all know what happened to him, right? I have no idea about Ra's al Ghul. I'm expecting to find out a lot more about him in the next few episodes.
Hank: As Allison and Carla mentioned Malcolm's simply doing what Thea asked for. She wanted to become stronger and we've already seen evidence she's changed immensely. That said, "The Magician" always has an endgame. I can't help wondering if there's an ulterior motive. The Ra's and Nyssa relationship seems a bit icy. Of course it's hard to judge from one quick scene. I can't really say if he's taken advantage of her until we learn more.
Carissa: I think they're both taking advantage, but not necessarily tied to the death of Sara. Honestly, I don't really care if Ra's killed her. It's not much of a story if he did it. Not for me, now, in this part of the story. He is casually dismissive of his daughter, however, and I don't like that. Malcolm, I think, wants to take down The Arrow, and since he knows who that is and Thea doesn't, and I believe Thea is a part of his plan, he's taking advantage of Thea.
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.