The Friday 56: Summer of Sandman #1

The Friday 56 is a weekly booking meme courtesy of Freda’s Voice. Friday 56And there is a linkup! The rules are simple: Grab a book, any book. Turn to page 56. Find a sentence, any sentence, and post it. (Or post a few — just don’t spoil it!) Add the post url (not your homepage) to the linky and do some visits.

I did a short run of these at Just Gene’O back in the spring and they did so well I decided to move them here. Since Diana and I are doing a lot of posting at Comparative Geeks about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman this summer, I’m working my way through the ten-volume trade paperback collection of that series. Enjoy!

From “Imperfect Hosts” in Preludes and Nocturnes:

Cain: Now, why would I give you an exploding present? What kind of brother would I be if I did that?

Abel: My kind of B-brother. The uh, the kind who kills me whenever he’s uh . . . Mad at me, or bored, or just in a lousy mood.

Arrow: Season 3, Episode 22 – This Is Your Sword


The penultimate episode addressed some of my doubts regarding the validity of Ollie’s alliance with Malcolm Merlyn. It never really sat well with me, but at least it makes more sense. Essentially, it boils down to the fact he understood how useful Merlyn’s knowledge would become.

But let’s look at the episode, and discuss the revelation that Ollie was faking it (not a complete surprises given the spoilers). The fact he decided to take on the League from the inside, cut all ties to his life and hurt those he loves is a little extreme, even for Ollie. He rarely takes the easy route, and he certainly knows how to punish himself, but if he continues to burn those bridges, there won’t be anything left to stand on!

The show opened with a flashback, but I’ll skip over that for a moment. It likely served to remind us of Ollie’s history with Maseo and their experience in dealing with the Alpha-Omega. As it turns out, Maseo gave Ra’s the virus. It’s certainly a powerful bargaining chip, given its destructive potential.

ollie and ra's

Shortly after Ra’s made a speech about wiping the slate clean, and sending death to Starling City (on a plane), they moved to the subject of Ollie’s impending union with Nyssa, and had a rehearsal dinner. Well, okay, maybe it wasn’t strictly a wedding rehearsal, but they certainly talked about Nyssa becoming a wife and mother. Ra’s is seems, would like to become a grandfather!

Olly excused himself because, though he was no doubt genuinely unnerved by the topic, he had arranged to meet with Merlyn. The pair discussed Ra’s schedule, and given that things were moving at an alarming rate, Ollie decided to call in reinforcements. It was clear neither Olly nor Merlyn had thought the plan completely through.

When Ollie’s continued absence was noted by Ra’s, he sent Maseo looking for him (luckily Malcolm was gone by then). I liked that we got to see a glimpse of Maseo’s inner torment in the scene with Ollie. The fact Maseo is stuck inside a prison of his own making – which began with the death of his son.

Team Arrow


In Starling we saw that Diggle and Black Canary were working to keep the city safe. They took down a street gang, with a little help from the Canary Cry (and Cisco’s modifications). The action was enjoyable, especially the way they worked together. It took a turn for the worse though, when Diggle lost the leash on his control. He is barely hanging on to his anger.

Merlyn only made things worse when he arrived to tell them that Ollie’s allegiance with the League is a charade. Since both Malcolm and Ollie anticipated their reaction, Malcolm brought Tatsu with him. It was a little odd, because they don’t know her, yet anyone stood a better chance than Merlyn at gaining their trust.

After hearing about the virus, they agreed to accompany Malcolm to Nanda Parbat, though there was more than a little resistance. They found the plane which was fuelled and ready to go. Felicity did her thing (remotely connecting to the on-board computer), as the others fought a group of assassins.

gang arriving

Ray joined the gang, coming to their rescue and blowing the plane from the sky. His timing was impeccable, given that Felicity’s equipment was damaged. It was a treat to see Ray fly in, though he might want to work on his landings – he literally crashed to the earth. It didn’t hurt his sense of humour ‘you should see the other guy’ was a nice touch.

In an earlier scene between Ray and Felicity she signed papers which turned out to be a transfer of ownership (not that she even looked at the document). I’m not sure what Ray’s plan is, but he’s definitely up to something!

Thea and Roy

Thea decided to go looking for Roy, and the reunion was incredibly sweet. The chemistry between them was reminiscent of their earlier relationship, so it’s a shame that their time together was short lived. Roy decided to cut the ties because he didn’t want to subject her to a life on the run. He left her with his suit (which she managed to get back via her father). It means we will likely see Speedy in action pretty soon.

Maseo and Tatsu


The flashbacks this week were focused on the fight to save Akio’s life. When they realised the inoculation wasn’t working, Ollie and Maseo teamed up to locate a cure. It ended badly for all of them because, not only were they too late, and Akio died, they managed to walk into a trap set by General Shrieve.

Back in the present, Tatsu fought with Maseo as the team took down the plane. It was a difficult battle to watch, especially when Maseo gained the upper hand and was about to end her life. In the end they both lost. Though Tatsu killed Maseo, she did so at great personal cost. Maseo’s final words were poignant. He thanked her for releasing him from his prison.

Nanda Parbat

episode 22The scenes between Ra’s and Nyssa were disturbing. We rarely see him lose that icy control, but he certainly lost it this week – threatening untold horrors to his daughter.

His mood didn’t improve when he discovered Ollie’s friends in Nanda Parbat. It meant there was a traitor in his ranks. The plane had been a test, which was an interesting twist. Ra’s had the virus the whole time. Of course this put seeds of doubt in his mind about Ollie’s true allegiance, something Malcolm fed into by telling him about their plan. Why am I not surprised Merlyn double crossed Oliver to save his own bacon? In any case, it didn’t make a difference. Ra’s decided to give Ollie the benefit of the doubt.

After breaking the news that Ollie was to be married, he threw the gang in a cell. The look between Ollie and Felicity was heart-breaking – you could see the pain in Felicity’s eyes.


It only got worse, because Ra’s released the virus in their cell. And still Ollie did nothing. Not even after Diggle told him he’d lost more than his friendship – he’d lost his respect and trust. He walked out of the cell, closing and sealing the door – and their fate.

So that leaves us with the cliff-hanger. As Ollie got married (he almost got stabbed by Nyssa, but he’s learnt a few tricks), the team could be seen in the cell. It was eerie, not because I believed them to be dead. It was more about the symbolism – that of a dying friendship.


One thing is certain, it will be an emotional and action paced season finale. What do you think? Did you enjoy the episode? Do you have any predictions? I’d love to hear from you.

NB: Images used within this review are the copyright of The CW Network. All rights reserved.