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Malcolm Merlyn: Ra's al Dark Archer - Who's Your Daddy!

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Redeemed? No, not even remotely. Not even Oliver at his dumbest ever believed Malcolm was to be trusted. He saw Malcolm as the lesser of two evils in comparison to Ra's. Frenemy? Now that's probably more accurate. Oliver might be fairly convinced Malcolm will do whatever he has to to protect Thea (conveniently forgetting the whole brainwashing her to put her in the crosshairs of the League thing) but literally anyone else is fair game. Malcolm would happily let Oliver, Felicity, Diggle and his family, Laurel, Quentin, not to mention everyone else in Star City, burn to protect Thea. He was willing to destroy a portion of it to make himself feel a little better about his dead wife after all. Malcolm is a useful psychopath, the kind of guy you only turn to when the situation is so dire he probably can't make it much worse (and then he usually does but that's another point all together).

Edited by KirkB
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I'm not saying that MM is redeemed - far from it. However, he is starting to fall into the writers' blindspot where what they write does not translate to the reality of the character, his relationship to the other characters and the audience's reaction. He's a crazy maniacal psychopath, but that is not how the writers have been writing him for most of s3 & s4. It's not as bad as their LL blindspot, but if left to fester it might get worse.

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So in 4.3 Malcolm said he was going to take Thea to a sage with a cure. But then he gave Thea some men to kill. Others and I thought maybe it was Tatsu when the scene sneak peaked or promo-ed but then the episode showed Malcolm was just lying to Thea. But was he? I kind of feel like retroactively the sage was proven true and it was Tatsu. Do you think the writers thought this out and if Malcolm being a liar who wants his daughter to kill instead of be cured will come back up. Or Was it a change in plans and/or the Blood lust story will be finished?


Also interesting is that 4.07 Malcolm comes at Thea's request and Malcolm ask, "Are you sure you don't have the SCPD waiting for me?". Interesting because Felicity did for her father a few episodes later.

Edited by tarotx
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I don't think the writers really thought of it that deeply, but I would LOVE it if Malcolm actually knew there was a cure for Thea but did nothing to get it because Thea with bloodlust was more beneficial to his agenda.

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Presumably Malcolm talked to Tommy before and Tommy likely pretended to listen, made some half-hearted effort and then went back to being a playboy.  So, Malcolm cut him off and pushed him to grow the fuck up at long last.  And it kind of worked.


With Thea and William, their lives were/are in the hands of an enemy who will force Malcolm/Oliver to choose between their mission and their child's life.


Prior to the LoA disband, Malcolm was already in the worst of possible positions.  His enemy, Nyssa, was in charge of the League.  She could decide at any time to have him killed or imprisoned.  Malcolm wasn't horrified then.  When she disbanded the League, he was horrified.  Like, "My daddy built Hoover Dam.  I hate my Daddy, so I blew up Hoover Dam."


It's pretty clear that as Ra' al Ghul, Malcolm had access to a whole lot of secret information.  He's likely privy to all kinds of situations where the disappearance of the League will have a disastrous effect.  Maybe in Season 5 we'll get a scene like:


Oliver: "Why is Great Cthulhu rampaging through Starling City?!"

Malcolm: "Because thanks to you, the League no longer exists, so they weren't hunting his cultists and prevent them from summoning him here.  Dumbass."

You're taking Malcolm at his own evaluation.  That's a dangerous assumption.


What we know about Malcolm's relationship with Tommy is that he left when Tommy was 8.  In season 1, Tommy told Oliver that Robert was more of a father to him than Malcolm was.  Malcolm was gone for years and when he came back, we don't have any indication that he was much of a father to Tommy.  John Barrowman has said that Malcolm thought of Oliver as more of his son than he did Tommy.


When Tommy was living with Laurel since his father has suddenly cut off the funds, Malcolm came over  and invited Tommy and Laurel to dinner. Tommy was thrilled, he thought his father was finally accepting him. Then he found out it was just to get him to sign the paper to shut down his mother's clinic.  Rather than being a narcissistic playboy, Tommy came across as a Little Boy Lost, unsure of his place in life and floundering because he had essentially been parentless since he was 8. That's one reason why he fell for Laurel, because she told him what to do and how to do it.


With Thea, Malcolm got her when she was traumatized from her mother's death and rebelling against Moira and Oliver.  He taught her to be strong but he also drugged her and forced her to kill a friend.  The reason she was in Ra's crosshairs was because of Malcolm, the reason she was suffering from the bloodlust was because of Malcolm and instead of listening to her, all his solutions were "kill someone... here, kill this person... or this one".


Going by what they've shown on Arrow, I see no reason for the League of Assassins to exist.  Of course Malcolm thought that they were a force for good; he thinks he's a hero.

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From spoilers thread

I know I'm in the minority on this one but I really don't want Malcolm to die until the end of the series. IMO, he is still the best villain, because he's so unpredictable. I mean we KNOW he's going to do some kind of crazy shit but we just can't always guess what they will be..(well, I did once but that's beside the point).


I like that Malcolm really does think he's not crazy which makes him even more crazy. His total lack of self-awareness is epic. I hate him but I love to hate him. I think they made a mistake last season with the convoluted manner he became Ra's Al Ghul but he's just straight up BSC and has been all along. I just think he's a fun asshole villain.

No I'm with you. But the writers need to stop with the misguided hero bullshit. And JB needs to stop trying to make him an anti-hero. The guy is just straight up villain. No its ands or buts. And he definitely needs to die by the end of the series.

The writers made a mistake by trying to make him buddies with OQ and father of the year. TA may have to work with him at points, but they certainly should never openly trust him like they did in s3 & 4a. Nobody questioned or side eyed his involvement with the exception of a handful of moments by FS & Dig in s3 which were brushed off by the writers.

I also think the writers made a misstep by never having MM officially cleared of wrong doing with the Undertaking. If some corrupt govt official pardoned him in s2 then at least that would remove the stupidity of why no one is looking for him. Or why LL & QL have not turned him in as officers of the court. It would also be more believable than no jail cell can hold me, when clearly they haven't even tried.

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I don't even mind JB playing and selling Malcolm as a misunderstood hero. My problem lies with other characters even slightly buying into it. Malcolm can see himself as Jesus Christ, just have the show make it clear he's batshit crazy.

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Without Malcolm some of my favorite Arrow moments would be gone. 

1.  The you are all bad actors line to the team from season 3.

2.  To Oliver:  you are good look'n but not very bright

3.  The absolutely wonderful fight scene between Malcolm and LL/BC before Nyssa swooped in and ended his ballet of the folly

4.  His line to LL about her costume

5.  His pride in Thea shooting him

6.  The words you are looking for are thank and you

7.  The image of him roasting over the proverbial coals in Nanda Parbat

8.  Him always popping in as Gossip Gus

Malcolm brings to the show the type of personal foil to Oliver it needs. 


Oliver has never been shown to "trust"him since the reveal in Season 1 of him as the Dark Archer/Undertaking chief.  If you watch carefully, Oliver always conditions his claims about Malcolm with a note that the guy is not to be trusted.  Oliver paints him as the necessary evil to use over and over. 


Someday when it fits to have Donna and Malcolm in a scene it is gonna be a riot.

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What is actor John Barrowman's superpower? His fans
Christopher Borrelli  OCTOBER 13, 2016


Merlyn, who just returned for the fifth season of "Arrow" on CW, is the archenemy of the Green Arrow, and a tortured character on a tormented show: He is grim, a master assassin and father of the sister of the Green Arrow. The Green Arrow was dating a superhero who was killed by the Green Arrow's sister. She had been under the sway of Merlyn, who engineered an earthquake to wipe out the bad part of town where his wife was killed, which led him into the nurturing arms of the Green Arrow's mother, who has since died.

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2012 casting announcement of JB for a mystery role on Arrow...

'Torchwood' star Barrowman joins CW's 'Arrow'
By James Hibberd August 15, 2012


Captain Jack is coming to The CW!

John Barrowman is joining the network’s new fall action-drama Arrow.

The Doctor Who and Torchwood star has signed for a recurring role in Arrow’s debut season. Producers are not saying much about his character, only revealing that he will play a “well-dressed man” who is “as mysterious as he is wealthy … he is an acquaintance of the Queen family and a prominent figure in Starling City.”

Edited by tv echo
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