Few fans would deny that Arrow season 2 was a big improvement over season 1. Not that is was without missteps – Laurel’s pill addiction, for instance – but overall it was a solid season. Mourning the death of his best friend, Oliver accepted his role of hero, made new allies, suffered more loss, and again saved Starling City from grave disaster.
One of the most pleasant (though not entirely unexpected) surprises was that Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) a.k.a. The Dark Archer was still alive. He and the Arrow fought during the first season’s finale and was presumed dead after their rooftop battle. But obviously, Barrowman’s Merlyn is simply too enjoyable of a character to use up in one season.
When he returned he brought along a secret – he’s Thea Queen’s real father! With a rift already growing between Thea and her family, she accepted Merlyn’s offer to leave town with him in the season 2 finale, and will likely begin her training as his new protégé. It’s a juicy setup for only one of the many conflicts coming Oliver’s way in season 3.
Earlier today show producer, Marc Guggenheim tweeted an image of the title page for episode 4 of season 3, revealing its title to be: “The Magician.”
But before you get too excited thinking this is a hint at an appearance by Zatanna or another famed DC Comics’ magician – it’s not. After all, we weren’t talking about Malcolm just now for nothing.
In the comics, he initially went by the name Merlyn the Magician because he was that talented of an archer. (Why he didn’t go with, y’know, Robin Hood, I don’t know. That’s comics for ya.)
Guggenheim even quickly cleared up any confusion with a tweet making it quite obvious that the title refers to Barrowman’s role:
Full disclosure: "The Magician" does NOT refer to Zatanna. That'd be awesome, but refers to a different character. Hint: @Team_Barrowman— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) August 13, 2014
So episode 4 will be a Merlyn-focused one, but about what? Well, given that he’s taken Willa Holland’s Thea under his wing, it’s obvious he has plans for her tutelage, and it’s very likely those plans will come into play during this episode.
Barrowman told TV Line earlier this summer Malcolm will “train her to be a powerhouse, to be a tough bitch.” This episode could be the beginning of that, and seeing as her ex-boyfriend went and got himself a cool new alter-ego, why shouldn’t she?
Yet all good training sequences typically begin with delving into the teacher’s past, and with the name The Magician tied to Merlyn’s past in the comics, it isn’t out of the question that name is tied to his past on the show.
The name is simple and succinct, and similar to another character’s moniker: The Canary, a title earned by Sara Lance while in the League of Assassins. And coincidentally, Merlyn also spent time with the League, so we wouldn’t be surprised if The Magician was his call sign.
Arrow season 3 premieres Wednesday October 8th @8pm on The CW.
Source: Marc Guggenheim
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