The Friday 56: Summer of Sandman #2

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.

Since Diana and I are blogging about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series this summer at Comparative Geeks, I’m working my way through the 10-volume trade paperback version of the series. From The Doll’s House (vol. 2):

Rose Walker: “I don’t know what I was expecting. Not her. She looked lost, and fragile, like a little china doll. And weirdly familiar, and I didn’t know why.”

Arrow: Season 3, Episode 23 – My Name Is Oliver Queen

BannerIf I hadn’t already known Arrow would return for another season, I might have worried it was the end for Oliver and his friends. Driving off into the sunset, happy no less, is not how I expected the series to end. Not that I’m complaining, you understand. Olly deserves a little happy after everything he’s been through. But I’m getting ahead of myself as usual. There was a lot to love about the finale, so let’s reflect on what happened.

The show continued right where it ended last week, and after marrying Nyssa, Olly spent his wedding night on a plane with his father in law – bound for Starling City. With the bio-weapon packed and ready to go, Ra’s didn’t waste any time in moving forward with his plan.

Team Arrow in cell

Back in Nanda Parbat the team regained consciousness in their cell, clearly confused, though thankful they weren’t dead. Merlyn couldn’t wait to take the credit for their miraculous recovery. His betrayal last week was just another thread in the tangled web of deceit, and all a plan so Olly could prove his allegiance once and for all.

John Barrowman was at his best this week. He took control almost immediately, delivering the news that the group had been vaccinated against the virus. His smug line, ‘I believe the words you’re looking for are, thank and you!’ was classic Merlyn. But then he knew what was coming, and so did we given the teaser trailers. Enter the Flash! Barry was his usual entertaining self, disabling the guards as he came to the aid of his friends. It was a particularly nice touch when he referred to the Lazarus Pit as a hot tub! It was only a flying visit, but Barry managed to spread some of his cheer.


One of my favourite scenes was undoubtedly the moment Olly stood up to Ra’s. Granted, he was on a doomed flight at the time, having sabotaged the plane, but it was still pretty great when he declared, ‘My name is Oliver Queen.’ I might have cheered a little! I didn’t even mind when Ra’s got away, because it was obvious the show couldn’t end there. Still, it was tense when Ra’s took the only parachute and left Olly and Nyssa to fend for themselves. The landing was a little rough, but they managed to touch the bird down.

The team made it back home too, converging in Ray’s lab to decide their next move. Merlyn continued to have fun, barking out orders to each member of the group, and standing his ground when they hesitated, ‘I’m sorry. Did I mumble?’ Diggle was the one to allow him the role of temporary leader.


Not that it lasted very long. Olly and Nyssa arrived moments later. It was actually kind of sweet when she moved to protect Olly from the hostility. Diggle still got a punch in though, which was deserved. Olly was quick to explain why he sided with Merlyn, and though Diggle pointed out that sorry didn’t cover it, there were bigger things to deal with than hurt feelings (and broken trust).

Felicity was angry about the fact Olly would have sacrificed himself to take down Ra’s on the plane. But she too recognised the urgency and set to work. It was nice to see the team working together, even Malcolm. They learnt that Damian Dark was in the city, which meant Olly’s ascension wasn’t the only thing on Ra’s agenda. He wanted to take down his nemesis.

Team Arrow searching for Ra's

In a coordinated effort, they set out to confront Damian, and instead found one of his associates. The man himself was long gone, so that was a dead end. Ra’s couldn’t resist taunting Olly though. After putting an arrow in Damian’s associate, he ranted about releasing four vessels in the city; four instruments of death. It at least gave the team something to work at.

Laurel visited her father at the station, a memorable scene because it turned out Captain Lance had fallen off the wagon. She challenged him, made him face a few facts and left him to decide whether he wanted to hide behind the bottle, or help save the city.

Ray, in the meantime, was working to build and disseminate an inoculant, utilising his nanotech. The others were trying to determine the four probable locations.

Olly and Felicity

I’ve missed seeing Oliver and Felicity together, sharing a connection which has been lacking recently. In another favourite scene, Olly finally opened up. He spoke of his reoccurring dream, the one he’s had since leaving the mountain. It starts the same way, with Felicity begging him not to fight Ra’s. In the dream he agrees, and sometimes they even escape. In that version, it ends with the two of them driving away.

Throughout the season we’ve seen Olly struggle with his identity, and it’s clear he’s winning the battle. Felicity too believes he is someone else, something else, and that his heart is the key to defeating Ra’s. It was a powerful moment, especially when she asked him to fight to live.

The final scenes were great in terms of the cohesion between the team. We saw Lance rallying the troops, everyone take their positions on site, and Speedy arrive to join the fight. They quickly discovered Ra’s had turned his men into the weapon, and got to work disabling the threat as Ray continued to find a way to get the inoculation to the city.

Ra's and Ollie fight

Meanwhile, Ollie faced Ra’s again and the pair fought a fierce battle. This time, Olly was victorious, earning the position as the new Demon Head. Unfortunately, the police saw him as one of the enemy and opened fire. Olly took a few shots to the chest, before falling over the side of the dam.

Felicity saved him, wearing Ray’s suit, which was a really nice twist. It was like old times again when she told him she’d kiss him if she could figure out how to get the thing off. It’s the first time I’ve seen Olly smile in quite a while.

Felicity in Ray's suit

Perhaps the most surprising twist in the series, was Olly’s decision to leave the city, though as he said himself, there are enough heroes to watch out for Starling. Including his sister, who finally took her place as Speedy. Even Diggle may be getting a new identity.

Merlyn’s storyline ended on an interesting note since Olly gave up his title, allowing Malcolm to fill the Demon Head’s shoes. It will certainly be fun to discover what kind of leader he turns out to be, and what his plans are for the League.

Another story arc which will be thrilling to watch in the next season, or indeed if the spinoff happens, is the Atom. Ray’s last scene was explosive, literally. Who knows what’s in store for us now, or whether Felicity has just inherited her own company.


Which brings us to the final scene. It was really moving when Oliver chose Felicity, a decision which must be long overdue for Olicity fans. As the pair drove off into the sunset together, Olly happy for the first time in who knows how long, I had to wonder what’s next for the Green Arrow. Maybe he’ll return in season 4 a changed man. We might see a happier, lighter Oliver Queen.

What did you think to the finale? Are we going to see Olly’s lighter side? Whatever happens, it is sure to be a thrilling season. We don’t have too long to wait, as the season looks set to return in October (if previous seasons are anything to go by). Until then, thanks for sharing your thoughts and I’ll look forward to joining you for Season 4.

driving into the sunset

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