Arrow Season 3 Ep 2 (TV Show Review)

CW’s Arrow got off to an emotional start with its latest season when, at the end of the episode, Sara Lance aka Canary was ambushed and killed by a mysterious archer. Forget everything else that happened in the premiere, whether it is Ray Palmer’s spectacular entry or Roy and Ollie taking down bad guys together or anything else. Sara’s death is going to have some major repercussions, and for the showrunners to start off a new season with something like this, well, it is a hint of things to come, I’m sure. While I mourn Sara’s passing since I really loved the character, I’m also interested in what is going to follow after it.

And that’s what this week’s episode, “Sara” was all about. Laurel brings Sara’s body to the Arrow-cave, not knowing what else to do, and we get to watch the team’s reaction as they realize that a core part of their shared identity is gone. It is a very moving scene, and the rest of the episode is all about how the team tries to move on and hunt down Sara’s killer, which also confirms the first-ever live-action debut of the villain Simon Lacroix aka Komodo, introduced last year in Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s ongoing run on Green Arrow as part of a major arc. This is a non-stop action episode in the true sense of what that means on Arrow, and we also get to touch base once again with Ray Palmer, which is just too exciting really.

Written by Jake Coburn and Keto Shimizu, veterans of Arrow‘s writing team, “Sara” deals with the immediate aftermath of Sara’s death as Oliver and the others struggle to understand what happened. They zoom in on a suspect in short order, Simon Lacroix aka Komodo, but since he’s the big villain of the episode, it isn’t until the end that he gets what’s coming to him, even though the tragedy of Sara’s death gets murkier at that point. This was still a damn good episode with a really touching moment between the many characters.

The majority of the episode deals with the hunt for Lacroix, but there are also two distinct subplots working in tandem with the main one. The first of these involves Ray Palmer, who is now the new owner of Queen Consolidated and who is moving quickly to cement his place in Star City. The second involves Thea’s absence from the show, which happened right at the end of the second season finale in a rather heart-breaking moment. Both good solid stories and if I’m honest, I enjoyed these two more than I did the hunt for Lacroix.

The season premiere last week introduced some major things, such as the fact that we have three new awesome characters making an appearance in the form of Maseo and his wife Tatsu, and Ray Palmer, and this episode lets it all breathe out in a great way.

From the flashbacks, we know that Maseo now has custody in Hong Kong of Ollie, who was brought there by Amanda Waller’s people, and that his family’s future is at stake if Ollie doesn’t get with Amanda’s program, and soon. These flashbacks this week were stellar, especially since the very first mission involved Ollie having to put a bullet in his best friend, Tommy’s, brain. How this all works out is great, especially since we know that Tommy died in the first season finale, and the way that Ollie keeps Amanda happy and keeps Maseo’s family safe is rather ingenious. And you can really feel his frustrations coming to the fore, since he had been stranded on Lian Yu for more than two months, with no hope of rescue, and encountering one danger after another.

Ray Palmer on the other hand, I’m really enjoying. He is snarky, self-obsessed to a degree, but he’s also a genuine person who really does want the best for the people around him. Last week we saw that he just abarged in on Ollie’s meeting with QC’s investors and shareholders and that he wowed them so much that he was able to buy the company outright. And he also made Felicity a job offer, which she rejected. That plotline continues on in this episode, and it is nice to see so many different sides to his character. And Felicity as well. Her about-face with Oliver didn’t quite jive with me there, post-climax, and it confuses me since it all basically casts Felicity as an opportunist and one to take the easy way out of things, but can’t blame her either really since the writers do kind of make a good case for it. It just happens to be a bit too convoluted.

And then there’s Thea, who left with her back-from-the-dead-father-she-didn’t-know-she-had Malcolm Merlyn at the end of last season’s finale because she was sick of everyone’s lies and that Roy just wouldn’t commit to a relationship with her, and wouldn’t leave his extracurriculars behind. It was a great heartfelt moment, and now we see that Oliver is getting ever more worried about her since he doesn’t know why she left, just that she did and that she wanted time off. Roy gets to be the one to break the bad news to him, and the episode’s cliffhanger ending is set in Corto Maltese, where we find out just what Thea has been up to for the last five months. She is a Merlyn and a Queen both, with everything that applies, nature and nurture both, and she is going to be back in a great way soon, I know it, especially since next week’s episode is titled “Corto Maltese“!

Arrow Season 3 Poster 0001

Thinking back on this episode, there were some things that bothered me at first, such as why Ollie is so emotionally withdrawn from Sara’s death, but then towards the end we got to see why and it made up for everything else. He is a man caught between a rock and a hard place, with no way out. Thankfully, as always, Diggle is right there to guide him back to the rest of the team, to really connect with his humanity and his feelings, in a way that Felicity can’t since she herself requires something from in return. Diggle is rock-solid, the team’s moral anchor.

More than anything though was how awesome Laurel was this week. In the last two seasons, she has often been one of the more problematic elements, but towards the end of the second season, she was starting to grow in ways that I wish she had since the start, and now it looks like she is going to be making some headlines of her own this year. With Sara’s death, Laurel Dinah Lance has her way open to becoming Black Canary and with Ra’s al Ghul set to debut later on in the season, I’d say that things are looking mighty interesting for Laurel. But in the here and now, in this episode, I think Katie Cassidy was spectacular. She nailed absolutely everything that was required of Laurel in this episode, and for once, I’m well and truly excited to see more of Laurel because I think that she’s on the right path now and that the writers are really starting to understand her after all.

A great episode for sure, but with a few niggles here and there.

More Arrow (Season 3): Ep 1.

More Arrow (Season 2): Link.


Posted on October 17, 2014, in Arrow, Review Central, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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