Warning: full episode spoilers follow.
It would be nice if Arrow didn’t feel so at odds with itself as it reaches the end of Season 3. Last week’s episode, “Al Sah-Him,” really played up the “Is Ollie evil or isn’t he?” angle. And no sooner did that episode finally make a convincing argument that Ollie has fallen to the dark side than “This Is Your Sword” swooped in to say, “Haha! Just kidding!” This was still a decent episode overall, but at this point the sense of drama surrounding Ra’s al Ghul’s master plan is deflated.
The early scenes set this episode down the wrong path, as we quickly learned that A) Ollie’s devotion to the League is all an act, and B) the only other person privy to this information is Malcolm Merlyn. I can buy that Ollie would shut his friends out of his plan in favor of a man with intimate knowledge of the League’s inner workings. It’s just disappointing to see all of last week’s hard work swept away. This episode really needed a continued sense of uncertainty regarding Ollie’s motivations and loyalties. We the viewers needed to question his actions alongside Diggle, Felicity and the rest.