In a plot- and action-heavy episode, Arrow was -- as it often is -- somewhat light on the winks and nods.
There will likely be some that we missed in the backgrounds and stuff, but as it stands, it appears this was one of the least "referenc-y" episodes in quite a while, excepting the things that recur so often we don't count them.
And, so yeah: first thing's first: we won't make note of recurring guests unless it's their first appearance and we won't dwell too much on the continuity porn, which is different from "DC references." Certainly we're aware that Merlyn, Nyssa Raatko and Amanda Waller were in the episode, but they show up pretty frequently and they won't get mentioned as an "Easter egg" or reference every time.
And while we know that, yes, the Ferris Air jet referenced in this episode is both a reference to Season One and a wink-and-a-nod to Green Lantern, we're going to talk a bit more about that...elsewhere.
This isn't the first week that Katie Cassidy has had some pretty impressive blonde highlights, but it's getting to the point where she looks more like the comics Canary than she does like Season Two Laurel. Since I hadn't mentioned the highlights before, and this week was so obvious, it seemed worth mentioning.
The man Sara was looking into doesn't seem to have a corollary in the comics -- could the name Jansen be a creator name, like so many of the hidden nods in this show?
Maybe, but legendary inker Klaus Janson -- the first name that comes to mind in cases like this -- drew surprisingly little Green Arrow during his career.
Anonymous9602 said ... (original post)
Master Jansen was a reference to Conner Hawke's martial arts teacher. I think everyone knows Conner is Ollie's comic continuity New Earth son
Likely named after Diane Nelson, who heads up DC Entertainment.
The episode's title is an allusion to Malcolm Merlyn, whom Oliver first came to know in the comics as "Merlyn the Magician." Here, as with Sara Lance's Canary last season, it's revealed that "The Magician" is the name by which he is called in the League of Assassins.
Enter Ra's al Ghul
Ra's al Ghul shows up in the final scene of the episode, as we'd been teased. A fan-favorite Batman villain, Ra's runs the League of Assassins, and that role has put him increasingly at odds with other characters besides Batman in recent years, including League trainees like Black Canary.
They don't shy away from showing Ra's here coming out of a spa or pool. The obvious conclusion to draw here is that it's a Lazarus Pit, or whatever Arrow's version of them will be. In the comics, Ra's has achieved virtual immortality by using these quasi-magical springs, which have rejuvenating and healing powers up to and including the ability to raise people from the dead.