Much as we’ve enjoyed reviewing and recapping Arrow for the past three years, tonight’s “This is Your Sword” brought it all to a screeching halt, killing off…well, just about everyone. Sure, there’s Season 4 to think about, The Flash, and even that much-hyped spinoff, but what can we do? Everyone’s dead. It’s been real, y’all!

You’re warned of all the spoilers from tonight’s “This is Your Sword” from here on out, but we weren’t kidding around. A tense and twisty hour of Arrow culminated in Oliver, er … Al Sah-Him’s nuptials to Nyssa al Ghul, while the captured remnants of Team Arrow (minus Tatsu, Roy or Thea) in a Nanda Parbat cell suffered the effects of the Alpha-Omega virus, all passing out before the closing credits.

Guess that’s the end of the show, then! Sure, you could read into that speedy rescuer in the finale previews, or the general nature of storytelling and contractual obligations at large, but what else can we say? Nice knowin’ ya, Diggle, Felicity, Laurel, Malcolm and Ray.

Backing up for a bit, “This is Your Sword” dealt out a fairly shocking revelation early on, as Oliver went for a stroll amid a tense dinner with Ra’s and his own seething bride-to-be Nyssa, soon finding himself attacked by a masked assailant, none other than Malcolm Merlyn himself. Yes, clearly burning through frequent flyer miles, it seems Malcolm and Oliver have been in collusion the whole time, willfully supporting Oliver’s rise through the League to dismantle it from within. News of the Alpha-Omega virus (apparently handed over by Maseo years earlier) forced the two to speed up their plans, though Malcolm rightly noted that the team would have difficulty believing him.

Back in Starling, the increasingly dispirited Diggle, Laurel and Felicity predictably dismissed Malcolm’s claims, even seeming somewhat unmoved when Malcolm presented a surprise witness: Tatsu Yamashiro. Regardless of their distrust for Tatsu however, threat of viral devastation moved Diggle and Laurel to attempt the mission to Nanda Parbat, while Felicity required a bit more personal convincing. Alone in Ray’s lab, Tatsu urged Felicity to at least attempt rescuing her love from the League, unlike how she’d given up hers.

Another quick jaunt to Nanda Parbat later, the remnants of Team Arrow (plus Malcolm and fully-costumed Tatsu) led a full assault on the plane Ra’s intended to fly to Starling with the virus, Felicity attempting to remotely hack into the guidance system. An arrow through her tablet called in the cavalry, as Ray put in a surprise appearance for an Iron Man Atom dogfight with the plane, successfully bringing it down, but damaging the suit in the process.

The victory proved bittersweet however, as Tatsu was forced to fight her former husband, eventually gaining the upper hand and “releasing” the man from his prison, singing him into the grave, just as she’d once done for their son Akio. Of course, Ra’s and Oliver had planned the failure all along, revealing the plane to be a decoy, and taking the team in chains back to the fortress.

Wouldn’t you know it, that wily Malcolm attempted to save his own skin by confessing the truth about Oliver to Ra’s, though Oliver quickly covered for the deception, and had Malcolm thrown back in a cell. Less effective was Oliver’s attempts to placate Diggle, admitting in private that he’d gambled their friendship and Lyla’s safety in proving his loyalty to Ra’s, though Diggle fired back that he’d destroyed not only their friendship, but trust and respect as well.

Of course, all of this is a moot point, considering Ra’s then broke the Alpha-Omega virus in the group’s cell, sealing the room, and leaving them all to die, while Oliver and Nyssa walked down the aisle. A bitter Nyssa tried to interrupt the ceremony with a dagger of her own, though Oliver coolly stopped the blade and continued the wedding to completion, while his friends passed out a few doors down. See? Everyone died, show’s over!

And where, you ask, is Thea Queen in all this? Following Felicity’s revelation last week, Thea surprised Roy, er…“Jason” in his new line of work as an auto-mechanic, retreating to his place and celebrating as only the newly-resurrected can. Thea even brought along Roy’s recovered Arsenal outfit to stem his boredom on the lam, though Roy again departed by the next morning, not wanting Thea to spend her life with him evading authorities. Still, he left the costume behind with a Dear John, reasoning that red was more Thea’s color anyway. Hmm…

As for flashbacks this week, the chaos of Hong Kong’s infection saw Oliver and Maseo racing back to General Shrieve’s headquarters in search of a cure, even dragging the wounded general back to their pharmacy hideaway. Sadly (though unsurprisingly), Akio had already succumbed to the virus, as Shrieve revealed that there had never been any cure, and the vigilantes had inadvertently led to their own recapture. A little Season 4 flashback setup, perhaps?

That’s about it, though. Everyone else is dead. Bye, everybody!

Well, what now? Will Oliver still manage to prevent the Alpha-Omega’s Starling spread, even with all his friends conclusively, and definitively dead (okay, I think we get it)? Will Thea don Roy’s red gear and become Starling City’s newest vigilante? Will Arrow continuity go cross-eyed by Oliver’s Central City appearance next Tuesday, immediately followed by Wednesday’s finale? And hey, what exactly was that ownership transfer Felicity signed for Ray without a second thought?

Check out the latest (spoilery!) Season 3 trailers below, and stay tuned for more on Arrow‘s latest twists in next week’s Season 3 finale “My Name is Oliver Queen”!

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