This next to last episode of the Emerald (well, not so emerald, currently) Archer’s third season continues to move Oliver’s new status as Al Sah-him forward.  It also continues to set up new dynamics within Team Arrow that may have lasting consequences well into the fourth season.  One character dies while another new ally takes her place in what looks to be another apocalyptic season ender for Arrow.

***** SPOILER ALERT *****

The episode begins with seeing the devastation within Hong Kong as the Alpha-Omega virus continues to kill people in the flashback.  This sets what Ra’s al Ghul has planned for Starling City after his heir marries his daughter.  I really haven’t enjoyed the back story this year as much as I did in season two, but it does connect how Ra’s has the virus.  Maseo Yamashiro brought him the virus on his way into the League of Assassins.  Now with the virus, Ra’s is commanding Oliver to use it on his city.  This will end any connection Al Sah-him has to his former life.

Quickly in the episode, we see that Oliver’s role is only a ruse.  In fact, we see Oliver and Malcolm Merlyn have created this plan from the beginning.  This is where my respect for Oliver Queen dropped.  I instantly thought about how he left a child alone after kidnapping her mother and best friend’s wife.  This was the moment last week I thought: the Arrow is dead.  There is no way he could do that to his best friend’s family.

It was good to see that I wasn’t the only one thinking that, with how Diggle was beating a random street thug.  I don’t blame John for being so angry after the betrayal last week.  I personally hope this new dynamic has lasting consequences into the fourth season.  I get that Oliver had to go under deep cover, but, as we heard from John last week, there are some lines you don’t cross.

ARROWThere is also some foreshadowing to next season as Ray Palmer signs his company over to Felicity without her even knowing it is what he’s doing.  Ray’s Atom suit will be taking center stage for him in The CW’s third DC show next fall.  There is plenty of setup, for sure, as Thea also takes a trip to see Roy “Jason” in his new life for her to get away from it all, but also to get a little direction towards, what I believe, will be her transformation into the heroine, Speedy.  At the end of their time together, Roy left encouraging Thea that a life on the run is not what Ollie sacrificed so that she could live.  Instead she should live out her potential.  Roy even gave a nod to her being a heroine in a city that needs heroes.

After hearing the leagues plan for Starling City, Merlyn needed Team Arrow to assemble to help Oliver save their city.  Unfortunately, Oliver’s betrayal last week and Malcolm’s less than stellar track record do not convince Team Arrow, at first.  Bringing in Tatsu Yamashiro was a far stretch, I thought. In fact I didn’t really see that it made much sense.  I wish the writers could have had a more fluid way to introduce Katana into the present day, much how they are doing an excellent job on Thea’s journey into becoming Speedy.

I cannot blame Diggle for wanting nothing to do with Oliver.  At the same time, he is one of few people left to stop the League.  After everyone else gets on board with the plan, they attempt to stop the league from distributing the Alpha-Omega virus in their city.

arrow-this-is-your-sword-trailer-breakdown-merlyn-team-up-a-wedding-roy-s-return-ka-386552I have to say the two fight sequences were pretty amazing.  The fight earlier in the evening with John and Black Canary against several street thugs and now again with the League of Assassins were amazing.  During the first fight, I finally got to see what I had been hoping for.  Laurel’s fighting skills finally have come into their own.  Her own personal journey has made her Black Canary.

During the fight, both of the Yamashiros faced off with one another.  Sarab against Katana, only one was walking away.  Because of the back story, there was so much more depth to their fight. In the end though she kills him, releasing him from his prison, as he in his dying breath said.  I am sure this brings to a close to this year’s back story.

As I said before, the battle sequence was exceptional.  Even Ray had the opportunity to take out a jet which seemed to be carrying the virus to Starling City.  Unfortunately, even with what seemed a victory, Ra’s al Ghul continues to be steps ahead of Team Arrow.  He still had the virus that will be taken to kill Queen’s city and to remove anything from his previous life.

Team Arrow once more is captured, yet spared for it is the right to pardon a Ra’s’ enemies the night before his wedding.  Team Arrow remains captured and secured until Merlyn betrays Oliver hoping for approval and freedom from Ra’s.  The last scenes of this episode are of Oliver marrying Nyssa, while his friends had the virus unleashed upon them.

Arrow -- "This is Your Sword" -- Image AR322B_0019b -- Pictured (L-R): Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle and Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights ReservedWe all know that Team Arrow isn’t going to die.  I thought it was nice to see Barry Allen with the team in the promo teaser.  He is inspiring Team Arrow to help Oliver, even if he doesn’t want or think he needs their help.  I also believe we are going to see the origin of Thea’s Speedy or Arrowette persona.  One way thing we do know for certain is that the Arrow returns as Oliver Queen abandons his Heir to the Dragon for, I hope, a life of heroism.  Next week on season’s three finale, “My Name is Oliver Queen.”

Arrow airs Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW. Watch full episodes on and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).